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Three emails this morning from various boss-people telling me what I'm apparently going to be doing for the next couple of weeks to add to the couple received last week; one cheekily added: "Please add anything else you think is necessary". Ahahaha aHAHAhaaHAHAAA. All this from the person who (before they went on holiday last month) gave everyone in the team a little to-do list of stuff which missed out crucial things such as days off and holidays.

I briefly considered developing the concept of the Question Penguin sometime last month in order to attempt to curtail the occasional descents of people-gathering-round-desks-asking-questions into multiply-voiced screeching chaos; the system would consist of a small plastic penguin placed on my desk. Anyone wanting to ask me a question would only have attention paid to them when they were completely enclosing the Question Penguin in both their hands - this would serve the dual purpose of ensuring that only one person can speak at once and that they can't continually prod and poke at my screen with their pointy consultant fingernails and Biros seeing as they don't seem to get the fact that TFT screens have flexible and easily-damaged plastic fronts rather than the satisfying plinky glass of the CRT monitors on which they were raised. I may now complement the penguin with the Magic Programming Pot, a Ryvita tin in which I keep my oatcakes into which I shall additionally place small pieces of paper on which are written the many tasks I'd like to be able to get round to doing one day. Whenever disturbed by my team leader shuffling over on his chair to ask "what you doing, Mr L?" I would reach into the Magic Programming Pot, withdraw an item from the never-ending stock of tasks (or possibly a packet of oatcakes) and read it obstinately out until such time as the tactic takes effect and I am left to work for at least two hours at a time without interruption.

After finishing at a reasonable hour I met Nicky and admitted that I too wasn't remotely hungry enough to be able to do justice to the food at the place we have twice intended to go to prior to going to the cinema before going to the cinema to see a bunch of short films filmed sequentially on super-8 with no additional editing and with a best-guess soundtrack. Mostly rather good stuff - perhaps two duds out of the twentyish shorts shown and well worth checking out if it's coming past you.

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