Well, thanks for the emails. A few choice phrases thus far:

"flip a coin!"

"If they want you now they'll still want you in a year's time."

"Portsmouth is f***ing miles away."

"There is a fine balance between earning loads and getting no job satisfaction and doing something that you enjoy and getting loads of satisfaction."

"£2k a year is a lot to lose for someone in your financial situation. No offence, Ian."

"Do you really like Scotland that much??"

"Money is just too tempting, isn't it?"

"Do you really want to live in the South?"

"Can they guarantee interesting work?"

"Can they guarantee work?"

I'm rapidly approaching the decision which has been somewhat pre-determined for a while now. I think I'm going to decline the kind offer. Reasons? Well, I'd be lying if I overlooked the potential drop in salary, but I'm also taking into account the prospects. I believe I can make a good living out of IT for the forseeable future. Public sector work is a bit more of an unknown quantity. Plus, I enjoy the flexible working conditions I have at the moment, I don't want to become a nine to five suit.

So, there we go. Maybe I'm turning down the greatest opportunity of a lifetime. Life's too short. I wish I had the time to try out dozens of careers, but I don't, so I have to go with the information and the feelings I have, and do what I think will suit me best. Maybe after reincarnation I'll try the Scientist thing - hell, what am I on about? I'm only 22, I could still take a change of career post-Y2K. For now, I'm staying put and riding out the seemingly inevitable recession.

In other news...

Yeah, the colours up on that calendar are a bit gaudy. I have poor sense of colour, I'm a mathematician! I'll mess about with them later, OK?

*sigh*, my Mother wants me to go help a colleague out with his company PC. He has no idea how to work it, and daren't ask the support dept any more. I wish she wouldn't offer my services to people I don't even know. I told her to warn him I'll charge £15 an hour. She laughed. Maybe I'll be nice, and charitable, and help out - the postmodern equivalent of helping an old lady across the road, you might say. Or maybe I'll just ignore the problem and hope he (a) asks somebody else (b) discovers the wonders of online help.

Listening to: Billy Bragg - "Northern Industrial Town"

Reading: Peter Wright - "Beginning Visual Basic 5"

Browsing: The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide