As it looks like I'm not going to get a chance to blog this week (out every night up to Friday), I thought I'd get updated whilst I can...
It's been an interesting few days since I last blogged - very stressful at work, with trying to get people (who have their own priorities and tasks) to see that what I'm asking them to do shouldn't be relegated to the bottom of the to-do pile! But I managed to leave on Friday having got one major thing accomplished (with a few hours to go before the drop-deadline), and a reasonable way through another one. Plus the possibility that I may be able to take a few days off at the beginning of September to play in the greenhouse and get everything ready for Spring.
Friday night I had a little trip out with some of my colleagues, celebrating a birthday. We went to a trendy pub on the Waterfront, and were sat outside, looking out at the water whilst the sun set. Given that we weren't in August by that point (so, for northern hemisphere readers, still in the equivalent of January), I was really rather impressed! I did have to put my coat back on after the sun went down, and was very glad of the space heaters, but overall, it was a lovely feeling.
The journey back home that evening was interesting - I have signed up to a text messaging service from the train company which alerts me to any issues on the line that I travel on. As I got to the station, my phone buzzed, and the text told me that there were delays of up to an hour, due to "an incident" somewhere between Petone and Taita. Given that Waterloo is pretty much in the middle of those two stations, I was not hopeful of a decent journey back! Fortunately, my train was on the platform, even if the departure board just had "delayed" for the departure time, so I was at least able to sit in the warm. With about five minutes to go before the train was due to leave, my phone buzzed again, and the updated text said that the delay was now 30 minutes. The train did leave on time (which made me glad that I hadn't hopped off to pick myself up a chocolate bar!), and, after checking for tickets, the guard then wandered back through the train saying that, although we were currently running to time, the "incident" was a gas leak at Waterloo (my immediate thought being relief that it wasn't an "incident" as I understood it from many years of travelling on the UK trains, which is usually used in conjunction with the word "fatality"...), and there were five trains ahead of us on the line, so it was likely to be a slow journey. I had been keeping John up to date with the news (huzzah for having a phone at last!), and so was able to warn him that I was likely to be a bit late. However, the journey was smooth, and we didn't spend any time stopped between stations waiting for a signal light to change. For all the dire warnings, we arrived at Waterloo only five minutes later than timetabled - not a bad improvement on the hour that I'd originally anticipated!
Saturday was great fun - we had a relaxing morning - one of my colleagues has given me the first half of the Dr Who finale (which I missed due to hockey) on memory stick, and has also, as an added bonus, given the second half, and the first episode of Sherlock, about which I have heard many good things. The slight downside is that it was recorded as a Windows .avi, and the Media Player that we have on the Linux netbooks is missing a critical codec, meaning that it can play the sound, but not the picture. So, I spent a lot of Thursday evening trying to fix the issue, and then a very kind friend in the UK was up till very late BST (gone half past 12) trying to find the answer. I have the downloaded files now, but have not yet had a chance to install them...
Then off to the shops for our weekly food shopping, and back home for lunch and for baking in preparation for PIG SIG. A very jolly evening was had - very enjoyable chatting - discussions ranging from computer based geekery, to Bab5 and Buffy, to Time Team, and various other historical shows. And then the other random nonsense which does fill the evening - great fun! We were only up the road this time, so were able to walk back (the last bus was the bus we took to get up there at 7:00!) - the air was clear, and there was only a slight chilly breeze up in the hills to tell us that it was still Winter.
And then we woke up this morning to find that it had all, as the brilliant saying goes, turned to custard. Flanders and Swann got it exactly right with "August cold and dank and wet, Brings more rain than any yet." There were definitely ice crystals in the rain as I stood on the hockey pitch! At least our dedication and efforts were rewarded with an excellent game played and a 3-1 win (and I'm still cross about that 1, as I should not have let it in!)
A nice hot shower later, and we then had a friend from the Upper Hutt Sci-Fi group come over, and we have had a very pleasant afternoon chatting about Sci-Fi.
And now, after complaining last week that we wouldn't have anything left to watch now that Dr Who has finished, we have found out about an NZ Sci-Fi show, called "This is Not My Life", which plays on Thursday, and repeats on Sunday. The first episode was, according to reports, very good, so we are going to give it a go this evening.
To finish - the below poster was on one of the noticeboards at work - I absolutely loved it, and felt that I had to share it with you! (You may need to click on it to see it properly)