Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Tuesday 1st November 2005

Hello. Web-site was down over the weekend - something to do with a 'mysql socket' being broken, whatever that means. I was over in Halton/Lancaster, so was unable to fix it. Saturday afternoon M****** and I went around a few (well, okay, four) estate agents in Carnforth, seeing what we could get in Warton for our money. Warton or somewhere like that. In the evening, we went for a few drinks in Lancaster and then ended up at the Gatehouse. Blah, blah, blah. No pictures. I could explain why we're looking for houses over there . . . hmmmm. But that might take a while . . .

Friday 4th November 2005

So yeah . . . Thursday night we drove over from Leeds to Lancaster. Back that way . . . again. It was a bit of an awful journey, on account of the rain, the wind, the lorries (we were on the motorway) and the constant battle with the condensation on the inside of the windscreen. Still . . . made it back in one piece. Erm . . . well, we did, but the car didn't. More like two pieces. One of the wing mirrors hit one of the bollards of the impossibly narrow bridge in Halton. This meant a bit of plastic fell off . . . nothing major. Anyway, never mind that. Friday I had a job interview at this place in Preston. A housing association, somewhere off Port Way. Perhaps down a little road called 'The Pavilions'. The interview ended at about 14:55 and so I walked back into the centre of Preston, bought some toffee (for tomorrow evening) and a newspaper and found myself a pub down a street off Fishergate. I can't remember what it was called, but it said 'cask ales' outside, so that sounded good. On my way past the train station, I should have really thought, "Hmmmm, a large crowd of people waiting outside the train station . . . I wonder what that could mean?" but I didn't. The beer was good, and I was sat in this dodgy pub, completely overdressed (I was wearing my suit), reading an article about Lemmy helping out some Conservative MP with their anti-drugs stance ("So, Lemmy, what about this heroin stuff?" "There is only one answer," Lemmy said, "legalise it."). You might wanna read it here. Or not. Whatever. So, erm . . . .where was I? Preston. Yes, Preston. I have not the time to convey why I dislike Preston so much, but I think the feeling is mutual. Preston knows how to get to me, and that's by keeping me here. Thus, trains will mysteriously de-rail or just be cancelled, taxis will be prohibitively expensive, huge traffic jams will form, that kind of thing. This kind of thing happened last time I was in Preston, and will happen again and again, so long as I continue to set foot in Preston. After my gorgeous pint of some bitter, I went back to the station. Crowd still there. Hmmmm. Trains derailed. Coaches being provided. Each coach can only carry 49 people. Queue is very, very long (150+), so I take evasive action: ring Simon (Mel's brother), see if he's left Fulwood yet. Fulwood is about a mile and a half from the town centre. Get taxi. Fare comes to £8.20. Gosh, that's reasonable. So I then get a lift home with Simon and David, whose car it is. Lo and behold, there's a huge traffic jam coming out of Preston. So yes . . . I don't like Preston. These pictures were taken at various times tonight. That's travel Mastermind, which me and Simon were playing.

Saturday 5th November 2005

So mostly I think these are attempted pictures of fireworks. Doesn't really work with this camera though. Anyway . . . during the afternoon, we had a look around a house in Warton and, between the next viewing, we had a proper wander the area, looking out for 'For Sale' signs or any old, dilapidated, farm buildings. The were a few of both, but the houses for sale were either ridiculously over-priced or just pig-ugly. During the evening, we did the fireworks thing at M******'s mum's place (and even had a fire going, contained within one of those metal-barrels-with-holes). Unfortunately, the fireworks were all a bit samey, and the sparklers were pretty naff. The Catherine wheels didn't have enough energy to get themselves spinning . . . well, at least, not until the last twenty seconds (or thereabouts). But apart from that, it was fine.
I couldn't decide which picture I preferred: with Koala or without. So yeah . . . might as well leave 'em both in.

Sunday 6th November 2005

Today we visited M******'s grandparents over in Ambleside. I think I've mentioned this somewhere before. We stayed for lunch, and just as me and Simon were getting into a bit of table tennis (although I had problems working out which hand to use to hold the bat/paddle/thing), M****** said we all had to go for a walk. Fair enough. There are many worse places in the world that one could find themselves walking around in. Erm . . . and so M****** did quite a few of these pictures and told me explicitly not to delete any of them, not until she had gone through them all. So I've just rotated the ones that needed rotating and otherwise left 'em.
So yeah . . . M****** took a few odd pictures of pebbles, ferns and gloomy hills and, once home, took a few more cheesy family photos. The last few of which are the obligatory four-generation line-up: A******, Simon, Mark and Peter (youngest to oldest).

Tuesday 8th November 2005

Not much happened today. Woke up early to take Archie to the vets. A few of us went to the pub (Bar Home) for lunch. Picked up Archie from the vets in the evening. The purpose of the visit to the vets was for neutering.

Wednesday 9th November 2005

For those wondering how the job interview went . . . the job went to someone else. But hey . . . plenty more where that one came from.

Thursday 10th November 2005

So this is odd . . . although not that odd. I pop into A******'s room at 17:46 and he's asleep, with his hands in this clasping position, as seen in the photograph. Bath time is usually between six and seven o'clock, so I pop back at 18:26 and the freak has managed to turn himself around through 180 degrees, dragging his top blanket with him. But yeah . . . I don't think much happened today. Sorry. Although whilst playing around on Google Earth I spotted some weird concentric circles in New Mexico. Someone out there must know what they are. Latitude 32°49'34.10"N (32.83360060322265). Longitude 105°59'4.88"W (-105.9863967683222). Something a bit like this, but I can't find the same ones on the on-line version. Ah well.

Friday 11th November 2005

Ah, there we go - problem solved. Carry on.
So yeah . . . this is Friday evening.

Saturday 12th November 2005

Today, somehow, I managed to pluck up enough energy to get some DIY done - this was mainly painting bits of walls that either needed another coat, or hadn't been painted at all (on account of being too high up or difficult to reach or whatever). That was about it, really. A fairly quiet day.

Sunday 13th November 2005

Today was a bit odd. We awoke at about half past nine and it was all blue skies (although cold). The plan today, at least for the morning, was to attend this Catholic church not far from the Co-op on Cardigan Lane. I was perfectly happy to go along, purely to be the one to look after A****** if he were to start squawking. But being of no religion, I saw no point in participating in any of their rituals. Anyway . . . we arrived about five minutes before the thing started (11 o'clock) and took our seats near the back. By 11 o'clock, the church was at about 90% capacity. I can't remember the exact order of things, but they sang a few songs, did a few prayers and then this green-clad, young priest type did a long sermon. I didn't get to hear all this, as I had to take A****** back out to the main reception area (separated from the congregation by a wall of glass panes and doors) as he was getting tired and couldn't sleep. Once asleep (A******), I went back inside and took my place next to M******. After another song or two, the congregation then lined up to receive a disc of some strange white thing (rice paper?!) and sip some liquid (wine?!) from a metal goblet. Of course, I'm talking about transubstantiation here, but giving it a name doesn't make it any less weird. In fact, the whole thing was weird. Near the end, the priest reminded the congregation that the weekday services would be moved to a different building that would be easier to heat up during winter. You have to wonder why it's not always in such a building. The ceiling was very high and meant the church must have taken quite a lot of energy to heat up. Anyway, that over with, we took a long walk back to home, and almost did some serious injury to A****** whilst trying to get in the front door (he wasn't strapped into his pram-thing and kind of slid out onto the stone pathway . . . fortunately the blue fleecy sheet thing largely saved him). After a quick snack, we went up to Ilkley (the Cow and Calf), had a late lunch, and went for a walk around the moor. The pictures were taken at (from left to right) 15:44, 15:56, 15:56, 16:02, 16:02, 16:09, 16:09 and 16:09.
On the way back, we saw this strange man hanging around the corner of Argie Road and Argie Avenue (?!), taking photographs of us. It soon dawned on me that it was Gav, and he was there waiting for Clo (they were on their way to their allotment). Here are a few of the pictures he took. Oh, and these images are quite large, by the way.

Tuesday 15th November 2005

So, today, for dinner, we did have Shepherd's Pie. But I always end up calling it Shepherd's Bush by mistake. I don't know why. Anyway, doesn't matter. M****** put me in charge of putting the mince and vegetable mix into a caserole dish, followed swiftly by potato mash. I got a bit carried away with sculpting the mash into shapes, and so you might be able to make out the Bellerophon symbol somewhere there. That's that logo thing at the top of the page. Erm . . . better go. I've got a kernel to recompile. I don't know what happened to sound, but it was built in at a kernel level, so I'm gonna go back there and re-install it.

Thursday 17th November 2005

Don't remember much about today . . . so here are some pictures of A******. He was desperately trying to reach for my camera. Predictably, once he had hold of it, he just tried to eat the thing, but I couldn't take pictures of that.

Saturday 19th November 2005

Oh look, it's Saturday night and guess what's on the television? Yes, it's 'The Game', starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, yet again. That looks like the scene when the taxi rolls off the pier, into the water, and poor old Michael is having trouble getting out of the car. Oh dear.

Sunday 20th November 2005

Today we did go to the church thing again. A****** managed about twenty minutes before he started screaming again, just as the priest had started his sermon. I took A****** out in his pram and we went for a walk for the next forty minutes (A****** fell asleep after about five minutes of this). M****** said I shouldn't use the word 'weird' in describing what I see occuring at the 'Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church', to give it its full name. Link here. I say I can call whatever I want weird, and it's not a derogatory term. Plus, it's my web-site, so I can say what I want. Anyway, upon returning to the church, I stood around outside for a bit with A******, waiting for M******. The young priest person came out, wished me 'good morning', and I did the same. He then stood around, seeing everyone out, wishing them 'good morning', having a chat with a few of them, that kind of thing. They're certainly a friendly bunch, but I can never understand why you would ask your creator forgiveness - that is very weird (or should I say, 'alien'?!). God must be there, kind of going, "Erm . . . no, it's okay. You didn't sin. I programmed it all in. You are incapable of doing anything outside of my will." Crazy. Perhaps the problem is that this 'will' I speak of is completely outside of human comprehension. Maybe it's an attempt to rationalise our actions. Yeah, so erm . . . someone asked me why I go along to these things . . . I look after A******, and take him away when his protestations start to drown out the words of the priest. I think that's why.

Monday 21st November 2005

Erm . . . no, I don't think much happened today. Just a typical, boring Monday. In the evening, I finally managed to upload a few more pictures taken over the last few days.

Tuesday 22nd November 2005

That's me on the left, and A****** on the right.
here's some more pictures I've just digged up from that evening. The turntable still isn't wired up to an amplifier. Actually, that's not really the problem. Lack of speakers is the problem here.

Saturday 26th November 2005

I think today was a bit of lazy day . . . nothing much happened. Those are some flowers that Mouse and Simon got us when they came round for dinner recently. When was that? Erm . . . hmmmm. Yes. Not sure.

Sunday 27th November 2005

So . . . a few things happened today. As usual, we went to M******'s church for the eleven o'clock service. I'm gradually beginning to understand why M****** insists that A****** goes along to this: it's because she wants A****** christened, but in order to have the local priest do that, she feels it only polite that herself and A****** have been regular church-goers in the months immediately preceeding the christening (note I've deliberately excluded myself from any of this . . . I have yet to grasp the purpose of christening . . . if indeed there is any). I think that's how it goes anyway. M****** always thinks I'm arguing with her whenever I try to pick her brain about the nuances of Catholicism ("So the rice paper becomes the body of Jesus when you swallow it then? Right . . . I see. But it's only the Anglican church that sees this as symbolic. You Catholics think the rice paper REALLY becomes the body of Jesus. Oh-kaaaaay."), but I'm really just trying to make sense of it all. We had to drive to the service . . . well, we didn't have to. What am I on about? But we did drive. It was cold and raining (albeit lightly), so we drove. In the afternoon, we drove to Skipton to meet Helen and Stu and had a pub lunch there. We got back home at about 17:35, and there was Dave (see photos above) waiting on the doorstep (we were five minutes late). I joked with M****** on the way back from Skipton that Dave would be there on our doorstop . . . but I was joking. Anyway . . . the rest of the evening got a bit confused, on account of me drinking a few too many of curiously strong beer (one was 15% ABV) and M****** slugging back the red wine. A******'s bath was a tad later than usual, but hey . . .

Wednesday 30th November 2005

So, I gave M****** a lift to town and we're going along the Headrow, right hand lane, minding our own business. There's two lanes of traffic and, up ahead, the left hand lane has to turn left, whilst the right hand lane (the one we're in) can either turn left or go straight on . . . whatever. M****** tells me we need to turn left up ahead, so I start turning the wheel to make the turn when I think, "Hmmmmm, that car on my left shouldn't be there," and, sure enough, there's a car on my left that just completely ignored the 'you must turn left' designation and is just going straight on. I straighten the car up and we're a couple of inches from hitting said car. Craziness. We're both a bit freaked out, and I'm wondering if we should have been in the left lane. M****** seems to think not, and that he was in the wrong. I couldn't really care, as I'm happy the car is still in one piece and that was one accident narrowly avoided. A****** fell asleep in the car and was still asleep when I lifted him out of the car seat and placed him temporarily on the sofa. He looked kinda cute, so I took a couple of pictures, seeing as how we don't have many of A******. Something else happened today. Oh yes, I remember. For some bizarre reason, I've requested further details from an estate agent about a 12-bedroom (no, really it is) house up for sale in Morecambe. It's along the promenade, so at least we're guaranteed stunning views of the bay and the Lake District. The house is in our budget (well, who wants to live in Morecambe?) and fits two of our criteria: closer to both of our families, and it has more than two bedrooms . . . quite a lot more. I've wanted to live in a huge house for many, many years, but I'm not sure if Morecambe was quite what I had in mind. Ah well. I think the film 'Performance' may have something to do with my desire to live in such a house. This film doesn't seem to be available on DVD. How odd.