I tried to scupper the holiday in Bulgaria idea by citing the new Bogcaster City Council greener-than-thou No Fly policy, which I, as a serving local government officer of senior rank, am morally obliged to observe to the full yea even unto my personal travel requirements.
I smiled, but Mavis wiped my visage by producing from her desk drawer a hefty volume bearing on the cover in large letters its title "Central European Train Timetable".
"Ah", I stammered in desperation, "I wouldn't call Sofia Central Eur..." but the words died on my lips as the smaller type sub-title came into focus. It read "Including all the Balkan states and links to Turkey and Caucasus."
I cannot help noticing that as soon as the school holidays start and the staff disappear on their annual beach migration - making us short staffed in most departments - a strange phenomenon occurs. All our perfomance indicators improve. And not just a statistically insignificant smidgen - they improve dramatically.
The helpdesk, barely staffed at all at present, is up 50% across the board. It could be that answering the service desk number and then sobbing uncontrollably, as the holiday relief guy from the second-year computer science course at Bogcaster Uni has been doing, is actually a rather effective customer service approach.
Dave reports that the Lan is melting. A combination of the gradual increase in traffic, taking more power and the sudden hot spell (in the summer too, very unexpected) has raised temperatures in our localised wiring closets to dangerous levels.
One by one the local Lan hubs are dropping off. We are plumbing in new water cooling systems. I thought this unlikely, but Dave says he has such a system for his PC at home and it works a treat. No fans, so no constant buzzing noise.
Just the quiet gurgling of the water in the pipes. Very soothing, but it does make you want to go to the lavatory every five minutes.
Off to London to pick up the Eurostar on the first leg of our epic journey overland to the land of the Bulgars. I am armed with a laptop and as many hot-spot service as subscriptions I could find.
Although I do no think much of our chances of maintaining connection across the mountains of Slovakia and the Transylvania Plain.
In point of fact we dropped off going into Kent. I blame all those hop poles interfering with reception.
Catch up with DPM's diary >>