David's diary: April 2008
Blimey, it looks like almost another week has passed! Yep, still been pretty busy as expected, preparing to roll out one client website, drafting another and thinking about how to do yet another. All good stuff! In between all that though, the fun and games of replacing our washing machine, which died on us on Tuesday after about nine years' mainly sterling service. Bennetts came up trumps though, and what could have been a real hassle was only ultimately a pretty minor one, with a shiny new Bosch delivered yesterday afternoon. We had to buy a new hose, but £2.48 at Buildbase really didn't break the bank... Today we've been helping Katy's sister celebrate her 40th - our main contributions being a bruschetta starter and devising a couple of entertaining quizzes - and otherwise generally allowing a busy week to catch up with us.
Like quite a lot of the country, we woke up to a couple of inches of snow yesterday morning. Not having the foresight to check the website before we left, we found a distinct lack of cars at church and a hurriedly written sign stuck to the door apologising for the cancellation of the service. If we'd left a few minutes later we'd have caught a phone call from Susy about it, but hey... Anyway, we were up and out, so we parked up in town and went for a walk in Farnham Park instead, dodging youngsters (and a few not-so-youngsters) on their sledges and generally enjoying the crisp winter morning. Just a shame it's April, really! The baptismal service scheduled for the afternoon went as planned, however, with three candidates taking the plunge. Katy's mum was still pretty shattered after Saturday's entertaining, but her dad made it along to the baptisms and joined us for a pot of tea afterwards. Back to the grind today, and I've got that first website mentioned safely rolled out, so that's another invoice I can finalise and that will definitely help with what's becoming a slightly expensive month!
Yes, I know that little snowy gallery above doesn't display very well in Firefox, Opera and perhaps other standards-compliant browsers - i.e. anything except Internet Explorer, which copes surprisingly well. That's why I'm using one of the sites I am working on at the moment as an excuse to thoroughly overhaul this wretched content management system of mine!
Now it's Friday, and the last day of a pretty hectic week! After rolling out that website on Monday, two more are more or less ready to go, once my client's had a chance to review them. All this has meant perhaps we've been a bit lax on essentials like food shopping, so that was a good excuse to go and see our friends at the Balti Hut last night, availing ourselves of their customarily excellent £8.95 banquet. Katy's up in Harrow today, hence the distinctly early start, but we have a relaxedly sociable weekend to look forward to, so I think we'll both cope!
Now over a week later, and finally a chance to relax a little! Not that it's been too mad the last few days, but sufficiently so to bump diary-writing well down my list of priorities. Anyway, things continue to go quite well on the business front, getting closer and closer to possible website launches, my annual tax return not being too much hassle to complete, and so forth. Today we've been for brunch with Katy's mum and dad, followed by an hour of litter-picking in Farnham Park and whizzing round Sainsbury's to stock up on edible goodies for church tomorrow morning. Now just about time to shut out the world (and the wind and rain!) and rustle up some tea.
An early start, quite a tiring morning, and despite a nice lunch out at Don Beni's with Jayne and Jon after our church setting-up endeavours, I'm feeling pretty exhausted and fragile.
Thursday, and taking a breather from setting up another website. Or, rather, fixing lots of problems on a website I've inherited. It's going quite well, though the WordPress content system it's based around is as full of hassles as it is of goodness, especially with respect to third-party plug-ins. Little issues like system variables that really need to be set to two different values depending on the context, fun fun fun. It's getting there, anyway...
Windows played up a little bit, refusing to let me delete or otherwise modify any PDF files, which presented a few problems trying to back up changes to said site. In the end, I decided to reboot the PC (that instant cure for 90% of Windows' woes) but before I managed to do so, Windows displayed what's surely one of the best ever error messages I've been privileged to witness:
A pretty impressive case of falling on one's own sword! Is XP trying to tell me something? Oh, and having done so, it happily let me delete those pesky PDF files.
Sunday evening, and having some down-time. For Katy that tends to mean catching up on American crime stuff she's recorded, and for me that means idle web-surfing... Not too hectic a weekend, though, with just our breakfast out yesterday and church this morning. There's an evening meeting in a little while tonight but to be honest we really don't have the energy.
Tea tonight with Ian and Jo, with the promise of sausages followed by our Minstrel-laden variation on Eton Mess. We've got a few things we could do with getting off our chests, and it's been a while since we've had a proper catch-up anyway! Acquaintances are easy to come by; true friends are priceless.
After a bit of flurry of work over the last month or so, things seem to have calmed down again, which is obviously a mixed blessing for the self-employed. On the bright side, I have pretty much exactly £700 to invoice on Thursday - thankfully not all to the same client - and getting on for £300 due to be paid! Not much chance of this somewhat more lucrative spell being more than a flash in the pan, but I've got to be positive and ever-hopeful, so I'm not entirely giving up hope!
Once again the rain pounds down outside, having abated just long enough for me to wheel the dustbin back to its home. It lashed it down all the way up to Jo and Ian's last night and was still decidedly damp on the way home. I guess it is April, but these seem like a bit more than mere showers. So, what's the chances of nice weather for the bank holiday weekend? The BBC forecast only goes up to the Sunday, but (for what little it's proven to be worth in recent months) it's not at all optimistic... As for dinner last night, Jo and Ian provided yummy sausage casserole and fine ales, and we provided our Eton Mess - and everyone was stuffed and happy. We put the world to rights too, which is always a bonus.