Still no update from Paris – I finished it on the train but haven’t decided which piktchaz to upload.

I have decided to consider whether or not to sell my soul to the devil, that particular hell-demon being Mark Zuckerberg. Not in a personal setting but as chair of the Lambda Network. A couple of network groups have set them up, not least because government IT practices are so restrictive that one is all but forced to consider alternatives in order to effectively conduct business. Whilst corporate functions state they are happy for staff to engage with each other, to network and socialise, they really, really don’t make it easy.

But let’s not go too far down that road lest there be tell-tale tit snoopers browsing. So yeah, I’m considering setting up a FB page, dragging the Network into the first decade of the 21st century…*rolls eyes again*. Thing is as I’ve deliberately eschewed this site, I’ve no real idea as to the practicalities of how it all works. I might well have to delegate this task assuming I can find a willing sucker volunteer to take it on.

Swansea on Monday was very not bad. The weather was clear (except where I could see a grass fire in progress with half the hillsides obscured in smoke) and I achieved everything I wanted to do. Met up with John at the station and we went to meet two of his friends who happened to be in town; also DVLA colleagues. Tried some local brews in the Weatherspoons – one was not bad but don’t think I’ll try the other two again, not that I can remember their names. Then we went over to Cosmo which is a huge Chinese buffet restaurant that serves over 150 dishes including starters and puddings. There was a large Indian selection of dishes, presumably to up the vegetarian quotient. I managed to snarf three plates of food but two hours later I was wishing I hadn’t as I had trapped wind and indigestion for the rest of the evening. In fact I still felt somewhat uncomfortable the next day.

We met with our various counterparts in DVLA and obtained the information we wanted as well as providing advice on various topics of interest. What more can one expect from such visits? Also had a quick lunch in the canteen which consisted of a salad plate, mostly to counterbalance the previous evening’s gluttony. After a subsequent meeting/chat with Ian of the DVLA LGB network, it was back off to the station to hop onto the train and head back towards London, kicking a bunch of girls out of my reserved seat which was perversely amusing. Journey back was better than the outbound journey though we got stuck behind a slow moving freight train at some point and suffered a 20 minute delay.

One mad dash through the capital to Vauxhall and I arrive at the quiz tired and sore as that wretched bag seemed to get heavier with each step forward. Surprisingly the pub was empty but we’re guessing that as the £300 jackpot had gone, there was a sudden lack of interest. The most intriguing part of the evening was when Andy disclosed the season scores and there are only two points between us and Team Science (in the wrong direction). So we need a 31/40 in the next four weeks to pull things back.

According to scuttlebutt (actually Joey having emailed), Ceajay and Alex took part in the quiz on their ownsome and didn’t do quite as well as previous weeks. So we planned to really rub it in and managed to get a couple of good digs at our colleagues. The fact that we won the main quiz AND won three of the bonus prizes AND almost won the cash prize I think really settled any arguments over the main contributors for Yoshi’s Island. Our bonus prizes were four pineapples, four 2012 annuals (real tat) and five A Touch Of Frost DVD box sets. I kept two annuals because nobody actually wanted them and one of the DVD sets.

Left the pub on a high but by the time I got home I was really in a ratty mood, partly because of the bag issue, partly as my bus stop is closed whilst Thames Water rip up the road so had to get off early and partly because some of the local peasant trash decided to play arseholes on the bus. I didn’t want to go to bed in a foul mood so had a bath and re-read some Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years. Eventually crawled between the sheets at 2am knowing full well I was going to spend much of Wednesday yawning.

However, this wasn’t to be or at least in the morning because as soon as I came into the office, I was off to the Treasury to pick up the signed Regulations and handed them off to DfT Legal. Then back to the Treasury for a CSRA meeting, pissed off the Home Office Rep (who much to my disgust looked like and sounded like the Seahag) by arriving late. And then a very late lunch of Sunday leftovers before going out to see Brendan at the Griffin. Swapped birthday gifts and I alas was in a moaning sort of mood thanks to being quite fatigued by this point. Got home pretty narky and almost picked a fight with the Doctor. I think he had a strop but can’t really be blamed because I was tempted, sorely tempted to use him as an emotional dartboard.

Yesterday at least was a bit calmer in terms of work and leisure and I was even able to get down to Kennington Tesco for a bottle of sugar-free Dr Pepper. Paul and Andrew’s leaving drink was that evening and down we went to the pub en masse, ate lots, drank lots and returned home pissed as newts. Huzzah!