Finally I can relax somewhat as the end of unemployment is in sight. I've been offered a job at Activis, based just outside Reading, who do managed security services, and wanted someone with Unix/Perl/C background. Enter me, stage left... :} I'll probably be moving out of central London when I get the chance, but my wallet (and bank) will appreciate this...
Perhaps some catching up is in order now; I haven't been on LJ or IRC since I got laid off (trying to stay in a "looking for a job" frame of mind). Went to see FotR, which I think is damned cool. No, it doesn't match the book. But then IMHO films tend not to be deep in the way books are- which is why I prefer reading books. But I enjoyed watching FotR for the most part, only really being disappointed with the treatment of the elves (Elrond was wooden, Galadriel just annoyed me, Legolas was practically absent). Still, it set me to reading the books again (I retrieved my paperback copies while I was at my parents'), and I also bought a nice edition of the Silmarillion and ran through that again. It was more like a homecoming than going home for Christmas was in some ways... :}
Yeah, I went home for Christmas. Actually booked tickets on Virgin trains to Manchester (they do First class tickets dead cheap in advance), but managed to miss the train going up (grrr). So got a new single ticket, and then a First Class upgrade for going up to Preston (this converted the trip from being particularly cheap to being particularly expensive, irritatingly). Then at Preston was reminded how awful train servers in southern Lancashire are. They still had a service chugging over to Blackburn, just two carriages (with four people on, three of whom had bothered to buy tickets) and the lights didn't work. Dad picked me up from Blackburn, which we had fun finding our way around in the dark (no, really).
My parents are getting older. A banal statement, but it was brought home to me by just how much older Mum looks than last time I saw her. Argh.
Presents to parents included books on old London Underground maps and disused stations. I have geeky parents. Which is probably why we still get on at all :} The amusing thing is that reading those books means I can't look at a Tube map without to some degree taking it apart in my head. So I notice them doing revisions like moving lines around on the diagram near Edgware Road. How sad.
Went to Tom/Jo/Pebbles/Matt/Dave's house party for new year. Was still on antibiotics and so unable to drink, which sucked. But the night in general was good, featuring microwave mulled wine and glowing bricks.
At home, I've been keeping myself occupied by played with TeX and LaTeX, and reading a study guide for the CCNA exam, which I might try to fit into next week before I start work.