One of the greatest luxuries of civilisation is taking a hot bath on a cold day. A second luxury is taking a cool bath on a hot day…like last night after the quiz at the Griffin. The tube ride home was hot and sweaty and even before I exited the station I had the longing for a relaxing and cooling soak. It was heavenly and exactly what the doctor ordered.

Rewinding just a little chronologically, the Quiz was back to its Tuesday slot and Yoshi’s Island was augmented by a couple of extras – Jack made a welcome return and Jack’s friend Ben (who as it turns out is a mate of Joey’s). I had hoped that Richard might have turned up but alas David didn’t ask so we were stuck with a 4:3 split for Yoshi’s Island and Keira Knightley’s Stunt Thighs.

Y.I. had a rough quiz – we were trailing in third place by the end of the first half but pulled back to take second whilst KKST did exactly the opposite. There were some questions we really bungled the answer for but we did win a bonus round though claimed the frickin’ hot spot. Grrr. At least we claimed a huge amount of cash from the quiz machine by way of recompense although those games really, really need to change. New is good, old is not quite so good.

The second part of this blog is being written on the Thursday as once again I lost interest half way through and would rather cover a side of A4 before posting; stupid nursery rhymes excepted, of course.

This final week of June is supposed to be nothing but rain, rain, rain in London but aside from a couple of brief showers and I mean really brief, there hasn’t been any major precipitation here in London. What this has translated into is a red face and pink arms for me as well as hot sticky nights which aren’t making me long for a cooling system but we’re very close folks. Lunchtime walks are way more pleasant as are the ones after work although they tend to make one very sweaty.

A second downside to the heat is that colleagues at work, and I have to include myself in this number, are starting to get a little heat-mad as the mercury rises. It always starts with slightly exaggerated behaviour, restlessness and people being quick to distraction. Then people start wandering around, talking loudly and about anything other than work. We’re not at stage three which is when people really begin to crack up, disappear from workstations altogether and then reappear at random, sometimes armed with ice-creams, sometimes armed with chilled cans of Diet Coke. Work stops, productivity slides and there’s a deep-seated resentment at building services for failing to tackle the heat.

This was particularly noticeable during a heat-wave two years ago in the Department when the temperature was on or just about on the recommended maximum of 28 degrees Celsius. For about three days whilst the country cooked like a chicken on a spit, our office went absolutely ga-ga each afternoon. Nobody could maintain any sort of attention to their work and meetings were frequently held outside in G33 or similar. Back then, we all had desk fans in an attempt to keep us cool but now they’ve confiscated them all from us, we’re slowly roasting in our own juices unless we can produce a doctor’s note. So yes, if my employers are reading this, I am trashing you, in a public forum. *rasp*

Wednesday was a tough day as I had ninety minute conference call to telephone into over lunch. It wasn’t so bad as most colleagues were out hearing the new Permanent Secretary and Sir Bob Kirslake speak but when they returned, the volume jumped up making it difficult to listen what was going on. I’ve never been a fan of telephone conferencing as there’s always one participant who practically whispers and people pretend they’ve heard what has been said just to move the meeting forward. Video conferencing isn’t quite so bad although watching a split screen of yourself is tough, especially when you see yourself picking the wax out of your ear.

After work I met up with John (who doesn’t formally follow this blog…) for drinks in Soho. We had three Amigos beer (a variant on Desperado’s Tequila Beer) and a tea/coffee at Costa. It was nice to catch up seeing as it has been a while and it’s too bad that work the next day gets in the way of prematurely ending an evening. I could have sat outside Costa watching the world go by for hours – so long as the drinks keep coming. It’s very easy to be envious of Parisian/French café culture.

Again when I got home there was just enough time for a nice cool bath before bed which was fantastic. I also caught five minutes of Big Brother on TV as Channel 5 was the last channel watched before I jumped to one of the Comedy Central channels…I don’t know what barrel they scraped this lot from the bottom of but put them back PDQ. Private Eye had it spot on last issue: 1984 Big Brother is watching you. 2012 Nobody is watching Big Brother.

I was totally Pwned on Dragon Quest IX by one of the final bosses t’other day. That’ll teach me to make my Minstrel a Martial Artist without levelling him up properly enough. Have to recomplete treasure caves getting goodies and bonuses before I can go back which is going to jack up the amount of game time. I was thinking of just abandoning the damn game to start Kid Icarus on my 3DS. Oh – I also have a couple of regular DS games I need to get stuck into also…damn my lack of free time. I had to resort to cheating to find some of the treasure caves…chiefly because I just could not be arsed to find them myself.

And to round things off with, I downloaded the second part of the recent Star Trek Typhon Pact: duology on Tuesday morning (finished it Tuesday evening). To completely ruin it *spoilers* – Deep Space Nine has indeed been destroyed but a new one is in its place. War has been averted though Nanietta Bacco seemed to be behaving completely out of character for half of the book. Chairwoman Sela of the Tal Shiar seems to be dead (though all you read is a thud of a body so this might mean a miraculous comeback later on), Elias Vaughan is dead, Kira Nerys is with the Prophets and the wormhole has been sealed, Odo is back in the Alpha Quadrant, Sisko’s marriage is back on track and Chief O’Brien is reassigned to DS9 with Nog. Something of a reversal of the previous seven years of Trek time but hey-ho. As Quark said in the final episode, the more things change, the more things stay the same.