One Day In History

Published on 17 October 2006 in , , , , , ,

Regular readers might notice a difference in style for this entry. This is because this entry was originally written for One Day In History – an attempt to capture one days life of many, many people, and store that data in the British Library for future generations. That One Day is today, 17 October 2006. If you’re interested in contributing to the archive about your 17 October, don’t worry – it’s not too late! You can do so until the end of October, via their website.

One of the reasons I decided to do so was because I’ve recently finished reading Our Hidden Lives, compiled by Simon Garfield. This fascinating book uses the diaries of contributors to the Mass Observation movement just after the end of the Second World War. It’s a fascinating insight into the lives of normal peoples in that period that we wouldn’t have available to us to enjoy and learn from, if people hadn’t put the effort in to record them in diary form.

Just recording one day, as I have done, is puny in comparison, to the undertakings some people did for years, however it did give me an insight. If we want people to know how the people of 2006 lived, we have to have a record of at least some peoples lives. Yes, this blog records my life, but will it still be online in 50 years time? Who knows. I hope so, but who can really say for sure. And what about 100 years time? 200? At least through initiatives like One Day In History, a little something of me will exist for future generations. Whether they like it or not!

Anyway, enough pre-amble. This is my One Day In History…

Today started with some pondering of the mysteries of life. It began when I walked past the puny trickle of water that the is the overflow for the River Wandle near Merton Abbey Mills. Which is mystery one. Why does that heron stand there? I mean, there’s barely enough water there for the heron to stand in, yet alone catch any fish! Yet there (s)he was again this morning – in the same spot that it’s seen in many times a month. I guess we’ll never know.

I spent the morning tube ride reading about the fact that Linux is 15 years old this year, courtesy of Linux Format. It made me think that it was Autumn, nine years ago, that I first grasped a copy of SuSE 5.2 from a coverdisk of PC Plus, and bunged it in my PC. Of course Linux wasn’t easy to install those days. It was an artform in itself, which is probably why I managed to trash my hard drive and wipe all the data on it. Bye bye Windows. Bye bye documents.

It was a rather gutting moment – one which I’ll never forget (BACKUP DATA FIRST!) – but it didn’t put me off. About six months later I plucked up the courage to try again and never looked back. Okay, I never quite said goodbye to Microsoft’s “delights” – sometimes you need them – but I don’t use it often. Well except at work.

Mystery two came at White City station. I have to ask – am I the only person in the UK who, when they walk past the posters advertising the Green Wing Series 2 DVD, immediately starts humming the theme tune? I don’t do it for any other advert for a TV series, bar Green Wing. Has to be said, what a piece of branding if it can lead to that reaction!

Mystery three was in the lifts at work. Actually I’ve pondered this many times. Why do most people go to the second floor? It’s rather annoying when you’re going to the fifth but you have to wait for half the people to get off at the second every time. Can’t they walk? It’s only two flights after all. And why do the second floor staff seem to use the lift far more than everyone else? It’s the same size as every other floor in the building�

With that in mind, work was uneventful. Several meetings regarding various changes in practise for our projects. Feels a bit like change overload sometimes.

Now I’m not adverse to change if there’s a good reason for change – and some of the things that are being looked at, like Test Driven Design – seem to offer some serious benefits for us all. But does everything have to change at once? Sometimes feels like the entire job is being dismantled and re-assembled in front of my face all at the same time and it feels a little disconcerting.

On the way home came mystery 4. Had my ticket checked on the tube train. No bit mystery about that surely? Well actually yes, because it was the second time undercover ticket inspectors have checked my ticket on the train in the past week. And? Well in seven years of living in London, no one has ever checked my ticket on the tube once until last week! In station tunnels yes, but never on the train itself.

After work I popped to the gym. Despite feeling rather knackered, I forced myself into doing the full routine. Checking out at the end, it appears the various machines reckoned I burnt off 594 calories. Can’t be bad really.

Unfortunately it did leave me a little knackered which might explain why I went home and collapsed in front of some episodes of the Simpsons I’d recorded earlier and had a beer… Well at least, that’s my excuse…