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Posted on Monday 20th October 2008 at 00:00
Well Dear Reader, I am here once again. I hope you will forgive me for this horrifically prolonged absence, especially in the absence of any forewarning of my neglect here.

I've been away from these pages so many times over the last 18 months or so that I won't waste my breath promising to blog three times a day from now on or write you all personal messages, as that would be extremely stupid of me, especially since we all know it won't happen.

I shall resolve, therefore, to blog as little or as often as I have time for over the coming months. I'd like to think that I'll be here at least once a week, but I know if I commit to that in writing I'll fail to stick to it within a fortnight, so it is probably easier not to both.

There are two reasons for my absence these last few months, which I offer to you by way of explanation, rather than feeble apology. Firstly, I had a very busy Summer and, so far, Autumn is shaping up pretty much the same way, as I'll cover in more depth in a moment. Secondly, as often happens, my blog was hacked and sadly suffered serious database damage as a result. I've not quite straightened it all out yet, but hopefully we'll get there eventually. At any rate it is usable again now, so use it I shall.

So, what news then?

Well, first and foremost, after 5 years of living the single life, in July I found myself a new girlfriend, who from here on in I shall refer to as "L". She is a large part of the reason why I've not had time to blog recently, because as those who have girlfriends will know, they can be extremely time consuming, and doubly so if you actually like spending time with them, as is the case in this relationship. The only reason I can find the time to talk to you now is that L is currently in Plymouth, where she attends university, and I'm here in Bristol during the week, which leaves my evenings free to get on with the stuff I'd ordinarily be trying to do at the weekend, such as blogging.

The other drain on my time recently has been work, which dramatically increased in July from 4 hours a day 5 days a week to 15 hours a day 7 days a week for a time. Luckily it has calmed down again now, although it's now so low that I'm actually looking for another job on the 4 days a week when I don't have uni. If you know anyone who is actually hiring in the Bristol area, please let me know!

Thanks largely to L's motivational influence I made it through my exams in the summer and so was finally able to embark on my final year of my degree in September. If I'm able to pass everything this year I shall finally be free of this monster that has cast its shadow over me for nearly 5 years now.

Work continues on markglover.co.uk, with the hope being that I'm able to finish it very soon and link to it on my CV when job hunting. I'm actually quite impressed with what I'm coming up with, even if the progress is far slower than I'd like.

The other day I switched from Internet Explorer, which I've used loyally since I first got internet access in January 1998, to Firefox, which as those who use it know, is basically better. My IE was beginning to break down and I was getting less and less satisfied with its performance, so it seemed like a good time for a change. At some point I might write a little article on Firefox, once I've had longer to play with it. The difference most applicable to this post is the built-in spell checker that allows me to type this directly into my browser, rather than first having to write it in Microsoft Word and then copy it across after checking it. Much faster. Until such time as I write up a review of the browser, if you are interested you might consider this excellent blog post by Stephen Fry on the advantages of Firefox over other browsers. In fact, I can highly recommend Stephen's blog generally if you are after a good read, as his is one of the best on the internet, in my humble opinion.

Well, the clock is ticking steadily around to midnight, which means I should be making tracks, since my uni timetable demands that I be up at 6:30am tomorrow. I've enjoyed writing this post immensely, and I hope you feel the same way about reading it. I do hope so.

I shall return when next I can find the time to pop in and say hello, but until then, if you are new to the blog, why not look through the archive to see what I had to say back when I was posting daily?

Some of it was quite good you know, even if I say so myself!

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