October 11th, 2004


The weekend, part one: Friday

Thursday evening before the Tun, I'd popped into a client with a spare hard disk to set off a clone of one of their Domino servers.
Friday morning was at the boss's office, tidying up some final wrinkles with a couple of Exchange servers. It's behaving very well now.
At lunchtime I sloped out and headed to London, to pick up that disk again, full of lovely files, and then pop down to Great Queen Street for a meeting.

Once a year, we have a special meeting when we put a new person in the chair and everyone else moves up one seat and into a new job. We call it "Installation". Because I've already had the top job, I was looking forward to falling off the end of the progression and getting a year as a spectator.

No such luck.

So now, I have a new job in my Lodge -- I'm the Assistant Director of Ceremonies. And I'm likely to have the job for a few years. I won't have any new words to learn, but I'll be doing a lot of running around the meeting making sure that everyone's stood in the right place and facing in the right direction.

Ah well.

The weekend, part two: Saturday morning and early afternoon

On Saturday morning, I went to the printers in Maidenhead and picked up 500-and-some copies of MH. I took them round to hddod's house, where she and I together with flick, beermat, mindygoth, adelheid, nerosmaster and James and Jon the sons of Zebedee WANOLJ assembled all the inserts and stuffed the magazines into envelopes, made sure they were all labelled, stamped and stamped, and then took them down to the postbox. A bit of supermarket lunch was followed by a ZZ9 Committee meeting.

I now realise I forgot to discuss something that I made jolly certain was on the agenda. Poll later, perhaps.

The weekend, part three: Saturday late afternoon and evening, Sunday morning

After the committee meeting, there was a debate about whether James should go to hawkida's party, and both adelheid and I were trying to persuade him to do so.
We bundled him into the car and the three of us set off northwards ... Marlow Bypass, M40, M25, A1. The debate continued.
At the mini-roundabouts under the Nene Park Flyover, I pressed him into a decision -- and then dropped him at the station to make his way on to York, while adelheid and I went on to the party.

The party was in honour of hawkida's birthday, and she'd supplied pizza and assorted nibbles. tobesv had got a cylinder of helium and loads of balloons. And there were copious amounts to drink, supplied from stock and attendees.

Yes, the drink. Ahem. I'd taken along a bottle -- the only bottle in existence -- of my experimental Pepperami Vodka. Some people tasted it. Rather more people sniffed it and then declined a taste. More numerous still, however, were the people who stayed well away whenever the lid was off. I was instructed most firmly that I could take the bottle away with me afterwards. Ah well -- it'll probably end up in a fan-fund auction or something. If the question had been posed, I'm sure many people would have been pleased that it was the only bottle in existence.
I'd taken a bottle of Chocolate Blackcurrant Vodka which was received rather more warmly.

Two of the attendees, whotheheckami and the_mendicant, have been studying reflexology (feet) and Indian massage (head) respectively, and each was keen to practice on a succession of volunteers. I've written about my foot rubs before, and while my discipline (MLD) differs from Mr Who's, I still had some volunteers on which to practise. They seem to think I'm very good.

People at the party totalled sixteen, I think -- hawkida and tobesv, whotheheckami and the_mendicant and their two sons, morfessa, nolley, HH- and LH-fishlifter, Sam and Mark WANOLJ, camies, alexmc, adelheid and myself. If I've forgotten someone, no doubt I'll be told in the comments.

Various people drifted off home, others went to B&Bs, leaving nolley, adelheid and myself to sort out who would be sleeping with whom. I was packed off to the office because I snore, leaving the other two to share the spare room -- I don't remember who ended up on top.

The following morning, after the coffee and the bacon sandwiches, we all helped hawkida and tobesv to clear up. I put adelheid and nolley into the car and drove them down to London, and to St Pancras and King's Cross Thameslink stations respectively. Oddly, the easiest way to get from Peterborough to Nottingham on a Sunday is via London. Strange.

And then home.

There were photos -- but since I haven't done any photo posts since about July, you'll have to wait.

The weekend, part four: Sunday night, Monday morning

I did some pottering around on Sunday evening, some laundry, that sort of stuff. And then I went to get ready for bed.

And at this point, I realised that I'd left ursinehenry at the party, come home without him. This was not a good thing. There was some discussion about what to do about it, some exchange of messages with hawkida, and she let him wave at me through her webcam.

"He's in the study, on the bookshelf."
"We found him. He was looking at tobesv's knees."

I'm an idiot. I think Henry said as much in his LJ.

This morning I was at a client in London at about twenty past seven. When I'd finished there, not long after nine, I walked round to hawkida's office and met her outside, when she passed Henry over.

Many many thanks to her for looking after him and bringing him down.

The Algebraist, Going Postal

I took a few moments out today to perform an altruistic act of charity.

Yes, as a result of my actions, Mr Banks and Mr Pratchett are each just a touch richer. So too, no doubt, are Orbit and Doubleday. And with any luck a certain high street retailer can post a loss figure which is a little less disastrously huge next year.

One of these years, I'm going to read more books than I buy, make some sort of dent in the backlog. Or not.