The end of one week and the beginning of another.

seem to be getting some sort of social life, mostly revolving around one
of the postgrads, John Hillier, his girlfriend, Katie, and the people they
rent rooms out to.

Thursday evening I went out with them to see Signs, the new Mel Gibson film.
Now, I’ll try not to spoil it for those reading this who haven’t seen the
film but I’ll give my opinion of it. Well, the characterisations were fine,
the emotions shown seemed genuine. However, the message of the film, faith
is important and everything happens for a reason, including the bad things
was put over as subtile as (to paraphrase Douglas Adams) having your brains
smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick! Add
to this REALLY stupid aliens (if you’ve got a problem with being disolved
by water, why invade a planet that’s 2/3rds covered by the stuff and has
the stuff falling from the skies and walk around naked without an environment
suit?! Oh, and if you’re stealth technology is so good that you can’t be
seen at all by day, why leave the lights on so your ships can be seen at
night?! Oh, and wouldn’t it be a good idea to learn how to get out of closets?)
and I’m afradi I couldn’t suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the film.

Anyway, Friday night was uneventful.

Saturday was a mixture of the normal domestic duties with the addition of
taking some old computer junk down to the local “recycle centre” where I
asked if I may remove an old OnDitigal box from the computer skip and was
told no, ‘cos they didn’t want to be sued because of the possibility of it
being electrically dangerous.. and I couldn’t smuggle it out either. (In
the same place were such delights as a ZX Spectrum 3, an original PowerMAC
and an Amiga 500.. poor things.. they’ll be removed from the recycling part
(read refurbishment and resale) and crushed in the landfill to become archeological
artifacts in centuries to come.

The evening was spent at John and Katie’s place being sociable with an evening
dedicated to the leaving of one of their housemates and the arrival of two

Sunday morning was spent in bed reading the end of The Hobbit. That’s taken
me a little over a week.. a far thinner book than The Lord of the Rings and
definitely a children’s book in the language used but the story itself was
far more grown up, though you could tell that the form of Middle Earth had
as yet not been fully formed in the mind of J.R.R.Tolkien.

Seeing as the weather was so nice I decided to go out in the afternoon. I
popped up to one of the places where the Ridgeway meets a road, parked and
took a nice long walk with my camera taking pictures of the scenery. I managed
to see a field vole scamper into the grass.. about 15-20 pheasant, mostly
males, walking ahead of me on the path, disturbed by other walkers before
I could get a good photograph, oh well. I wish people would stay out of my
way in the country, it spoils the whole thing as they scare the wildlife.

The evening was spent watching telly, finally retiring to my bed at around midnight after watching Sharpe on UK Gold.

TV.. it’s my life, you know. :-)

Nah, not really.

Still, the new series of Coupling on BBC 2 on Monday nights (9:30pm) started off very well. I laughed almost all the way through, which for a situation comedy is a rare thing for me. Most bore me rigid, the others usually raise a smile or two.

This evening Sky One are playing the first double episode of the last series of Stargate SG-1. It’s ok, it’s reasonably fun.

Tomorrow night sees E4 showing the new West Wing series.. we’re up to episode 5 or 6 I think.

Other than that, there’s not much on.

Another Monday comes.

Have I done much this last week?

Well, I’ve had a mild cold (which is just about over) and I’ve got better
from the upset innards. Other than that, not a lot has happened.

I’ve requested an estimate for the repair of the keyed paintwork and minor
scratches on my car, bought some trousers which seem a little more baggy
than I like in style but didn’t realise until it was too late. I’ve circummed
to the temptation of the 2 for £20 offers for DVDs in Virgin and bought
M*A*S*H (the film) and the first Austin Powers film. Oh, and I spent a very
nice evening with friends eating pizza and watching “A Knight’s Tale” on

That’s it, there is no more.

The epic is over.

I finished reading The Lord of the Rings for the second time last night.

taken me 4 weeks to do so with many nights a hour’s reading, a couple of
weekends almost reading all the time and some evenings full-on reading as

Was it worth it?.. Yes, though at the end it became more of
a strength of will to finish it as it seemed to be never ending, rather like
Frodo’s quest to mount doom with the book becoming more weighty as the end
came nearer.

Wierd dreams

night I had wierd dreams concerning multi-storey car parks, getting my car’s
paintwork fixed and The Lord of the Rings. One part i rememeber is forgetting
my keys in the car park and driving (without a car!) around my old home town
of Bedford wearing only a towel around my waist trying to get to my old home
in a village nearby and waving to SAAB car drivers.. most strange.. Don’t
even ask about the LotR bits!

Maybe there was just too much MSG in the chicken chow mein I had for dinner.

Cars, expensive beasts, aren’t they?

Well, today I took my car in for its second service, nominally 18,000 miles but as I do low milage it was actually 14,000.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the cost was £296.90 inc. VAT! Ouch!

It wasn’t even a really major service, just adjust a few things, change the oil, change the brake fluid and that’s it. At least they tell me that the front tyres aren’t as far worn as I thought they were, they have 4mm of tread left, so I have 2.3mm to go. If I go carefully and don’t accidently spin the wheels much they should last another year.

Still they did wash the car, or attempted to. The fact that it looks slightly more dirty than it did when it want in as it has run marks where dirty water has run down it. I think they must have used a dirty cloth or something. At least a lot of the scratches from the bushes have faded to slight lines you can see if you shine light off them is good. Though a few do look as though they might have gone through the colour coat after all.

I think the weekend after next I’ll pop down to the SAAB approved body shop and get a quote on the repair of the keyed scratch and the other marks. I want my car to be perfect again.


I’ve got my car paintwork slightly scratched this afternoon.. here’s how it happened..

I decided, as the weather seemed to be fairing better than it had been forecast, to go and have a walk along the ridgeway and try to get some more photo opportunities. So, I toddled off down to the Goring area and took a little un-metalled road towards what was signposted “The Downs.” I was surprised at how busy this little single track was. As soon as I turned onto this track another car followed behind me, meaning that if I decided the track ahd become too severe there was no way I could reverse. Anyway, I manage to get about a mile along the track when there’s a large washed out hole on the left side of the track and bushes crowding each side. I couldn’t reverse, I had to go forward, so I pulled right to the right-side of the track, brushing the bushes quite hard so that my left wheels keep on the higher ground. I manage to get through this.. but the upshot is that I now have minor scratches on my paintwork. The car behind, a Peugeot 406, decided to just go straight on.. that was the driver’s folly.. I heard a great crunch and scrape from behind as he passed the obsticle. I parked up soon after this place and noticed that the Peugeot had now left a long trail of oil from the point of the crunch.. he’d ripped a hole in his engine sump! Rather more expensive than my car’s injury.

The scratches (on both sides, as I had to return the way I came) will polish out but it’s still annoying as I’ve been careful whilst washing the car to use things which don’t scratch the surface. :-/

I didn’t even get to walk very far as almost immediately I got out of the car a heavy shower came along. Oh well.