Dr John Hawkins
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- Where Did February Go?
Drinking too much
Nothing much to report...
A film less ordinary...
William and Katie
- Where Did February Go?
- Ok, so as I and everyone else predicted, I didn't keep up with writing an entry every day. So, given as it's the last day of the month, I'm going to write a summary of the last couple of weeks or so, and then maybe I can start afresh in March. So, er, interesting parts of February...
- On the family tree front, I got as far as my great great great great grandfather - George Henry Hawkins. Since then it's pretty much ground to a halt really. There doesn't seem to be anything else I can discover from the resources available on the internet, so to proceed further is going to require spending a fair amount of money and/or making some trips to records offices and so on around the country. Either way a lot more free time is needed, which I just don't have because...
- I've started a serious offensive on getting that PhD thesis of mine finished. I'm deeply cautious about trying to predict a date of completion, as whenever I've done this in the past I've ended up not meeting it, and after a few iterations of this process it becomes very disheartening. I would absolutely love to be able to graduate this summer. This isn't technically impossible, so who knows...
- Met up with Simon the day before yesterday, who is now back in England, and superbly living very close by. Looking forward to a bit of a Radstock revival over the coming weeks.
- The other Simon (the one from work) held a Monty Python night last Tuesday, with the obvious beer and junk food thrown in. Watched The Life of Brian and The Holy Grail, both of which I haven't seen in ages. Marvellous.
- Have started to plan my birthday outing, and for once, not left it until the last minute. The current plan is a tour of pubs around Windsor/Eton, and quite a lot of people have already expressed an interest... Ought to be a good one, especially as being in Windsor should provide a fairly cast iron guarantee that no part of the event will take place in bloody Streatley (see last year's outing for details).
- Yesterday I bought a BIG monitor. We're talking 19 inches here. OK, so it's not TFT or anything flashy like that, just old fashioned CRT, and it's probably not the best quality display ever, but it's massively better for writing the thesis with, and just general use, and it only cost 129 quid brand new. My previous monitor was something rather pathetic like 14 inch, and was about six years old, so it seems like a replacement was long overdue.
- Other than that I can't think of a great deal to report.
- [Sunday 8th February] Today we finally went to Portsmouth. Typically though, we left late, and I'm a little dubious about the route I chose on the way there, so by the time we arrived it was getting on for 3. Still, it gave us a good hour or so in Gun Wharf Quays, which Chie seemed to enjoy, after which we then went on to try and find some of the places my ancestors had lived. This didn't turn out to be very satisfying - we saw the outside of two houses, one where my great great grandfather had lived, and another where my great great great grandfather had lived. But they were just houses really!
So I made an executive decision to give up on touring family homes of yesteryear and go instead to see my Dad's cousin, Guy. As it happens he lived very close to the last house we visited. I had a great time there, sharing my findings about the family with Guy, and learning more from him. Also whilst there, Guy phoned his Mum's cousin Cornelia (which makes her my great great aunt or something like that), who was absolutely fascinating, and filled in lots of gaps in the family tree, along with anecdotes and explanations that really helped to bring these people to life. I've been trying to find out about my great grandfather's brothers and sisters for a long time now, and this was the first oppotunity I'd had to talk to someone who actually knew them all. My great grandfather was her uncle, my great grandfather's little sister was her mother, and all his other brothers and sisters were her aunts and uncles.
After leaving Guy's house we had a real failure in finding anywhere nice to eat in Portsmouth - it seems to pretty much shut down on a Sunday evening, which was a bit frustrating. We ended up eating at a Little Chef on the way home. Still, you can't win them all.
- [Saturday 7th February] Had a hangover in the morning (see yesterday's entry). In the afternoon, went to Festival Place in Basingstoke with Chie to see what it was like. As I'd expected, shopping centres are pretty much shopping centres. Still, I think it's important to be able to criticise from a position of authority.
- Drinking too much
- [Friday 6th February] After work, went to the pub for a "quick drink". Yeah, right. Had about 6 pints, then staggered home at closing time. Had a hangover the next morning, and didn't remember a great deal of the previous evening. Slightly wondered about the wisdom of drinking a lot.
- [Thursday 5th February] Reading back over my past few entries I am realising this week is turning out to be really quite dull. The highlight of today was probably discovering my local supermarket has started selling vegetarian mozzarella. Blimey, what a crazy rollercoaster of an existence I lead. (Incidentally the salad I made with the mozzarella was very nice).
- [Wednesday 4th February] Chie went out to see some of her friends tonight. So I spent the night in by myself, doing very little really. Spent a bit more time on the family tree, and watched a bit of television. Not particularly exciting.
- Nothing much to report...
- [Tuesday 3rd February] Really very little to report.
- A film less ordinary...
- [Monday 2nd February] Watched "A Life Less Ordinary", which Chie had taped the previous evening, or something. I thought it was going to be a fairly formulaic sort of romantic comedy, but actually was quite surprised. It was just very odd. Dragged a bit towards the end, but in general fairly watchable. Had burgers (of the vegetarian variety, of course) for dinner. Haven't really felt like putting a lot of effort into cooking for a while now...
- William and Katie
- [Sunday 1st February] Me and Chie had originally hoped to go Portsmouth today, but we hadn't been able to get in touch with my (sort of) cousin there, so had to postpone that plan in the end. Instead we decided to go and visit my brother and his family. His second child Katie (my niece!) had been born at the end of last year, but they'd all caught chicken pox, so we'd had to stay away. This was therefore my first chance to see her. She is of course absolutely adorable. It was also great to see little William, my nephew, again. Having planned to just "pop in" for an hour or two in the afternoon, we ended up staying for dinner, which was really nice. Whilst there I gave my brother a hand moving his fence, which had blown over in the previous day's storms. This was a surprisingly fun activity. All in all a very nice day out.
- [Saturday 31st January] Chie's friend left around 5-ish in the evening, and I was on the computer for most of the time up until then. We gave Chie's friend a left back to where she lives, and on the way back to our house we thought we'd try and find something interesting to do. So in the end we found ourselves in Sonning having a drink at the Bull, which is surprisingly difficult to get to by car. We considered eating there, but it was a bit overcrowded. So, instead we stopped off at Pizza Hut and had their nachos deal thingy - if I ever try to claim TV advertising has no effect on me, please remind me of this. Not particularly marvellous culinarily speaking, but it was only ten quid for nachos (very artificial tasting) and an Edge pizza, which was pretty uninteresting, but it filled us up at least.