Posted in Updates on Wednesday 28th April 2004 at 10:46pm

I'd sort of decided not to blog about this, but the weird mixture of awe, impatience, fear and love I'm experiencing has to come out somewhere. This evening, I met my nephew Vinnie for the first time. He was born late on Monday evening, and has not had the easiest start to life so far. I'm so incredibly proud of my Sister and her husband, who are both showing unbelievable strength and patience. I was also really impressed by the staff at Musgrove Park Hospital who have, it seems, been frank, honest and caring - and have done everything possible to help two very scared parents.

Managed also to get trapped in Taunton following signalling trouble in Teignmouth and a cancelled inbound service. Wessex Trains staff showed great kindness in sorting things out, getting people moving and me into a taxi home!

In the meantime, unbelievably and rather surreally life continues. Work has had some blips and niggles today, perhaps partly down to my reduced reistance to bullshit at present. In any case, got little useful work done and managed to get myself offended by something pointless and innocuous. It will blow over, naturally. People are being great, actually.

Saw Canada's finest, Barenaked Ladies too - they were really, really good. Very rock and roll - more so than when they supported the (frankly apalling) Beautiful South in Exeter some years back. Lots of silliness and great songs.

Booked my Summer break - a Literary London conference at the University of London School of Advanced Studies, Belle and Sebastian at Somerset House and a few days of topographical tumbling through the capital. July seems a long way off...

Trying to look forward to the near future, steam trains in Bristol and more rambling around. Trying hard just to look ahead.

Movebook Link

Posted in Updates on Thursday 15th April 2004 at 12:11am

Frustrating start to the appeal season, with a school which would always be difficult defend. The jury is still out, but I'm prepared for a lacklustre performance.

After getting home, set about finally fixing Spamassassin to work with my IMAP setup. Got it filtering successfully, after a few abortive attempts. Seems to be catching the usual 'Microsoft Security Patch' stuff at any rate!

Spent the evening hacking on PHP and MySQL to finally try to coax Stock Reports out of the Movebook. Think I've done so to a degree as this example hopefully illustrates. Lots still to do to get it working exactly how I'd like and to present a simple interface to the various reports and queries.

Much too hot in the office today - Summer has started, so naturally it will be several weeks before the heating is switched off. The waste of energy must be criminal.

Think I've tired myself out with all the various dabbling today. Hoping for a pleasant sleep...


Posted in Updates on Monday 12th April 2004 at 11:58pm

I couldn't resist it - woke up much later than planned after the first decent sleep in days, and the first time I couldn't see rails zipping past when I closed my eyes. Bustled around. Had good intentions to clean up, prepare for the week ahead, and try to write some addition bits of movebook code...

However, I became curious just what had changed at Filton Abbey Wood, and instead resolved to wander up and check. Caught 1015 from Weston, and had a very pleasant journey in remarkably summery weather. Not much had changed from Friday at Filton, but work continues. Some junction signals appear to be up, and covered out of use. Little in the way of trackwork, which it was my (perhaps mistaken) assumption that the posession was all about.

Paused at Parkway, enjoying the sun and chatting to some fellow passengers on their way to Weston. Back by 12:30. Shopped and cleaned up a bit. Decided to laze around for awhile.

Later, went to the Brit for combined birthday/leaving parties. Marginalised and distracted, I'm amazed I lasted as long as I did. Chatted with a variety of people I'd not seen for some time, and enjoyed greatly one or two conversations, which made for a more pleasant evening. Remain convinced however that Gissing probably had it right all along as regards these socials - some of us just aren't very good at them. Wish I'd come to the same conclusions some years back - which would have perhaps saved me from years of desperately wondering why I wasn't having fun! Taking things on my terms, as I did tonight, made for a far happier experience.

Some statistics: 950 miles in a very confined area, costing around 3 pence per mile - remarkable weekend...

Movebook Link

Posted in Updates on Tuesday 6th April 2004 at 9:31pm

At work, its been a tense week in many ways. Preparing for the first bulk appeals of the season is always an uncertain experience, but I feel really strongly that our responses and preparatory casework is solid. Meanwhile, other forces are conspiring to make life less pleasant... Change has picked up apace this week, which has led to lots of work.

Looking forward to the weekend, and the diversions via rare freight-only lines around Hallen and Filton. I think the timetable is becoming clear, but I still need to check my research. Planning on a 3 in 7 rover, giving me plenty of opportunity to get around during the Easter break. A birthday/leaving the country party on Easter Monday too.

Gave in and ordered books today. Added to my burgeoning Thomas Hardy obsession, along with Iain Sinclair's "Lights Our For The Territory". Also took the chance to pick up Mary Lou Lord's new CD on Loose. Weird to think I bought her last proper record in Kitchener, Ontario. Seems like a lifetime ago.

Took the opportunity of an up-to-date GNOME to build Abiword and Gnumeric. These projects amaze me in how they can stay so stable, move so fast, and generally just work. Catching up with both from CVS was as ever, a pleasant surprise.

Reported the customer information system at Highbridge (and presumably other stations) to Wessex Trains. On arriving yesterday it was still set to GMT, but was reporting the correct train times. So when I arrived at around 7pm it announced "The time is 17:58, the next train to depart is the 19:05". Several customers actually believed it, and just left the station! Wessex claim they will fix it. Lets hope so.

I've been running round in circles...
I keep looking for the doorway...
I'm going to need two lives to follow the paths I've been taking.



I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.

I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.

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