Some semblance of normality has resumed in the office today since the stunning news that one of our colleagues had passed away on Thursday. Deaths in service are relatively rare in the Civil Service and you might get one every couple of years but there were two in the last quarter of 2012. There was a lot of the usual British stoicism from most though it was a cover; people were behaving… not quite within expected norms. Not that it’s a criticism and I was by no means immune (more talkative than usual) but it’s one of the great game-changers, death.

As I’ve mentioned to friends over the years, I’ve been extremely lucky in that regard. Whilst growing up, very few family members died and none of our friends did either. Oh there was Great Aunt May (or at least I think she was a Great Aunt – I think she may have been a Great-Great Aunt) but I just remember dropping by her house at the age of 5/6 as she lived not too far from the Wicked Witch of Naples. But until Granddad Shearing in 1997, de nada.

I’m not sure why mortality ends up occupying a large portion of one’s thoughts – perhaps as it’s an inevitability which cannot be reasonably or accurately predicted. I’m with Chairman Yang – “Not only does God play dice, but the dice are loaded”. Damn Human Hive. I try not to think about it too much, rationalising that it comes to us all so why worry about it. There’s nothing you can do about it so Carpe Diem.

Cavalier? Maybe. Avoidance Much? Probably.

No discussions about the afterlife however as I prefer to avoid speculating about what might be beyond our current perceptual range. Though I believe that what we crudely describe as “ghosts” exist. Non-corporeal forms which occasionally interact with this dimensional plane which may or may not have direct links to the deceased. It’s not wishful thinking, just me being open-minded not to close off possibilities just because I cannot provide empirical data by Euclidian means.

Subject change – I made the mistake of leaving the heating on all night last night. When I opened the door to the lounge this morning, the blast of heat that smacked me in the face was almost like walking into a sauna. It was delicious and I’m sorry that I had to come to work as I’d have liked to suck up every last therm before facing the world in its unrefined form.

Played more Zoo Keeper Versus – I’m in the top 100,000 players now but hover between 70,000 and 90,000 as invariably I slip up losing precious points. It’d be nicer if you were able to have more “free” games before being forced to shell out on more CP bottles as you have to wait 12 minutes before refilling the points gauge but hey-ho.

I’m far, far from convinced that this new series of Yes Minister is going to be any kop. From the perpetual show promos broadcast on G.O.L.D. and Dave et al, the delivery of the lines just seems so awful it’s like a bawdy ITV sitcom from the bad old days of television comedy. I was trying not to compare this trio of actors with Fowlds, Hawthorne and Eddington and look at it on its own merits but it felt like a crude caricature. One to miss I think.