Posted in Updates on Sunday 31st August 2003 at 11:29pm
Felt strange and disconnected all day. Worried a lot, did very little. Managed to finish the new Douglas Coupland. Dabbled with other projects to no great effect. Called to help with a garage clearance, which I did - getting utterly filthy in the process, which was actually sort of fun and it was quite satisfying to see the skip fill with junk as we worked. Cleaned up, and went out to a Charity Quiz event. Filled with strange and irrational misgivings prior to arriving, but managed to be sensible. We reformed the I.P.Knightley team for the evening, and suprised ourselves with a win - especially good since the quiz was on the history of Weston-super-Mare, and our team consisted of a Colonial, a Brummie, a Winscombe lad, and someone originating in Wiltshire! Remained a bit troubled and seemed to be mishitting badly in my conversation today. I think too much time spent alone is bad for me. I need a plan desperately, because pretty soon I'll have to confront things head on instead of clumsily side-stepping issues.
Posted in Reading on Sunday 31st August 2003 at 5:20pm
As ever, rattled through Coupland's latest at a fair old rate. The strange sunny SSRI-induced sheen which has settled on all his other work is missing this time. It's all a bit bleak and unresolved. The story is told by four characters, in dated sections - reminiscent of William Faulkner's methods in 'The Sound and the Fury'. Each section documents the writer's life since a Columbine-like high school massacre for people who will likely never read the resulting letter or journal.
Like always, Coupland is an accurate cultural barometer - the span of the book (1988-2002) gives him scope to explore the decay of spiritual values over the past few decades. Perhaps the most optimistic transformation of the novel occurs for Reg - who starts out a repressed and repressing father with irrationally literal religious views, and ends up as a tired old man, full of doubt and fear but somehow far more human.
The beautiful descriptions of Coupland's native Vancouver are here as always, along with some acute and sentimental observations about how we lived in the recent past.
Posted in Updates on Saturday 30th August 2003 at 10:39pm
Finally got CVS back up on this machine. Need to find a reasonably good cvsweb script, and find a way to enable mailing of commits to interested parties. This was all down to the serious start of work on Gaia, an app I'm co-writing with Bilbo. So far, things look good, with a working build setup and a basic glade UI.
Otherwise, woke late and shopped a bit. Purchased new Douglas Coupland but haven't had a minute to look at it yet. A bright summery day turned into a rainstorm later. Heard advance copy of Belle and Sebastian's first proper record in three years. Wonderful music.
Tentative, but broadly encouraging work news yesterday.
Posted in Updates on Tuesday 26th August 2003 at 10:05pm
...and into the midst of intrigues, chaos and confusion. Very short staffed, but managed to remain amazingly productive, and even a bit positive. Worst fears were confirmed about the look of this site on Internet Explorer yesterday. Puzzled over it some more in the quiet moments at work, using NT - its readable however, so no hugely urgent issue. Getting used to living and working with Areopagitica - so far I like it. Writing a small, easy content management system for this site was a long overdue task - I remember it being on my list of things to do when I first installed RedHat back in 1999. Glad I waited and got the benefit of some experience before trying. Had some thoughts about a London Walk I'd like to plan over the past couple of days, and finally started committing it to paper - decided to work directly from c1873 OS maps to start with, and see how possible the final route is with an A-to-Z later. Altogether, feeling a little more positive after a troublesome few weeks. Accepting some truths as self-evident, it seems, is often the only way forward.
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.