No entries for a while, mainly I'm afraid due to the fact that I haven't been bothered.
On the work front, my clients have had a massive drop in their budget which has resulted both in a cull of employees and the early termination of many consultants' contracts - they have been very secretive about the exact numbers so I would guess that they are sufficiently large to make people think, "Goodness, I didn't realise it was that many."
Fortunately they feel they need my company's services still. Overall this is good news, I suppose, although they did take the opportunity to renegotiate the rate we charge - downwards of course. In the current climate, they obviously feel they can get away with it. It was really quite nice to be told that our services were considered critical, though of course this comment needs to be taken with a pinch of salt - we'll see how critical our services are in three months' time if the slide continues. I mainly deal with middle-managers at the clients, and I do get the feeling that they are quite genuinely distressed by all of this. Clearly there is the personal aspect of their own little empires diminishing but I think there is more to it than this. Not least they must have doubts about their own safety.
Haven't really been up to much else. We did go over to Tower Park in Poole a couple of weekends ago, and had an excellent game of bowling, the first time in a long time. Alice in particular enjoyed it, I guess since it was so out-of-the-ordinary for her. Quite expensive, I thought, though. Alice ticked me off for getting too upset at my poor shots (I played the first game really well, with one of my highest scores, but deteriorated badly in the second.
Last weekend the weather was absolutely awful - the temperature hovered just a couple of degrees above zero and so we just had grey with rain on both days. To celebrate this we had some fun on the Wii - the Mario Karting was particularly enjoyable, though I don't think Jacqueline really "got it"!
As we found when Barney died, Maisie has become more friendly now that she has the house to herself once again. She's always been a tiny thing and I guess Carlo kinda dominated things. We have decided not to have any more cats, though maybe to think about a dog as and when Maisie pops her clogs (which we hope will be many years into the future). Although we are all cat-lovers, it just seems sheer irresponsible to bring a cat into such a dangerous environment as where we live. It is ironic that my mum lives in a big city and has had two cats since I was a child, both of which have lived to a ripe old age (one of which is still going aged 16 now, I think), whereas we live in the middle of nowhere in what at first sight would be paradise for a cat. Needless to say Carlo's loss is still painful, especially for Alice, but we buried him and planted some bulbs over his grave, a small token. Things will get better over time of course but it is scant comfort to talk about this right now.
Apart from that, working hard for the taxman at the moment. Got an old bill to pay and another one in February. Whoopee!