Ah, well, the summer holidays are over and Alice went back to school yesterday. Or so we thought... It must have been quite comical but Jacqueline took Alice up to school only to find out that yesterday was a "Teacher Training" day, and that she was to have one last day of holiday.
I don't know what these Training days are all about, perhaps when I was at school the teachers were untrained? Or, worse yet, perhaps they were fully trained before they got their jobs? Still, I'm sure I needn't worry - by the time Alice sits her GCEs she (and presumably all other children) will automatically score 100% and will be labelled a genius.
It is beautifully sunny this morning (very appropriate for the first day back to school) although there is a definite autumnal feel to the air. Still, it is warm in the rail carriage so I can just bask in the sun up to London. Life with the clients is manic as ever, though there is a partial tube strike this week so I don't plan on hanging around their offices if I can help it.
I'm still very happy that I got the new database up and running at the weekend, although as it happened there was little respite. Just a couple of hours later I was installing a patch onto the web server, rebooted it and when it came back up one of the disks had failed. Fortunately, despite the annoying beeping, the disk was part of a redundant array, so I set it off to rebuild itself and, so far, it looks to be ok.
Before I settle down to my basking, I must just mention Sunday. In a big change to our routine I planned a session out canoeing on the Beaulieu River in the New Forest. It was one of those Indian-style canoes, and all three of us fitted snugly into it. Great fun - I wasn't sure how Jacqueline would take it but she loved it too. Alice was..... Well, let's just say I now know the meaning of ballast! Seriously, she seemed to enjoy herself also - although it is very hard as a parent not to keep droning on about how "I never got to do things like this when I was a kid".
Following the two hours of fitness (and boy did my shoulder feel it on Monday) we drove to nearby Buckler's Hard, where we were just in time to take some afternoon tea at the hotel there. Well, all that hard work deserved some reward!
Took the camera out with us, playing with a uv filter on the lens. But to be honest it was too overcast for the filter, and when I looked at the images later the filter had simple tinged them all blue. Plus, I had been playing around with the camera, shooting night photos, a couple of days earlier, and had forgotten to reset the ISO setting. So the first few photographs (and in fairness to myself I did notice quite quickly) were taken at ISO 1600! But it is a learning process, this is my first SLR after all. The lesson I take from this is to pay more attention to the information in the viewfinder in future.
All-in-all, though, an excellent day out. Even in the evening when we were watching tv, knackered, but could still feel the salt on our faces.