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David's diary: July 2009

Our previously faulty digital camera arrived back from the repairers today, duly fixed at Canon's expense under the "special warranty" and seemingly good as the day we bought it back in early 2005! Since they replaced the CCD sensor altogether, even the couple of hot pixels we had before would seem to be no more. A big thumbs up for Colchester Camera Repair Service and their efficient no-nonsense fortnight's turnaround. The only slight pain was that somewhere in all this, the camera had lost track of the image numbering, and it took a little persuasion to restore it to something sane, but that's all sorted out now - and set to 3000+ to mark the camera's rebirth. In a way it would have been a bonus if the camera hadn't been repairable and they'd had to replace it with a current equivalent, but we're kind of attached to it, and have all the batteries, memory cards and so on, so hopefully this will see us through for some time yet now!

Monday evening after quite a busy weekend, and about to cook up lamb curry. Saturday got off to a slow enough start, but we had our friend Elijah's dedication to go to (and serve summer drinks at) in the afternoon. Then yesterday, because the school we normally meet at was closed due to a swine flu outbreak, there was an informal church walk at Frensham Little Pond instead. We'd always had a home-group picnic scheduled for after church yesterday, so we adjusted our plans so that was at Frensham also. Numbers for both the walk and picnic were a little on the disappointing side, but those who went had a good time, so it was the others' loss!

Had a few odds and sods to do today, but things really are typically quiet at the moment, so we got out and did a fairly big food shop this afternoon in advance of Wednesday evening's home-group barbecue - though not all food, having spotted Mario Kart at a nice price and with 200 bonus points, worth a whopping £8 at Café Rouge or other eatery of our choice in due course!

Cripes, is that yet another week almost gone by already? I swear that even when I look at my alarm clock, the seconds seem to tick by quicker than ever before. Not a lot to say really, hey-ho. Kourou version 3 is still delayed and still depressing me more by the day. Still lot of uncertainty in life in general. Each day (fast though it may pass) is a struggle. Sure, we have a roof over our heads and food on our plates so I can quit whining too much, but still...

After a quiet start to the week, things have been a bit busier the last couple of days.

Been doing some work for a new client who contacted me a while back, then decided they could do a DIY job, then came back to me when they realised why people like me make my services available at such attractive rates... Being a little bit more fiddly than even I expected, so they really wouldn't have stood much chance without my help! I'd been hoping it would be finished by now, but realistically it'll be sometime next week, and they'll be getting a lot for their money!

Yesterday lunchtime I had a good meeting with Guy from church, following up one a couple of weeks ago when we brain-stormed the possibility of a full revamp of the church website; when I took on the maintenance two years ago I was allowed to make a few adjustments as required to accommodate immediate needs, but it really is time for a full and forward-looking overhaul now. We're close to having an actual plan of action now, so the next big step will be working to convince others of the need for change and the benefits that will follow in many regards!

Last night I was doing a rush-job to get a DVD of YouTube clips together for delivery Monday. A steep learning curve, not having done any DVD work since I was at the Open University, and that was using very specialist equipment and impeccable source material. Took a little while, consequently, but with the help of a natty little open source "drag and drop" application called DVD Flick I got there in the end and the disc went in the post this morning.

Saturday now though, so no more work allowed for a couple of days!

Finally got that fiddly website work mentioned above more or less finished, or at least enough so that I have dared let the client take a look. Took three complete restarts to get it right, but it looks and works pretty decently now, and initial feedback from the client is positive, though I'm not sure whether they've looked at it much more than in passing yet. Still a good while until it needs to go live, but I really can't afford to put too much more time into it now for the rock-bottom price I quoted them out of the goodness of my heart!

Today we've been down to Hayling Island, for the first time in a good while actually. Hardly the most beautiful bit of coastline, but hey, it only takes three quarters of an hour to get there, on mainly decent roads, and it's the sea! Very windy though, so a couple of hours out and about was quite enough and left us very tired and happy to head home soon after lunch. Alas also a little too windy for our kite, which may well have flown its last - but not bad for how little we paid for it, good fun while it lasted, and it may still be salvageable anyway.

We had been planning on entertaining one of our friends this evening, but she cancelled this afternoon just as we were doing our shopping on the way back from the coast, so we'll have a quiet one instead, and probably need it. Won't stop us having Moroccan lamb though!

It's been a strange old week or so, bits of work to do but really not that much at the moment, and both the invoices due for payment on Monday and those new ones to be issued really aren't covering enough to live on. Added to that, today is Katy's last paid day working for her company, where she's been for over a decade, her role having alas been made redundant. No immediate crisis from either aspect, but this marks a time for some reflection and consideration of where we go from here.

We had my dad visiting for a few days over last weekend while my mum was away elsewhere, and that was good, not often getting the opportunity to catch up with him on his own. He brought his bicycle with him and went for a ride by himself on the Saturday, but otherwise we spent plenty of time with him, and went for some good walks and so on - including one to inspect the progress on the Robin Hood film set in Bourne Woods, now actively being used for filming. He also brought their PC with him, since it needed a bit of a service, and we think it went back in better shape than it arrived.

However, the PC was still a bit squiffy when reinstalled back at home, mostly because the drives seemed to have re-enumerated themselves and been allocated unexpected letters. We had the funeral of my uncle Barry to go to on Wednesday in Watford so were able to come back via my parents' and bash those drive letters properly into shape as well as move the PC into a slightly better position for both ergonomics and cooling - the latter also helped by having adjusted the recently-fitted case fan to actually blow in the correct direction...

So yes, funeral on Wednesday... The last time we'd seen my parents they had explained that Barry really was very poorly, after years of various illnesses, though I'm not sure he was expected to go quite so soon. In the end, although he did not seem ready for it, and fought to the last by all accounts, it was probably a merciful release, and although the funeral was obviously sad, no-one would really wish he'd had to continue with such poor quality of life. At least he made the most of it while he could.

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