I was determined to get an early start today, so I set my alarm for 7.30am, which would give me plenty of time to get myself ready for the day. I was off to a good start, as I woke up at 7.00am. I was lying in bed reading a two day-old copy of the Financial Times when the radio went off, and I was treated to Englebert Humperdink asking to be released. What seemed like a few seconds later, the phone rang. I looked at the clock: 8.16am. I spoke to Linda and Liam for a while, then went for a shower. No sooner was I out and almost (but not quite) dry, than the phone rang again. Instead of hearing Linda's voice, I was treated to a rendition of Happy Birthday by MY FLATMATE's parents. I didn't want to interrupt them, so I let them carry on to the end: "Happy birthday, dear Charles. Happy birthday to you", before thanking them and letting them know that Charles was still in the land of nod, but that I would be happy to waken him up for them. After a couple of minutes of embarrassed laughter as they remembered that their son doesn't have a Scottish accent afterall, Charles came through, and I went into my room to continue getting dried and dressed. By now it was almost 9am... so much for the early start. I took in the washing and put some more in the machine, and then made a pot of tea. I couldn't leave for work without wishing Charles a happy 46th birthday now, could I. So I made his breakfast for him (i.e., a pot of tea), and we sat and chatted for a while. It was 11am before I got out, and I just managed to miss a train, so I had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. Managed to get to the OFFICE without any further incident. Once there, however, I noticed that all of the letters I had sent since the beginning of August (including my invoices), were unopened in the absent secretary's in-tray. A few phone calls shed some light on the situation, and there is a meeting planned for next week to discuss matters. Much more pressing, however, is the fact that I do not know how to work the air conditioning, and it steadfastly refuses to come on for me - even when I throw things at it. The office windows open a little, but my office faces onto a QUADRANGLE that multiplies the heat, with the result that opening the window only lets more hot air in. So, here I am. Melting. Never mind... tomorrow I'm off to the beach for the weekend with SÍLVIA AND ALEXANDRE!