Write off

Looks like the car is going to be a write off. The garage it’s with at the mo phoned to say that the repair costs are £2,400. The car was bought a month or two ago for £2,499, so the insurance company won’t pay for the repair.

Looks like my driving days are over.

In other news, this week saw Full Council where extraordinary bouts of agreement broke out: we voted unanimously three times on different issues. This hasn’t happened since I was elected, and I’m not holding my breath for it to happen again any time soon.

The week also saw me not going ringing on Sunday morning (up very late the night before, somewhat needlessly) but going back on Tuesday night for practice. One of the new intake this year, an American who has never previously done any ringing, has managed to get to handling a bell pretty much autonomously in only two lessons, much to the horror of us old lags who can remember it taking us weeks to get so far. I got a lot of ringing in, but fouled up on Plain Hunt Royal, which ought to be reasonably straightforward. Royal, which means on ten bells, is only possible thanks to the two new trebles which went in only a fortnight ago, and which are a big draw to the tower amongst the ringers of Notts who don’t usually visit us on practice night.

Today in bullet points

Today, I

  • got up nice and late, but before midday
  • somehow lost time until 4.30pm
  • didn’t go to the gym, which closed at 4.
  • went out to get my prescription dispensed, but couldn’t find a chemist open (despite the fact that there are 3 within walking distance)
  • went to KwikSave instead
  • bought curry ingredients and more flour. Using a lot of flour at the moment
  • baked worm cake
  • made curry (chicken and cashew nuts in bought sauce)
  • put three different sorts of bean in water to soak overnight for tomorrow’s dinner (don’t know how I’m going to cook them yet)
  • Took cake out of oven. Forgot raising agent so a little stodgy.
  • ate curry
  • stamped and labelled members’ mailing from last week whilst…
  • … watching Malcolm in the Middle episodes
  • lost more time. Paul went dancing, and suddenly it was 10pm.
  • tinkered with computer: installed SpamPal to replace current system of SMB and deleting by hand. But no real spam to test it against yet.
  • tinkered with websites. Looked to see what www.leicester-libdems.org.uk needs doing, and put it off til the week when I can talk to colleagues whilst updating
  • tried to work out what to do with my shiny new g-mail account, courtesy Matt Helmsley, who just spontaneously invited me last week. Signed myself up to my own joke list. Hmmm…
  • had another look at the mother of all doodles: From Heaven To Hell by NobbyNobody

And it seemed like I’d done so little today!

Friday night

Having just discovered that someone reads this, I’ve spent an hour or so working out how to put in that little XML button in the sidebar, so that his Trillian Pro can show him new posts without him needing to waste a browser window. Have to say I’m intrigued: there are an awful lot of RSS feeds on clever Lib Dem websites like the PRAI flock that could be useful to watch with something like Trill. Not sure I can afford to upgrade to Pro this month, however.

It’s amazing how much technology is coming together in these blogs. Setting one up is reasonably simple, editing templates is something anyone with a bit of HTML experience can do without a problem. Setting up an RSS feed is also easily possible using www.feedburner.com.

And all of these good websites are offering their services for free. Blogging wouldn’t work without blogger.com, provided free by the Google people. Feedburner is more than happy to take my feed and work wonders with it, for free, and then give me a little button to use to promote myself. Feedburner can’t be getting all that many click-throughs, either, because most users of the feed will be using software that doesn’t show the route the feed takes, just the content.

I’m a little concerned about what would happen if any of these services decided they needed a little more revenue, and that handy service we’ve been having so far now needs to be chargeable.


Have just filled in insurance claim form, and earlier today I took my driving documents to the police station for confirmation. Everything was in order, it would appear, and the policewoman who took the details down (laboriously, by hand, on a carbon copying book) was every bit as helpful and friendly as the policeman who helped on the side of the motorway.

Some of Paul’s friends from his course came around this evening for a drink, starting off here, then popping to Sneinton’s Lord Nelson pub. I sat in the front room being anti-social with my laptop whilst esoteric person-centred debate raged around me.


Got up late, having watched the results from Hartlepool, followed by the US presidential debate, whilst baking bread (new, granary flour to trial) in the middle of the night.

A disappointing result from Hartlepool, given that we didn’t win, but we were still the biggest gainers on the night with nearly a 20% swing to us. Simon Hughes on News24 sparkled; the Conservatives were beaten into fourth place by UKIP. The news today seems to be centering on “Lab win, Con beaten to fourth by UKIP” with a deafening silence on the subject of who came second and how much of an achievement that was.

Some coverage, however, of Jody (who is a family law barrister) getting covered in purple flour by Fathers for Justice whilst giving her concession speech. She had to be escorted off the stage. But none of this was broadcast last night on terrestrial TV, so I had to rely on breathless reports from friends on IRC who were watching the Sky 1 coverage.

I tuned in and out of the presidential debate that followed. It struck me that Bush was often lost for words, faltering, and not answering the questions whilst Kerry did quite well, but I suppose I’d expect to favour the Democrats. It seemed a strange format, but for both candidates, timing so closely the 120 / 90 / 60 / 30 second slots they were allocated so precisely was certainly an impressive skill. I wonder if they have lights in their podium like Lib Dem conference delegates? They were certainly better than our delegates at keeping to time.

Then to bed at about 4am after the bread came out of the oven.

This morning, the kitchen was still a dreadful mess after cooking for friends yesterday evening. Paul made fabled veggie lasagne (lovely), I made apple tart (pastry too sticky for some reason). Friends got the tour of the house, sampled our grapes fresh from the vine, were handed a laptop to see the Prague photos. Spent ages taking the piss out of my website. I should really update it…

I went ringing this week for the first time in ages, back to All Saints church Radford, the tower Nottingham University’s student ringers ring at. They had completed the augmentation of the bells (now 10) just a week or two earlier. We’d been fundraising for that since I came to university, so it was fantastic to see the project finished. There were a staggering 22 ringers, including this year’s bumber crop of freshers. Cheerily told them on leaving I’d see them next week / on Sunday morning (they made 9 last week, so were just short of being able to ring them all) — and they all jeered. Well, my attendence is derisory and I’m not good at any mornings, let alone Sunday.