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…in very good order. He brought back some old pictures, so of course I scanned one and did a bit of cleaning-up on it.

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…there is a welcoming party waiting for him on our bed.

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HWMBO's hard disk packed up last week. Very sad, really, but the computer and harddisk are about 7 years old so it was time. Most of it has been saved, so losses were minimal.

But, we probably couldn't afford a new computer for him, so what to do? I had several relatively new SATA disks, but no SATA DVD-RW drive. The old computer has a SATA controller on it, but it won't handle SATA and IDE drives at the same time.

The solution was to get a SATA DVD-RW drive (they are really cheap now, around £30) and put the SATA 500GB hard disk and the DVD drive into his machine, and re-install Windows et al.

Well.

I ended up buying two DVD-RW drives, one from Misco, one from PC World, because the Misco drive didn't arrive on time (I was out buying the other one when it arrived—they left it at the church, which they probably weren't supposed to do. But, hey...)

Got his computer open, removed the two drives, installed the new ones with the new cables, vacuumed it out, and closed it up again. Then started the real fun.

I have a Rock laptop which now runs Ubuntu v9, rather than Windows. So I used the installation disk from that to install Windows XP Pro on the Dell desktop and its brand-new drive. Of course, the installation went OK, but the computer couldn't see the Ethernet port. Thus, I had to download the driver (into a thumbdrive attached to my computer) and then install it on his computer. We were then connected to the Internet. Of course, there was XP SP1, SP2, and SP3 to install, plus a shedload of other patches, most of which needed a reboot. During this time HWMBO came home. Thank goodness he wasn't here when I was trying to install the rest of the stuff. I was swearing like a trooper.

We finally got all the updates installed, as well as Firefox and AVG Free. That was enough for today—we went to the Well as a reward.
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It's been kind of a roller-coaster week, with the highlight being finally catching and dispatching one of the bolder mice which inhabit our humble home.

Here it is, cut so that you won't have to read it if you're wretchedly pressed for time... )

A very busy week indeed. I apologise for this being so long.

For HWMBO

Nov. 15th, 2008 01:26 pm
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...and thanks to Ashton Cruz for posting it.

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I promised a few weeks ago to post pictures from HWMBO's 10K Pride Run last month. He has been hectoring me for a month, so I've finally gotten around to it...

The starting line...you can't see HWMBO in it, unfortunately. Some famous guy whose name I didn't catch was doing the starting honours.



And they're off!



Here's HWMBO at the first lap:



Here's a closer look:



Here's HWMBO on the second lap:



Welsh gay flag on the sidelines:



At the finish line:



Queueing for his medal:



With the goodie bag, which contained a lovely towel in addition to various things to eat and lots of literature:



With M, they form the Two Musketeers:



A great time was had by all. [livejournal.com profile] iejw was there but we didn't bump into each other knowingly.
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...and HWMBO has one less wisdom tooth. We arrived around 1 pm and waited in a very small waiting room until 1:35 or so, when they called out his name and he disappeared into the examining room. By 2:20 pm they were calling me to join him in the recovery room. He was the first one to be able to get up and go, but we had a hard time finding a taxicab (it took them 20 minutes to send one) and the cabbie was one of those who WOULD NOT SHUT UP. Neither would his satnav, which was quietly giving him the wrong directions.

Kudos to the hospital, which was very efficient: HWMBO said that when he had a wisdom tooth out in Singapore it was much more difficult. No kudos to the cab company, which might have sent a less verbose taxi.

HWMBO is now resting on the sofa and watching BBC News 24.
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We had a very stress-free Saturday, mostly. We decided to go out and sit in the park, as the weather was so good. So, we collected two Subway sandwiches (a BMT and tuna, as it happened) and sat in the park and read and listened to our iPods, as well as watching the cute men walk by. Lots of very casually-clothed guys, as it was the first really nice day of the year.

After that, went to the White Cube at Mason's Yard to see the Gregory Crewdson photo exhibition. His photos remind me of stills from The Twilight Zone, except they're photographed someplace in Massachusetts (I couldn't tell where, exactly). Whoever wrote the exhibition notes was NOT from Massachusetts as he referred to "upstate" Massachusetts. There is no such place. Massachusetts has some areas: North Shore, South Shore, Boston, the Cape, the Berkshires, but no "upstate" unless they've added something since I lived there. Perhaps he was referring to New Hampshire?

Edit: I did a Google on one of the businesses shown in one of the photographs, and it's in Pittsfield, so the note should have said "Western" Massachusetts, or perhaps "The Berkshires"..

Then, we walked to Old Compton Street and had dinner at the old Pollo Restaurant, across the streed from Ed's. I can't remember what they call it now but it's some combination of pig and cock...HWMBO had cuttlefish risotto (black with ink...his mouth was starting to look very Goth by the time he was finished) and I had a calzone, which was absolutely huge. I didn't remember it being that big the last time we were there. I ate the middle but left the ends. I had an Italian beer (Messina, it's forgettable [could be its advertising slogan]) and when that was finished I asked for a Diet Coke, but she brought another beer. When I protested that I'd ordered a Diet Coke, she just said, "Really?" Then off to the Number 1 bus and home--they're grubbing up New Oxford Street so it's pretty well impassable, in case anyone is around there.

Sunday we had Pentecost at St. Matthew's, and the Rector decided to put everything but the kitchen sink into the liturgy. There was more there than there was at Easter. This is pretty annoying, really. It's as if the more stuff he puts in (there was an anointing, a kind of rededication liturgy at the end, and various other bits in the middle) the better the liturgy is. That's not what liturgy is about.

Lazed around in the afternoon until Mark Ch. called--we should meet at the gym as early as we could, so I trotted off there, had a good workout, then we walked back to the Elephant and had Chinese food at the Well with HWMBO before Mark went off up North.

Today is pretty nerve-wracking: HWMBO has to have a wisdom tooth extracted, and I have to accompany him as he'll be pretty heavily sedated and anesthetised. Hopefully it will go well but I foresee a couple of soft-boiled eggs in his dining future tonight. I shall bring the newspaper and a good book.
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...and HWMBO will be home around 9 pm. I am so happy!
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Well, it seems that I'm fated to have one disaster per day (at least) while on holiday. Today was no exception. After a nice hawker center meal with my host, I set out on the 105 bus to return to the Chinese consulate to get my passport. Waited in a queue (natch) until the gate opened and we streamed through. Paid my Sg$85, and queued to pick up my passport. The lady behind the counter ruffled through the passports in several trays, took the slip into another room (unseen by us), then returned after about 10 minutes. Those behind me were saying things like, "What's going on?" and blaming me for the holdup.

The lady returned, said, "Sit over there" and resumed handing out everyone else's passport. I was very upset and nervous. There is nothing worse than having to replace your passport while on holiday.

Oh, and you! Yes, you over there, the guy with the funny T-shirt and the Australian accent, who passed me sitting waiting on your way up to get your passport. You weren't very helpful when you smirked and said, "They lost your passport, huh?" I muttered, "Hopefully not" but was imagining you getting caught with contraband on your way into China and sentenced to 50 years' hard labour with an Ah Beng roommate with a huge member, a long sentence, and raging hormones.

Finally, after waiting for 40 minutes, and seeing everyone get their passports, the lady triumphantly pulled my passport out of the tray. She said, "Sorry, sorry," and I said "Mei guanxi" (no problem), but didn't mean it. Had a hard time calming myself down.

Went to town and met HWMBO, who helped me calm down. Did a bit of shopping, then met our host, our friend Leslie, and another friend Edwin for dinner. Then, oddly enough, we were invited to a gala showing of the new Fantastic Four movie. Not something I'd pay good money for but the price was therefore right. A freebie bag, a can of Coke (which I couldn't drink, of course) at every seat, a bin of caramel popcorn (ditto not eating, though I sneaked a few kernels), and posters, notebooks, and the like. HWMBO has a friend with some young children who will probably adore the freebies, so we took our seats and went through about 1-3/4 hours of movie. Kids will love it. Adults, well, only if they have kids or are regressing. One shirtless scene by the guy who played the fiery gent. SFX were, well, special.

Home and to bed, right now!
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I had a much better night; I thank your good thoughts and the melatonin, in that order.

Our host had a houseguest over the weekend other than me, and we all went out to lunch together. He's from KL, and works in clothing design. Very nice chap, David's the name. I conducted him to the MRT station, then turned to walk to the loo before getting on the train myself. I had one of those back spasms that will absolutely paralyse you. I managed to get to a pillar and stand against it, to the bemusement of a very hot guy across the path. I stood for a while and finally the spasm went away. Then I was off to Sim Lim Square to look around (but not shop).

One thing that has become clear to me is that Singapore has gotten much more crowded of late. The malls are more crowded, the streets even more crowded (and few people other than mad dogs and Englishmen walk on the streets in the midday sun here), and the MRT is crowded; I only got a seat twice out of six trips today.

My friend George gave me a call and said that he could have dinner tonight and that as his bf is going out of town for a meeting tomorrow, tonight would be best. So I went downtown again to meet them in Chinatown. We ate at Xinmin Vegetarian Restaurant, 29 Kreta Ayer Road, open each evening except Monday. They had a very nice Ma Po beancurd, and sweet and sour mock pork. Their English is limited, so you will have to point if you have no Chinese. But the food's worth it and not too dear.

Afterwards we met HWMBO and his brother for tea. We passed the new Temple of Buddha's Tooth in the centre of Chinatown. Apparently the temple was built right across the square from a big Methodist Church, which has taken exception to such a heathen building springing up so near to them. They are just pig-ignorant. Most Protestants here are even more fundamentalist than coldwater Babtists, and ignorant on top of it. Some feel that meditation is the devil's work, because Buddhists do so much of it. Tell that to the chaplain of Dunwoodie seminary, who made us meditate for 1/2 hour each morning back in the mid 1970's.

Tea, then home again. Early start tomorrow for the Chinese Embassy and my visa. Hope it goes OK.
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For "HWMBO", I get this:

HWMBO HOMEBOY, HBO, HMO, GUMBO, JUMBO, HOBO, HOMO, DUMBO, LIMBO, RAMBO, BIMBO, COMBO, MAMBO, HOB, MOB, HEB, HEM, DEMOB, HM, MB, HEBE, HERB, HEME, HUMOR, HOMOS, HAM, MBA, H'M, HIM, HUB, HUM, HMS, HARBOR, HOMBRE, HUMBLE, HUMBLY, HUMBUG, HUBE, HUME, HOME, HM'S, HOMO'S

I do wonder whether someone's asleep at the switch...

Later edit: Like me, who doesn't proofread his entries very well...
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I got up this morning, performed my ablutions, made sure that the world hadn't ended (ie, listened to the news), made breakfast, woke HWMBO up, and started on my toast and coffee.

HWMBO came downstairs, entered the kitchen, and screamed "A snail!" There was a very long sinuous slug on the kitchen countertop.

Now when I started making breakfast I folded up the rag that we use to wipe the countertop, and saw a trail across it, but of course didn't believe it was a slug or a snail--how could such a thing get into our kitchen when we hadn't had the door open for ages. I just thought it was some artifact of the last time we wiped the counter, and thought no more about it.

I thought of putting salt on it, but HWMBO would have been even more squicked out by what happens to slugs when you salt 'em. I didn't think of taking a picture beforehand, drat. I opened the back door, took a piece of cardboard, scooped up the slug and slung it into the garden.

Compared to the slug, the rest of the day ought to be fairly sedate.
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I was finishing up at work, just reporting on an interview I had conducted, when my mobile phone vibrated with not one, but two messages. They were both from the recruiter who arranged my interview at my new employer. I thought it odd, but looked at the first one:

Hey beautifull,sorry i haven't called you today,its been a bit of a hectic day!i promise to call you later?i also was thinking we should do wed night?? X x

Well! He's a British-Nigerian man, very good looking, and I would probably find him very good in the sack. Then I looked at the second message:

Please ignore that message chris...it was for my girlfriend christina..regards

I sent him back a message saying:

Aw...I thot I had a hot date Weds! Regards Chris not Christina.

I'm so glad that I'm married and that he's straight. Otherwise, I might get into trouble. HWMBO is behind me right now reading this and going: "Hm. Hm. HM! HM! HM!"
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...for two reasons. First, HWMBO returns from Singapore tomorrow morning very early indeed. I've been pretty lonely but thanks to the many friends who've gone out to dinner or lunch with me, especially c-in-b and [livejournal.com profile] spwebdesign, as well as Mark. It made it easier. Not sleeping, of course (especially when alone with only the stuffed teddy bears and dogs for company.

Second, I begin work tomorrow morning at 11 am. The contract that they said was "in the post" is still in the post, thanks to Royal Mail in SE1. But I have confirmation that I should turn up at 11 am. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work full-time again.
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I decided to listen to SmoothFM after Just a Minute today just to keep the radio on (I detest the Archers). This song came up:

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
She's gone much too long
Any time she goes away

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away

I know
She's gone to stay
It's breakin' me up
Anytime she goes away
Gotta leave the young thing alone
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's gone much too long
Any time she goes away

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
I wonder if she's gone to stay
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't a home
Any time she goes away

I know
She's gone to stay
It's breaking me up
Any time she goes away
Gotta leave the young thing alone
There ain't no sunshine when she's gone

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
I wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Any time she goes away
Any time she goes away

As I listened to it I was really feeling alone. Now I know this is silly, as HWMBO will be back in two weeks. I also go away for work occasionally and I don't have this kind of separation anxiety when I do that. On reflection, I think the reason is that normally when we're separated I'm the one that's travelling, and he's the one who's staying home. I'm in a new environment, I have things to do, so I don't think about the fact that HWMBO isn't with me. Now, of course, he's the one that's away, and I'm sitting here trying to cook for one and feeling sorry for myself.

I am now getting a little bit of the feeling that couples get when they've been together for decades (we're just coming up to 8 years together) and then they're separated for whatever reason. I guess it only gets worse as time goes on.

He called today offering to get me a pair of Crocs and wanting to know size and colour. I looked at their website and discovered that they have a model aimed at diabetics. Bigger toe-box, better cushioning, toe-reinforcement so that it's harder to stub your toe or get stepped on. Just what I need. So I asked for a pair of those if they had it. If not, I'll order one through the website. He's having lots of fun, seeing all our old friends, having dinner with them, and so on. The only good thing about staying behind is that I might get a job offer during this time and be able to be gainfully employed by the time he gets back! Happy happy joy joy!
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We've been and gone and done it, yesterday, at Southwark Registry Office.

There are some photos and a little chronology of the day's events behind the cut.

Behind here...watch out for the large photos! )
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in my previous post, that HWMBO has been absolutely wonderful during this whole episode. I'm sure that everyone took that for granted, but in reading the previous post I came across as a self-centred twit in a way, only caring about what was happening to me. While it was dreadful, I'm sure it was just as dreadful for HWMBO, but he was there for me within minutes of Mark calling him from the emergency room. He visited every day, and unquestioningly carried out my requests (Feed me! Bring the newspaper! Bring books! Please kiss me!) and made it at least bearable to be in that dreadful place. He's taken charge of my diet, now, and we will be eating fish twice a week whether I like it or not. We will be going to get Civil Partnershipped tomorrow, and he's stood by me through the whole thing. No one could ask for a better partner.

I just wanted to make sure I said it.
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Well, BK and I went window-shopping yesterday...didn't buy anything but got ideas. I need to be very careful so I'm not going to go hog-wild this time around. We then parted and I met HWMBO and Tiow Hua for a Teochew dinner. The Teochews (a coastal area north of Hong Kong, I think) have spread throughout Southeast Asia. Their cuisine is hard to find elsewhere, though; I've never seen it in London or New York (although there might be Teochew dishes scattered on menus). Their meat specialty is goose, so we had braised goose with tofu; a braised cabbage and mushroom dish, with the cabbage in a round bowl with mushroom caps arranged in a circle on top of the cabbage and a slice of red pepper in the middle of the circle; meatball "cubes" with pork and prawn mixed in; and a prawn omelet. All with dipping sauces of various kinds. Then for dessert we had a yam paste, served hot in a bowl. Very moreish, but probably very fattening. Followed by a very small cup (really a dish) of very strong tea to de-glaze your tongue and throat.

I got home in good order (though I got a bit lost getting here) and forgot to take my melatonin before bed, so I ended up waking up, irrevocably, at 4 am.

Lunch with an lj friend today then dinner with BK, I think.
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We had a pleasant surprise upon arriving at the Elephant and Castle underground station: the Piccadilly Line was not going to Heathrow on Sunday so we could use the Heathrow Express for the price of a one day Travelcard zones 1-6. This was to be the last pleasant surprise.

We got to Heathrow, everything went well, we got to the boarding lounge and on the plane. Then I did a double take as the plane seemed to be scheduled to stop at Frankfurt. And so we did.

It turns out that there is no longer enough jet fuel at Heathrow to get a plane all the way to Singapore. This is because of a fuel depot explosion and fire over the Christmas holidays. So all the long-haul flights have to stop elsewhere to top up before going on their way. So we were ultra late (got out of Customs at 6, were supposed to be out of Customs at about 3).

HWMBO's mom asked BK whether the person HWMBO was traveling with was the same person he travelled with last year. He said that it was. No more questions.

She doesn't look good; she has gotten quite stooped in the past year, but she has a wide smile (HWMBO has her face and smile, while he has his dad's height). We separated and BK and I went to his place, while HWMBO went to have dinner with his parents and Choo Beng.

When BK and I went for dinner, HWMBO and Choo Beng came along. It turns out that it didn't take his parents more than an hour to try to set him up with a woman. He declined, even though she is an assistant CEO of a company. She's 35, and I guess her parents have despaired of ever getting her married off. So HWMBO's parents decided to offer...

It's almost 1 am Tuesday here so I must be off to bed to try to un-jet-lag myself as quickly as possible.

Cheers to all!

August 2017

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