Sunday 30 September 2007

Upset Weekend

After watching the video tape of the Grand Prix I'm sitting here with NASN on... watching last nignts college football.

They are showing the Huskies playing USC... they are doing quite well, although Rich has spoiled it for me by telling me that they are going to lose by 3.

This has been a good game. Possible favourite moment was when they were showing the Huskies mascot, who is an actual dog and was being very cute and barking at the camera... and the commentator said "You can't fool me, thats a Malamute - not a Husky"

However a lot of the top 10 lost last night. The top 10 being totally subjective as they are chosen by flippin' journalists who are convinced that USC and LSU are 1 and 2 no matter what. The top teams are chosen by poll - how unfair is that. My Gators won the whole of the BSC last year and they still didn't start out as number 1! Gators lost last night in amongst everyone else. First time this season.


I had never heard this term before I started working with a bunch of Scottish people. However, as I am sitting here watching TV I just saw a Norwich Union advert which stated "we can't protect from the numpties".

It means idiots (or whatever). At one point it was word of the week in our office as the Boss kept referring to people on projects as numpties!

ITV just having to apologise again for Mark Webber saying the "F-word" live on Sunday morning TV! Poor little Sebastian Wettel. He's only a boy... and they are making him relive it all over again. He is devastated! Word has it that he was crying in the garage earlier.

Wet afternoon at Fuji

So another amazing afternoon at the Grand Prix. I didn't stay up to watch it... but I'm now watching the video tape. I did have a 'live blog' going – but I knocked the screen on the laptop and the laptop went to sleep... and I've not managed to work out how to wake up the laptop when it does this, so I accidentally switched off the machine and lost everything that I'd written. D'oh! Rookie error.

It was raining big time in Japan as it had been yesterday in qualifying. So the race started under a safety car, and the safety car stayed out for about 20 laps.

There were a few strange happenings... both Ferraris had to come in and change their tyres as they had started on intermediate tires instead of extreme wet tires. This had been an instruction from the race director. The team later claimed that they didn't know that this was the case, even though every other team and the ITV commentary team knew. Lots of teams at the back took the risk of bringing their cars in and filling their cars with fuel to the end of the race. There were very few accidents or even cars spinning off... so the safety car did the job. There was worry at one point that the safety car itself might run out of fuel... but apparently there is a spare fully fuelled ready to go just in case!

Even though all the drivers were complaining that the visibility was nil the Race Director brought the safety car in and the race finally started.

One of my absolute favourite moments was when a car in the pits (I think it was Sato) caught fire... and he drove off anyway. Fortunately it was raining hard enough to put it out straight away!

Ups and downs. The Ferraris fought their way up through the pack... the McLarens took a healthy lead and were basically 30 seconds in front (which equates to a pit stop). Alonso came in first and rejoined in traffic. Hamilton came in and got out just in front of the traffic. However, both McLarens tangled with BMWs.

Then in another shocking turn of events Alonso spun off the track! However all the cars in front of Hamilton pitted and he retook the lead of the race.

Several more incidents, including one which saw Vettel take out Webber (and some very bad language on live TV from Webber!). This is unfortunate as they both drive for Red Bull teams... almost as bad as taking out your own team mate!

"Another why did they do that moment from Ferrari". When Ferrari had to change their tyres back at the beginning of the race everyone assumed that they had fuelled to the end of the race... but however it would seem not has Massa had just made another pit stop and put in fuel.

We are now wondering if the laps will count down or time will expire first!

Hamilton takes the chequered flag... some race he had this afternoon! Kovalainen takes second and Kimi is third.

Thursday 27 September 2007

Ugg boots and other things

I'm never one to be up with the latest fashions. I don't buy any womens magazines... and usually I only find out things when I read about them in a book! The other day I was reading one of those 'chick lit' novels (popular fiction written for women, often with a romantic focus). The outfit of the main character was described (presumably to help you get a feel for what sort of person she was, didn't work for me!) and the outfit was topped off with Ugg boots. Ugg boots. How strange I thought, and then as I wasn't anywhere near Google to look it up completely forgot about it! The other day at the bus stop I saw a woman wearing some beige boots. To me they looked like a pair of slippers I own... I probably wouldn't even have wondered but she was wearing them at the bottom of a business suit! Luckily I had my glasses on... and lo, Ugg was written on the back.

Now, maybe they look very nice with a pair of jeans or a pair of combats (although I'm unconvinced until I see it)... but definitely not with a suit! Definitely looked like she'd gone out wearing slippers! Ugg boots? In this case more like Ugg-ly!

I met a friend last night for drinks. We decided to go to the Dome (sorry the O2) as it is quite equidistant from our respective homes. We chose the Slug and Lettuce as we had liked it a lot the last time round. It was still pleasant and uncrowded... weather this is because nobody knows it is there yet... or it is too much of a trek in the week... at one point the bar staff started up table service though! I was a bit perplexed when we had to teach the barman how to make a white wine spritzer! I felt that should have earned us a discount.

The newspapers seemed surprised this morning that the grainy blurry photo of the small child which the tourist who took it was "certain" was the missing little girl who was snatched in Portugal turned out to be a completely different child. I was not. My colleagues insisted it looked 'just like' her yesterday - but as I pointed out... if you do not know a child well one small blonde girl looks pretty much like another... especially in a photo of that poor quality!

Friday 21 September 2007

Fashonista? Fashionasty!

I was reading in the Metro this morning (and indeed the Lite last night) about Jen Hunter.

Jen Hunter is a lovely looking girl who featured on one of those reality TV shows… find me a model, make me a model… something like that. Jen is noted because she refused to take any notice of the judges opinions that she ought lose so weight… and although I don’t believe she won the competition she still got a modelling contract.

Jen is in the news now because she has moved modelling agencies… she wasn’t getting the work she wanted so she has moved to an agency who specialise in ‘plus size’ models. So how large is this ‘plus size’ model. Size 18? Size 16? Size 14? Nope. Size 12. Which I believe I still the average size for ladies in this country (oh, to be size 12 again).

It is a pretty twisted world when a gorgeous curvy model… who looks to me like the aspiration of us all has to go to a ‘plus size’ agency to get the right sort of work. I’m not a size 12… nowhere near. I can’t shop in most High Street chains as their idea of an upper size is a 16, an 18 if you are lucky. I wouldn’t want to anyway.

The whole ‘size 0’ debate came from one place. The fashion designers. The reasons that models want to be size 0 is that is who the clothes are designed for. Goodness knows why. That isn’t the shape that most girls are, or the shape nature intended us to be! Who wants to look like an ironing board with no bust and no hips.

Bring back the 50s silhouette, that is what I say. Celebrate the fact that women’s’ figures don’t look like pre-pubescent boys! The problem is though… that is what clothes are designed for. Straight up and down. No discernable difference between waist and hips. Fashion chains with their catwalk rip-offs (or celebrity designed ranges) just proportionally increase the size of clothes as the size goes up. That means if you are a curvy size (bigger than a 10 usually) you will get a dress, or a pair of trousers which will fit you at the hips and gape at the waist. You will have to wear a belt to keep up your trousers which then bunches the material in a most unattractive manner! Or you’ll have to dress like a hoodie with your trousers unattractively sited at your lower hips!

I celebrate Evans and M&S. They admit that a woman has curves and design clothes to match. Trousers fit and the hips and the waist! I shun the likes of Top Shop and New Look (not least because they don’t stock my size) but because they only pay lip service (if any) to the idea that a woman should not be a size zero ironing board! We have campaigns for about everything else these days… so how about one for bring back the 50s figure… women – take back your curves

Thursday 20 September 2007

Reconstructing London

The street outside our office is a busy place at the moment. There are no less than 3 building projects happening! Down towards Piccadilly an old 60s office block is being refurbished (or something!). The noise is quite amazing sometimes... as are the vibrations which can be seen to shake unsecured items sitting on my desk! The first time we felt them (yes, sometimes you can feel them) we though an earth quake was happening! Now there are two more sets of scaffolding toward the Berkeley Square end of the street. These are managing to cause traffic jams with their deliveries and rubbish lorries and all sorts. Several times today the traffic has ceased to move up and down the street and taxi drivers have sat and sounded their horns!

Tuesday 18 September 2007

Day of meetings

Yesterday I had to go on a course. This was good because it got me out of the office for the day and accrued me 7 valuable hours of CPD. The only down side was that it was in Watford. Managed to accidentally take a slow train on the way out so that the 15 minute journey promised on the timetable actually took more like 40!!!

So. Today was my first day back in the office since Kiev. Had to sift through 200 emails to find actions and important stuff and save stuff to the server. Then I had to go to a meeting. I was hoping it might take an hour (especially as it was only three blocks away). Sadly not. More like 2. The high point was when the electricity went off and the client asked if there was a Services Engineer in the room... there were two - I guess you had to be there!

Made it back to the office... only had an hour and then it was lunch and I had to go argue with my bank about the continued missing statements. The I had half an hour and I had to go to ANOTHER meeting. This time in Holborn... once again 2 hours. Why can't people talk less! Or invite less attendees, either would suit me!

So. That leaves me with impossible Wednesday and far too much to do (as usual). I have cheered myself up by arranging a lunch date with my friend and here daughter... we are teaching her to become a lady who lunches at an early age!

Something else I noticed recently... has anyone else had their blog start talking to them in a foreign language? Mine has suddenly started speaking German! After I finish a post it keeps asking me "Blog anzeigen (in einen neuen Fenster)"!!

Sunday 16 September 2007

Back to London Calling!

Home at last! Got back to City on another one of those little Fokker 50 planes. Extreme turbulence. The Co-pilot came on at one point saying that the fasten seatbelt signs were staying on due to the turbulence... they'd requested a new altitude but it hadn't helped. Lucky for the tranquilisers otherwise I'd have been in a right state expecting the plane to drop out of the sky or something!

Ended up getting a cab home... which was a bit expensive in the rush hour... but I just couldn't face schlepping with all my bags and things! Of course the cab had to fight through the rush hour traffic around the Blackwall Tunnel. We were sitting in the queue just off the docklands roundabout and I was talking to my Dad on the phone "Cheeky bus" I said to him "Just cut the queue by going round the side". "I think I'll try that" said the taxi driver... so we cut the queue and probably saved ourselves 20 minutes and a good few quid!

Got back and had a happy reunion with Rich.

Molly didn't deign to come and see me until later... whilst I was having my much awaited bath. She looked a bit terrified as Rich held her out for me to say hello to. I think she was worried we were going to bath her! This was after my much needed tea. Nobody ever offered tea in Kyiv, only coffee. I had some tea on the plane, but I felt like Arthur Dent on the Heart of Gold in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... a liquid "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea".

Also back to my lovely new laptop. This was only delivered on the Friday before I went to Kyiv... and we only got the wireless router the Sunday before I went. We were massively unconvinced that the router would even work. We tried one with wires once and the two computers wouldn't even admit that each other existed. No such problems with the wireless though. Just having to get used to the English keyboard again. Having trained my fingers to find the '@' key above the number 2 whilst in Kyiv I have to get used to it being back where it belongs now! At least I can understand my computer again though! :-)

Kyiv Calling... going home

14 September 2007

Hotel, Kyiv - 7:55am
The window in my bedroom wasn't properly closed last night and fell open during the night. No wonder I kept waking up cold!

So. Last Kyiv breakfast. I decided to investigate under the silver lides today. So in addition to my usual bread/cheese/meat combinateion I had some omlette (very good) and what appeared to be pancake stuffed wiht cream cheese (very weird). All quite nice.

Thought I should eat well today as the airplane food wasn't up to much on the way out.

Independence Square

Monument in Independence Square

The founders if Kyiv.

Borispol Airport, Kyiv - 11:00am
So a couple of my colleagues took me on a very energetic sightseeing tour of Kyiv. We saw a statue of King Vladimir who converted the city to Christianity... Independence Square (along with it's subterranean shopping centre)... the back of the House of Chimeras, the Presidents office and a lovely old palace, also a 10th Century Monastery. (see photos above)

Back in the queue for passport control!

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam - 2:50pm (local time)
The terrifying Borispol experience is at last behind me. Very few of the signs there seemed to be dual language. I never had any idea where I was or more importantly where I was supposed to be. I was one of the last to board the flight!

Schipol is less terrifying as the boarding card I got in Kyiv actually told me the gate from which my flight would depart here! Yay.

There are some comfy lounge chairs here, which is good as my flight isn't for ages!

Schipol is huge. I went to the main shopping bit and the departures board there gives walking times to the gates... one of which was apparently 22 minutes away!

I did a bit of shopping, never had much of chance in Kyiv. Just a few silly souvenirs. Very bizzarely also saw a Mini Cooper decked out in the Union Jack and a Williams F1 car. The latter
particularly weird as surely it should have been a Spyker as they are Dutch?!

Soon be home now... looking foward to English language and driving on the right side of the road... and seeing Rich at last!

Kyiv Calling... day 4

13th September 2007

Office, Kyiv - 7:41pm
So my Kyiv adventure draws to a close. Could have doiwn without the monster workload - I'm sure that some stuff has fallen through the cracks! But anyway, now me and the boys know each other... and that is an important 1st step!

Hotel, Kyiv - 9:25pm
I had dinner at the hotel tonight. Steak andm chips and a (very) small glass of wine. Equivalent price £10. The steak was a bit over cooked for my taste - either the Ukrainians eat it cooked like the English or they assumed I would want it cooked like the English!

I'm going for a sightseeing tour before my flight tomorrow so I get to see a bit more of Kyiv.

It was quite sad saying goodbye to all my colleagues... they were all after my ICQ address so they could ask questions. I had to explain that we don't use ICQ in the London office!

I've sort of packed my case... it is open on the other bed with stuff all over the bed. I wish I could pack better!

So, my Kyiv adventure has been fun. Busy, but fun... and I've made lots of new friends!

Day 3... Kyiv Calling

12 September 2007

Office, 7:55pm (local time)
It isn't just in London where we work the night shift! Frantically trying to get the bill written so that the measurement can go in it and we can mail it off to London ASAP.

Feeling tired today as I ket waking up last night. My body clock still hasn't quite worked out the time zones.

Still haven't fixed the computer programme and its printing problems. We seem to have run out of ideas.

I had a really good training session with the boys this afternoon. I emphasesed that they can alwasy phone/email if they have problems.

I went for a walk at lunchtime today just around a bit of Kyiv... it really is a lovely old city. Going for a bit to eat with the office director later as we are the only ones left here!

There was great excitement in the office this afternoon when a huge rainbow appeared over the city. A double rainbow and the bottom had a double spectrym. We all took turns going out on the balcony and taking photos!

Hotel, Kyiv - 11:05pm (local time)
Tonight we wen tfor dinner at a French restaurant. I had fish (I forget what type) with pesto sauce and artichoces on a bed of beans accompanied by roast vegetables which were sweet red peppers and aubergine.

We had various random conversations about mobile phones, websites, colleagues etc. The way two people do who've known each other several years but onky in the context of work, so they don't really know each other at all!

More travellers tales, still Kyiv calling!

11 September 2007
Hotel, Kyiv - 7:50am (local time)
I've just been for breakfast. Reassuringly continental. I think maybe there was other stuff... but the cold buffet just looked too good. You could have salad (?!) and a selection of cold meat and chesses, of which I am very fond for breakfast. The bread was a quite different textrue from at home... less fluffy and more holes. The coffee was extremely strong... still, at least it will keep me going nicely! The best thing was the apple yoghurt. I'm not sure that I've ever seen that in the UK but they have it a lot abroad and I think it is great!

I'm an hour early for being picked up to go to the office now though! Oh, well!

Hotel, Kyiv - 10:10pm (local time)
Exhausted! Went out after work with some of the guys from the office. We walked all the way up Andriyivsky Uzviz, which is very steep! I was very glad when we got to the top. My Ukrainian colleagues told me a tale about a king who forced an army to march up this hill and was killed for his pains! The bar was 'rustic'. We were sat in what I can only describe as a 'winter garden'. It sure did turn chilly. We had beer which is from Lviv, which is in Western Ukraine. We had some snacks; some pork fat cooked in garlic which the english menu described as lard but it was more like fatty ham rind. Quite nice, especially with the garlic. Also there were cheese and olives.

It was quite a traumatic experience when I got back to the hotel as they wanted the bill paying which was 4,600UAH I tried explaining that the company was paying... phone calls to everyone I could think of ensued before I finally got hold of the office Director (whose phone number I had stupidly left in the hotel room). Finally everyone ageed that it could wait until tomorrow morning.

We had pizza for lunch today in the office... and coca-cola. Cool! I noticed that the beer in the bar was really cheap... about a tenth of the cost of what the room service bar is charging, but isn't that always the way with room service.

Of course the computer installation didn't go smoothly (like it was ever going to). Lucky their computer guy was there as all the operating systems etc. speak Russian! It did almost work apart from the fact that the programme won't print which is annoying. Much communication with the helpdesk in the UK but still not resolved! It really was hard to get the computers to do anyting at all what with all the menus being in Russian... have to rely on my memory of what commands/buttons come where... much to the amusement of my Ukrainian colleagues!

Travellers Tales... Kyiv calling!

10th September
London City Airport - 8:40am
Early for my flight as normal. Always over estimate exactly how long it takes to get a bus to North Greenwich, go one stop on the Jubilee Line to Canning Town and take the DLR to City Airport. Ah well, better early than late.

So, it turns out that my flight is delayed. Excellent start! It seems that my boss's unfortunate travel experience propensity is spreading! Could be worse. We are only 20 minutes late (at the moment!). I'm feeling quite calm about the whole flight prospect as I already took the tranquiliser!
Mind you, alll the flights seem to be delayed this morning... must be the weather?!

London City Aiport - 9:10am
It suddenly occured to me that I remember seeing "wait in lounge" on the Departures Board on previous occaisions that I have been here, and I don't need the gate to have been assigned to go through security!! D'oh! At least there are more seats up here in the Departures Lounge! Downstairs is a bit chaotic as they are rebuilding the coffee bar!

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam - 12:34pm (local time)
I had to walk about a mile from where we landed to where I needed to board the next flight to Kyiv. I don't think that I'm the only one having troubles. There have already been about 10 calls for passengers 'delaying the flight' and threats to 'offload your luggage'. The place isn't very well signposted (especially if you don't know where you are going!). It took me a good few minutes to find the departures board!

I definitely don't recommend the Fokker 50 which flew me here from City. Definitely the smallest plane that I have ever been on! Only two seats each side of the aisle. Very bumpy too... awful turbulence. Kudos to the Captain for the smoothest landing ever though!

Borispol Airport, Kyiv - 5:10pm (local time)
Finally landed (a wee bit late) in Kyiv. The airplane had no immigration forms so we've had to pick them up here. Lucky that my boss had told me all about them and how to fill them in! The queue for passport control is equalled only (in my very limited experience) by that at JFK in NYC. My boss just rang to see where I was as they had told the driver who came to pick me up that the flight landed an hour and a half ago. If only!

There definitely isn't the British concept of queueing here!

Hotel, Kyiv - 10:47pm (local time)
Finally enconsed in my hotel room. It's very nice except for having a shower instead of a bath... I do like a bath! Sadly the TV is being dubbed rather than subtitled.

The driver picked me up from the airport to take me to the office... he doesn't speadk much English, but enough to give me some sightseeing tips as we drove to the office.

Kyiv is reassuringly foreign. I'm always dissapointed if I go places and they are hardly different from home!

The driving experience was quite scary... I always find that when I'm abroad and everything is on the wrong side of the road. We finally made it through rush-hour Kyiv to the office. It seems much nicer than ours in London. Newer... more spacious... tidier? They even have a balcony! I managed to get a bit of work done before we went out for dinner. We went to an Italian restaurant called 'Da Vinci'. We sat in sight of the lobster tank. Happily nobody seemed to be eating them. They were quite amusing to watch... almost like they were dancing!

Food was great... if a little different. I had salmon with a green frothy (literally) sauce... also some vegetable. Very fragrant and herby. Nice though. Then I indulged myslef and had some chocolate cake! Yum. It cam with some little pears and some raspberries and a scoop of ice cream on a slice of pistachio biscuit. There were also some panes of brittle see through something which appeared to be pure sugar!

The office have lent me a Ukrainian mobile so I got to talk to Rich, this was good as I'm very lonely without him! Only a few nights though... and we always have email!

Friday 7 September 2007

Blogging 101

I noticed as I arrvied at the dashboard today that yesterday's post was the 100th in my blog! So this is by extension blogging 101! Wikipedia has the following to say about 101 "At universities in the United States, and South Africa, often the course number of basic or entry-level courses. By extension, it is informally used elsewhere to indicate things that are meant for beginners". So today, by extension, is blogging for beginners!

I noticed on my short-cut through the hotel car park on the way to fetch my lunch to extremely high-end sports cars. One was a Ferrari... I know this not because I know anything about sports cars (I don't) but for three other reasons 1) it had 'Ferrari' on the back (!) large enough for me to read without my glasses... 2) it was 'Ferrari red' - much redder than any other red car I've seen (including two I owned) and 3) it had a stencil of the Ferrari horse about two foot high on the boot.

I'm glad our offices are in the front of the building today. Every time I've been in the stairwell I've noticed the amazing noise from the building being demolished at the end of the street. It isn't actually even being demolished... it's only a 'soft' strip. They were going at it so hard earlier in the week that the building was vibrating and we thought that maybe an earthquake was happening!

I'm now frantically trying to get ready to go away next week. I'm going to Ukraine on business. The problem is that I've not left the country since 1999... that is last century!!! I've never been much of a traveller, so I'm a bit daunted by it all (understatement). It only occured to me just now that I probably needed some sort of foreign currency (doh!).

So next week I shan't be London Calling... I shall be Kyiv Calling!

Thursday 6 September 2007

Waiting time for medical appointments

I had a day of appointments yesterday, but more than that a day of waiting! My first appointment was with the nurse. This one wasn't too bad as it was only her 2nd or 3rd of the day so she hadn't the time to get behind yet! However, after that I had to fill out an ENORMOUS 'internal audit' form... which took a good five minutes.

I then toddled off to get my blood tests. A 15 minute waiting time was being advertised. Yeah, right. There appeared to be only one (and occaisonally another) room operating... when I arrived they were seeing number 180 and my number was 210. It took over an hour before my number was called. I then disgraced myself by almost passing out. I'm fine with the whole thing as long as I don't realise that they are doing it. Yesterday she couldn't find a vein... then she couldn't get enough blood to fill all the vials... at which point my head started swimming and she had to tip the chair back so I could lie down, and I was given a glass of water! Luckily I didn't even notice the other arm being done I was feeling so light-headed! People like me that hold up the queue! It's just a good thing that the Blood Service don't want my bood... until they work out what causes MS and rule out anything pathogenic they don't want my blood or my organs.

So... I finally got home from the hospital about 3 hours after I'd left home (this is bad, as it is only a mile from my house!). I got down to work... which lasted happily until about twenty past four when I had to toddle off to the doctor. More waiting. As this is now the end of the afternoon appointments the surgery had plenty of time in which to start running late!

When I got out of the Doctor's there was a message on my answer phone telling me that my new computer is arriving Friday. This is noteable only because the last message that I had, by email only a few hours before was to tell me that the delivery was being delayed by 10 days. Let's hope it does actually turn up on Friday then!

Tuesday 4 September 2007

Tube strike continues...

The Jubilee Line continues to be one of only two lines unaffected by the tube strike this morning. The Northern Line is also running 'normally' but the Piccadilly Line has been part suspended (much to the annoyance of about a quarter of our office which use it!).

The Jubilee Line was unreasonably crowded (for the time of night) on my way home yesterday, so I decided to get the bus in this morning. I left early enough that it wasn't at all crowded, and then I walked up through St James's Park to Piccadilly and the office. All quite pleasant. There were many geese roosting in the park. They all looked quite impossible with their beaks tucked under their wings and standing on one leg!

Monday 3 September 2007

Just has to be Monday…

I arrived at work this morning to find the kitchen in chaos and the kettle boiling in reception! Apparently the electrical circuits had tripped out… again. I thought we’d fixed the problem on Friday… but no, it would seem not! This time the Boardroom circuit seemed OK… reception was partly out and the whole of the kitchen back wall was gone. No logic at all! The fridge was in the process of defrosting the ice box all over the kitchen floor… and of course we couldn’t mop it up as the cleaner’s have taken all the tea towels and the mop and bucket (why?!).

Only upon further examination did it transpire that the fridge was not the only appliance in the kitchen that we leaking water. The water-cooler was also leaking. So… we took off the bottle (recently replaced) and mopped up the flood. A phone call was then placed to the water-cooler people to tell them that their cooler was flooding our kitchen and could they please send an engineer. Thursday they told me. I told them that it was quite urgent as the power was shorting out and it was causing a hazard. Had I unplugged the cooler the man asked? No, I thought I’d leave it in and see if I could start and electrical fire! What a silly question. Thursday he reiterated was the earliest that they could get anyone out to us. What are we supposed to do for water in the interim I asked him? Apparently we will get free bottles to cover the cost of any water we have to buy. We will, I told him, we’re not drinking the tap water!

So. The kitchen is now dry and kettle and fridge are working again. The water-cooler is sitting there in disgrace without a bottle attached… and we all await Thursday.

Large parts of the London Underground have gone on strike this evening. This is all fallout from the demise of Metronet. The lines that fell under the control of Metronet were the Bakerloo, Central, and the sub-surface Lines. For once it is a good time to be on the Jubilee line! It may well be unusually busy as it takes up the strain from the other lines… but at least it will still be running. In fact the Jubilee and the Northern are the only ones still going as even parts of the Piccadilly Line have been affected. Journey home tonight may not be pleasant.

Delightfully the new office printer is now up and running. It is very swish... it has card readers and an integral keyboard. I love the keyboard, you lightly push a panel in the front of the printer and out pops the keyboard. You know what they say... little things, little minds.