Thursday, December 23

Christmas Eve Eve!

I am trying to focus on Christmas but it's cold here in the village. Despite a trip to Towcester today on roads that were actually grey-black instead of brown-white my car is still covered in snow and actually getting back into the drive required a couple of goes to get up a gentle slope that even my son's 12" tennis ball wouldn't roll down.

It all looks very pretty but I think we've seen enough now and I'd welcome some green back again soon. Although I'm supposed to be completing a couple of modules for an MA portfolio due to be assessed in January, having so much time on my own has led to a whole lot of different research. I've figured out how to use different fonts on a web page, launched a new set of programmes for a client that I'm hoping will boost income a bit for me too and I've discovered where a particularly annoying draught has been coming in.

Twitter has been remarkably useful during the holiday so far. First, there's a nice chap running Towcester Tea Rooms who tweets about the road conditions and shares pictures which has helped me decide whether or not to risk a spin in the car on several occasions. Then there's the local council gritters who tell us when they'll be clearing roads and what to expect overnight. Fascinating, too, have been all the links posted by people with similar interests to myself. You click a link and find yourself immersed in some news about a new technology development, notes explaining how to do something or even a new video preview and American Idol news from either producers or Ryan Seacrest! Several hours later I realise that I'm hungry and I'm no further ahead with that portfolio But it has been a pleasure.

Facebook is beginning to get tedious now. It's a useful communication tool but practically all my posts there now come from feeds from elsewhere - this blog, for instance feeds new posts through to Facebook and the headline and the first few sentences will appear with an image. Twitter I've set to update Facebook so whatever I say in the former place appears on the latter. There are one or two people, though, who I can only keep in touch with there so I'll be keeping my profile for a while yet.

Presents are nearly all wrapped. Another delivery arrived today and I'm trying to remember whether I've got any more due from Amazon. Yes, I know I should know but, as I said, it's hard to focus in this weather and my memory is definitely not working as well as it should. It's quite nice, though, as you get a nice surprise when something does arrive - I do have this habit of getting something for myself at the same time! The other thing I do is hide presents that I haven't wrapped in case the children find them. That would be fine except I forget and last year discovered several items by chance on Boxing Day! In fact, just as I write this I've remembered two more. That was lucky!

I really don't like all those gaudy outside lights that some people have. Milton Keynes suburbs seem to be almost wholly lit solely by these displays on house walls and eaves. I'm so glad that the village has been spared these, well, so far at least. Occasionally, you do encounter a very beautiful and classy display on your travels, of course, but so many just look cheap and pretty nasty. I'm turning into a grumpy old man. Better be careful and stop bothering about that.

Right, it's Christmas Eve eve. Just one day left to get organised so enough of this drivel.
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Friday, December 10

Vincent's diary - September 1916

I inherited a set of diaries from an old friend, Mr Vincent, and have recently started looking through them. A fascinating entry for Friday, 1st September 1916 . . .