The real thing is about a mile away.

We get up at about 9:00 and have breakfast and I go to the supermarket at about 9:45. We stop by the sports shop, but it doesn’t open until 11:00 and I can’t be bothered to wait.

I spend the day on sorting things out – the Photoshop CS3 beta, for example, and some website bits.

For lunch we have soba.

More sorting and JGB stuff.

For dinner we have hamburger steak with steamed vegetables.

Outside there’s a growing stream of people heading for the centre of town, traffic like the rush hour.

I consider the last year, and what I hope and intend for the next year, and then we have stilton and crackers with the wine I won at the VAC night at the beginning of December. Then we have a cup of tea, and then we toast the end of the month (because it is the end of the month as well as the end of the year). By this time it’s nearly midnight, so we go downstairs to have a drink at the Italian restaurant, which contains a lot of people from Southern Italy. Tony’s trying to get a decent signal on the radio on his stereo, with no success, so I retrieve my DAB radio, which isn’t as loud, but we get the chimes of Big Ben fairly clearly through it. The real thing is about a mile away.

We have amaretto, and a glass of sparkling white wine and a plate of lentils, which Tony assures us is a custom in his area, and bodes well for money in the next year.

The stream of people reverses and is now heading Southwards.

We go back upstairs and drink coffee with the TV on until very late and I manage to complete reading Wintersmith, which I was given for Christmas.

stray commas and semi-colons

9:00 – Get up.

Sitting and breakfast.

The morning is spent working on web site stuff. Finding stray commas and semi-colons mostly. Or curly quotes. Things don’t work because of the wrong punctuation most of the time.

Haruko goes out.

12:30 – Sandwiches.

While I’m eating my lunch I watch a Horizon documentary about parallel universes and answer a question about printing out a PDF from Quark XPress on OS 9.

14:20 – My father has bought a treadmill to walk on, and I go to help him get it in the back of his car (it doesn’t quite fit and we have to tie the door closed with string) and then from his car to his conservatory (I have to roll it end over end. Actually, looking back I’m quite surprised that I managed it as the box was as tall as me and very heavy).

Back in the flat I get back to the web site stuff.

16:00 – Haru comes home from the sales.

19:00 – Dinner – leftover quiche, curry and rice and avocado with soy sauce. Very fusion.

More website stuff, episodes from the first disk of the Seinfeld season seven set, then a Derren Brown show and the first few songs of the Bond songs compilation programme.

Ten minutes after that I’m home.

6:30 – Rise.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:20 – Breakfast.

8:00 – Haru goes to work.

Web site stuff.

At 15:00 I go out for a run. Or rather an alternating run and walk. I was doing quite well on the machine, and am back to the beginning in real life, where it all seems harder somehow. Oh, well. I’m quite surprised by how quickly I get anywhere – halfway to Blackfriars Bridge in five minutes, and ten minutes after that I’m almost at London Bridge. Ten minutes after that I’m home. I’ll need to plan my routes more carefully.

When I get back I shower and have leftover pasta from last night.

More web site stuff.

At 17:15 I begin making dinner (quiche).

At 18:10 Haruko gets home.

At 18:45 we have dinner.

At 19:10 or so, I put on Hogfather, and at 22;10, after it’s finished, we watch the actor who has just played a psychotic assassin come to a sticky end as Dracula. Then the news and the last Film 2006.

Home is slightly chilly.

7:15 – Get up.

Breakfast and farewells.

8:40 – Sara drives us to the station. I buy a cup of coffee.

9:12 – The train departs. It’s all fairly deserted this morning, which is good.

10:40 – We arrive at Paddington and transfer to the Bakerloo line. Haruko gets off at Charing Cross and goes to work. I continue home.

11:15 – Home. Home is slightly chilly.

Web site stuff, lunch, more web site stuff and Hogfather on DVD, then I go to the supermarket , then I come home – more web stuff and Superman Returns, towards the end of which Haruko comes home.

Something won’t work the way I want it to, even though it has a neighbour bit of code that works perfectly (and is virtually identical) and it’s not very complicated. It’s probably a missing comma somewhere, though I can’t see anywhere a comma ought to be.

19:30 – Dinner. Basic pasta.

20:30 – Q.I.; a Loaded-magazine-nostalgia programme; Torchwood and the end of a documentary about the making of the recent Beatles remix record.

I just worked it out for myself

10:30 – Get up.

Breakfast and retrieve the starter sponge for the bread from outside, which has been acting as a substitute for the fridge.

General hanging out and I make the dough, and then we – Sara, Haru, the boys and myself – walk into Bath where we go to Boots to get emergency dental stuff, then up to Wagamama to have lunch. The waiter is intensely slappable, down to asking whether we’d been to Wagamama before (in order to explain that the reason the waiter writes on the place setting is so that they know where the food goes, which no one ever explained to me. I just worked it out for myself).

Then we walk home. I knead the dough and leave it to rise again. More hanging out, then I make rolls, then we have dinner, then I bake the rolls. Owing to the chilliness of the house they don’t rise as much as I’d have hoped, but never mind and they seem to taste OK.

Everybody else goes to bed, I stay up to watch the end of Van Helsing, an arrangement of CGI violence and staggering nonsense.

The escalator used to be hard to find

6:30 – Rise.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:20 – Breakfast.

8:00 – Haruko => work. Five day week this week.

9:30 – I leave the house and walk up past Waterloo Station across the river, then up to Piccadilly Circus, where I go to the Virgin store (that used to be Tower) where I check out CDs and DVDs, then to Waterstones on Piccadilly, where I buy books (my nephew is just about to be introduced to Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Trilogy and Michael Moorcock’s Dancers at the End of Time), then return to Virgin where I buy CDs (Susanna Baca and Uri Caine for my mother, Three Mustaphas Three for… for my sister, probably. ) and DVDs (Akira and Steamboy for the other nephew). Up to John Lewis where I look for something for Haru and can’t think of anything.

I’m very impressed by the new John Lewis – the’ve stripped away a lot of interior walls around the central escalator, and put a glass ceiling in, so there’s a lot of natural light. The escalator used to be hard to find, but it’s not now.

It’s about 14:00 by now.

Back down the roads parallel to Regent Street (which is becoming impassable), then across, stopping at the Stockpot to find that if it’s just me then I have to sit at a lousy table, so no thanks, and stopping briefly at Bureau (where Haru is dealing with a customer who is, it transpires later, from hell, so I just wave and move on). I end up at Franx, at the top of Shaftesbury Avenue, where I can sit at the back of the place if I want. I have an omelette, then wander off in the direction of Regent Street again. Eventually I decide to go home and, getting there, fall asleep on the sofa.

Haru gets back at 18:15, and I go out again at 19:00. Up to Paddington Station and get the tickets for tomorrow, then take a bus back to John Lewis – this time I’m struck by the sense that what’s going on here is a tremendous transfer of energy and also that the feeling of danger that one feels on an escalator with a sheer drop either side to over a hundred feet might have an effect on people’s willingness to promote that transfer of energy; then another bus to Tottenham Court Road, and buy Haru a Roget’s Thesaurus and a Fowler’s Modern English Usage. This takes some time, as the thesaurus is in the basement with the dictionaries and the Fowler is on the fifth floor with the Writers’ Reference books.

Catch a 176 back home, then go out and get fish and chips.

We eat fish and chips and exchange presents, then watch the last five minutes of Q.I., Newsnight and Newsnight Review. Currently there’s a documentary about comedy double-acts on, but I really should go to bed.

Perhaps there will be new annoyances

6:30 – Rise.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:15 – Breakfast.

8:00 – Haru goes to work.

Website stuff, basically managing all the things I couldn’t do yesterday. This is a theme of the day – little annoyances and obstructions that have been dogging me over the last couple of weeks disappear. Perhaps there will be new annoyances, I don’t know.

13:00 – Denise comes round and we go to lunch downstairs. An upstairs neighbour shows me that someone has broken the lock on one of the windows, to make it easy for them to get in. It also makes it easy for everyone else to get in. When we come back from lunch he shows me that he’s fixed it. After Denise has left, I take a cheque to the bank. Returning home, I fall asleep.

18:00 – Haruko comes home. She’s still feeling queasy, so she makes some rice porridge for herself. I have some rice and tuna fish a lot later. Outside, the upstairs neighbour is arguing loudly with the neighbours right next to me over the broken window lock.

We watch A Cristmassy Ted – the Father Ted Christmas episode.

Roasting is my new discovery

6:30 – Up.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:20 – Breakfast.

8:10 – Haru goes to work.

A site I need to transfer from one server to another appears not to be working. I try to get access to the control panel for that site, but the password doesn’t allow me. Panic and consternation, and my plans for the day torn up. Eventually I establish that the site is there but that I can’t make the changes I need to make. I have to confess to the site owner about the fact that the password doesn’t work.

17:30 – I begin to roast stuff for dinner. Roasting is my new discovery, though I realise the rest of the human race have a head start on me. It’s not healthy, but it is nice.

18:00 – Haru gets back.

19:20 – DInner.

Documentaries and programmes I have on during the day: a documentary about the making of 2001 – A Space Odyssey; another about British science fiction films (including one particularly irritating pundit who thinks that saying something in an exaggerated fashion and then rolling your eyes is the same thing as being funny); another about Aleister Crowley (including a lot of spooky photography); yet another about the solving of Fermat’s Last Theorem; A couple of episodes of Attention Scum, which is without doubt the strangest comedy series I’ve ever encountered, and I watch it not so much for the laughs as the frissons that the oddness inspire; a documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

until some dignitary drives past

6:30 – Rise.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:25 – Breakfast.

8:05 – Haru goes to work.

Preparing things for today: some of the preparation is abandoned when it turns out that the printer has run out of Magenta ink. The preparation ends up taking four hours, which surprises me, as I can’t remember doing four hours of stuff. I have a couple of nice conversations, though, while getting hold of people’s addresses for the Christmas cards.

12:30 – I go out, in a rush. When I get to the crossroads by the Imperial War Museum, a Police motorcyclist pulls up in front of me with his hand up and prevents me from crossing the road until some dignitary drives past. Hum.

12:50 – Arrive at Walker. Lunch and chat with Ben, then another briefing on the Alex Rider book – more things to fake, including a killer payload of US currency, a 70s album cover and the brochure for a space station.

Walk downriver and across at Jubilee Bridge – very cold, and quiet somehow. The lull of the year. Go to the Post Office and buy fifteen first-class stamps, which I put on the cards and post them. Then take Haru’s mobile to the shop she bought it from – not registering the SIM card. The chap behind the counter is very pleasant, presses the hatch down more firmly, and Bob’s your proverbial. The phone works. I deliver the phone to Haru and am introduced to everybody in the shop.

Walk up to New Oxford Street, via Mysteries ( a shop that smells very strongly of incense. I don’t manage to pluck up the courage to ask if they have the International Icon Tarot, as I worry they’ll think I’m mocking them. So I just peer at the decks) and Forbidden Planet, where I check out possible Christmas Present ideas, which is mostly just thrusting my own taste in graphic novels on my jaded nephews), then catch a Number 1 bus home.

Haru arrives back at just after six. We have fish fingers and chips and my bread rolls for dinner. In the evening we watch Kiki’s Delivery Service, while I research stuff.

Um. Yes, I think it would.

6:30 – Rise.

6:45 – Sitting.

7:20 – Breakfast.

8:00 – Haru goes to work.

I upload final Guildhall files to my server.

I vacuum the living room, and then begin soaking flour to make bread.

Walker bits, and someone I did a font manipulation job for last week calls to say that there’s a problem. I tinker with it for a while. I mean to go out to do exercise, but every time I’m about to go out there’s a phone call. Eventually I get out at 12:30 – I run up to the river at Blackfriars Bridge, then upriver past the South Bank Centre and the Houses of Parliament to Lambeth Palace (where the Tardis landed in the parallel universe in the last season of Dr Who), then back home. I’m only able to run in short bursts, which is frustrating, and feel very ungainly compared to all the other runners. I notice that most of them are running downriver, which perhaps helps. I’ll try it next time.

Shower, then lunch. Watch an old interview with Noam Chomsky.

Making dough and letting it rise.

There’s an email from the font person – does the fact that the fonts are 0k in size have anything to do with why they’re not working? Um. Yes, I think it would.

Knock back the dough and leave it to rise a second time.

Walker stuff and discuss with Ben – I’m beginning to feel comfortable with this job, and try to mock up a ninja sword.

18:00 – Haru comes home. I begin to cook (chicken with lime and coriander) and put it in the oven. Then I make the bread dough into numerous small rolls.

20:00 – Dinner. After dinner I put the rolls in the oven.

Watch the 1983 production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, retrieved from the interwebs. Very funny.

The rolls are great.

Addressing Christmas cards.

Lots of emails to answer, or at least reply to.