My sister was visiting my cousin (who has been living in Norwich for the last year or so) last weekend. So we met up for a day out at Colchester Zoo. The giraffe's were my favourite, closely followed by the orang utans; you can almost see the intelligence in their eyes.

We still haven't seen the new Harry Potter film. We booked tickets for last Saturday night at Vue. But we got there to find that the air conditioning was broken. It was completely unbearable so we got our money back and went back home. Instead, we've planned to watch all the DVDs (borrowed from the library) over the next several days and go and see the new one another time.

The big thing this week was flat hunting. I went to London on Tuesday for another skills session in the morning (the same series as my org-mode presentation last week) about LaTeX graphics, fonts, and making your own classes and commands. And in the afternoon I met Zoe to start viewing some flats. Here is a piece of advice: don't choose all the flats you want to see and try and book viewings of each of them at specific times. This is what I tried to do and it was a near disaster. Instead, book a slot of time (maybe an hour) with the agent offering each of the flats you're interested in and get them to take you round that one and a few others. That way you get to see plenty of flats and you don't have to worry about getting around them yourself. Another thing I found out (and this is pretty obvious now I think about it) is that agents within the same company are in competition with each other. So we went in to one agent and just said we've booked a viewing of such-and-such, and one of them offered to take us to see it. On the way I had a call from one of his colleagues who was outraged that we'd gone to see it with someone else! I didn't think that it would make any difference who we went to see it with, so I didn't bother making any note of who I'd arranged the viewing with on the phone.

Anyway, we did manage to see quite a few in the end. And we found one we liked which we've put a holding deposit on. It's in Lewisham, so handy for shopping and swimming and running and even for College. The next hurdle is getting a removal company. I've been in touch with one who asked me to do my own survey of the furniture, in the hope that he might be able to give us an sooner slot. So measuring the sofa, tables, bookshelves, etc. was actually quite fun.

I went in to the lab again on Thursday to hear Sebastian Ewert's talk on his work on chroma-invariant audio alignment. And also went in to the agent's office to complete the tenancy agreement application form. And I tested the walk from the flat to the lab: 40 minutes, including some green bits.

While I was there, I also tried to convince one of my colleagues to try ElScreen and Wanderlust. I say tried, in fact he's already a keen Emacs user, and was looking for a good Emacs window manager and an Emacs-based mail client, so he didn't really need much convincing.

I definitely think Emacs is the way forward for an all-purpose, desktop environment-like system. I plan to learn to integrate the Emacs Multimedia System into my "work"flow. It'd be nice to be able to rely more on Emacs for Web browsing. Currently, with w3m etc. you miss out on JavaScript and images. I'd also be interested in finding a presence manager which abstracts over jabber.el and ERC (and the like). I currently have some basic elisp functions which I can use to mark myself as away etc. but they're specific to my case, and not very extensible.

I need to settle down to some proper work next week. Especially working on the DRHA paper and my literature review.

Oh yes, and today is the anniversary of my interview at Goldsmiths.