Sunday, December 28, 2008

It burns us!

For those of you who don't already know, I've spent the last 11 days or so in Cape Town. The first morning I walked outside, squinted, and went "Ah, so that's what sunlight looks like." It made me realise just how sun-starved I've been in the UK winter.

It's been a great time here, and I've been out or seen people almost every day. Sadly, tonight I return to the land of clouds, roundabouts, pubs and 700-year old architecture.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Code Jam (like raspberry jam, but better)

Normally I blog about my trips while I'm on them (to kill time in airports), but this one was so short I didn't even both taking a laptop. In fact, I didn't even bother taking checked baggage, instead fitting everything for two days into a backpack. That sounds reasonably enough until you realise that it includes a keyboard and sufficient warm weather gear to stand around waiting for a bus in Cambridge. On the way back I think the backpack was about 99% of its theoretical maximum capacity.

The Code Jam itself is a contest run by Google. I've been to a previous one that ran on the TopCoder engine, but this time they've made a new format which really suits me. It's a lot less time-pressured than TC, and also more forgiving of mistakes. Having won my regional and finished in the top 3 in every round, I thought my chances were pretty good, but unfortunately I panicked near the end (partially because I forgot the contest started late and so I had more time than I thought), and so ended up third. Nevertheless I'm fairly happy since I didn't screw anything else up.

Pictures to follow - unfortunately not many or very exciting, since I didn't take my camera to the Googleplex on the assumption that they wouldn't allow photography (and indeed they didn't allow it inside the buildings).

Monday, October 13, 2008

How I learnt to stop worrying and love AMD's shader compiler

Normally I just post about travel and other daily trivia here, but I feel the need to get some good old tech ranting in. So, normal people (i.e. non-nerds), feel free to stop reading now :-)

I've been trying to do some OpenGL development at home, with the ATI X1600 in my laptop, and I've managed to find 3 serious bugs within about an hour. Firstly, my program would just crash while trying to compile a shader. After tinkering with my program for a while to try and eliminate anything I might have broken, I started removing bits of the shader. And guess what? If you index an array with a ternary expression, it crashes the driver.

Ok, I can work around that by moving the ternary into a temporary variable. Fix a few genuine compilation errors, and get to this message:

Fragment shader failed to compile with the following errors:

Well, that's helpful. Would be more helpful if it was followed by a list of errors, as is traditional in such cases. However, by again randomly removing pieces of code, I determine that a loop with an indeterminate number of iterations will cause this. Some hardware doesn't actually support loops (it just unrolls them), so fine, I'll run up to the maximum number of iterations I might need, and just early-out once I hit the number I actually need. Even when unrolling, such hardware normally supports forward branches, since it can just conditionalise the instructions hit by the branch. But not this sorry excuse for a compiler, it just gives me the same error. However, if I wrap the loop body in an "if" statement, it's happy to forward branch there.

Now, I finally have both my shaders compiled, I'm ready to link! It's much harder to make linker errors than compiler errors, although I did accidentally end up not writing to a varying that I was reading and which the linker helpfully complained about. I fix that, and is was well. And if you believe that, you haven't been paying attention. Of course it isn't. In spite of the cheery "Fragment shader was successfully compiled to run on hardware" from the compiler, the linker now asserts that "Fragment Shader not supported by HW". Why not? Well, remember that ternary expression? It turns out that while refactoring it fixed the crash, it's still not supported. It appears that the fragment shader can't do dynamic indexing, at least on varying arrays. So, some more refactoring, to move the array lookup inside each branch of the ternary, and now it all compiles and links.

I haven't tried running it yet, of course. I'm not sure I want to.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Photos from Montreal

As usual, I'm happy enough to take photos, but very lazy about getting them off my camera. I've finally got a round tuit, so here are some photos.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The South African who went up a hill and came down... a hill?

So, Sunday was see-Montreal day with Neil. A friend of his loaned us his bike, so we were able to cycle around town. Montreal has some great cycle lanes - unlike Cambridge, where it's usually just a demarkated cycle lane, these are actually separate to the road, blocked off by a concrete ridge so that motorists can't park in the cycle lane or cut you off or anything (and you don't have to share it with pedestrians either).

Montreal is named after the local "mountain", Mont Royal. which Wikipedia tells me stands at a whopping 233m above sea level. It's covered in trees and has a very pleasant gravel road that winds its way gently up, which we spent some time going up (on our bicycles), and of course going down. I'll post some pictures when I get the motivation to get them off my camera.

Today until Friday is basically meetings, so I won't have much more to post for a while.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pass the fish, it's raining frogs!

Yes, it's another Bruce update! Hasn't happened for a long time, because frankly I haven't done much terribly exciting for a while. Ok, Mike and Carl both came to visit and went punting, but since nobody fell in I didn't make another post (it was close though - Mike nearly lost a right-of-way argument with a bridge, and during a collision Carl fell forward and managed to gets his hands down onto the other punt and push himself back up again).

So, as usual, the update is because I'm travelling. This time it is to Montreal. It's my first business trip, so I'm enjoying being able to use taxis and hotels and so on rather than trying to penny-pinch - in fact I was slightly offended that the room wifi appears to be free :-). Of course, the downside is that I'm not going to see much of the predicted sunny days here since I'll be sitting in meetings. But tomorrow I'm going to meet Neil, a friend studying at McGill, so it's not all bad.

Right, now my body thinks it's 1am, so I'm going to bed. Good night.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Random mutterings

Well, it's been a few weeks since I posted, and nothing really significant has happened, but I though I'd post anyway. It's been a warm few weeks - in fact last week was somewhat unpleasantly muggy (I guess like Durban but 10 degrees cooler). Of course, I then made the mistake of suggesting that friends from London should come to visit, and it promptly started poring with rain, and the train lines closed for maintenance.

After getting back from Cape Town, the next weekend was a mad one in London with Carl for the 72-hour ICFP programming contest. This year the problem was to control a Martian rover as it navigated around boulders and craters and 14-fingered Martians. It was a great time, although I didn't enjoy the problem as much as last years, and there was absolutely no feedback on how we rated compared to other teams.

Since then it's mostly just been slogging away at work (although I did get promoted) and doing programming contest stuff. The Google Code Jam is running at the moment, which is an interesting new format.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I came, I saw, I got rained on

The good news: I spent a week in Cape Town and saw some people I hadn't seen for months (unfortunately not as many I would have liked). The bad news: it's rained almost the entire time, and I barely saw the sun. Everyone accuses me of bringing the bad weather with me, but actually it was a glorious few days in Cambridge just before I left. Worse news: it looks like I will, however, be bringing bad weather back with me.

No pictures, unfortunately - there wasn't much picturesque, what with being inside out of the rain the whole time.

In other news, Terminal 5 is pretty much as I expected: well planned out in terms of being quick and pleasant to check in and minimal hassle at security (apart from the first metal detector I've been through that considered my wrist-watch a threat to world safety), but shops aimed more at the jetsetter than a low-budget geek like me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Java Embassy

Today at work somebody mentioned seeing that somebody at Sun had the job title "Java Ambassador". This lead us to thinking about whether there is a Java Embassy in London, and if so, how it would work. I've expanded on that to bring you an alternative to that old classic, how to shoot yourself in the foot:

Java embassy: let's say you work in the embassy and want to adjust the height of your chair. Chairs are immutable, so instead you order a completely new chair, which is higher than your old chair. When it arrives, you leave the old chair lying around. Eventually, when the building is too full of chairs, work stops for the day while the garbage collectors go around and throw away all the chairs that aren't in use. Visitors to the embassy are not scanned for weapons or cameras; instead, they are put in straitjackets and blinkers to make it impossible for them to do anything illegal.

C embassy: you're supposed to obtain forms from the central office, complete them, and return them. However, if you forget about a form, it will lie around the embassy forever, and will never be touched just in case you're coming back to finish it. Eventually, the embassy will collapse under the weight of the incomplete forms.

C++ embassy: similar to the C embassy, except that some forms will self-destruct if you leave the embassy, making it easier to prevent space shortages.

Python embassy: every single item (including a pen) has a big piece of paper attached to say what it is and how many people are using it. Every time you want to use a pen, you have to order a new pen, use it to write something down, then throw it away. When it was discovered that this is inefficient, management decided to keep around pens for a few common colours. Also, the staff tend to dress strangely and say things like "this passport has expired and gone to meet it's maker. It's bleeding expired."

Functional programming embassy: this embassy does not maintain any long-term records at all. However, it's very simple to find your way around: every embassy is either empty, or consists of one office and another embassy.

Perl embassy: this is the ugliest embassy in the neighbourhood, with all kinds of bits glued on and strange corridors that don't always go to the same place. In spite of this, it's usually possible to get things done. If you ask for directions, you're probably be told, "well, the simplest way is to go up three flights of stairs, to the end of the corridor, then take the lift. Or, you could walk around the outside, in the unmarked door at the back, then left. Or if you know how to read this map, you can look around for something that matches it. Or, ..."

Ok, that's all my ideas for now, but add comments!

Monday, June 09, 2008

It burns us!

Wow, time flys. Then again, so does a banana, if you throw it hard enough.

So, things have been happening. I've been to two formal halls in Cambridge. One was quite large and had a high table way up at the front where they muttered some Latin at each end of the meal. The other was crazy-small - just our group of about seven plus about three others, and none of the ceremonial stuff.

Yesterday the weather turned out beautiful. One thing about the English weather is that being generally crummy, you really appreciate it when it's nice. We went punting for about 5 hours, had a picnic on the punt (wasn't anywhere that nice to get out at the time), and I managed to get sunburnt.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Down and out

Semifinal: I wasted lots of time on a 950 (means that it should be easier than the usual 1000, but wasn't), and didn't have quite enough time to discover the bug in my 550, and as a result went into the wildcard instead of advancing directly.

In the wildcard, I got shafted by another poker problem, which took me ages just to understand and longer to debug, and I went in with the wrong structures for the 1000, so I'm out of that too.

Las Vegas is the same as last year: gawdy and not much to do unless you're a gambling addict, and I'm stuck here for two days after the TC stuff ends. As you can guess, I'm not in the best mood at the moment. The single cloud on the horizon is that I'm spending a lot of what's going to be left of my prize money on going to see Spamalot on Friday.

Down in the park

If a year ago you'd told me I'd get sunburnt in England, I would have laughed at you. Not any more. As the first leg of getting to Las Vegas for the TCO 2008, I stopped off in London and spent the day with Carl. The weather in England has glorious (which means 25° plus). We spent the afternoon just picnicking in Richmond Park, which is absolutely huge and, unlike Cambridge, has some geography. Somehow we managed to meet up with some friends of Carl's, starting from instructions like "we at a pond".

After that it was off to the Las Vegas. The transatlantic flight was heavenly, since it was basically empty and I could get 3 seats to a row to myself for some shuteye. And even though it was late, I still have enough time to make my connection without panic, and all my luggage arrived. So it's a good start all round.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Birthdays and things

Last weekend I had a birthday party, which I try to do approximately once a year. Carl and Mike came up from London, and Much Fun Was Had By All. We ended up playing Jenga (or rather, a knockoff Eastern European copy my parents brought back from their trip), and we succeeded in building a maximal tower, shown right.

This weekend is a bank holiday weekend, so various people invited friends from London to visit Cambridge, and the weather was nice enough to go punting. I'd been once before, but didn't actually do the punting. This time everyone took a turn, including me. It looks pretty precarious standing on the back of a wobbly punt, but it's actually surprisingly hard to fall in. At one point I got too close to the bank and was nearly taken out by an overhanging tree, but still managed to keep my balance.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A stitch in time saves how many? ... London.

The title is a reference to Father Ted, which of course everybody should watch. It's also appropriate since this post is about 2 weeks late, and I forgot to take my camera to boot.

Yes, a trip to London on a Saturday. This turns out to be an expensive proposition, considering that it takes as long to get from Cambridge to London as it does to get from there to the other side of London. I only went for the day, since day returns are about half the price of other tickets. It started off with a visit to the British Museum, which those who know me will know is not my usual cup of tea. But Carl wanted to go see the Terracota Army, so he paid for a ticket for me too (after queueing for 3 hours), and it was rather good. If you haven't read Pratchett, then to fill you in: the first Emperor of China had serious issues with death, and he was buried with 7000 terracota people to run his empire in the afterlife: footsoldiers, archers, cavalry, wrestlers, acrobats, civil servants, the works.

After that it was the London Eye, to look around and go "what's that big building? I don't know." It was nice to just chill out and do nothing for a while. Then we headed off to Carl's shared house in Wimbledon (one of his housemates and her boyfriend where with us for the day). I've been told how Wimbledon is basically Little South Africa, and it didn't take much to convince me when I get off the train and in the station, where you'd normally except to see a M&S or a pie shop, there is a South African shop selling biltong and boerewors rolls. It made me positively homesick.

Dinner was homemade pizza, preceeded briefly by some writing collaboration with Carl (together with Marco we submitted a description of the South African Computer Olympiad to a programming contest conference). Then back to Cambridge, a long, slow process: first an overland train to Farringdon station (the English have such, well, English ways of naming things), then a tube to Liverpool Street, then wait around half an hour because the incoming train from Cambridge is late (apparently there was a "security alert" in Cambridge), then an hour or so on that train, then stand around for 10 minutes because I'd missed the bus I'd been planning for, then about 20-30 minutes on the bus home.

Since then, not a whole lot of news, although I have booked flights home (and back) for early July.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Junk to the left of me, junk to the right of me

and everywhere there was junk. By which, of course, I mean that my shipping arrived, and now I need to figure out where it is all going to go, and I can barely move for all the stuff lying around in piles.

Apart from all the stuff I shipped over that is probably going to go straight under the bed or into the cupboard under the stairs, there is of course some useful stuff. Strangely, it's the little things that I've been missing the most, like having a bed-side lamp so that I can read in bed and then just turn it off without having to get out of bed again.

This weekend I also had my cousin visiting from the USA. Yesterday was typical English weather, grey and cold and windy and dreary and depressing, but today was just perfect. I was walking around in just my tracksuit (which as you may know, is also about what I wear in Cape Town in summer), and very little wind. We just wandered around town looking at things and had lunch at a nice Italian place right on the Cam.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My God, it's full of snow!

On Saturday when Mike came to visit and it snowed, I thought that would be it for the year. It turns out that was just a warmup (if that's the right word) for the real thing on Sunday:

Saturday, March 22, 2008


So, Mike came to visit for the day, and managed to pick the one day this year that it actually snowed. We started off looking around town a bit, came back to my place for lunch, and ended up watching TV all afternoon because the weather just looked too dicey.

This is what the view out my window looked like:

And here's me earlier in the day in front of King's, bundled up against the weather:

And no, we didn't go out and make snowmen or throw snowballs. It was a rather soggy, unpleasant sort of snow, not to mention the howling winds. A bit of a disappointment really, but I guess one should except such things from the English weather.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Craziness in America

Craziness in America item #1: flights to the Topcoder were going to require me to leave Heathrow at 8.30am. Subtract 3 hours that you need to be there before your flight: 5.30am. Subtract 1 hour on the train from Cambridge and 1 hour on the tube: 3.30am (assuming the tube runs that time of day, otherwise it's a bus). Subtract 15 minutes to get to the train station, 30 minutes to get ready at home, and another 15 minutes slack time, and it's not even worth going to bed.

The good news is that I've managed to get it changed to an 11.15am flight. That's still not great, but it's sane, and if I spend a night with a friend in London it starts to look downright decent.

Craziness in America item #2: NVIDIA are making sure they stay in touch and had one of their managers talk to me just to touch base. He said it took him ages to figure out how to dial my number because he never makes international calls. Somehow that's just so stereotypically American I had to laugh.

In more topical news: no plans to go away for Easter (unlike just about everyone else I know), but Mike is coming up from London to visit for a day, and then a cousin of mine from the US is coming to visit the following weekend as part of a business trip. And my shipping has arrived in a warehouse somewhere, but I can't get at it yet because I have to pay more money due to some weasel-words in the contract about currency fluctuations and the fact that the rand has lost about 15% of its value since I left.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Las Vegas (again)

So, for those of you who wonder what mischief I've been getting up to on Saturday nights since arriving in the UK, the answer is... trying to take over the world. No, wait, I mean... programming. In fact, taking part in the 2008 TopCoder Open.

I had a less than stellar round today, but still managed to place 19th, which is enough to put me through to the semi-finals in Las Vegas in mid-May. If you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I found Vegas to be as tacky, lurid, and gambling-obsessed as it looks in the movies, so I'm not so keen on the location, but the contest itself is always fun. They've expanded it again this year (48 to 72 algorithm finalists), which I think might be a mistake as even with 48 you don't really get to know everyone, especially since difficult language groups tend to form cliques (Russian, Polish and Chinese for example - in fact there are precious few native English speakers (looks like probably one English, one Aussie, one or two American and me this time), although the Dutch are usually fun and this time it looks like there will be at least four of them.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I can't be bothered to think up a title

Right, I couldn't be bothered to think up a clever title, because it's almost midnight on a week night. The reason I'm still up at midnight is that I've just been to see The Bank Job. It doesn't have anything terribly surprising in it (people rob a bank then run into problems afterwards), but a decent way to pass an evening. There was one line I liked particularly, when they were digging a tunnel into the vault:

"I've just got one question. What are we going to do with all the dirt we dig out?"
"That's all planned for. We're going to dig another hole over there and bury it."

So, go see it if you have a chance.

Other news? I bought a HDD/DVD recorder, although I probably won't have much to record because I don't have a decent TV guide like the one that comes with DSTV in SA. Even on the internet I can't see more than about 2 hours on a page, when actually what I want is a list of all the movies and series that are on for the month. But at least now I can play DVDs on the TV instead of my laptop. And in theory the ship with all my stuff should have made port around today, so in a week or two I should have lots of furniture. And Saturday is the last online round of the Topcoder Open, so assuming I do okay there I'll be off to Vegas again in mid-May.

Right, I need a cup of tea and then SLEEP.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It still moves

Well, know we know why the Tower of Pisa falls over: it's made of spaghetti. Well, that sounds really confusing, so allow me to explain. The last two days of work have been further induction, covering such necessary and also riveting topics as training, the employee handbook, health and safety, and IT policies. To try to liven it up, they had one of those silly yet sometimes entertaining "team-building" exercises, in this case, to built as tall a tower as possible from spaghetti and marshmallows, within a limited "budget". Our team had the tallest tower:

Unfortunately, by the end of the competition it was looking more like this, so we didn't win.

And for those who might want to know, yes I did feel the earthquake, just as a slight vibration which woke me up, after which I couldn't get back to sleep.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And... here it is

I'm normally a cheapskate who never buys anything even if I can afford it, but to celebrate my new job, what better extravagance than this?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random photos

I've taken the odd photo with my cell-phone camera when the opportunity has arisen, and have finally gotten around to extracting them. This was always a pain, and it's become even more painful since it appears that something I've upgraded broke the program I used to use (it now tells me that there was an error, namely, "Success"). My N-formats memory card reader doesn't deal with it either.

So, here's one of my house again (the one on the left). Note the ice on the car windscreen. I don't think I'm in Cape Town any more...

Second one is something crossing the road. Looks like it might be a hedgehog or something similar.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's off to work we go

So, things have been a bit quiet on the blog front for me since I've settled in and started a job. It's gone pretty well, much better than my first week at NVIDIA, I think because I'm working on a small self-contained project rather than a million-lines-of-code driver. It's also OpenGL-related so I walked in with most of the knowledge I need to do the work, so I'm already rewriting big chunks of code.

This week is going to be a bit different: I'm doing an ARM-internal training course on the ARM architecture, which should be fun because I know a reasonable amount about the x86 architecture (not enough to write an OS, but the basic instruction set and registers performance characteristics), but pretty much zero about the ARM architecture.

Other than that, I didn't do much last weekend. Saturday I pottered around for the morning because I'd made a mix-up with my contact lens cleaning which meant I couldn't wear them for 6 hours, and in the afternoon I bought a scarf. Sunday I took part in the worst-run international programming contest I've ever seen (some Indian thing called Bitwise) which ran for 12 hours, but at least I managed to place well enough to win a 4GB flash drive, which I've been debating buying for a while.

And maybe, finally, I'll actually have my ATM card and be able to use the bank account I opened months ago other than by debit order and internet banking.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Washing... but not as you know it

Well, I'm in my new house, which doesn't come with a microwave, but does come with a combination washer-dryer (I'm not implying that they're interchangeable in any way, although I guess you could try microwaving your clothes dry or reheating your leftovers in the dryer). However, it seems that the American obsession with safety has reached Britain. Unlike normal dryers, which are kind, and clever, and fun to be around... no wait, that's a quotation which isn't relevant. Unlike normal dryers, where you can just open the door, check on progress and pull out things that are dry and close the door on the rest, this one protects you from (gasp!) warm clothing. The door will lock while you're drying your clothes and for two minutes afterwards. This is even after having the last 10 minutes be a no-heat spin, so the clothes are already cool by the time you get them out. And it can't get very hot in the first place, because I had some clothes in there for about 2 hours and they still weren't 100% dry.

Other than that, there are about 8 wireless networks here, all encrypted. My laptop automatically picked up an unencrypted network for a few minutes and was able to tell me I had new mail, after which I lost the connection again.

Virgin Mobile are a bit useless. When I called the first time to arrange to get a bundle on my phone, they insisted they had to send me a new SIM card. It arrived today... and has a totally different phone number. So I call up to complain, and this time they tell me they can add it to my existing account, and within minutes its active. Now I just have to decide whether it's worth the effort to harangue them to get back my £10 on the new and unopened one. On the plus side, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I haven't had to
wait in a long queue to get service.

UPDATE: I'm now posting this from home on my shiny new 2Mbps broadband connection. Here are some pictures of my house:

Friday, January 25, 2008


Good news. I've signed the lease, and I've organised insurance, which surprisingly isn't really cheaper than in South Africa (for household insurance at least). That might be because its covers more though - it seems they assume you have at least £10,000 worth on stuff, and there are various things they cover like legal fees. They didn't include a nude lady though.

The bad news is that the bank is causing me grief. They didn't send a debit card (which is also an ATM card), so the only way I can get money out is through electronic transfers. First they said it was in the process of being issued (almost a month after I'd opened the account?), now they say they don't have the application form from me. So I've had to go and fill in the form, and it'll take another week before I get it.

Next week I'm moving in, and I'll need to organise broadband. That's probably the last thing that I'm really stressed about, especially since it's a 1 year contract so if I make the wrong choices I'm rather stuck with it. It also means that from Tuesday you might find me slow on replying to emails if I don't get it set up right away.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sitting around

Well, today was not terribly exciting. I collected my bicycle this morning (yes I did actually do some exercise, don't get a heart attack). Hopefully it hasn't been stolen yet: the guy at the bike shop seemed to indicate that they'd steal pretty much any part of your bike that wasn't locked to something, including your lights and your pump. Makes my feel like I never left home :-)

Other than that, I'm just waiting to get the lease to sign (was supposed to be last night, now supposedly tonight). I also looked at broadband options today, and if you thought this could be confusing in South Africa, you haven't seen anything. I'm planning on going with Virgin (they do cable, which I've heard from two different people is better than ADSL). They have options for TV (depending on how many channels you want), internet (speed), phone (free calls), and an option to get free minutes on Virgin mobile. However, ONLY
the phone options can be taken on their own. Everything else is either "costs X when you also have Y" or is part of a bundle. And you can't combine bundles. So you can get low-grade TV free with the phone line, or broadband for £4.50 with the phone line, but not both. And you can't have both low-grade TV and the phone line.

Once I've signed the lease I can start looking into things like insurance, and actually ordering the broadband, and planning what to ship, join the library, etc etc.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The House of Merry

So, without mucking about too much, I have obtained accommodation for the next six months (well, I will have once I've received the lease and signed it and paid a deposit etc). It's a one bedroom house in Lucerne Close. And if you thought South Africa had some crazy road naming, go look up "Lucerne Close, Cambridge" in Google maps and zoom right in. It's not a road, it's a tree of roads with 7 dead-ends.

This afternoon I intend to buy a bicycle, if the weather holds up.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hectic in Cambridge

Right, the flight was relatively uneventful, apart from the obligatory screaming infant. The bus to Cambridge ended up taking 3 hours, which wasn't much fun, but on the other hand my room was ready for me when I arrived.

So far I've been to collect my mail from Blaise (banking stuff) and have lunch with him in St Johns. I don't know if it's just because this is an offshore account, but banking seems worryingly slow here. My mail included various things including detail for getting on to online banking, but apparently the debit card could still take a few days. A little worrying when that is what I was planning to use for spending round here.

Sigh... I've just got a phone call to cancel one of the viewings I had planned for tomorrow. That leaves me with basically two at the moment (one I must confirm now), and one of them only actually opens later in February. So I'll be doing lots of flat-hunting this week.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Off to Cambridge

I'm off to Cambridge to earn my living, until I get sick of the weather. I'm in the departure lounge in Cape Town, Firefox on Linux doesn't want to start, and I'm expecting my flight to be called any minute. I'll write more later.