Sharp Blue: Busy times


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I don’t know how I’ve managed to fit so much into each of the last few days:

  • I hired a van to go to collect the last of my things from Cambridge. In all, it was two car loads and then most of the space in the van too (I seem to have accumulated an awful lot of books and consumer electronics in the last five years). Somehow I’ve managed to put all of it away neatly, which strikes me as a minor miracle. There are a lot of badly organised ring-binders to reorder, but to first order I’ve now effectively moved back from Cambridge
  • I spent two whole days trying and failing to fix a toilet. At first, this looked to be quite an easy job: remove the cistern, replace the flush unit, bolt everything back together. Then it turned out that the washer that fitted between the two ceramic parts of the toilet was broken and all the DIY shops in Bristol only seemed to have new ones that were much too thick. So I bought a new connector that should’ve solved the problem, but it didn’t attack properly to the flush unit I’d bought from the same shop and which was made by the same manufacturer. In the end, I solved the problem with gigantic amounts of silicone sealant. Or at least I think I did - the sealant won’t be fully hardened till tomorrow. Throughout most of this, I wanted to wash my hands more than I’d ever wanted to before.
  • The first book of Ad Astra is starting to take shape. It looks like I have the raw words for the history and Sol System sections that will make up this release, but I’ll have to do an awful lot of rewriting, editing and typesetting before I have anything worth proofreading.
  • I’m rapidly convincing myself of the feasibility of my first Mysterious Business Idea. It looks like the economics work out quite well, the technical aspects I can deal with easily enough, the market is viable: all that remains is lots of the grunt work. My second MBI is starting to form too. That one would be the perfect dotcom business plan, because I can’t yet see a revenue stream!
  • At last, I’ve gotten around to thinking serious about my popular physics book, Light, the Universe and Everything. I think I’m going to write the first chapter (which will be called “Maps of Physics” and will be about the ways in which various theories in modern physics approximate to each other) and a synopsis of the rest and then try to sell it to a publisher.

I’ve just realised that I haven’t said anything about my dad’s cancer for a while. He’s been taking interferon for three weeks now (he injected himself for the first time today!) and so far the side-effects aren’t as bad as we feared. He feels tired and gets the odd ache, but it hasn’t left him unable to get out of bed. Something I didn’t expect is that the side-effects are only apparent on the three days a week he has the injections - I’d expected them to slowly build up week after week rather than being so rapidly oscillatory. I also forget to mention that he had another four radiotherapy treatments for his leg, and that seems to have helped. We see his oncologist again next week.

Well, I’d hoped to never write one of these grab-bag updates, but it looks like I’ve failed!

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