Been a while since I updated, so here is a braindump. Last friday
evening was spent with Clare at the Pav Tav. Fridays is quickly
becoming one of my favourite nights out. Em sadly couldn’t make it
cos she was ill, but I still had fun making Clare dance and singing
loudly to the Killers and Kate Bush covers. Got to sleep about 2am
and then woke up about 6am to catch a coach to Norwich. Brighton city
centre at 7am on a saturday is a very strange and peaceful place. If
I remember I’ll go take some photos one weekend. Walked round Norwich
with Charlie in the afternoon and got scared by Castle Mall which, no
matter which floor you are on, has an exit at ground level.

The gig itself was fantastic. The first support band, Ghostride
seemed out of place and there were just two lonely blokes moshing.
Hell is for Heroes were fantastic as ever, but their set seemed
really short. Looking forward to their album on Monday. Some girl
lost her shoe moshing and Charlie went around asking if anyone had
seen it. 🙂 Biffy Clyro were fantastic. Moshed. Came out to find
snowball fight going on 🙂 and Charlie managed to embarrass herself
in front of HIFH. Sunday was spent travelling back to London, where I
met Charlie’s boyfriend, PJ and watched live comedy. I think I’ve
falling in love with comedy and need to find something like the
weekly event in Kingston.

Monday morning involved catching a train back to Brighton in time for
work. Thanks to trains being late I managed to get into Brighton 20
minutes early. :S Wednesday was spent picking up the pieces after a
powercut in the office. Only real casualty appears to be the hard
disk in our external router. One quick replacement and reinstall
later we were back up and running. Need to find out why fsck can’t
find /dev/sda3 and drops you into a shell, yet if you run
fsck -a manually and then carry on with the boot process
everythign works. Wondering if udev is involved somewhere. Spent
Thursday trying to get Linux and Windows talking to a Nokia 6630
without luck. If anyone knows a decent phone that can sync with
evolution 1.4 and can be used as a modem, I’d love to know.

Thursday night was spent in the Pav Tav with Em. 3 pints of vodka and
coke before we went out directly contributed to me not remembering
any music they played, me trying to drunkenly pull a croatian girl
with bad fashion sense, waking up with a hangover and failing to work
out what I did with a twenty pound note I had the night before.
Managed to make it to the train station on time to find out my train
hadn’t. The train left 20 minutes late, waited 5 minutes at Gatwick
where the driver said there were some problems with the train, moved
off and stopped again in the middle of nowhere for anothr 10 minutes
and then crept into East Croyden where we were all kicked off.
Finally managed to get to London Bridge and catch the underground to
Waterloo. The guy at the gates told me my ticket wasn’t valid on the
underground despite being to Waterloo and the fact that a women had
let me onto the underground in the first place. Arrived at the
Eurostar terminal just as the train was due to leave so I managed to
miss my train. Thankfully the nice women at the ticket desk happily
put me on the next train with no charge and got to join Noodles,
mjg59 and stargirl. I’ll do a further update on FOSDEM late in the
weekend. Braindump over.

This morning I phoned my tax office to tell them that I no longer
have a company car and to get my tax code changed. I’m currently
paying 120GBP tax on a benefit I don’t have. It turns out they didn’t
know I was working for my last company. They never submitted the P45
I gave them, telling the tax office I had started working for them in
late April. They never submitted a P11D tellling the tax office I
had a company car and they never submitted a P46 telling them I left
in mid November.

This leaves me wondering if the company never told the tax office I
was working for them, did they actually pay my tax or National
Insurance? Did they pay my student loan? If not, what happened to the
money and what will happen to me in April when the tax office sorts
the end of year stuff out?

Oh and does anyone know where I can find the CO2 emissions
on a Vauxhall Vectra LS?

I found out today that one of the sales guys at my old job has been
made redundant after him being there for about 9 months. He started
shortly before I did, so I’m glad that I got out as quickly as I
could, even if it meant they declined to give a reference.

Interestly it appears they still haven’t sorted out the contract
situation with everyone else in the company, so it is possible that
someone else will leave them in the shit by giving them a week’s

Monday evening I managed to scratch my right eye taking out a contact
lens just before I went to sleep. I’ve scratched my eye before and
didn’t think anything of it. Just went to sleep thinking it’ll be
fine in the morning.

It wasn’t. It still hurt as much as the night before. Had a shower
and it wasn’t feeling too bad, but had the occasional twinges. Put in
a contact lens in my left eye and headed to work and was in
discomfort all morning so at lunch time I decided to find an optician
I could visit, just to put my mind at rest I wasn’t going to end up
blind or something. Annoyingly my optician is 120 miles away, near my
parents, in Milton Keynes, and the nearest branch is a 20 minutes
train ride away.

First I tried Boots, only to be told that
they don’t do emergency appointments and I would need a full eye
test, but they couldn’t fit me in today anyway. Next was Specsavers,
who basically told me they wouldn’t even think about looking at me
unless I became a customer. Finally I went next door to Eyesite who
said I’d probably need a full eyesight test but they could fit me in
early afternoon and would cost me

As a result of changing jobs I have to move to Brighton and find
somewhere to live. So with this in mind I drove down on saturday, to
Brighton to have a look at a couple of places. One of the places
sounded really nice, in a fantastic location and I’d seen it from the
outside the weekend before, so I was rather pleased when it was just
as nice inside too. The second bedroom was a little bit small for a
double bedroom and the bathroom was downstairs next to the kitchen,
but I could live with those.

After looking at another place I decided to put a holding deposit on
the first flat. Trundled down to the agents and handed over 200GBP
cash and picked up some forms and then headed to the pub to celebrate
finding somewhere. After about 20 minutes I got a phone call from the
agents just to get some details to tell the landlady about me. About
15 minutes later I got another phone call telling me that when she
had phoned the landlady, she said another agent had taken a holding
deposit on Friday, but she hadn’t bothered telling the agents I went

So now I’m back to square one and still don’t have anywhere
to live. Did a bit of retail therapy and bought a nice warm coat for
when I have to walk to work in the cold Brighton wind and rain. Oh
and as I was still stressed, I got my ear pierced.

Today I resigned from my current job, because I have accepted a new
job in Brighton, working for Runtime Collective. They
seem more into the idea of open source than SMT were. Their main
product is an open sourced content management system written in Java.
It seems their main source of income is selling support, hosting and
customised versions. They are based right down on the seafront; about
50 metres from the beach and opposite the best pub in Brighton. 🙂

I’ll be joining as a member of their support team. For those
interested, the geeky details of the job can be found in the job
. They have already mentioned to me about doing debian
packaging for the CMS. They are also interested at doing corporate GNOME

As SMT haven’t given me a contract after 6 months and the new company
are desperate to get me started as soon as possible, I’ve given SMT a
week’s notice. They wanted me to start on the 15th, but I’ve said to
them that I’ll start on the 22nd so I have time to search for
somewhere to live. For at least the first week I’ll be staying in the
youth hostel, which is two doors down from the offices. I’m looking
for a 2 bedroom flat to rent in the North Laines area. I really want
to live close to the city centre and near the trendy area. I’m fed up
with living in the middle of nowhere, driving everwhere and not

I think I’m going miss lots of people and places, so you are all
welcome to come visit me and I know I’ll be back lots, especially to
the Soundhaus which has very quickly become my favourite haunt on a
Saturday night. I hope I can find somewhere just as good in Brighton.

Last weekend was the UKUUG Linux Conference and this year it was held in
Leeds, which is where I went to university. Even though I left 3 years
ago, it was very strange walking around me department again after all
these year. I know I spent 3 years there and that it should feel
familiar to me, but I was shocked at just how familiar it felt. It was
like I’d been there just a few days ago and the last 3 years hadn’t
happened. A few things had changed, but everything felt exactly the same
as it did when I left.

Over the last few weeks events have meant that I have been away from
computers and the Internet for extended periods of time. A few months
ago, not using irc or reading mail for 2 or 3 days would have brought me
out in a sweat. Strangely, recently, this hasn’t bothered me at all. If
anything, I’ve not looked forward to returning to all the mail and blogs
I need to read.

I think this is a good thing.