Well, it's ages since I wrote anything up here. There is a reason for that, unfortunately, and that is basically that I've hardly done anything these last few weeks.
Been working hard to pay my tax bill - even summer holidays, which I generally organise in January/February have been put on hold this year. My clients are terminating the contracts of more consultants, some of those who survived the first round of cuts are now being chopped. The good thing at the moment is that they do seem to be announcing cuts something like three months in advance, whereas contractually they only need give four weeks' notice. But its not good and when I visit the client's site it has a graveyard-type feel. As for my services, they have told me that they'd like me to get involved with two systems this year, which is fine except that if everything gets tougher they're bound to halt new projects and concentrate just on supporting their existing systems. So things aren't entirely safe, certainly I'm very averse to spending money at the moment.
Having said all of this, we're so fed up of not doing anything that I have booked us a weekend away at Centerparcs next month. My tax will be paid by then (although another installment will be due in July) so it should be a nice escape. Of course, this is going to be quite an expensive weekend when we've resolved not to spend any money, but what can you do? I've really been slogging since we went to Ireland, and only took one day off at christmas, I need the break and the only pity is that I couldn't arrange it sooner.
We're also planning a visit up to my mum's at some point, though I expect Jacqueline will duck out of that one. I may even see if I can get some tickets to see Everton play - if I can it'll be my first visit to Goodison since 1997 I think when I saw a truly awful Everton team get beaten 4-1 by Bradford in the FA Cup.
Apart from that? Well, I have my car back and looking good. These insurance people though are very shoddy. Their loan car has been sitting idle on my driveway for over a week, waiting for them to pick up. Fortunately the only think I now need to do is to claim back the excess, then it'll all be closed.
Despite it only being March, I've already started getting out in the garden. I mowed the lawn late in the autumn, and the grass looks really good right now as a result. I've cut both front and back lawns in the last couple of weeks, but really it hasn't started growing yet so I haven't picked much up. I was out there yesterday and have started thinking about things I need to do this year...
The other thing to report is that my Flickr pages are now live. I must update this web site to point there rather to the current "family album" pages at some point, but for the moment I'll just include the link:
This basically leads to the Flickr equivalent of the current album.