"...icy patches on those roads, so do take care and allow extra time for your journey..."

Extra time, sure - but 2.75 hours to travel 85 miles is just ridiculous. I was hampered by running out of windscreen water, and found a queue of five cars waiting to use the dispenser at the nearest services - and this at 06:45! Not a pleasant start to the day. England in December is bleak enough at that time of the morning, but having to fight my way through the rush hour meant that I arrived in Birmingham for my half-day course in a foul mood. Course over, and career goals reaffirmed, I drove into the city centre and parked the Morkster on the tenth storey of an NCP before lunching with Richard. Then it was back up the motorways to Yorkshire once more.

And so it is that you are blessed with a midweek journal update. I hope you feel privileged. Shame I have nothing worthwhile to mention, really.

I have moved out of my usual room, and into the spare room. Not exactly the grand move that I was considering recently in this journal (the one requiring a mortgage and liberal use of the IKEA catalogue), but a slight move nonetheless. Actually, it was largely unavoidable, as my bed collapsed on Sunday afternoon. Admittedly, I could have simply switched the beds around, but that sounds far too energy-consuming, and besides, I have an ulterior motive - I am slowly expanding the areas of the house that are directly under my control. Soon I won't merely be sleeping in the spare room, I'll have moved some of my belongings in there, leaving much space in my 'real' room, especially if I dispose of the now broken bed. I haven't exactly figured out why I need vast arrays of space, but the idea of my own LAN is beginning to appeal...!

The above paragraph is mostly untrue, or at least a gross exaggeration. Please, no more email telling me I'm a sad bastard, I have quite enough to be getting on with.

Tomorrow is the allotted day when my VISA card and I brave the shopping malls in a near-impossible attempt to buy all my Christmas gifts in a single day. I don't mind giving presents, but the task of selecting them fills me with dread. I have little idea what others would like to receive, or how to evaluate the worthiness of various products on offer. I wish I could buy everybody an Intel processor or a CD-ROM for Christmas, it would make things much easier. Oh well, wish me luck...