Last night (or rather, in the early hours of this morning), I found myself unable to sleep, so I spontaneously decided to read my old diaries. Not the older entries in this journal, I mean paper-based personal diaries, which I semi-successfully kept from December 1995 to September 1997. As you would imagine, they were written in a rather different style to FALIME, but it also struck me how different my life and personality was just two years ago.

The pressures of university life are evident - many entries seem to begin by lamenting how difficult the work is, how badly the exams went/will go, or just how generally depressed I am! It was a bit of an intellectual and emotional roller-coaster, with my mood swings obviously influenced heavily by the pattern of the academic year, and even the changing seasons.

Those things which played an important role in my life two or three years ago seem now to have faded into the background somewhat. Bikes have been usurped by cars as my main form of transport. I am now capable of surviving without the NME and MM. I don't have 20 weeks holiday a year any more (honest). I no longer abuse alcohol (oops, perhaps some things don't change..)

I browsed through the diaries for a couple of hours. At times I wanted to burn them lest anyone should read the crap I'd written. At other times I wanted to publish stuff on the web verbatim. Sometimes I cursed myself for having lost sight of goals and dreams which I had once held so dear. Most times I wanted to thank myself for having matured from the moody brat I used to be.

Although overall I don't like my old diaries, they nonetheless have some value in places, so I might publish select chunks of them here on the web to add a bit of history to this, my self-penned biography. I could annotate them with some retrospective comments... hmm... Keep your eyes peeled, perhaps a new section of the site will appear in coming months.

This afternoon I was watching the Spaceman episode of Mr Benn, where his adventure takes him to a number of different planets, each of which initially appears to be a utopia, but is subsequently revealed to have a crucial flaw. The planet littered with gold and jewellery has nothing else to offer, and the riches turn to stone if they are removed from the planet. The planet whereon all things are free and life is luxurious, happens to be devoid of colour. The planet which is brightly-coloured is also cursed by an unpleasant loud noise, and so on. In the end, the shopkeeper returns Mr Benn to earth, commenting "It's not perfect, but it's not that bad."

My village is a bit like that - curate's egg scenario. I've never quite decided whether I prefer living out here in rural areas, or in the towns and cities. They both have their obvious pros and cons. This weekend I intended to relax, and the village is wonderfully conducive to that, it's so peaceful. I've spent my brief break from working life watching afternoon matinees, reading the FT (which I found surprisingly enjoyable), taking long baths, listening to music, and of course surfing the web. It's been lovely, just what I needed.

But next weekend, the locale poses a problem - I've just agreed to organising a night out on Saturday for my birthday, probably preceded by a meal. The logistics of this are nightmarish - buses to Sheffield are infrequent and take ages, whilst taxis are incredibly expensive. But everyone will be wishing to drink, so I've no idea how to work this. Taxis back is inevitable, but getting there could be awkward. Oh well, I'm sure things will fit into place eventually...

By the time you read this, I should have updated the FALIME layout. Many of you may recognise the basic layout! I thought I'd take some advice and try sticking with what worked, and building on that for a while. Should give me more time to concentrate on the words, too ! ;)

I was hoping to get the new look up by today, but my eyes started getting sore, and as with most of my geekier weekends, the Optrex came out, so I decided to leave it until next weekend. I hope it was worth the wait?!