12.4.05

Back on top again!



More work completed, and yet another satisfied customer. I received the email this morning, and by mid-afternoon the job was done. An entire chapter translated, proof-read, copyedited, layed-out, quarked and pdf'd in time for Liam and I to get to the retail park and buy Linda's birthday presents (note the plural).

I like flowers, and Linda likes flowers, but I don't like giving people cut flowers - because you are giving them something that is dead and wilting. I much prefer to give potted plants, because they are alive, and they last much longer (as long as they are cared for). So this is part of the present: a nice pot full of gorgeously yellow and green chrysanthemums. We got other potted plants too: a beautiful red gerbera and purple lily. We managed to get home just ahead of Linda, but we had no time to hide the plants, so they are an early present. We still have something to give in the morning, which I am sure she will appreciate.

Apart from this excitement, I had a long MSN chat with Zak and Northstar, during which I reminisced about my first computer - an old Amstrad 8800 (or some such similar) which had a whopping 640kb RAM, no hard-drive and a DOS interface on a green and black monitor screen. You had to have your wits about you with the two 5.5 inch floppy drives (remember those disks?) - remembering what went where and when. And no GUI interface - just a DOS prompt; and certainly no internet (although up at the uni we had Lynx, which was a DOS-style unix internet that I didn't know how to work, because I kept forgetting the commands that you needed to type in).

Interspersed with all this, I had to field Liam's constant questioning on his new favourite subject: Greek philosophers (honest!) and the Roman empire. Liam thinks that I'm a rubbish historian because I don't really know that much about Ancient Greece and Rome. Apparently the period between the First and Second World Wars (with the rise of mass political movements - such as fascism and communism - the end of many European monarchies, massive technological advances - cheap cars, electricity in homes, cinema, leisure time - economic collapse, coups, assassinations, abdications, hunger marches, show trials, etc.) - that is to say, the period that I am most interested in - is just plain B-O-R-I-N-G. That's me told, then.

I'm off to brush up on my knowledge of all things Roman and Greek... Let's see... Julius Ceasar invaded Britain in 55BC... Plato wrote The Republic and drank hemlock... So much to know, so little time before my son examines me (he only asks me questions that he knows the answers to, you see). One item of marvellous news... R*****s lost to Dundee United, so Celtic are back on top of the league - Celtic are now in the driving seat (although we do have to make sure we don't lose at Ibrox - but let's cross that particular bridge when we come to it).

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