Wednesday 1 November 2000

The end of my accounting year. Because I’m reasonably ahead of schedule, and because I am away for 10 days, and because I have to do my VAT returns shortly, I’ve made a start on the accounts for the last three months, which happen to be the final ones of the EC Inform accounting year. My turnover was £112,000 and my net business income was £71,000. The net income, which doesn’t include any income from investments/savings, is the most I’ve ever earned. £10,000 of the total came from the Eurelectric contract, and about £18,000 from the transport book (into which much effort in the previous tax year was put by both myself and Theo). (My income would have been £80,000 if I’d included the second Eurelectric payment, which I held back for tax reasons.)

Adam has asked me to type this in. An ancient Egyptian proverb quoted in JMS’s ‘Babylon 5’: ‘May the gods stand between you and harm in all the empty places in which you must walk.’ We have now watched the end of B5’s season three. We have seen the whole series twice; and read many of the notes attached to each episode, which we pulled down from the internet. Unfortunately, Channel 4 is prevaricating about the final two series (which we haven’t seen at all - not once), and we don’t know when we will be able to see them.

We were in a built up place, on an urban island or similar, looking out from high over across a stretch of water to a built up shore line (this may have come from the BBC Sydney Olympics studio which had a huge glass window backdrop across the bay to the Opera House). I went off on my own somewhere and found myself looking across the water. I saw a large blue boat floating in the air, slowly drifting down, and eventually hitting a tall building. The top half of the building toppled into the water. I was afraid it would create a huge wave that would move across and harm us, but I only saw a small wave. After a moment or two, I saw hundreds of people diving into the water; but I thought this was a stupid thing to do, because they might get pulled under by the suction of the building going down. I realised I must find Adam and make sure he is OK, although I didn’t think there would be a problem because we were quite high up.

Saturday 4 November 2000

We had terrible weather this week - gales and masses of rain. Floods are still causing havoc across the country; in some places they are the worst since records began. A huge oak branch fell across Red House Lane during Sunday night. I went out with the clippers and pruned enough to allow cars through (and I’ve just had a bonfire to burn them all), then Tom, whose tree it was, used a chainsaw to cut up the thicker branches. The road was covered in water too. Much of the garden was waterlogged, but, touch wood, the water hasn’t risen above ground level. With the artificial deadline set by the fuel price protesters approaching, the government was not shy in making some references to global warming. A report came out, more or less at the same time, suggesting the UK might actually benefit from a better climate, although it would suffer from more unpredictable extremes of weather. Personally, I think it’s going to take much more than a few floods before democratically-elected politicians will be empowered to take seriously difficult decisions about climate change.

This morning I gave some thought to the Egypt trip - I received my tickets and final paperwork in the post yesterday and I leave next Saturday. This will be the longest holiday (i.e. 10 days rather than 7 days) that I have taken since I started EC Inform - and I am starting to look forward to it. It will be my first time outside Europe since I came back from Brazil, and apart from Brazil, it will be my first time outside Western civilisation in 20 years. My fingers are crossed that there are one or two reasonably intelligent and grown-up people on the trip - so I don’t have to go solo mode.

I’m engaged in an email dialogue with a psychologist in Manchester, I think, who says she is 36. Her real name is Linda, though I call her Angel. She picked me out for a message on a free and rather unpopulated lonely hearts website. I responded with interest and, since then we’ve been sending short emails to each other every couple of days. Although I’ve offered up my direct email, Angel is sticking for the time being to communication through the website. From her details, she sounds a little spiritually unstable for me; although, I’m enjoying our ‘chat’. In my last message I asked about her relationships, and she told me she had one long one from when she was 23 to 33 with an artist, and a short one for two years since then. She then asked me about my relationships. Um, er, tricky, I suddenly realised how difficult this would be to answer.

It looks like we will not go out tonight to find any fireworks. It’s cold and wet, and I can’t say I’m interested in them this year. Ads doesn’t seem very keen either. He’s a bit too content to stay in and watch ‘Casualty’.

I went to Guildford late on Thursday evening to see a movie called ‘Memento’. It might be the first time I’ve been to the cinema there on my own - there are so few mainstream movies that are worth the effort. But, for a change, I decided I would catch the late night show. Unfortunately, I somehow found myself in the wrong auditorium, and I didn’t realise my mistake until 10-15 minutes into the film (I actually knew very little about the film I was going to see, I had read one review, but I’d only retained in my memory the information that I wanted to see it, not what it was about!). And it was too late to move - so I sat through two hours of a very mediocre semi-martial arts movie about gang warfare in New York.

Earlier this week, too, I made a booking for my trip to Brussels in early December, based around the Eurelectric 75 year celebrations evening on 6 December. A day or two later, I was thinking about something else and suddenly realised I had booked myself to come back on the afternoon of the same day, 6 December. I had to grovel on the phone to Eurostar so they wouldn’t charge me too much to change my non-changeable, non-refundable ticket.

December 2000

Paul K Lyons


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