Journal Entry, 21 Jan 2001:
What a guru-oo-woo-woovy weekend! Fri night polished off a bottle of Penfold’s white and spilt half a glass. No, I didn’t lick the carpet.
Sat morn (after much delay)got train to Derby, wandered round, went to Cobber’s for brekky, then hopped on train to Leics.
Went to Dover Castle (where it all began in 1983) and then had haircut. Rang S and P. Caught bus to theirs, had huge spag bol, got taxi to Half Time Orange.
As soon as we went in Lyn spotted me and dashed over. She was looking great, cropped blond hair, chic glasses, black outfit. Stu came along – he had never seen Karaoke before. (Note: this was Lyn’s fiftieth birthday party, and I went to her fortieth party at a pub in Oxford back in 1991)
At about 11.30 we tried to ring for a taxi but were told none available until 1.45 so we walked to a taxi office and got one in 20 mins.
While at S and P’s saw a hilarious British Comedy called ‘Saving Grace’. Also read half a book about spiritualist/psychic stuff by John Edwards.
Woke up to find snow. Got train back okay, someone else writing out an A4 diary while travelling.
At Lyn’s party saw Caroline – still in Oxford. I showed them my driving licence – ‘God, Tim, you look like Charles Manson!’
Journal Entry, 22 Jan 2001:
Last night phone call from Michael in Germany – he moves house on the 17th.
Today at work we were in the lab when Jack Fletcher turned up with a four-foot tall moulding made of PE, and asked Pete if we had any suitable paint. PG cheerfully says ‘Oh yeah, we’ve got some chlorinated primers from Eastman. And of course (suddenly registering my presence) we’ve got an expert on everything to do with painting plastic.’
On Friday Pete asked me to overcoat some matt black panels, which I’ve done. He has totally forgotten about these as well.
(Quote from George W Bush: ‘An increasing amount of our imports is coming from overseas.’)
Journal Entry, 23 Jan 2001:
Our darling leader turned up at lunchtime and announced that we would be needed for stocktaking down the warehouse on Thursday. Then I was asked to make a sample of green paint from a computer prediction (snort!).
Torrential rain on way home: reminded me of that time in Balsall Heath when Stoney Lane was knee-deep in sewage after floods. And the deluge in Oxford which saw water coming up through the drains in the corridor.
Journal Entry, 24 Jan 2001:
Pete G asked me to spray an assortment of matt black panels at 60 microns. Then he asked me to overcoat some other matt blacks – no reason given. Then he asked me to make up some RAL 6016 green from a computer prediction (which I did today). So far he hasn’t asked about progress on any of these things.
Peter Mandelson, NI secretary, has resigned from the cabinet for the second time – last one was two years ago over his house-buying loan. This time it was regarding an application for British Passports for those Asian millionaires who donated funds to the Millennium Dome.
Went down to Victoria Wines (Chablis and a decent bottle of German white) and on the way passed Wilnecote Parish Hall. Every other building is festooned with slogans, phone numbers, lights, trade names etc. But this anonymous villa has nothing. Sinister.
Journal Entry, 25 Jan 2001:
Stocktaking today with Steve, and Pete G and Graham J were both down the warehouse counting tins. Surely Technical Manager and MD have better things to do with their time.
The warehouse is full of (literally) thousands of pounds worth of varnish and polishing materials. The only persons on duty are Gaz and Mems. There are no security cameras anywhere. There are no lockable aisles to keep secure the desirable goodies – aerosols and Briwax etc.
Returned from warehouse to lab at lunchtime. Pete G was there, didn’t ask me anything about work – apparently he’s on holiday next week and yet has not checked on what I’m doing. He mentioned something to Brian about Jack F and his plastic mouldings. No questions to me. (Note: this was a bout four weeks before the firm was sold to Spencer Coatings, and I was made redundant in breach of the then-prevailing TUPE legislation.)