Went on a Christmas shopping trip to Oxford, and to visit Fran. Was a good day, finally had a good time seeing her for the first time in ages. Never did buy any presents, although I did get a few clothes for me, including a t-shirt with a picture of Sid James on a bike on the front of it. Slightly random I know, but still cool. Also got a couple of pairs of trousers. I was interested in getting a new coat too, but they were hugely expensive! Also had a look at changing my phone, but just got fed up with the lack of help you get from mobile shops. The Link offered a good trade-in for your old phone, but then said you’d have to pay more than that in admin fees. Think I’ll try T-Mobile direct…
Hmph. I’ve been so busy in work this week it’s rediculous. However, when I get home… it’s dull. Boring. This evening I did a small amount of work on this, and then, at 8:45pm, went to bed. Woke up again at 10:30pm, but very nearly stayed in bed until morning. I’d really love to have a group of friends around to do things with in the evening. Unfortunately I just have people to chat to on MSN. Things aren’t going to change while I’m around here – too much distance between me and other people. Maybe I should go back to Uni and do a post grad degree… Suggestions anyone?
Went out in Bristol last night as it turned out that the parents were going out to see Jools Holland in Cardiff for dinner, so I decided I’d visit Neal in Bristol. Twas good fun, especially as Neal usually has plenty of ladies around him, so it’s good to get some practice in chatting to the opposite sex (even though I was with Fran for so long I’m still rubbish at striking up conversation). Seemed to go quite well. The girl I’m currently chasing told me “gota work on that” when I asked for her phone number though, which is a bit odd. It’s not exactly no, but it’s not yes either. Not really sure what I do for now – there were plenty of smiles exchanged last time I saw her, and a few nice chats, so we’ll see. I think I’ll take it easy for now and see what happens. I’d quite like some female company though There was another girl at Neal’s too, so something may happen soon…
Fran still hangs over me a bit too. I’ve had a letter in the post from her, and an e-mail this week. I’m not sure what to do or what is going on really. Why does she seem so keen to keep in contact? I get told I was her best friend and she regrets losing that. I’m not sure what it means or what to do. I can’t hang around waiting for her to make her mind up. Hmph.
Finally, I want to know who my readership are, so I ask that if you are reading this entry, please leave a comment and tell me a little about yourself. If you’ve read a lot of my blog, please give me advice. If you’re “Sebastian Goldspunk”, please fuck off.
As it turns out, I’ve been on the wrong training course for the last day and a half, but this isn’t as bad as it sounds. I’ve been on one about programming EMV chips, which are the chips you see on credit cards these days. However, I was supposed to be on one about programming the terminal that you put the card into. As I seem to have caught up pretty quickly with the terminal stuff (even though I missed half of it) it’s a pretty good result has I’ve got to write stuff for both in my next project in work, so that’s a good thing.
What was pretty funny was the terminal training was being done in French because they could all speak French better than English. But then I turned up. No one asked if I could speak French (which I can’t really, I can manage some though) so they all start talking in English. Later on a couple of them are having a conversation in French, and then I said something in French. You should have seen the shock on their faces. “You can speak French?” they said. “No” was my response, but they never asked so I thought that was pretty funny. However, being on my own in France for the last couple of days has given me a newfound confidence in my abilities with the language. While I can’t manage much in it, I have so far managed to get to the hotel, get some aspirin, explained my head hurts to reception in the hotel when asking if they had any aspirin, eaten in a restaurant on my own. Not exactly stellar stuff, but I reckon if I was here for a while I could pick up more quite quickly.
The restaurant I ate in on my own this evening was a Sushi restaurant I passed on my way down the road from the train station on Sunday night. It was very nice, but I can’t imagine they are doing very well – I was the only person in there for about an hour. Nevermind eh?
I’m writing all of this stuff in Notepad for putting on whythehell later on this rather snazzy Dell Inspiron 1100 with Windows XP Pro. It’s the first time I’ve had a chance to use XP for an extended amount of time, and it’s very nice indeed. I’ve tweaked some of the appearance settings to make it more to my liking, like replacing the blue with a nice silver. I’ll certainly be giving XP some serious consideration for my PC at home, but it’s a rather expensive upgrade, especially as you have to buy the full version of Pro as you can only upgrade to Home from 98SE, and only from NT4/2000 to Pro. Arse. Anyway, I brought some DVDs with me on my trip because it has a DVD player on it, which is cheaper than buying films from the pay TV here (not that I want a triple X film appearing on the receipt that will turn up in work!). I know I’ve complained about the pay in work, but sitting here on my bed in Paris, with this nice laptop it suddenly seems not to be too bad. Not to bad at all…
Phew, I’ve had the first day of my training, and boy have I been feeling ill today. For some reason I’ve had a throbbing headache since last night. It seemed to have gone away this morning, but came back with avengance. Even felt like I was going to throw up at about 3:30pm and was feeling pretty hot. On top of this, there was a pretty hot women in the training who kept staring at me all day, which got my heart beating even faster, which upped the tempo of the headache. Fantastic. Went straight to sleep as soon as I got back to my room, but woke up at about 8pm still with the headache and haven’t been able to sleep sincce, and it’s now nearly midnight. Eurgh. I’ve really got to find a pharmacy (or Pharmacie en francais) in the morning to get this sorted.
I think I have finally done the right thing today. I may well not want to be in a relationship with Fran, but I think the best thing for now is not to speak to her, as whether she admits it or not, it certainly feels like she wants to keep me around just in case everything falls apart with Simon. I’ve just to get on for now, have fun, etc. Long term I will rule nothing out, but short term, yes. Anyway, over the weekend I have been visiting Chris in Cheltenham. Went out on Friday and Saturday to places like the Restoration and Slak, and generally had a good time. Saturday got a bit depressing towards the end of the evening with Chris and his brother both obviously being very much in love with their respective girlfriends. They really are very lucky – if I can find something even approaching that in the near future then that would be great.
Today has also been very rushed – got back from Cheltenham at about 12:30pm, packed up to come to France, had lunch at 1:30pm, left home about 2:30pm, had to check in for my flight to Paris by 3:35pm and managed it at 3:35pm on the dot. Was also the last person on the plane. Thankfully things were a bit more relaxed once I got to Paris. While the journey to the hotel in Puteaux (just to the west of Paris. If this was the UK then I think we’d say it is in Paris, but the french are pretty particular about this kind of stuff) took a while, I’m yet again impressed with the efficiency of the French public transport system. I’m here for some training, which I’m quite looking forward to.
Went into town during my lunch hour on Thursday and bought some CDs. I got the new Muse album, Absolution, and it’s a magnificent 50 minutes of rock opera, simply brilliant. Kind of makes me wish that I was still doing my Frostblade’s Reviews site (not that I’ve updated it for 3 years, hmm, wait that’s since just after I started going out with Fran. Some kind of link there perhaps?) as I could wax lyrical about it for ages, it’s that good. I also got the Matrix Revolutions soundtrack. This is a bit different from the previous soundtracks in the trilogy as it doesn’t have any rock on it, just incidental music. This is by no means a bad thing as even though I’m not a big fan of orchestral music, or dance music, the stuff in the Matrix Trilogy is the perfect blend of both. While it’ll take a few more listens to grasp the layers of it, it is a very good album. I did buy one more CD, but I’m not going to say what is, as it’s frankly embarassing that I did buy it, and I don’t think I need my credability musically destroyed by letting you know what it is. It’s quite good fun to listen to though as it deals quite nicely with the issues around fickle women. Bit of a tune to it too. If you fancy a guess, post a comment, but I bet no one will get it.
Fixed a couple of long standing problems on the site. Namely a random semi-colon that had appeared next to the logo on the cars and me across the years pages. I have also added some more stuff to the comments bit, to make it a bit clearer how to add a comment. They all actually point to the same place, but hey, if it generates some more comments that’s a good thing as far as I can see.
In work related news, my trip to Paris for training has been confirmed, which should be ace. I’ve never been to France on my own before, let’s hope I don’t have to speak too much of the language – my French is dire (although I did get an A in at GCSE. Never did understand how.) Must make sure I take a camera with me this time, and storage. Last time I took a camera, bought batteries there (french for battery is un pils apparently) only to discover I had left the disk at home. No good.
Well, contrary to expectation, my order from Amazon has turned up before Christmas. I wasn’t quite expecting “His Dark Materials” to be quite so huge though. It’s one of the largest things I’ve ever seen. Compare it to a Mini -
See? Huge! It’s going to take me ages to get through that. I’ve polished off “To Kill A Mocking Bird”, unsurprisingly another good book, although I would say not as good as Birdsong. I’m half way through 1984 now too. Fantastic.
In slightly geeky news, I’ve spent the last couple of days rewriting the results pages on the BUKC website so it’s all powered by a database. Seems to be working. Fantastic!
Wednesday was a good day. Took part in the BUKC Test Day at Bayford Meadows and it’s a seriously good track. It’s almost completely flat, but there is a small amount of gradient in just the right places to make it fantastic. I’ll get some photos that others have taken that I appear in on the site soon. It also made me realise I really want to do some more karting, so I may well take part in a Club100 series next year, assuming I can afford it.
As it was in Kent and I had to be on circuit at 8:30am I decided to stay near the circuit on Tuesday night and get a good night’s sleep. As I went straight from work I was going past Oxford and decided to call in on Fran. While nothing bad happened, it just wasn’t any fun. She has claimed she wants to be my friend, but she couldn’t really have been less welcoming if she tried. I don’t think it was a deliberate thing, but I think it wasn’t one of my best ideas. However, whether she’s doing that consciously or not I really can’t be bothered with dealing with it, so it’s her move. Besides, there is plenty more talent out there. Now, if I can find a girl about 5’8″, pretty, into motorsport, geekery and movies then I’ll be sorted. Or just a nice person will do me! May well make my first move in the near future. I think my chances rest somewhere between slim and none this time, but it’s worth a go.
Also had a stopover to visit my sister in Reading and went to the “Yellow River Cafe” at The Oracle. It was very nice, but as my appetite doesn’t seems to be what is was (and I’m half a stone lighter) I don’t think a starter was a good idea. The food was very good indeed though. Had a good chat with Laura too, which was cool – maybe we’re becoming grown ups. Nah, that can’t be right…
Something I’ve been thinking about for the last day has been that I always felt lucky when I was in a relationship with Fran. Previous to that it certainly felt like I may never get a wonderful, beautiful girl who would like me back. In Fran I found that girl, and for the entire time I was contented. Sometimes we disagreed on things, but in the end I knew she was mine, and I felt really privileged to be where I was. Now that I have lost her it’s a fairly scary proposition. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find something that good again, which I suppose is some of the reason why I still wish to have her back, even if she is with someone else. I guess it’s just another thing to learn to live with and move on. At the moment it seems like such a hard thing to do as I meet so few people living where I do and doing what I do. I really should take up some hobbies…