I'm not particularly political, but after the events in Russia last week, I just felt I had to express my sympathy to my Russian friends, and to all the rest of the nation after the terrorist atrocities. It is always sad to see children taking an active part in their country's warfare. It is unthinkable to involve children unwillingly in warfare in such a manner as last week. Anyone of the same race, nationality, or religion as these terrible people must totally separate themselves from the terrorists who murdered so many children in the supposed safety of their school. They have alienated themselves and their supporters from the rest of mankind. I am thinking of 'your little angels'.
I've been rather busy lately, hence the lack of updates. I keep saying that! Here's a bumper update.
I've had my 47th birthday since last adding here. I got a flying disk, like a Frisbee from Alice's parents. We are currently having a bit of a workout each week in the park.
Alice and I had a week's holiday last month. The high point was our 20-mile walk from Guildford to Mickleham near Dorking, along the North Downs Way. The walks book said it was 12 miles, which would be a good walk for us, but by the time we had added the walk from/to local stations it was exactly 20 miles according to my GPS. We are not exactly hardened walkers, so doing a near-marathon distance, on hilly ground, on a hot day, without preparation was quite an achievement. However, Alice did the whole of the North Downs Way in less than a week as a teenager, averaging 25 miles a day for 4-5 days. That puts it into perspective.
Also that week, we walked along the 'Long Walk', a 3-mile carriage ride from Windsor Castle. Another day we fully explored Wimbledon Common, and another day we did a history 'town trail' around Lower Sunbury.
This month has been very wet. On a couple of occasions the road outside has flooded to a depth of six inches in places, covering both pavements and the area immediately in front of the house. See Teddington for the pictures.
We've had many walks in Bushy Park recently. It is always different, and, in 1100 acres, there is always a new route to find. The park has herds of deer. The deer seem exceptionally tame this year for some reason. Last week we watched one fairly large beast slowly lift one of its front hooves, then push down on the other front leg, and rear up gracefully to get at a chestnut tree. We've never seen this before, and it is initially comical, then quite awe-inspiring that such a large creature can be so graceful.
Mozilla, which I use for creating this web site, now has a (US) spell checker.
Sadly, as I write, police are investigating the brutal murder of a French girl, on nearby Twickenham Green, just ten minutes' walk away. It is being connected with a similar murder last year, about 30 minutes' walk away.
For the last few weeks, Alice has been working in a local Oxfam charity shop, as part of her Home Office personal development.
Our actor friend Roger Walker is about to tour the UK in 'Journey's End', a play set during the First World War. Break a leg, Roger!!
A non-puzzle announcement, I invite all my friends to visit SafetyOnTheInternet. It is a web site I have launched to support my own new business venture, providing safety and support and training to Teddington families and businesses who need PC and Internet training. I welcome feedback and comments.
I've been rather busy lately, hence the lack of updates. It was Alice's birthday on the 11th. The same day I went into hospital to have my gall bladder removed. It was a very straightforward operation, and I was home on the 13th. It was done via keyhole surgery. I have 4 small scars, the longest being only an inch long. I have a few bruises, and the incision near my tummy button makes it a little uncomfortable leaning over a keyboard.
The other thing that has kept me busy is my future career plan. I am in the process of setting up my own business. Basically it is providing software training, but I will list more details here soon.
Despite a few flakes of snow this morning, along with a biting northerly wind, spring seems to be very much on the way.
The flats next door, and two along, are now almost finished, and are all listed as 'sold'. We will shortly have 4 new neighbours.
Although I haven't read all 700+ pages, I was not implicated in the Hutton Report.
Firstly, be very careful with incoming email. There is a new virus, MyDoom, which is extremely prolific. My virus detector has highlighted 5 copies of it this morning alone. The message claims to be an error message, mentioning ASCII and Unicode. Delete any attachments without looking at them.
I am celebrating Alice's birthday this year by treating myself to a Laparoscopic Choleystectomy.
Wow! Suddenly Christmas is over, Saddam is in chains, Alice has been promoted, and the New Year is here! Finally there's a break from revelry (Alice is on the phone!!...) and I can bring you up to date with a non-chronological FSF (Festive Season Flashback).
Happy New Year to you all!! Alice and I had a wonderful Christmas in Hindhead, with Al's parents and family. Alice starts 2004 as a newly-promoted Systems Librarian at the Home Office.
In mid December we went to Lewes with Chris for our traditional pre-Christmas jaunt. We had an evening of carols at the Abercorn Arms, our local pub, where Alice won a large plush bear, which she is naming Mel, after the landlord, and giving to Martyn and Issy's daughter Laura, although Laura doesn't know yet, and on New Year's Eve we went to Teddington's best Chinese restaurant, "Wok This Way".
Today we said "Gud bye ta Jane" and "Bye bye Jimmy, Goodbye, Jimmy B. Goode" to our friends Jim and Jane, who are forsaking Teddington for Bridport, Devon.
Earlier this week we saw Leslie Joseph in pantomime in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" at Richmond theatre. (Oh! Yes! We did!!!....) On Wednesday I was at the first London Puzzle Meeting of 2004. Yesterday we went geocaching in Richmond Park, then had an early night as Teddington was plunged into darkness with a power cut at 2345.