Waking at 05:40 has a tendency to turn Mondays into very long days. It's now a little before quarter to eleven, but it feels later than midnight - everyone else in the house has long since called it a night.

Also, you can't help but feel a little depressed on a Monday, so perhaps everyone wants to get it over with as quickly as possible. For my part, I've tried to focus ahead to the weekend, and have been phoning many friends to try to organise this weekend's drinking sesh'. I've received a pretty positive response, which is great, and people have been eager to chat, to the extent that I've had to quickly bring most of the calls to a close for fear of running up a huge phone bill - besides, I don't want to "waste" all of Saturday's potential conversations and anecdotes!

My multitude of outgoing phone calls resulted in interesting encounters with call diversions, call waiting, ansafones, voice mail, and switchboards. Nothing seems simple any more, or perhaps I am just out of practice, preferring as I do email to telephones. At one point, I began giving my phone number to an ansafone, before I suddenly realised that I couldn't remember it. "You never have to call yourself, do you?", I reasoned.

The Jamster sounded in fine health: "I'm in a band" he explained, "me and a mate kinda formed it last week, we're doing a gig in a fortnight." So I've agreed to go and see them play on the thirteenth; it should be fun, and it'll be another town knocked off of my boozy bagger's map of '99. Besides, the last time I saw Jammy was last Eurovision - how bad is that? Quoth he: "I've nearly finished that tape I promised you in May". But this is one of those friendships that can survive and transcend such huge gaps - regular contact doesn't seem too important.

The mother telephoned, to give me the exciting news that I had a VISA bill waiting for me. News, frankly, which could have waited until the weekend, but no matter, it was a good excuse for a conversation. I reluctantly heeded her advice to place my mobile to my left ear ("the Daily Mail says the right side of the brain contains all your cognitive function" - presumably she has long since given up hope on my creative abilities).

We discussed investments and current affairs, swapping thoughts on funds and blue-chips. It never fails to amaze me how much we've learned about such matters in the last few years, or how interesting the experience has been. Two years ago, I largely ignored the business section in the newspaper, now I find myself turning to it first. Life is strange.

Isn't it curious how potently smells can trigger memories? I bought a copy of FHM today, the odour of which instantly took me back to my first and second years at uni, at the height of my glossy magazine-buying years. Must be those little peel-back strips on Calvin Klein advertisements. They're damned effective too, or perhaps I just succumb easily to half-decent marketing. Discuss...