The stuff I posted earlier today – which is dated from a few days back – I actually wrote before, it's just the pace of this course has been so flat out I hadn't had a chance to edit the photos and get all that organised. But as I take a brief break from study and consider ingesting what room service has brought me (and possibly shares one or two molecular connections to coffee, but I wouldn't bet on it), I figured a quick update wouldn't go astray. Got to beat that record of 20 posts for last October…

The course has ramped up in intensity quite dramatically in the last week – week 1 was SQL Server 2000, but week 2 started with Programming C# (4 days), then rounded out with Using ADO.Net (2 days) and Programming Windows with C# (2 days). Oh we're talking 6 day weeks, too. Now, the books for these courses would embarrass an Adelaide Whitepages in thickness – the reason we're spending 2 days on these courses and not the more usual 5 is because I cunningly opted for the “Fast Track”. This seems to be a teaching method aimed at physically bursting the candidate's brain in the shortest time possible. Even that wouldn't be so bad, however on Friday our instructor couldn't make it in in the morning for various reasons, but was going to be there for the afternoon. Morning turned into all day, and we scheduled a makeup class for today (Sunday). About half an hour after starting it became obvious that he wasn't well enough to go on, so we told him to go home, so there's our 2 days on Windows Forms spent. Our only hope is that he's OK to take the class tomorrow in preparation for our exam on Tuesday.

I like to remain upbeat about these things, however in addition to increased course pressure, the weather's started turning grim. I'm usually the last to complain about weather, but I really look forward to the walk home from school of an afternoon – 40 minutes of exercise in the fresh air with breathtaking scenery before the evening's braincram. However when it's pissing down that walk somehow seems less appealing, esp. while still fighting this damn cold !

Speaking of cold, it is. I discovered that part of the problem's been due to a broken window in my hotel room, so I told the room service guy and today when I got back he very proudly showed me that he'd fixed it.

I hope the Indian Times is renowned for its insulative qualities.

Joining into the fun is the fact that it's Diwali this weekend, which made us a little guilty about making Sukhdev come in for a Sunday class instead of celebrating with his family. But because of Diwali we lost the Saturday class anyway, and the timetable's tight as it is. But the really cool thing about Diwali is that – being the festival of lights – fireworks are quite popular. I witnessed this whilst living in Kensal Rise 2 years ago, however picture a bunch of celebrating people, keen on fireworks, where there seems to be freely available fireworks for all to buy in vast quantity and launch at whatever time of day they like just because they can and they're happy. Good on them ! It looked spectacular(ish) from the hotel window, but you just try to study when there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of explosions happening in varying volumes and degrees of proximity. It's like taking a Swot Vac in Fallujah.

Did I mention it's bloody cold ? I'm talking 2 doonas/duvets/quilts (strikeout according to dialect preference), plus polar fleece, plus snowboarding jacket, plus extra socks. I'm not kidding.

On the upside though, whilst inspecting the window fix I noticed that the curtains in here were manufactured by someone who's keen to get reincarnated as something nice. It made me smile, anyway.

And the other thing that made me smile was on Wednesday night when we could walk home we saw proof that Dr Who is somewhere in Shimla.

As did the dude making popcorn by the side of the road.

And the guy who was sitting by the side of the road at Lakkar Bazar with a set of scales, presumably so people could pay him to weigh them. As you do when you've popped out for the shopping.

As did the fairly cryptic sign near the Indira Gandhi Medical Centre, advising that people parking there exercise caution, for fear of consequences I still don't fully understand.