It suddenly seemed to sink in over the traditional Friday lunchtime fish.

"I can't believe we're actually at war," someone said, between mouthfuls. So began a customary twenty-minute debate, at the end of which nobody's individual position or belief seemed to have changed to any great degree, but we seemed quite settled on a joint view - "It's not nice, but it had to be done. Lesser of two evils, and all that. Ethnic cleansing is worse than airstrikes."

And that was that. World put to rights, food trays put on the conveyer, we returned to our terminals, to hack away for a short while longer. The building was quite empty, many permies having headed off to various ale houses. For once I was invited to join one group (surely a rare honour for a 'tractor?) but I was too f*cking busy. Things to get finished quickly, places to get to.

I had intended to drive myself north, but when Rich offered to do the honours, I was pleased to relinquish the responsibility. The route to Edinburgh seemed fun the first time or two, but now it was getting boring - especially at night, when there's bugger all to see. But it provides a neat opportunity to catch up on events, and chat about important issues - such as the tricky "Billie or Britney Spears?" question. Personally, I'm still undecided. Billie has the cute factor, the "not-American" point, and the better CD sleeve photos, but then Britney has the better videos, the more carefully honed body, and the more reasonably-sized lips. It's a tricky one!

Edinburgh, once again. It's becoming a pleasant, if somewhat transient habit. A port in a storm (often literally), an overnight stopping post, a provider of coffee and Caffreys. I'd like to spend a slightly longer time there, relax and see the city sometime, rather than use it as a means to an end. But the mountains beckoned. Besides, if all goes to plan, our millennium weekend will be spent in Auld Reekie, so perhaps my wishes will be realised later this year.

We bought some mighty fine sausage and chips from a newly-opened chippie before slumping back and watching some TV. Wonderful You was on ITV, although it's main selling point seemed (to myself, at least) to be the fodder it offered for the traditional "What's s/he been in before?" game, as we tried in vain to remember the name of sitcoms, or the products behind recent commercials.