On Tuesday evening, I stayed up until 2:30 trying to get my time warp factors working in the bee simulation (the idea being to run it in "fast forward" rather than real-time). I then decided to lie down for a minute and rest my eyes. Next thing I knew, it was 7:30. Considering that I was still fully clothed, and my light was on, it's a warning sign that I'm pushing the limits of my endurance.
The plus point was that I got into work fairly early yesterday (at least by my standards), at 10:15. I left at 18:15 (only took 15 mins for lunch) to go down to Croydon, then got back to the office at 22:15, and stayed there until 03:00. Basically, someone's PC had got completely infested by spyware, and it took a scorched earth approach when I tried to remove it... Since I wasn't in the office today, and I figured that she'd like to have a working computer, that meant a late night reformatting etc. I got back here at about 4:15, then stayed up until 5:30 getting my progress report written. The thing is that I had to get it approved by my supervisor, which means I need to give him a reasonable amount of lead time, and by staying up I could get it to him for whenever he got up this morning. I wound up exaggerating a couple of things on it, basically because what I've really achieved so far isn't very impressive, but I figure that it's ok as long as I can "catch up" with the report by tomorrow evening, i.e. so that it will be an accurate report as of the submission date.
I was out of the office today - Friday is my usual study day, but I swapped it this week to work around other people's holiday schedules. I took advantage of that by trekking into college to hand in the report (once I heard that the supervisor was happy with it), and heading down to Croydon again.
Speaking of Croydon, there have been some more delays. There's still no sign of the plasterer, and the tiler hasn't reappeared since last Friday. The tiles have been stuck to the floor, but they need to be grouted and sealed before the kitchen and new toilet can be installed. The floorboards in the landing/bedroom/lounge are due to be sanded etc. on Saturday, but they will need to be cleared for that to happen. The plan was that all the appliances which are currently there would be shifted into the kitchen, but that may now be tricky. Also, the idea was to finish plastering before the floors were done, to avoid risk of messing them up.
The only real progress since last Friday is that the waste pipe in the toilet has moved, mermaid panels have gone up in the shower, and some face plates have been put on wall sockets/switches. The "second fix" (electrical stuff) has been delayed by the plasterer not turning up, but there is also stuff that could have been done and hasn't, e.g. the lights in the toilet and shower and the wall sockets in the bedroom.
Meanwhile, I've been phoning the gas company almost every day, but they just keep promising to phone me back and not actually doing it.
I've put some new photos up on my website - everything since the 26th June is a new addition.
This time last week, I'd been promised (repeatedly) that I'd be able to move in tomorrow (Friday 6th). That deadline has obviously been missed, and I'm doubtful about whether they'll get things finished by Tuesday. However, I'm going to move in anyway. In a way, this reminds me of the film "Hotshots". There's a scene near the end, when one of the characters is flying a damaged plane towards an aircraft carrier, with someone else talking him in. "My landing gear's gone" "That's ok" "I've lost a wing ... and there goes the other one" "Looking good!" In my case, here's the current list of problems, and my solutions:
- Walls not fully plastered or painted - I've lived with hippo wallpaper for the last two years, and some of the rooms I stayed in at Durham had bare brieze blocks on the walls, so I can tolerate that for a while.
- Floors not finished - I can put down spare bits of wood over the holes, and cover the manky areas with dustsheets.
- No curtains - I can put cardboard over the windows at night.
- No kitchen - I can go to the chip shop across the road, and plug the fridge in somewhere without properly installing it.
- No power in bedroom - I can run extension cables from sockets elsewhere, and chain 4-way adapters together.
- No central heating - not really a problem in this weather, and I can use the fireplace when it gets colder.
- No doors on toilet/shower rooms - not a problem until the toilet and shower appliances get installed, and even after that not much of a problem for the toilet as long as I'm the only one in the flat. Bit more tricky for the shower though (risk of flooding).
- No shower - I'll sign up with a local gym, and use their facilities for the time being.
- No toilet - there's a coin-operated cabin thing at the end of the street.
It is frustrating to think that I've spend several months and several thousand pounds turning the flat into something that I probably couldn't legally rent out, on the basis that it's unfit for human habitation. And meanwhile the interest rates (and therefore my mortgage payments) keep rising. Oh well, such is life.
Anyway, I'll end with these inspirational words from Lucifer to his team: "You'll have to rise above your individual hatreds and mistrusts, otherwise you'll die. Or else you'll live, but come back unsuccessful. In which case I'll kill most of you anyway. Good luck." Funniest thing I read all day, and it cheered me up.