I am actually fairly certain that nobody is really that interested in my day to day life, but I’m of the opinion that I will read back on this journal in a few months of years (as I frequently do) and remember things better for writing them down at the time.
Wednesday was, of course, Valentine’s Day. Paul and I had bought each other cards, but discovered through conversation, before even swapping them, that we’d ended up buying the same one, and hence didn’t bother as it was a bit pointless.
The plan for Wednesday was to go ice skating in Solihull, which we headed to in a leisurely fashion on the 69 bus. Halfway there I received a frantic text from Lisa because her internet wasn’t working through the router. I called her back and directed her towards the shelf where I’d put the original USB cable – although this did involve her having to get upstairs on a recently broken / sprained ankle – and after that it seemed to work again. Once I’d called her back again an hour later Paul and I were both able to relax a bit.
We went to a pub, the name of which immediately escapes me, where we did what we usually do in a pub and played a bit of pool and on their very slow games machine, which ate all of our money.
After that we had a bit of a wander around the Torchwood Shopping Centre (I think that’s its name) and had lunch at Harry Ramsdens. Upon seeing the queue for the cinema and being reminded that it was still half term (most inconsiderate) we decided to give the ice skating a miss. Seeing as we didn’t really know how to get to the rink, it seemed a bit of a pointless exercise going all the way there to find it full.
So we headed home again shortly afterwards, with a stop off to wander around Kings Heath Park. It was rather too cold to do much else, although I did get a nice picture of a tree reflected in a puddle that I will post – as ever – if we get our internet working. We stopped off via Cash Converters to see if they had anything interesting (cheap Nintendo DS Lites, at least – I want one…) and then went home.
We watched a bit more Life on Mars and I had a bath with my lovely Lush stuff, though the bath now has a yellow tidemark and the remains of some sunflower petals, and I had to fish out the gigantic sunflower head before I got in because it was freaking me out… I have a paranoia about things being in water other than me; seaweed at the beach is horrible, and I hate those underwater blowy things they have in swimming baths…
Anyway, after that we headed out for our meal at Fusion, the (very) local curry house, which was very nice indeed.
On Thursday Paul was back at work and I had been intended to try and sort out various broadband / network issues. Unfortunately, I’d already had enough of it by Tuesday afternoon, and the very thought of having to phone up Telewest or do anything about it was too frustrating to contemplate, so I didn’t bother. Instead, I vented my frustration into cleaning the kitchen, and spent the rest of the day re-reading my old Voyager fic.
I’ve been re-reading a lot of old stuff lately (and with the absence of being able to access fanfic.net, it’s the best I’ve got), starting with the stuff I remembered as being of a fairly okay standard, and going through to the really rubbish stuff I did when I first started out (in all my fandoms). It was an interesting experience, really, as I ended up rediscovering my love of the Doc/Seven ‘ship and the unashamed fun of hurling three Mary Sues (Bajoran Ensign T’eyla Minh, Trill Lieutenant Kat-Doec, and Human Lieutenant Marissa Blake) onto Voyager and letting chaos ensue. Katie and I were creating our own out-of-canon season 8 to make up for the canon-mangling from Berman and Braga. They were good times.
I haven’t read the Farscape stuff yet because I read through that not long ago, but the Voyager stuff has been sitting there unread for a while.
Last night I even started reading through some of my Sunset Boulevard bits from my drafts folder that never saw the light of day (or keyboard) and had forgotten some of them. It’s all unashamedly fluffy and quite unbelievable, but it reminded me of better times, when I couldn’t sleep for the voices in my head, and staying up until 5.00am to write a fanfic was a perfectly acceptable activity. It was a different world back then, where the confines of gainful employment didn’t interfere.
I’m hoping, by doing all this re-reading, that I might start writing again. Even when reading through my first couple of proper Phantom fics, I managed a whole paragraph of stuff for “Sweet Intoxication”, which hasn’t really grown much since my last update over a year ago. Most people have probably forgotten about it – about me, in fact – but it’s one I’m determined to finish.
The urge to write is still within me; the ideas are still bubbling away, and inspiration returns in drips and drabs. It will be a slow process, but I think, eventually, I’ll regain what I lost.
Anyway, this was meant to be a write-up. Clearly, I still have the ability to ramble on without purpose, so that’s something.
More productivity on Friday, as I went out to get some bits and pieces. Firstly I went to Argos to get some digital kitchen scales, as the tray for my old ones is cracked and broken, and they’re fairly rubbish anyway. I got the cheapest ones, but they’ll still be more accurate and have a useful add-and-weigh function for idiots like me who can’t do mental arithmetic in imperial measurements. Or even in metric, apparently.
Then I went to Somerfield to get Bolognese sauce (ooh, Word wanted that capitalised…), part-bake baguettes, and some bits for Lisa.
Finally, I stopped off at Poundstretcher to get one of their half-price suitcases, which was a lot bigger than I anticipated. I’m going back for the smaller version later, but I could only drag one of them at that point, and it was raining.
I still wasn’t ready to try playing with the internet, so read more fanfic. Also installed the “Puzz-3D” CD-ROM I got for 99p at Cash Converters on Wednesday, and played that for a while.
I made a start on the voile curtains for the living room, hall and bedroom, and managed to alter the one for the hall, and do one for the living room.
Over the weekend, we did very little. I finished the curtains on Saturday – the white floor-length voile in the bedroom looks SO much better than the half-window net that was there before, and the black voile in the living room takes the edge off the harsh sunlight first thing in the morning, and should look lovely in summer. I also created a tie-back for the yellow voile in the hallway using the purple ribbon that was on my Lush giftset, and Paul helped me hang blue voile across the hallway so that now the lower bit of the landing looks like an actual room. Very nice. Pictures coming, etc, etc…
More Life on Mars. Paul went out with Alex at about 7.30 and I sat down to watch the premiere of Brokeback Mountain at 9.00, though only managed to watch the first hour of it before Paul came back and I turned it off, which was the easier option than trying to watch it over his drunkenness. What I saw was good, at least.
Sunday was also uneventful but for a couple of games of Scrabble. I reinstalled Myst on my PC and started to play it again (although as it’s designed for Windows 95 at the latest and requires 256 colours, it has a tendency to either crash or freeze and then return with the colours all wrong.)
And that is everything.
There is nothing to do at work today. The only week when I can take my last four days of leave for this year is between 12 and 16 March, and one of them will have to be flex. I’m hoping to also have flex on the afternoon of 9 March, as I have H&S training in the morning and it would be nice to go straight home afterwards. And then there’s a bank holiday in April for Easter.
Our anniversary is the Monday after Easter this year (as opposed to being on Easter Sunday last year and us being unable to eat at Bacchus as planned) so I’ll have to be cheeky and have the Monday and Tuesday a week after the bank holiday off as well.
April and May are brilliant for bank holidays. :) Just as well, because there’s nothing after that until the one in August.
I was hoping for some time off in May, if Vicky is free, to take a trip to Alton Towers or Drayton Manor (and this also assumes my actually having some money at that point), or possibly in mid to late September. In both of those months the weather is usually fairly clement, and the kids are all at school so there are no queues. Both are also very easy to get to from Birmingham by train and other public transport, fairly cheaply.
(For Alton Towers, it’s best to get the train to Derby, wherefrom you buy one of their special offer tickets which includes train fair to Uttoxeter, bus fare to the park, and entrance fee, all for £32. For Drayton Manor, it’s a train to Tamworth and then a £6.00 taxi ride to the park. Both work out cheaper and easier than driving or trying to go on one of the West Midlands bus services, which only run in school holidays anyway.)
So, yeah. As I already stated, I couldn’t be bothered to mess with the network on Thursday, so I’ve come back to it this morning. Ben has suggested buying a double-protected anti-interference cable to try, but before that eventuality, we have three immediate ports of call.
2. See if our connection will work with Lisa’s cable unplugged. If this is the case, then it is either a router problem or a Telewest / Virgin Media problem.
3. Phone Telewest, to make sure they are providing us with what they said they were. We specifically had the higher broadband speed for the purposes of networking, so it’s best to double-check it will actually support one…
And failing that, it’s the router being an arse.
I’m not prepared to drag my PC downstairs and try all combinations of short cables to check it if works, because it’s a hassle I can’t be doing with. However I am at least fairly confident that we will overcome this annoyance and finally Have The Internet.
I shall now sign off this ridiculously long thing and post it.