For the last two months or so, I’ve been taking every Friday off : I had too many vacation days left over from last year, and hadn’t gotten around to doing anything with them. So rather than disappear from work for a large chunk of time (when we’re really busy with translation tool-related projects) I figured just making each week shorter might be a good way to use up the time. I was right. Working four day weeks, despite they being four very busy days, works out quite well – I’m certainly less stressed now than I was at the start of this group of days off. I’m due to be off Fridays till the end of this month. I’ll be interesting to see how I fare in July.

Anyway, apart from sitting at home messing about on my mac (an iMac g4 17″) or my old dell pc (running Solaris Express with an early build of what will be JDS) I’ve been spending my time doing three things :

  1. Gardening
  2. Taking photographs
  3. Walking the dog

Gardening is really relaxing and definitely worth trying if you haven’t. In Ireland, I think it’s starting to become more popular with the younger generation – with people like Diarmuid Gavin putting an amount of irreverance into the activity and really expressing quite well what’s good about it. Our front and back gardens are coming along pretty well – Bob (the missus) does a lot of the planting and strategic gardening, and I tend to lump heavy weights from one place to another. I also take care of the grass, which I’m particularly proud of.

Photography is something that I’ve always liked doing, but just have never seemed to have the time for : so what better way to spend the occasional Friday off. This nicely ties in with the next thing I do when I’m bored…

Dog walking – we’ve been minding my parents’ english springer spaniel called Clara for the last two or three weeks. She’s not terribly well trained it has to be said, but is a likeable old thing. St Anns park in Raheny is a 10 minute walk from our house, and the dog can run around there to her hearts content.

Of course, all of this is academic today – I haven’t done any of these interesting activities, because the Irish weather has been doing what it does best all day : raining :-(