Posted in Updates on Thursday 11th March 2004 at 11:29pm

To Swindon for a Software Update Seminar from Capita, our supplier. First contact as a member of our working group, so naturally there was some confusion as to how a lowly Admissions guy would have any knowledge of XML schema! The presentation was mixed - I was very relieved to see that the Admissions stuff seemed to be ready for Co-ordination in 2005. Likewise, I was much encouraged by the move to XML data transfer between schools and us - with more sensible rules for dealing with addresses and other information which differs between the two records.

Other parts of the presentation were lacklustre, over-detailed or just plain unnecessary. Since we are paying, wondered if this was good value, but then decided it was by virtue of the fact I'm reassured about the Admissions software!

Both my taxi drivers from the station to the far-flung hotel where the seminars were held wanted to tell me about Swindon. That was actually kind of fun - the first one was particularly well informed and gave a good historical account of the social effect of the railway arriving here. Our route seemed to consist of endless, very similar looking roundabouts, so I applaud the drivers skill in knowing which traffic island he had circumnavigated at any particular juncture!

Movebook Link

Posted in Updates on Thursday 4th March 2004 at 5:27pm

I arrived back in #lemmings this morning after my wander to the railway station, and was immediately and unceremoniously kicked. Strange. I'm not sure why. Whilst I'm sometimes a bit cranky in there, and borderline intolerant at times, I hadn't been for some days! Anyway, in post-kick surprise and general befuddlement I crashed xchat, and on logging back in decided to just join channels, rather than get involved in anything on #lemmings. It could be nothing, but it might not and I had no energy for that possibility.

This got me thinking about IRC in general however, and something mr_science recently said in that very channel about friendships made there being somehow 'more real' than many real world links are. I now totally agree, but I also think its something rather unique to #lemmings (and to its predecessors, dating back to Ximian's Monkeytalk server).

The inhabitants of #lemmings are a nice, slightly deranged and (I include myself here!) rather older than usual bunch of IRC users. The chat is usually pleasant, and I've never seen such thought go into the sometimes difficult politics of keeping a channel free of abuse or unpleasantness. I know that during many rather tricky times over the past couple of years, when 'real life' friends have either been absent from my life, or have found my sometimes bleak approach to matters hard to take, the #lemmings have generally happily accepted me. Even this week, feeling like crap and stuck indoors, my only human contact has been via #lemmings. Scary, but true.

Strange it took an unexpected kick to make me think about this, and to really start to understand mr_science's view about the place. I'm not sure whether the kick was intentional, a joke I failed to see, or even not meant for me, but the fact I'm dwelling on it speaks volumes about the channel. It also illustrates my tendency to 'minimalise' my life to the point that all my eggs are in one basket. Dropping the basket becomes of course, quite a disaster.


Posted in Updates on Thursday 4th March 2004 at 5:12pm

Built in a couple of 'rest days'. Holed myself up with books, computer and TV and concentrated on getting better. Noted a steady improvement over the past couple of days, including some decent sleep which was much needed. Woke today feeling much improved, hopefully in time for the grand office quiz this evening - a rare chance to get out in Weston.

Decided on some more Southern Region wanderings tomorrow, so headed for the station to attempt to haggle for a cheaper ticket. Failed, but the Saver Return gives me a few more journey options. Might aim for an early start tomorrow, sleep permitting.

Also called at Sterling Books on my return journey - I've been almost obsessed with Thomas Hardy's novels lately and needed another. I'm sort of surprised because school destroyed 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles' for me. (in fact, the only novel which survived the school treatment was 'Wuthering Heights'). Picked up a nice Macmillan edition of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' - it's not particularly old, but its a nice edition. Agreed with the shop owner that a set of those editions would be nice. Why do I feel my obsessive/compulsive collecting side awakening?


Posted in Updates on Sunday 29th February 2004 at 6:48pm

Irritatingly, I still feel like crap. Got a little more sleep, but I seem to have developed a nasty cough which hurts! In fact, it's so painful that it's awaking my hypochondria, and reminding me of a wonderfully typical Gissing moment:

"Strange how . . . I am possessed with the idea I shall not live much longer. Not a personal thought but is coloured by this conviction. I never look forward more than a year or two at the utmost, it is the habit of my mind, in utter sincerity, to expect no longer tenure of life than that. I don't know how this has come about; perhaps my absolute loneliness has something to do with it. Then I am haunted by the idea that I am consumptive; I never cough without putting a finger to my tongue, to see if there is a sign of blood."
(Diary, June 1888)
Caught the bus to Burnham for the first time in a long while this morning. It still appears 10 minutes late and then races impossibly to make up time! Walked into Highbridge with mum and briefly saw Mr Tim, before heading back to Weston. Took vague mental notes on the journey in the hope of expanding the A370 entry on SABRE's Roads by 10 project.

Determined to start my holiday week properly tomorrow - planning to spend the evening planning some routes...



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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