When it became obvious that Alan was indeed going to join up, I asked him if he would write a diary of his impressions and expectations. What follows on the linked pages are his entries.
My intention was and still is to edit these as little as possible - I'm interested in real views, not a sanitized version for public consumption. However, when Alan sent me 'In The Beginning...' he sent it as a MS-Word8 document which I could not handle. Fortunately, I have a text editor which allows me to display files in their raw format - so I had the complete history of all the edits Alan had made; all I had to do was re-construct it into a document.
'In The Beginning...' is the document re-constructed by me and approved by Alan (no coercion involved).
The second installment, titled by me as 'Acquiring some status...',arrived in rtf format and just required converting to html - with a few minor tweaks for grammer. As with 'In The Beginning...' I've added the odd comment here and there. These are all enclosed in square brackets [ ].