Friday, June 30, 2006

About time too…

They resurfaced (i.e. sprayed some tar and about three times as many chippings as would fit) part of the way into work last week, leading to great drifts at the down-hill end, enough that turning onto that piece of road in my car, I could feel an incipient skid. So on my bike, I've been taking longer alternative routes, extended by the fact that the unofficial side way in to Cambourne is blocked while the dualling of the A428 goes on, and so have to loop back to the Monkfield Farm entrance.

But, this lunchtime, returning home to let the flooring people in, it seemed that they were at last starting to hoover the massive gravel surplus. Two cheers.

In other news, the flooring guy due this p.m. called in at 09:15, while I was on my way to work. Still, I can read MSDN just as easily at home as in the office, and have bheer with it too!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Anime roundup

Having succumbed to the fansub/torrent scene, I'm in severe “more stuff than time” state. And with several series on the go in parallel, actually finishing any, especially ones with 2nd series, is rare enough. But there are a couple to catch up on since last time I did this sort of post…

Kasimasi ~ Girl meets Girl

Outline: dejected guy turned down by the girl he's after goes to throw himself off a local beauty spot, but a passing UFO lands on him and gets the repair a bit wrong. It starts off as slightly ecchi comedy of a boy's guide to being a girl, and then slowly mutates into a love triangle, played seriously. Who should s/he turn to — the shy sad girl who he was after at the beginning, or the tomboy who has been a best friend all these years? A sweet bit of fluff, all in all.

Rozen Maiden and RM Träumend

Boy meets doll, and winds up her clockwork. A weird mix of slapstick humour, dollies' tea-parties and superhero battles. Slightly sentimental, and the filler episodes are thin, but overall fun.

On the go…

Actively, Mari-mite Spring, Space Runaway Ideon, Simoun, Black Lagoon, Higurashi, Haruhi, Planetes . On the back burner, Haibane Renmai, Rose of Versailles, Aria the Animation, BurnUp Scramble. Fogbound, Paranoia Agent, GitS:SAC 2nd Gig, Texhnolyze, Saikano.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Film — 36

A French policier, with cops nearly as corrupt as the criminals, as two rivals try to bring in a gang that have been robbing security vans.

The film has a 7-year gap in it as one of the protagonists sits out time for accessory to murder; but the mobile phone tech in the first part is today's; and there's no sense of technology marching on in the interim (unlike, say, in Infernal Affairs

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Catching up

Last Thursday arrived home to find a fire engine parked outside. Fortunately it was only the old codger next door setting fire to his cooker, and damage was restricted to their kitchen.

Yesterday, just for the heck of it, did the lunchtime walk around Cambourne barefoot. A couple of bits were sparsely gravelled so ouchy, but the most of it was really comfortable. Having hardened the feet in sandals for the past year helps.

The downstairs loo was about finished last week. Now waiting for the kitchen fitters and flooring people to arrive.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Red in tooth and claw

Earlier today, Karen called me from downstairs, and on the way down, I spotted a hen blackbird sitting on one step. To my surprise, this turned out not to be what she was calling me about (that was to heave the basket of laundry into the car).

Opening the front door, the bird hopped down to the sill, then after a cautious look around for feline psychopaths, flew off, looking just a bit tatty around the tail.

In the dining room, however, there was a massive explosion of feathers, and more, with blood, behind the sofa. And a stray egg at the bottom of the stairs. The amount of detritus and the apparently intact state of the bird as it flew off were hard to reconcile.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I went on the Cambridge Cycling Campaign leisurely ride out to Cambourne today — and ended up leading much of it, as the only one with on-the-ground knowledge. Then having cycled home->town->Coton->Cambourne->Toft->Barton->back to Parker's Piece, I had to head out to Teversham to help Karen, before heading back home over the Gogs. Tiring, especially in 28C weather, with little in the way of breeze.

Getting back on the bike tomorrow will take some effort, even wearing my padded lycra discreetly under my shorts. It was a refreshingly lycra free outing, and I was clearly toward the top end of the fitness/scope range, not way down like I had expected.

I did see bird perched on a horse near Teversham; and now, Saturn looking very red in the southern sky, with Arcturus high above it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Cycled to work each day this week, which is earlier in the season than previous years; and included twice cycling into town on the way home. No rest over the week-end, too (into town, and maybe joining a cycling jaunt to Cambourne on Sunday).

In other news, had an interview, but decided against (on the same logic that “unsure” => “no hire”), but at least it's all good practice.

And we have a functional downstairs loo! No door yet, and the decorating is incomplete, but the plumbing is done and is usable. Luxury!

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Catching up

I had a much needed break last week — four nights in Salisbury, going to various gigs and concerts around the Arts Festival there in the evenings : Graffiti Classics (string quartet with attitude), Billy Bragg (the usual), Salsa Samba (Indonesian eclectic) and Los de Abajo (Mexican "tropipunk" - punk in the US musical sense).

Salisbury cathedral, across the water meadows

From the Old Mill, Harnham

Thursday was dull, and couldn't make up its mind if it was cool or sultry, but the rest of the time was clear and warm, good weather for strolling around, as well as doing a bit of shopping — a summer-weight smart jacket, a shoulderback for carrying book and camera; and a panama hat for shade.

Previously, with having to coordinate with Karen, Salisbury had seemed a food desert, with just the King's Head and Chicago Rock Cafe being sensible accessible. Left to my own devices it was a cornucopia, and I could try out the Lemon Tree, the Marrakech, and Cactus Jack's, as well as returning to the Old Mill, plus explore the more interesting pubs.

All in all, a welcome chunk of R&R, allowing me to de-stress, knowing that all that was happening building-wise was the plaster drying in the new downstairs loo. And now, the building work is getting close to the end — the plumbing is done in the loo, though there is still decorating, tiling, carpentry, and flooring. And the kitchen. But now, after more than six months, it's getting close to being able to reclaim the house.

And with the magic of wi-fi, I can compose this post sitting in the warmth of the evening, at a table on the new patio.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]