Thursday, March 28, 2002

Watty says:

A bright and cheerful morning - except for the fog - only two support calls so far and I haven't needed my BOFH hat yet...

The problem of getting writing done continues - I am too tired these days in the evenings, and have no time at other times. There seems to be no easy way out of this conundrum: it doesn't help that I have reached an impasse on the long story - not that I don't know were it goes next, just that I can't see a clear way to get there neatly. I thought that the epistolatory stuff had solved it, but it still doesn't feel quite right. Perhaps the weekend will bring a bit of free time...

Depression Index:

Pretty good really - haven't had an alcoholic drink since the blowout on Saturday, and I think it makes a difference: in all the dietary stuff, I have been ignoring the fact that alcohol and depression do not good bedfellows make: I'll keep an eye on it... Ah, well - work calls.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Just a passing comment:

Am very tired - why am I logging in to chat? I need to sleep...

But it's comforting to have all these friends all over the world, and it stops me from doing any proper writing... oh, er, hang on... I think I see the flaw...

Monday, March 25, 2002

Watty clarifies:

OK, when I said dissatisfied with my life, I meant in a general, vague sensation that something's not quite right kind of way; not "I hate my life and I want to end it." I just thought that didn't come across too well.


Since the game in which this has been played will fade from the memory quicker than a very faint thing indeed; I thought I'd just record what appear currently to be my 8 Desert Island Discs:

  1. Mahler - 2nd Symphony. Don't really mind which version, but I love the way Rattle does it.
  2. Penguin Café Orchestra - Concert Program. Genius. Nuff said.
  3. Pink Floyd The Wall - Oh to be 17 again
  4. Verdi - Requiem Any recommendations for which version? I heard Solti do it magnificently at the Proms a few years ago...
  5. Van Morrison - One Night in San Francisco Just something about the performances on this album...
  6. Joni Mitchell - Hejira it's a desert island thing...
  7. Elvis Costello / Brodsky Quartet - The Juliet Letters It just nags and nags until you get it; then it never goes away...
  8. Bach - The Art of Fugue - Haven't even thought about which version - probably a brilliant pianist (is there a Glenn Gould? an Ashkenazy? A Schiff?) It's the mathematician in me

Of course, in 6 months it'll all be different - except for Mahler - but it's an interesting, and rather difficult, exercise. Now I'm going to post something quite contrary in there, just to alarm those who think they might know me from that list...

Well, a better day - there is that to be grateful for, even if I have got a ringing in my left ear which won't go away. And I think I've sorted a few things out in my mind- I know why I was so dissatisfied with everything last week, and that's a good thing. I think.

I said to Néa this morning that I was going to be less hard on myself, one of those things which just came out (just came out? It was in a text message...) before I realised that it was the truth. I passed a test of sorts at the weekend, and I do feel better for it, but I need to make more time for myself where I can do more than just surf, or chat. Hang on, all this should be under:

Depression Index:

Pretty good, really - but then I always feel good before I go training. But there are good signs - I know that I am dissatisfied with my life because I want to be a writer, and last week I managed to be convinced (thanks to all my good MC friends, who were so generous with their praise; and to Johan, husband of the aforementioned, who had less reason to be kind) that I might actually be any good. And if I am, so what? There are plenty of places, thanks to this interweb-thingy where prose may be posted for the amusement of myself and others; and if it is good enough, then maybe I can take it further. When I have time to devote to it, that is. But I will make time. I will....

Meanwhile we spent Saturday evening with our new neighbours, Ken and Rekha - and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It helped to have the kids around, and it helped to have free flowing beer (note to self: alcohol...), but I was not in my usual "don't mind me, I'm a depressive; I'll just sit over here and not get in anyone's way" mode; and yes I did have to try quite hard at first, but I've learned over the years that I've been aware of this that the only way to cope with these situations is to plunge in, and get on with it. Good to have confirmation that it works, though.

So, mostly it's up; and I will find time to write this week, I will, I will. More later. Unless I'm in MC chat, which is likely...

Watty says:

Just putting a marker down - I am still here, and I am still intending to keep this going. It's just this life business keeps getting in the way...

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Watty says:

First things first - Tiscali have woken up - the ftp service is back, and my little story has a permanent home of its own. Website link up there ↑ somewhere...

I have many things in my head at the moment, but I need to think about them a bit. But these are the positive things: I am getting fit - OK, it's only two classes, but the general fitness level seems to still be there, and I do feel better for it, I do.... Also, I am caffeine-free and feeling good about that, too - I sleep better, for one thing.

Also, I have had some positive things said about my story - I just wish I could get the Longwinded story going again - I don't think it's writer's block; I know what the next chapter will be; I just haven't been in the right frame of mind for it. In fact, I haven't really been in the right frame of mind for anything these past few days.

Which leads me to...

Depression Index:

Some people who know me will know about my depression - those who don't can find out about it on these pages: I intend to write something informative soon, and post it up. There are two schools of thought in my own mind here - I really don't want to hide it from anyone, and I think that discussing it - even in a one-sided forum such as this - can only be a good thing; but part of me acknowledges that this might be more than some people want to know. So I'll flag it up with the Index heading; and if you don't want to know about it, just don't read it.

So, I'm not going to do the history bit here; I'm just going to post the current status.

For the past few days, I have felt in a bit of a trough - more tired than usual, less enthusiastic and generally inert. This is not a good sign, but it's a stage I recognise and can control. I think I know what triggers these troughs, but I don't see any of those danger signals this time - it's a bit of a puzzle, really. Still, I am aware of it, and I'm trying to control it. Tomorrow will be interesting - I need to explain to the management team why the Data Protection Act is more than just a nuisance; and I need to give an update on the Help Desk. Have I done any preparation for it yet? See above, re: inert. Ah, well...

Monday, March 18, 2002

Watty says:

One small shaft of light in the general gloom and madness of Monday:

Néa has donated me some webspace Yippee! (I tell you; today, I'll grab any happiness I can get)

Things I have learned today:

If you want people to do the job properly, you need to stick around - especially on Saturdays: today has been Network Nightmare Day - about a quarter of the patch panels not connected up; most of the printers not connected; AS400 not visible on the network; the list goes on

Being caffeine-free is not easy - that smell.....

Things I learned at the weekend:

4 year old boys have a tendency to wander off if there are model trains nearby.

Red wine plus MC chat = staying up too late...

Tiscali are not all they're cracked up to be: no ftp for a week now: how can they call that a service? *shakes head in incomprehension*

Friday, March 15, 2002


Still no FTP - apparently it's been down since Wednesday. Now the website's vanished as well; along with all the Tiscali sites. I'm getting itchy about my ISP - they really don't seem to be able to provide the most basic of services. Waaa! Wanna publish my story!

Watty says:


This muse is a tricky bugger. I have my first inspiration in ages; I spend the whole evening writing, churning out the prose like nobody's business. I even think it's quite good in a light-hearted parodic kind of a way, and then the usual thing happens:

I need someone to read it; I go to post it on my webspace, and link to it from the MC sites (since it is, after all, about those guys) and:

We're sorry, the FTP service is temporarily unavailable. Temproarily? TEMPORARILY?? What - two hours? ten days? a year? Nope. Just 'temporarily'. It's still not there this morning, and I can't access it from work, and I need someone to read the damn thing (I feel an essay on the nature of writing coming on: clearly I'm not just doing this to amuse myself; I appear to have a craving to be read...)

I know, I'll send it to Néa - she'll understand; it's not like she has work to do or anything *looks up at the ceiling, whistling nonchalantly*...

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Watty says:


Ah, the joys of a throat infection, coupled with a 20-month-old who imagines that 4am is a perfectly reasonable time to get up. I may also have ingested some caffeine in my cold remedy. Going well, today.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Watty says:

Ah, that endorphin high - I'd forgotten how powerful it coud be. The class was just about right - no specific aches and pains this morning, just a feeling of having been thoroughly worked out. I'm greatly encouraged by the lack of pain, incidentally - I went to bed last night with a decidedly stiff calf (be quiet at the back) but am walking freely this morning, much to my delight. So, the consensus is - I'll definitely be doing that again; hugely enjoyable and good for me; can't say that about too many things...

Pink Grapefruit this morning - still no caffeine, still no side-effects. And the blood I donate later will be uncontaminated by poisonous chemicals (bacon rolls don't have any dangerous things in them, do they?)

Monday, March 11, 2002


I make that nearly 33 hours without coffee now - no visible effects as yet; I well remember the tremors and headaches last time - but then I was going cold turkey. Just psyching myself up for firstly changing into training gear in the office (I used to do it, but then I used to be thinner) and then undertaking a whole hour of punishing exercise. I did a class a couple of weeks ago, and was startled to find out how much I both enjoyed and missed it. I shall listen to my newly-acquired Sibelius Violin Concerto in the car on the way there - not sure if that will help or hinder the preparations.

Bit of a nothing day, today - spent a long time fiddling with SQL and not really getting anywhere with Query - I should be able to give it a bit more attention tomorrow; at least that's the theory. Mind you, I'll be giving blood tomorrow, so I may be unable to tackle anything later on. Ah, well, here goes my unfit persona...

Watty says:

Well, that was (as always) a blast - bit slow to get off the ground, but rollocking along nicely by the time I left.
Things I learnt:

  • You can't type limericks into a mobile quickly enough to keep up - even with predictive text
  • You can't play in the limerick game whilst trying to type them into a mobile
  • Beer is good (to be fair, I already knew this)
  • The wrath of nat is a psychic force - it can be felt all the way from Poland...
  • Just a Minute is both easier and more difficult when drunk.
  • The train announcer always wins...

In other news, day 1 of the caffeine-free routine. No ill-effects as yet; Wednesday or Thursday shoud be the crisis point...Also am going to circuit training tonght for the first time in 18 months. Should be interesting...

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Watty says:

About to plunge pilgwards, I hereby perform the last entirely sober act of the day.... Wish me luck.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Watty says:

OK, maybe I should explain the books thing over there ←. How can I have so many books on the go at one time? The simple answer is - I don't know, it's just something I've always done. I have some aversion to having only one book in progress at any one time - maybe it's a case of different books suit different moods; maybe it's a sign of my multi-faceted personality; maybe I just have the attention span of a goldfish. Dunno.

But I do know that if I get a bit of time in London tomorrow, I'll spend it in bookshops, searching for something else to add to the list, and I'll probably start reading it on the train home.
Anyway, a weekend of pilging beckons - I have no digicam (boo), but I do have one or two tricks up my sleeve - now wheres that icosahedral die...

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Watty says:

So, here I am, alone again (or) in the office at stupid o'clock, and where do my thoughts turn? To caffeine, naturally. The most obvious sign of success in beating my depression was when I cut out the caffeine. Well, cut down, anyway - cutting it out altogether was next to impossible. So now I have one cup of coffee a day, and try to avoid caffeine-infested products like colas and (ulp) chocolate.

But the problem was - I miss regular hot drinks; particularly at this time of year. I've considered a number of options, none of which seemed to make any difference; then I was introduced to the world of fruit infusions (not flavoured teas - tea is no better than coffee for caffeine content) and I'm converted - a lemon one in the morning; perhaps apple or blueberry before lunch; and even grapefruit in the afternoon. Very pleasant, and free from all those damaging chemicals.
But here's the rub - I can't shake off this one cup of coffee in the mornings. I crave it, and I don't feel that the day has started without it. But I'm going to try (writing it down here makes it more likely to happen, or something). So - as from Monday; one week of no caffeine at all (as far as possible - let's see what happens) Tune in next week, folks - there is a slender chance that it might get interesting...

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

blimey, that was easier than I thought. OK, enough for now - I'll start properly tomorrow.
And it works from home. Right. Now for a little tinkering with things...
OK, I'm convinced - I'm much more likely to update this with random stuff - especially if I can do it from work, too.

Welcome to the world of not doing enough work...
Watty says:

*emerges, blinking, into the daylight* Now, was this really a good idea? Time will tell...