The Return From Lancashire

Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…

Sunday 29th June 2003
Dan’s Mum’s House, Preston
Helped fix my mum’s fence, and enjoyed the challenge of removing a pigeon from her gutter. This stupid bird, it seems, on a collision course for the house (shitting on the window as it came), struck the roof with sufficient force to kill itself, and then rolled gracefully into the gutter, where it became lodged.

Using a clever combination of metal rods and string, Claire and I were able to lasso it’s foot from one of the upstairs windows and, a few pokes later, lob it’s rotting corpse down to my sister, waiting below.

My dad kindly let me take one of his bikes – Silver Machine – back to Aber with me, which’ll make getting to and from work a lot nicer. Must buy a lock for it.

Got back at about midnight. Claire spent most of the night tied to the bed, which was fun. Enough said.

Back From Lancashire, Continued

Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…

Saturday 28th June 2003
Dan’s Mum’s House, Preston
More video games. Yet again I won at Mario Party 4. Claire is starting to get really pissed-off with always coming second-place. I don’t think she’d mind being last or second-to-last all the time, but coming second-place time and time again really seems to annoy her. Particularly when I proceed to dance around the room chanting “I am the Party Star!” at the top of my voice. Ah well.

Horton Tower, Horton
Went with Claire and my family to see the annual symphony orchestra at Horton Tower. It wasn’t as good as last year, but it was still fun. Taught Claire to waltz.

More to follow…

Back From Lancashire, Continued

Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…

Friday 27th June 2003
Dan’s Mum’s House, Preston
Played on Claire’s Nintendo GameCube with Claire, my mum, and sisters. I won at Mario Party 4.
Went to meet the managing director who’ll be taking over from my dad upon his retirement. He didn’t seem remotely scared enough by the idea that if my dad fell under a bus (oh; the irony of a transport consultant being run over by a public transport vehicle), I’d be his majority shareholder, nor did he seem to believe all the stories the rest of the staff told about me. He’ll be taught to fear me, yet… <evil grin>

Later, met up with Andy, Dan’s co-webmaster, and played more video games, before going out for KFC and to see Bruce Almighty at the cinema, which was a pretty damn cool film.

Finally, retired to my mum’s house for yet more video games. I won at Mario Party 4. Again.

More to follow…

Back From Lancashire

Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…

Thursday 26th June 2003
Linux Expo 2003, Birmingham
Sorted out Claire’s bank, packed bags, and set off for Birmingham to the last day of Linux Expo 2003 at the National Exhibition Centre, to meet up with Gareth and some other geeks to talk about a project on which my input could be valuable. Gareth is going to come over to Aberystwyth next weekend and we’ll knock together a prototype of the system we’ve suggested.

Claire got scared by the vast numbers of stereotypical geeks (and the distinct overdose of testosterone in the air – she was one of only three women in the whole place), and by the fact that, unlike normal, she couldn’t understand one in three words spoken. I smiled. She’s got a little way to go to earn her geek stripes, yet.

Bon Jovi, Manchester
Arrived late at Old Trafford – missed the support group, but in time to try to find standing room before Bon Jovi came on-stage. All-in-all, a good concert: Claire was a little short for standing on the pitch to have been a good idea, and the sound quality was a little below-par owing to a lack of adequate repeater speakers, and the only beer available was Budweiser and Boddingtons, but it was still a pretty good gig. Went to a Manchester pub afterwards before catching a really, really late train home. Got to bed sometime after 3am.

More to follow…


Woken at 7am this morning by an irate Welsh fishmonger repeatedly ringing my doorbell. Apparently a swarm of ravenous seagulls invaded the street two hours prior and shredded my bin bags, scattering my litter across the street, and this was obviously entirely my fault because I shouldn’t have put my bin bags out the night before. I explained that I put them out the night before because I had no intention of being up this early, but I don’t think he saw the irony.

Went out with bin bags and cleared up, while he glared from across the street and complained about the laziness of the youth of today.

I passed at least half a dozen other pillaged rubbish piles on my way to get a lift to work. It’s no wonder the gulls around here are so big, what with the heavy diet of human trash they consume.

Claire’s Back


Last night was fun. After spending most of a day hacking into the BBC’s weather centre (I wanted a weather forecast XML stream, but couldn’t find a free one, so with Kit’s help I stole one instead), he, Claire (recently returned) and I went down to the beach after midnight with a bottle of Caern O’Moor Bramble Wine and enjoyed the first cool air the town has seen in most of a week.

I had a weird dream last night. Apparently, so did Kit. Must’ve been something in the wine.


Completely exhausted. Can’t sleep. Miss Claire.

A Brighter Day

I’m glad to report that I now feel that I have recovered from something that’s afflicted me for most of the last year.

As you may be aware, almost eleven months ago my girlfriend, Claire, and I got together. At the time, she’d recently started (in part by my orchestration) going out with De, a great and close friend of mine.

For some reason – the obvious one seems clear, but he insisted upon playing a “guessing game” and I’ve tried all the ideas I can think of – De then decided to hate me. He won’t tell me what I’ve done to hurt him so much, but insists that it’s not any of the things that I suggested it was.

For the greatest part I wanted to make it up. I wanted him back – we were great friends, we really were. And I would have done anything for him if I thought it would give me a chance of getting that back. But he’d made up his mind – he asked me not to try to contact him, and I, for my love of him, did exactly that, as far as I could. It was hard. Were it not for Claire’s support, I couldn’t have done it.

My friends assured me he’d come around.

It is now over ten and a half months later, and I’m happy – relieved – to report that the part of my heart that he held has now been released. I no longer care about him enough to want him back. It took almost a year, and at times it felt like a lifetime, but I can now be proud knowing that I did not let his hatred beat me!

I don’t care about him enough to want him back. I just want him to stop being such a bastard.

I don’t care about him enough to want him back. I don’t even care about him enough to honor his request not to contact him. He’s a wanker, and I shouldn’t have let him control me for this last year through the false hope that we could once again be friends.

I’ll always remember the good times we had. This is where it ends.

[photo removed]


Apparantly I’m acquiring a roommate.

My friend Kit already spends more of his life at my house than at his own. Today I found his electric shaver plugged in in my bathroom. I questioned him about it, and apparently I have a suitable electrical outlet whereas he doesn’t, and this is the only reason, but I’m not so sure.

If he thinks he’s going to get to share my bed he has another thing coming.

Clients Suck

Nothing sucks more than flogging yourself to meet a deadline and provide a stunning piece of software to a client who doesn’t give a shit.

Scanning And Zelda

Talked with ICQ-friend Summer for the first time in over six months this afternoon, which was great, because I’ve missed chatting with her. Caught up on each other’s news, then chatted about Love, Sex, and What It All Means for awhile. Refreshing. Made her promise to be online more often in future. We’ll see.

Couldn’t be arsed going to campus to help Kit scan magazines this evening, so I bought a scanner and set it up on Claire’s computer, where he’s now scanning away to his little heart’s content.

Got a little further in Zelda: The Wind Waker on the GameCube this evening – all the way to Ganondorf, the bad nasty guy at the end, but he kicked my arse.

Dreadful Deadlines

Just been working like a demon towards a 13:00 deadline this afternoon, delivering a piece of software to a client. Barely made it, but what a buzz!!! Celebrated with a pub lunch with two colleagues, Lisa (the SQL Queen) and Alex (the CodeMonkey, our office pet).

Claire called from Norfolk to say “Hi!” I’d have liked to chat longer, but I have work to do.

Have promised to scan and archive some old magazines with Kit this evening. Ho hum.


Claire’s gone to Norfolk to help her dad move house, among other things. She’s back on Sunday.

Played a little Zelda and wrote a little Three Rings code last night, but didn’t do enough of either to be called ‘productive’. Rather, I watched The Animatrix with Kit and drank Firestoker and Hobgoblin and Newcastle Brown Ale.

I miss her already.


It is Claire’s birthday.

“Our feet are going to get wet.”

Somebody had to say it. Somebody did.

The waves roll up the beach, rustling gently against the smooth pebbles. Claire sits in front of me. Kit is to my side. The remaining embers of the fire flicker, as if trying to fight to hold onto the remains of their minimal existance against the oncoming tide. We watch the waves through the dwindling smoke.

I put my arm around Claire, holding her hand against her busom. She returns my grip. I glance across at Kit, and he looks back. For a moment, I look into his eyes… try to see what he sees… but to no avail. We turn back to the sea.

For the best part of half an hour none of us had spoken. For a half hour to come none of us will speak. Sometimes there’s no need for words. Sometimes just being together is enough.

The greatest secret you never tell is how you feel.