Monthly archives: January 2002

The good news is- I don’t have to stay over in Leicester, and I’m not working there tomorrow.

The bad news is- now I’ll have to go back again next week. And the project is an extra week behind schedule.

I’m sure Leicester is a nice place once you get to know it, and I do like a little bit of post- industrial decay, but it’s just a bit too run down.

Anyway- today’s pic.

I did a bit of reading whilst I was away-
Tear Gas and Ticket Touts All about a guy’s attempts to see England play in teh World Cup. I’m not really interested in football, and I just can’t see how anyone can get so worked up about it, but the tales of Police prejudice and witch-hunting newspapers struck a chord.
White Spider The author of Seven Years in Tibet was also part of the first team to climb the North Face of the Eiger. Here he relates the history of all the attempts on the face up until 1965. A catalogue of endurance and disaster, including some horrendous deaths- those who fell off the cliff were the lucky ones. Slightly stilted, possibly in the translation, and heavy on the facts, but gripping none the less.
Non-Stop A small band dares to travel out of their village and into their claustrophobic world, where if you walk for several days in a straight line you’ll get back to where you started, to discover its secrets.
I’m currently reading Look to Windward.

Yesterday’s pic and today’s.
State of Play
I’ve got nearly a hundred photos being developed today, some of which will become pictures of the day.
I started work on The Eliza Effect, my next novel, yesterday. I’m going to start publishing bits of it in February. It’s about computing and my experiences of doing IT for a corporate department that doesn’t know how to do IT (character assassination alert!). The chapters are going to be arranged in jokey little modules, like functions and subroutines.
Whilst I was in France I got layouts for the first half of Ballad of the Bulletproof Poet done (now simply Bulletproof Poets). I’m going to start scanning them in and working on them, posting the pages as a work in progress to show how a page comes together, and publishing the finished item in digital and dead tree versions by Easter. Then maybe I’ll take it to the San Diego comic convention in August.
And finally, for now, I’m generating a second novel from the material in Ten Years Asleep, which could be coming out at the same time as Bulletproof Poets.
Busy, busy.

Today’s picture.
Manchester welcomed me back to work with heavy rain just before I got to the office. And apparently, tomorrow’s going to be even worse.
I’m just counting down my days until the end, though next week’s going to be busy. I was thinking about it in France, and came to the conclusion that the jobs been a bit like a relationship. In fact, a bit like the relationship I had in 1993-94, horribly dysfunctional, with more demanded of me than I got in return. I started thinking of metaphors about the sex, but, well, no.

Yesterday’s pic. And today’s.

Holiday’s almost over. I still keep bottling out of frontside turns and put a little too much weight on the back foot, but I am way better than when I got out here.

I now own a chocolate fondue thingy, snowboarding Action Man, scale piste basher (or Preparatore Piste Bully as it says on the pack) and one of almost every comics magazine published in France this month [including the rude ones, except for ‘Bede SM’- not my style]. I reckon the fondue’ll be the hardest thing to get through customs- they have a special ‘Kitsch to declare’ line at the new Liverpool airport.

I am off alcohol until at least the 15th of February (supposed leaving date) and I have to start practising for the Bogle Roll. 75-125 miles on a bike, in a day, past Bury and Bolton. And, as it’s in March probably in the rain as well.

And I’ve got to start eating healthily as well……….

Managed to get a few frontside turns in today, and travelled Le Grand Bouton all the way to the top, twice. I was stringing turns together and nearly carving when I went and spoilt it all by trying a blue run too soon. Face down in crap powder, ugh. And after Fondue (not the cheese kind, I never realised there was any kind of fondue but the cheese kind), Pierrade (cook your own on the hot rock supplied) and a few beers, I was feeling a bit rough and the ulcer was making itself known again. So I gave up and came home before I threw up on the piste.
Today’s pic.

Blogger’s been having minor issues, so I only just managed to publish the last few days worth of posts.

Yesterday’s pic, and today’s.

Today I mastered the Faceplant and the Arsebrake, two important skills for the beginner snowboarder. Then I went and confused some poor woman by trying to arrange lessons in my awful Franglais. I ache all over, but I feel good about it.

My ability with French shames me. I can get the gist of written French (well, when I’m reading comics anyway) by spotting the phrases I recognise and extrapolating. And I’m trying to think en Fracais mais, when it is time to say something I just stand there and go “Errrrrr……” until they talk to me in English.

I’ll probably be incapable of stringing an intelligible sentence together until just before I get on the plane.

Yesterday was a lost day, spent alternating between sleeping and being sick, so all of the stuff I promised for New Year’s Day didn’t appear. With luck it’ll all go up tonight. I did say the epilogue could be delayed by a major hangover, and so it was.

I had to give the car back today. It had 11,850 miles on the clock, not bad considering I only had it for seven or eight months. I’m going to miss it, but only for a little while.