Sending the 22 or so emails I wrote on the train on Friday night won't be possible... not yet... not easily, at least. It's something of a challenge to send emails from "anywhere" using standard internet connections and Microsoft Outlook. If anyone would like to enter a techie debate on this, then read the following bit in italics. Otherwise, skip it, it's not worth it.
Essentially, my Outlook is set to use the POP3 account provided by the ISP I use to host my core domain. However, for sending mails from Outlook, I need an SMTP server. The ISP doesn't provide me with an SMTP server, requiring me (as do most ISPs) to use the SMTP of my local provider. If the GNER wifi service has an SMTP server in it, I don't know the address and can't be bothered to reconfigure outlook anyway. My broadband provider at home, whose SMTP server I normally use, won't accept a connection to it from off their network. This is normal. I don't have an SMTP server I can use over a VPN connection, or a secured server, I could use with username/password. I have tried local SMTP server software, but I've found it rather flaky. I've meant to write something myself, or maybe adapt something open source, but I simply can't be arsed. There!
The internet access on the train is remarkably slow at the moment. I assume that this will be something to do with the fact that quite a few people are using it... this should be good as it means that there's a chance that it will speed up, once they get bored and their half and hour's access is up. Alternatively, it may simply be a load of crap. We'll see.
So far, not so good. That's £10 I'll not be getting back. In fact, I might, since I can, apparently, claim most of my ticket fare back as a result of the more than one hour delay. Yay. I'll have to do that. Having said that, my life is so chaotically busy that the chances of finding the time to write such a letter to organise it are very low. I've already received a stern email from someone as a result of something work-related that I didn't manage to do, so doing something non-work related in the maelstrom that is my day-to-day existence is quite unlikely.
Maybe I'll make the time.
The weekend has been a load of fun. I'll detail some memories. Why? Because it's what I do, apparently.
I arrived at the station about on time and took a taxi to a good pub where you can get food. We got food. We got beer. We stayed with good chat and company until the pub closed. Then we got a taxi back and some sleep was had.
We got up in time for some sort of breakfast and then headed over to my friend's house to contemplate how to go about sorting out some sort of damp problem. We discussed enough of the strategy to fill the time, and cleared some obstacles. In truth, we didn't get very far. I had to get changed and head over to my grandparents not long after we started. In addition, I had a work conference call to do at 2pm.
So I did my conference call while walking for about 40 minutes. Most of the time I was just listening. I piped up with some facts and thoughts from time to time. I think listening was the best move, though. It is important that this particular project works out and I've been very engaged with it.
I won't blog my thoughts about the outcome/nature of the call. It's not appropriate to say so. I will, however, comment that I walked quite hard and the call went on for a good hour. By the time it was over, I was rather sweaty and I had managed to get myself into my grandparents' place. It had been a good walk.
I spent time with the grandfolks and then returned to the DIYing. This was a more extreme version of the morning moving things around and accidentally knocking things over. In this case, we used some hardcore tools and made lots of dust and played with bricks and cement and everything. There was some use of the "Martin" and we didn't use the "MacGonagal tip". If anyone know what these are, then they are in a minority of two.
After the work, we homed, showered, and then went out to a cracking Thai restaurant, followed by a cracking pub (apparently owned by the people who owned the previous evening's pub). We chatted to the barmaid about musicals, so I was happy.
A late wake-up. Something to do with too much organic cider the previous evening, including some of my friend's dad's home-brewed cider, which was very dry and an instant hit.
Then breakfast and a trip to the house where we did some carpentry to stop joists from bouncing. I don't like bouncy joists.
A trip out of the house enabled us to buy some fresh mortar mix and get some lunch. The day hadn't really gotten going very well. However, lunch was exhilaratingly lovely and set us up for an afternoon's grafting.
We sorted out the necessary brickwork. When I say we, I mean my friend did it and I made silly comments and did occasionally useful supplementary tasks.
After that it was time to get back, get ready for the train and be delivered to the railway station. The weekend had involved the use of a number of exceedingly dangerous power tools. I had managed not to injure myself. So, I had to go and crack my head on the latch of my friend's car boot as I loaded it with my bags. Ouch. Me and my head injuries. I should really wear my cycle helmet at all times until I've learned to be careful. What a wally!
So, I'm here on the train with very very slow internet access providing me something of a line to the outside world, but only enough to play occasional scrabble moves on Facebook and MSN people.
That is all.
As you were.