Sarah's Transition Diary .. weeks 329 - 332


.... is for those who might want to contact me about my diary.

Day 2297 - Week 329 - Thursday 24th March 2011.

Day 2297. Thursday 24th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

I toss and turn for ages .. I do drift off time to time ..

04.35 .. I’m so wide awake .. but shattered .. I go look at the laptop .. Karen’s Skype is up .. so I call her.

07.00 .. The alarm ..

08.00 .. What .. no sign of James .. so I go up the stairs to 411 and knock for him .. he’s ready ..

09.02 .. We are in the office ..

18.30 .. We finally leave the office .. I’m doing the driving now ..

18.40 .. Back at the hotel, James suggests 19.30 for dinner .. seems good to me.

Once in my room I rig the laptop and call Freda, just as I promised Karen. A five minute call takes nearly 20 minutes .. clearly Freda thinks my mum is terribly ill .. I tell her what the doctors told me.  I call James and ask for a 15 minute delay ..

19.45 .. It’s a late start out to dinner .. we drive out to Kuala Belait again .. this time heading for an Indian ..

The restaurant is really pleasant .. especially as sitting right by the door I get a good cooling blast every time the door sticks ajar ..

21.45 .. We are back at the hotel .. now I have to wait for work ..

I get ready for bed before the conference starts ..

23.30 .. The conference “webinar” starts with work .. it’s confidential about our contract bid .. it’s not all doom and gloom ..

00.35 .. It’s all over with the conference .. I call Karen on Skype ..

01.05 .. I finally climb into bed.

More to come ...

Day 2298. Friday 25th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.00 .. The alarm goes off .. I’m awake ..

08.00 .. James collects me for breakfast ..

19.00 .. James knocks on my door .. dinner time again .. after trying to find an Italian restaurant

More to come ...

Day 2299. Saturday 26th March  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

08.00 .. The alarm .. well it’s the weekend ..

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. but not here luckily, after last nights blow out !!!

09.00 .. Ding dong .. It’s James .. we head down to breakfast ..

09.52 .. I drive us to the office ..

10.02 .. We are in the office .. Shane has just finished his Breakfast show .. I go and sort a few things. In the studio’s we use non optical mice, mainly because of the KVM’s we use need PS2 connectors. To say some of the mice feel lumpy is an understatement.

Lal, the chap who runs the Gurkha service is in, he offers james and I a coffee .. that’ll do nicely.

Despite a pretty good workshop .. we don’t have some of the basics like cotton buds .. so I walk round to the NAAFI. Despite a large toiletries section with loads of babies stuff, they don’t keep cotton buds !! I walk back to the office, grab the Suzuki and head down to Supa Saver ..

In Supa Saver I find the cotton buds, a large confusing selection, and I buy a couple of rolls of “kitchen roll” .. something else useful in the cleaning department.

13.15 .. ish .. Lal is leaving .. and offers to go get me something to eat from the NAAFI, I know it means putting him to extra bother, so I decline his kind offer.

15.50 .. ish .. We call it a day and head back to the hotel ..

16.00 .. ish .. We are back at the hotel .. I decide to christen my new swimming costume ..

16.10 .. I’m in the pool .. it’s lovely .. the water is pretty warm ..

18.00 .. I’m back in my room ..

19.00 .. Ding dong .. it’s James bang on time .. dinner time.

Tonight we’ve decided not to drive out, but try the hotel’s restaurant .. we end up sitting on the verrandor .. there is a funny moment when the waitress who took my pictures by the pool earlier asks if we are married .. James answers “yes .. but to other people” .. the look on her face is a giggle .. James explains we are working here for our company, which seems to be a  relief for the waitress .. she knows the company well .. LOL.

20.35 .. I’m back in my room ..

20.42 .. I call Karen’s mobile using Skype .. it’s 12.42 in UK .. she’s in the services just past the Donnington one, sorting lunch and some goodies for Claire.

20.48 .. The call ends .. I’ll call later when she’s at Claire’s home.

21.28 .. I’m sitting editing some pictures for my real name face book account when Christine in Whitby pops up visible on Skype .. I pounce and we chat for 20 minutes .. as usual she has me giggling ..

21.48 .. The call with Christine ends .. she needs to call France and finalise a holiday.

I do some diary and upload some pictures to my Sarah Heleneuk Facebook account .. before I’ve finished editing them 6 friends have left comments and “likes” on pictures ..

22.40 .. I call Karen’s mobile again .. she’s now with Claire and I’m able to talk to Claire briefly .. apparently she’s a lot better than last Saturday when we saw her .. but I can hear Karen is still upset about it ..

22.47 .. The call ends ..

23.25 .. Time to get ready for bed .. 

A Facebook chat with Kyle .. in Truro ..

01.11 .. I’m in bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2300. Sunday 27th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

10.00 .. James and I are waiting for our tour guides .. outside in the heat .. phew it’s warm ..

10.20 .. ish .. Steve and Dorothy pick us up ..

It’s quite a drive to the city .. Steve is doing the driving.

11.45 .. We are parked up at the biggest Mosque in the city, quite close to the Royal Palace .. the Jame Ash Haaanil Bolkiah Mosque .. I didn’t spot it but a royal limousine drove away as we approached.

12.05 .. We’ve parked up near to the main entrance to the main Royal Palace, we can’t see much but allegedly it has 1400 rooms .. walking too and from the car we spot a large ish lizard and an amazing red tail dragon fly .. the picture I got of the dragon fly they want to adapt for some of the stations “flyers”.

We go to the Kampung Sungai Kedayan district for lunch .. after parking up we go across the road to see the second biggest Mosque .. “Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque” .. it’s impressive especially the big pond water frontage.

12.45 .. We head for a branch of an Italian chain called Fratini’s .. and settle under a fan looking out across to Kampung Sungai .. the suburb of the city that is on stilts in the river. Lunch for me is a nice spicy Pizza ..

14.15 .. ish .. Dorothy has negotiated a deal with the water Taxi owner .. she goes shopping while the 3 of us head round the floating village, I crack my head and see stars getting on board. The floating village is actually all on piles .. it’s pretty amazing that 40,000 people live and work out here .. they even have electricity substations on stilts, along with several schools, fire and police ( Polis) stations ..

14.40 .. Our tour is over .. as we leave the boat I lose my lens cap under a duck board in the bottom of the boat .. the on shore organiser leaps aboard and rescue’s it for me.

We walk into the Mall area to find Dorothy .. as we walk in one part of the building there is a dress makers with some traditional dresses and women’s suits .. drop dead, stunningly beautiful .. if I win the lottery I’m coming back to have one made.

15.15 .. We are parked up by the old “Palace”, where the current Sultan grew up as a child pre oil boom .. I guess in it’s day it was very large and opulent .. sadly now it has too many low cost buildings very close to it, and it’s all fenced off.

Dorothy chats to one of the guards .. to discover he’s ex military and knows our company well .. it doesn’t get him to open the gate for us .. Dorothy and I take it in turns with the camera by the front gate .. she gets James and I, I take her and Steve’s picture.

15.50 .. We arrive at the six star hotel called “The Empire Hotel & Country Club”. ( )

We are free to walk through the lobby of the hotel and down into the grounds to the sea frontage .. gosh .. the opulence .. there are three wedding couples being photographed .. Dorothy asks if I can photograph a couple dressed in “traditional” yellowy gold wedding outfits, the woman is stunningly beautiful ..

17.05 .. We’ve sat and watched the sea from a man made peninsular where I take pictures looking back at the hotel .. wow .. and off fishermen struggling in the swell in a small boat .. what a contrast .. but now it’s time for us to leave ..

18.40 ..  We are back at the hotel .. we thank Steve and Dorothy for giving up their Sunday to entertain us .. it’s been great .. I’d like to do it again for sure.

19.45 .. James and I head off to eat locally at the place we used the first night ..

21.49 .. I call Karen on Skype .. and talk her through, using a Skype screen view of the home PC 7,500 miles away, down loading pictures off her phone of Claire she took yesterday. She’s crying at times and I’m in tears too when I see how Claire looks .. “Zombie” is what it is ..

01.15 .. Karen calls me on Skype ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2301. Monday 28th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.00 .. The alarm wakes me up ..

08.03 .. For a change .. I join James in the breakfast room ..

08.52 .. We are at the office ..

12.40 .. ish .. Where has the morning gone .. James and I head round to the NAAFI to get a snack ..

18.33 .. We finally leave the office ..

More to come ...       

Day 2302. Tuesday 29th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

18.40 .. We finally leave the office ..

19.30 .. James drives us off to find Steve and Dorothy’s house .. it’s third time lucky with the road ..

19.55 .. After a short detour we arrive at BK boat club .. what a nice place in an old colonial way. There’s a yacht tied up on the slip way .. I correctly identify it, proven later when we walk down to it, as an old French Beneteau ..

21.30 .. ish .. We’ve had our fill, and very good it was too, and walk down the slip way. On the way back to the truck Steve and James are chasing around a giant moth which eventually lands on Dorothy’s leg and poses for photo’s taken by James on his Iphone.

21.40 .. ish .. We head off to Steve and Dorothy’s home for “coffee” .. and very nice it is too .. the home that is.

We do a lot of talking about a lot of things .. including company politics which I am starting to appreciate isn’t much different to other businesses I’ve worked in.

00.30 .. I’m back in my hotel room ..

More to come ...

Day 2303. Wednesday 30th March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.00 .. My alarm goes off ..

19.35 .. We finally leave the station ..

20.30 .. James comes

22.13 .. Nanda calls .. she’s not having an easy time either, trying to deal with everything following the death of a sister ..

22.16 .. Jenelle pops up for a chat on Yahoo ..

22.20 .. The call quality is bad .. so Nanda and I end the call.

22.31 .. Jenelle says goodbye ..

22.30 .. A text message from Karen, she’s off to Derby tomorrow to go and see Claire and hopefully catch her doctor ..

More to come ...

Day 2304 - Week 330 - Thursday 31st March 2011.

Day 2304. Thursday 31st March 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.45 .. The alarm ..

08.00 .. Knock knock .. it’s James .. but I’m not dressed totally .. I tell him I’ll join him downstairs ..

08.12 .. ish .. I’m in the dinning room for dinner ..

13.00 .. is .. Lal has bought us all lunch .. from the Gurkha eating place .. it’s a really nice curry, Lal is impressed that I’ve chomped my way through the little green chilli they place on top .. it was hot, most don’t eat them it seems.

15.10 .. I go round to the NAAFI with DJ Charlie in her car .. and buy 8 Walls Magnum’s to distribute in the office .. as my thank you for the free icecreams during the last 9 days and for Lal’s lunch. 

16.10 .. ish .. Our Taxi has arrived .. so it’s goodbye time hugs from Dorothy and Steve ..

The drive to the airport is little frightening for me, James later tells me that is how it is there .. the driver was taking risks that I wouldn’t if I was on my own ..

17.18 .. We arrive at the airport .. the departures floor on the first floor seems very different to arrivals down stairs .. like they were built at different times ..

I go to use the “facilities” leaving James to guard my case .. they are terrible .. while the departure lounge with its 10 gates is clean and sparkling .. the loo’s are clearly 4th world.

19.50 .. They start to board the aircraft .. my seat is the middle seat in the central block .. and this is what they call a full flight .. not one empty seat.

20.35 .. Take off .. 20 minutes late for some reason.

04.42 ( 00.42 .. Dubai time ) .. ish .. We are back on the ground ..
04.57 .. I switch my phones on and get texts and an answer phone message from Karen. I phone Karen .. it’s bad news .. she’s at Claire’s home, waiting for an ambulance .. Claire’s been diagnosed with DVT’s in her leg. This is serious !! .. yet the Derbyshire Ambulance service deems it not urgent and they’ll try and be there in 4 hours .. 3 hours has gone, I learn later it ws 5 hours before she was picked up.

I go use the loo and then it’s time to go rejoin the aircraft .. the pilot said he’d try and do the turn around in record time to make up for out late arrival ..

02.55 .. Dubai time ( 22.55 Thur. UK time ) we are airborne again ..

Time drags .. I’m so tired, but I can’t get comfortable enough to sleep ..

More to come ...

Day 2305. Friday 1st April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

04.55 .. BST .. We are woken up for breakfast .. for some of us it’s not wake up .. I go for the chicken sausage, mushrooms and strange egg “block” .. full english that is pork free .. in an airline style .. fruit salad, a micro croissant and a strawberry yoghurt .. washed down with tea and apple juice.

06.37 .. BST .. We are on the ground ..

07.10 .. My main case arrives on the conveyor .. James’s follows shortly. I say goodbye to James to leave, he’s in a serious hurry to get home to see his boys before school .. but he beckons me over and gives me a hug .. most unexpected, but a lovely gesture.

07.15 .. I’ve cleared immigration and customs in record time .. Mike from Village Cars spots me before I spot him.

07.23 .. On my way home, I call Robert to make arrangements ..

07.52 .. I’m home .. Mike from Village Cars takes my bags to the back door and departs .. it takes me a while to find the key to get in .. which hidden pocket in which case or bag did I put it. It’s freezing in my jumper ..

07.57 .. I’m starting to panic .. have I lost the key .. no, it’s somewhere I’d checked but missed ..

08.15 .. ish .. Robert arrives .. I head for a quicky shower and clean up .. I must stink ..

I head up to shower .. but nip down to do a quick weight check .. 15st 1 ½ lb .. that is actually a pleasant suprise.

17.20 .. I leave the hospital taking Robert to Claire’s home to get Sparkle .. he’s going to drive that home for us, leaving Violet for us.

17.47 .. I’m heading back to the hospital, I call Karen after she texted Robert .. Claire hs been Ok’d to go back to her home .. when an ambulance can be arranged.

18.10 .. I’m back in Claire’s room ..

The NHS is a disgrace here in Mansfield ..

21.00 .. We load Claire into our car,

21.30 .. We leave Claire’s home .. Karen’s driving and stops at a Kentucky for a quick bite to eat .. but then drives away so I wont see a proper meal tonight, I’m shattered beyond caring about anything.  

21.50 .. ish .. Karen and I are in our hotel room .. 280 .. with a stunning view looking over the M1 at J28.

Dinner is .. shared bag of crisps and a Welsh cake.

22.40 .. I’m in bed waiting for Karen .. I dose off but wake up as she climbs in .. and have a quick cuddle .. gosh I needed that ..

More to come ...

Day 2306. Saturday 2nd April  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

03.00 .. I’m awake .. 10am Brunei time .. DOH ..

I lay awake for ages .. I’m so tired still but the brain won’t switch off .. worrying about all sorts. I don get a few short cat naps but nothing substantial I’m sure.

08.30 .. Karen’s awake .. she’s been snoring quite a lot while I’ve laid there .. the 3 ft gap between us in this massive bed didn’t do much to silence it.

08.45 .. Up and at it .. I need a full monty .. but time is of essence so my hair gets a single wash only.

10.05 .. We are in the restaurant for breakfast .. a very full English .. followed by muesli, fruit juice, tea, pan au chocolat and a mini croissant with honey .. that should keep me going.

11.15 .. We leave the hotel and head to Claire.

11.25 .. We are at the care home .. it’s great to see Claire up and about .. well sitting in a chair ..

My dongle stops working after a while and I try and do a top up .. arghhhh .. Karen’s Visa account card I carry blocks me, Karen gets a message from Barclaycard almost immediately .. grrrrrrrrr. This is not the first time that this has happened when I’ve topped my Vodafone one day then my 3G dongle the next .. Barclaycards automatic fraud detection is total crap .. so unintelligent, locking accounts at a whim.

16.00 .. ish .. Karen administers Claire’s anti clotting injection .. Clexane 180 ml ..

18.10 .. We leave Claire and head for the hotel, via a stop at the local CO-OP to get a couple of things ..

18.35 .. We are back in our room ..

19.33 .. We head down to eat ..

Given our room is reasonable nice bar the noise .. the food is disappointing .. a three course meal with a very disappointing main course .. “slow roast belly of pork with crackling” .. wasn’t done long enough in the microwave I am sure. The £25 bottle of wine might have cost £6 in Tesco’s .. and the calypso  coffee’s were washed out with no detectable Tia Maria, topped with aerated cream .. £85 for that lot .. not good value unlike the room and buffet eat all you can breakfast.

21.40 .. We are back in our room .. after a short while Karen goes and sorts herself first .. I follow.

22.57 .. I’m ready for bed .. nightie night.

After a quick cuddle we roll apart and sleep.

More to come ...

Day 2307. Sunday 3rd April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

03.50 .. I’m awake .. well it’s an improvement on yesterday .. I get up and go to the loo .. things still not good there either.

I lay awake for ages, getting short snatches of sleep ..

08.05 .. ish .. I’m awake and can hear Karen sobbing .. I cuddle up to her then change sides so she can cuddle up to me .. she’s distressed over Claire’s condition of the last 3 weeks ..

While I’m in the shower Karen calls the home .. it’s not good news .. Claire’s refusing to get out of bed again ..

09.45 .. We head down for breakfast .. another 3 course spread ..

10.35 .. Back in our room for a final clear up ..

10.55 .. We’ve checked out and are on the road to Tesco’s in Alfreton to get some goodies for Claire ..

12.01 .. We arrive at Claire’s home .. it’s not a good scene, Claire’s refusing to get out of bed ..

12.20 .. I go to boot the laptop and find my 3G has used all it’s credit since this time yesterday .. I call BT to see what’s going on. Clearly the information on the BT Connection Panel for the Dongle is wrong .. apparently yesterday, unbeknown by me, simply following the automated instructions, I purchased a £10 PAYG top up, rather than a £10 1Gb package .. clearly there automated system is at fault .. after a long discusssion with an operator who can see my account, my product and what went wrong, they grudgingly give me a 1Gb welcome pack to make good .. though for a while she was insisting I spent another £10 to get connected .. I seriously hate BT at times .. both professionally and domestically.

12.45 .. I’m despatched to Boots in Alfreton so get some Sudocream for Claire ..

I can see things are going to go aria today, so I fill up Violet with some expensive local Texaco .. to save messing later .. I’ll be dilating, a week late at midnight probably.

13.30 .. I’m back at the home .. Claire has been bed bathed and there she remains ..

14.30 .. Karen has administered Claire’s injections again, as nobody in the home is qualified to do it .. they need to arrange a nurse to do it tomorrow ..

15.25 .. We are finally on the road .. I drive cause I really need to get home ..

17.58 .. We are home ..

19.15 .. I order a Chinese take away ..

20.25 .. I head north .. but I need to do a couple of nails before I do the drudgery

21.25 .. I’m finally in that position .. it’s been 3 weeks and it’s really difficult to start ..

22.00 .. A familiar feeling .. I have to stoip and head for the loo ..

22.37 .. I have to call it a night .. I’m thinking I need to try doing it weekly for a while ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2308. Monday 4th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

04.15 .. <<sighs>> .. I’m awake again .. 

06.10 .. The alarm .. I was awake ..

06.25 .. Up and at it ..

07.17 .. I’m in the bedroom ..

Karen’s decided to take school up on their offer, following a call up to Claire’s home ..

As I’m eating breakfast I open some post from last week .. there’s an official looking letter from a solicitor .. in fact there’s an identical one for Robert addressed to here.

Wow .. it’s good news .. Bob the boat has left me £2000 in his Will .. well that will go towards my boat then .. I’m sure he’d approve.

08.24 .. I’m on the road to work, without the new TomTom .. I’ve left it for Karen.

09.22 .. I’m in the office .. Jon makes a comment about James being wide awake and bouncy .. I’m far from ..

12.35 .. Lunch .. PAB ..

While I’m eating I surf the net, and go so the yacht broker whose selling Bob’s old boat .. it’s now sold .. so I give the broker a call.

Well it’s more good news .. the Nimbus 370, has been sold and is being taken to Finland, and it's already been renamed, so I can now bring back Bob's boats name to the Solent, when I find the Yacht I want .. the name is "Riobamba" .. having sailed with Bob for 30 years, 13,000 + miles on his series of beloved Riobamba’s, it would be a fitting memorial to him.

14.30 .. I call Karen and I get a few words from Claire .. that’s a little relief ..

17.45 .. I finally leave work and head for Tesco’s in Gerrards Cross to get a few quick and easy meals in .. I also need a fuel stop in Egham, where ordinary unleaded is now 130p a litre .. a bit different from the 20p in Brunei !! The Egham garage is now playing fairer on pricing with V-Power .. so it’s gone back to being 8p a litre more than unleaded, instead of 10p .. but I’ve not swapped back yet.

19.02 .. I’m home ..

19.45 .. Ping .. dinner is served .. a Tesco’s Chicken Jalfrazi with Peleu Rice ..

Karen calls .. seems the nurse who went in today was totally useless, and Karen had to do the injections, one unfortunately went wrong as Claire struggled .. probably due to nurses flappy ways .. God help Claire ..

A chat with Kirsti on Yahoo ..

23.12 .. Time to wash up and head for bed ..

00.22 .. I finally climb into bed .. or should I should I say collapse into it .. I soon drifted off ..

More to come ...

Day 2309. Tuesday 5th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm goes off .. but I sleep through it .. and Karen isn’t here to wake me up .. ho hum ..

06.48 .. I wake with a start .. and look at the clock .. oop’s ..

06.50 .. Up and at it ..

08.20 .. I’m on the road .. I take a gamble and head for the M3 .. oh for the new TomTom .. the M3 and it’s approach isn’t good ..

09.14 .. I’m in the office ..

Following my meeting with Jon yesterday .. I’m trying to sort out aerials for a couple of projects .. the world of 3G external antenna’s is a mine field, with so many different connectors being used, with one connector having 3 different names depending on what sight you go to .. very confusing.

12.40 .. I finally eat my lunch .. PAB .. but I still don’t fancy a run feeling as tired as I do.

15.20 .. I go and put some new headphone spares away in our workshop .. gosh I’m sooo tired .. I help myself to a “Double Expresso” from the machine near reception .. that certainly wakes me up a little later.

16.10 .. I have a long chat with a technical chap called Steve at an aerial supplier .. he suggests that the 13db gain, 143 cm long 3G whip would be a nightmare for non technical persons to use .. and his company is stopping making them cause of issues .. something to bounce off Jon .. but I discover he’s taken a half day.

17.10 .. Rather late in the day .. I go and do the “daily” checks .. I’m doing the duty engineer and on call engineer roles together ..

17.36 .. I leave the office ..

18.26 .. I’m home ..

19.10 .. Ping .. dinner is served .. a Tesco’s chicken corma with pilau rice .. a Tesco’s Finest chocolate pot follows .. all washed down with a small glass of Chardonnay.  

20.10 .. Nanda calls on Skype .. she’s found some money while clearing her late sisters house .. it’s a substantial amount apparently .. enough for Nanda to say she’s not worried about things now .. she’s no idea how her sister saved that amount .. so a little humourous speculation takes place .. I suggest a “getaway driver in a bank raid and hopefully not selling her charms in Amsterdam” .. got a giggle out of Nanda, who does look happier than she did yesterday.

20.12 .. Nanda and I say goodbye ..

My oldest friend pops up on line .. Steve .. so I have a chat with him on Skype.

22.00 .. I’m a little worried I haven’t heard from Karen .. time to call ..

22.20 .. Well Karen seems a little happier with things, though Claire only got out of bed briefly tonight to throw something .. well it’s movement. The GP and the shrink are both going to change things .. hopefully for the better.

22.30 .. Time to do my washing up and head to bed ..

23.21 .. I finally climb into bed .. a lonely nightie night.

More to come ...

Day 2310. Wednesday 6th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm wakes me up ..

08.08 .. Time to go to work ..

09.05 .. I’m in the office ..

12.46 .. Lunch .. PAB ..

17.46 .. I’m on the road for home ..

18.39 .. I’m home ..

I spend about 40 minutes in the garden ripping out dandelions that have shot up all of a sudden .. and stick them in our Brown bin .. there’s a collection tomorrow.

19.25 .. I’m cleaned up .. time to prepare dinner .. I take the Tesco’s Finest Chicken Jalfrezi out of the fridge and place it into the microwave ..

19.35 .. PING !! .. Dinner is served .. dessert is some bio yoghurt, oat granola and honey .. gosh I’ve missed that ..

20.51 .. Gillian from the USA calls me on Skype ..

21.07 .. I end my call with Gillian to answer a call from mother.

Mother is clearly only showing a little politeness in briefly asking about Claire while lambasting Karen and I for not answering our phones to her .. well if she rings an empty house we can’t ..

21.10 . .Mother hangs up on me when I start to have a niggle at her over all her ailments .. and the lines she continues to give us despite words of wisdom from doctors.  

21.12 .. I call Karen ..

21.40 .. I finish the call with Karen ..

My nails need some attention .. so I go sort that before getting into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2311 - Week 331 - Thursday 7th April 2011.

Day 2311. Thursday 7th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm .. I’m so tired ..

06.35 .. Up and at it ..

08.14 .. I head for work in Violet, thinking that Thursdays the car Valet man is plying his trade .. only to learn later that he wasn’t today and he needs to be pre booked .. DOH.

09.05 .. I’m in the office ..

17.35 .. I leave work, walking to the car park with James ..

17.45 .. I’m in Tesco’s at Gerrards Cross .. to do mothers shopping and a little for us.

18.54 .. I’m in my mums .. quickly unpack her stuff and try to get away .. but I have to see her post first .. she has various official forms to fill in which she claims she can’t see .. she has selective vision .. but I don’t have time now.

19.15 .. I head for home via a fill up in Egham.

19.35 .. I’m home .. and so is Karen .. she was just minutes ahead of me it seems.

23.25 .. I finally climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2312. Friday 8th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.59 .. I’m on the phone to the doctors .. this is a 10p a minute call ..

08.08 .. My call is finally answered .. and I’m given a 09.20 appointment with a doctor I don’t know.

More to come ...

Day 2313. Saturday 9th April  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 13 ½ lb ...

10.00 .. Up and at it ..

11.45 .. I head out to the garden to do some clearing and lawn mowing ..

18.58 .. We head for the Pub.

19.04 .. We are shown to a table, the pub is pretty quiet at this time ..

20.55 .. We’ve finished

21.45 .. We are home ..

22.45 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2314. Sunday 10th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

I slept really well ..

09.00 .. ish .. Karen returns with cups of tea .. time to relax and seriously snuggle up ..

10.30 .. Up and at it ..

11.52 .. I head to Lightwater to put Sparkle through a car wash before heading to Waitrose .. the wheels are left in a terrible state .. I struggle to remove the aerial from Sparkles roof .. a young chap comes to my rescue .. << smiles >>.

12.20 .. I’m in Waitrose with a small list .. but that gets expanded by buying a Waitrose “Dinner for 2" for £10 offer. As I’m now shopping at Tesco’s in Gerrards Cross more often, Waitrose’s scam of showing “Tesco price match” with the small print date of some weeks ago is more obvious .. they are selling 9 packs of 2 finger Kit Kats for £1.69 .. Tesco’s on Thursday was £2 for two packs .. that is some difference !!!

13.10 .. I’m home .. I deposit the shopping in the Kitchen, done a Hijab and attack the alloy wheels on Sparkle .. I need to go and get some more wheel cleaner .. it’s hard work, but soon Sparkle really is Sparkling .. << smiles >>.

14.00 .. I make a start on Violet’s wheels .. these are a little easier to get gleaming as they are younger and the car gets infrequent use. However I’m planning to clean all the parts the car wash will miss and then go and car wash it later ..

14.15 .. Lunch holds up wheel cleaning .. French bread, ham, brie, olives crisps and a dip .. I save two hunks of “French” bread to put two different honey’s on .. lovely .. 

14.55 .. Back to my wheel cleaning .. and door, boot and bonnet slam area’s

15.45 .. I head off to see Bob’s folks at his old house in Violet .. via the car wash in Lightwater ..

16.22 .. I arrive at Bob’s old house in Church Cookham .. it’s sold .. “subject to contract”. Ailsa and Virginia welcome me and Jim, Virginia’s husband, helps to carry the bigger of two boxes of Riobamba logs to my car.

We stand and chat about all sorts for ages, they want me to be the caretaker of Bob’s old boat logs for a few years, so others can gain from them in the way I hope to too.

Virginia asks me to come and take some of Bob’s booze store home. Bob kept large stocks of all sorts for the boat .. and much has been taken away by others already. There is a little wine left, so I select 6 bottles, 1 of 5 bottles of Armagnac, a bottle of Gosselins champagne will be kept for a very special event .. the naming ceremony of my boat .. “Riobamba”. A bottle of Tia Maria goes home with me two .. Karen and I had probably donated it anyway.

Virginia and Ailsa suggest I take Bob’s old Hi-Fi to sell and add to my boat fund. It’s classic Marantz stuff, a stupendously powerful (200W RMS per channel ) receiver that I originally sourced for Bob, the speakers were recently re-coned by mutual friend Artor.

I suggest going out for a meal ..

16.55 .. I head for home ..  

17.20 .. I’m home ..

18.15 .. I log in on the main PC .. I find an off line message from Kirsti on Yahoo and reply ..

18.30 .. Nanda calls on Skype ..

19.05 .. Nanda says goodbye ..

19.40 .. Dinner is served .. it’s a cold chicken salad .. followed by yoghurt, oat granola with honey.

20.10 .. Dinner is over ..

22.45 .. Transferring pictures from my NAS to both my 32Gb key and my laptop’s HD is complete .. it’s taken an age .. time for bed ..

23.25 .. I’m in bed .. and the feelings are warm ..

00.10 .. Nightie night.

More to come ...                                   

Day 2315. Monday 11th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.30 .. The alarm goes off .. late due to my mamogram appointment this morning, and Karen being on school holidays .. alright for some.

08.33 .. I’m on the road ..

09.12 .. I’m at the Jarvis Centre in Guildford for my Mamograms .. I’m early ..

09.22 .. I’m called through for torture that is having Mamograms done ..

The nurse doing the tests asks some questions, like have I any concerns at the moment. I mention my right nipple .. she suggests even if the results are negative, and thanks to easter and royal wedding it may take 4 weeks to get the results, I should go and see my GP if I am worried.

09.33 .. I leave the building wanting to walk with my arms crossed supporting my breasts .. the right one in particular is aching. I don’t remember feeling like this after the one three years ago .. but that was pre augmentation and the machine had less to try and crush .. << grimace >>.

10.25 .. I’m finally in the office .. the walk from the car to the office is pretty uncomfortable as my breasts jiggle.

When I arrive in the office, our end is empty accept for Geoff and David in their respective offices. Tracy is on leave but for the first time in ages I think we are all together in England.

Mark is back from Cyprus, of all my colleagues Mark has the fastest cutting wit I appreciate .. he has me chuckling quietly in my corner several times.

Geoff comes and has a quick chat, he understands my worries at the moment about going to the Falklands and seems to want to take that on board. He’s going to talk to everyone soon I think.

I call Karen on Skype, she’s at home for school easter holidays .. news on Claire still isn’t good, refusing to get out of bed.

12.30 .. Lunch .. PAB

13.20 .. I start doing the daily checks .. looks like I’ve got the duty engineer tag again this week, at least it’s James on call this week.

14.35 .. I go find Amy and Louise to try and gee them up to get the Vodafone 3G cards for two projects I’m working on for them .. it feels like I’ve hit another brick wall. Later I send an email out to them, their bosses and copy my boss Jon in on .. just so when he comes back from leave he can see I’ve tried !!

Karen pops me a message on Skype text .. Claire is up .. in a bazaar twist to things the nurse let Claire push the plungers in on her injections .. gosh .. I get faint just seeing a syringe .. 

17.32 .. I walk out of the office. It’s a Monday night and the traffic is typically light ..

18.24 .. I’m home ..

18.32 .. I log into the home PC ..

18.34 .. Dawn pops up on Skype for a text chat ..

18.45 .. Dinner is served .. another chicken salad, this time followed by strawberries and Cornish ice cream .. has summer arrived ?

19.56 .. Back to the PC and chat with Dawn ..

20.11 .. Lucinda pops up on Yahoo for a chat ..

20.40 .. I say goodbye to Lucinda ..

20.43 .. Dawn says goodbye .. her wife Anne has arrived home and she has things to do.

I rejoin Karen to watch TV ..

21.00 .. A documentary about adoption comes on, dealing with one particularly troubled young girl .. it’s quite moving at times, and the help they get from social services as they try to move from fostering to adoption is typically poor.

22.05 .. Karen heads to bed .. I soon follow ..

22.40 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...       

Day 2316. Tuesday 12th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.25 .. The alarm ..

08.08 .. I’m on the road in Sparkle .. 

08.52 .. I’m in the office at work .. school holiday luxury ..

13.05 .. I head of for Wycombe, to get some storage bins for Bob’s old boat log books .. and some petrol ..

14.15 .. I’m back in the office .. failed to get the storage bins ..

17.33 .. I walk to the car park with Seb ..

18.22 .. I’m home ..

18.52 .. Dinner is served .. it’s the waitrose £10 meal deal for two .. a rigatoni bake with meatballs in a tomato sauce, with garlic ciabatta bread .. washed down by some red plonk .. finishing with large slice of tiramisu .. lovely ..

It’s a lazy evening, with little computer time but lots of togetherness with Karen ..

22.05 .. I start filling in a government survey for the transgendered ..
it takes an age ..

23.25 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2317. Wednesday 13th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.25 .. The alarm ..

08.12 .. I head for work ..

17.33 .. I leave work ..

18.22 .. I’m home ..

Steve and his web cam ..

00.08 .. I’m in the bathroom, but realise I have some nail work to do ..

01.28 .. I’m finally in bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2318 - Week 332 - Thursday 14th April 2011.

Day 2318. Thursday 14th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

05.35 .. I’m awake and terribly dry .. a large glug of water then I dose off ..

06.25 .. The alarm did go off I am sure .. but I slept through ..

06.55 .. I’m awake .. and dry .. as I take a drink I spot the clock .. oh sh.... sugar ..

08.10 .. I need to get the bins out .. it bin men day .. big green and little green today.

08.23 .. I’m finally on the road ..

09.03 .. I’m in the office ..

12.38 .. I’m in Studio 3 to sort a fader issue ..

12.48 .. Fader is sorted, I leave DJ Richard in peace to get on with his show prep ..

13.40 .. I finally get my walk ..

14.01 .. I’m back in the office .. exhausted .. My Garmin shows it takes a long time for my heart rate to settle.

17.45 .. I’m on the road to Tesco’s in Gerrards Cross .. to shop for mother and us ..

19.31 .. I’m in my mums ..

19.43 .. I’m on the road for home ..

20.04 .. I’m home.

20.15 .. Dinner is served .. tagliatelle with chicken in a tomato sauce .. dessert is a shared Tesco’s fruit box Karen has bought back with her ..

More to come ...

Day 2319. Friday 15th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.25 .. The alarm goes off ..

08.21 .. I’m on the road .. the school holiday roads have been brilliant this week and are really quiet today .. but ..

It’s a Friday, should be a blissful trip to work .. but the M25 between M4 and M40 is stuffed .. what .. an accident between J16 and J17.

09.15 .. I’m finally in work .. I should have been a good 5- 8 minutes early really.

I do the daily checks and settle to do some other stuff.

The station is doing a special top 500 program this week .. this is the final day and they are trying some special hook ups with our overseas studios .. some don’t work as they should, who planned this ?? .. it seems the ops department have asked for little help today at all .. hmmmm.

13.09 .. I head out for my walk .. I’m getting used to my Garmin Forerunner 305. Today I tried some of the gel I use for dilations, on the chest band for the heart monitor .. from the outset it works brilliantly .. better than “licking” it s was suggested and tried.

I extend my route by 0.2 miles today, adding 2mins 20 secs to yesterdays time, I’ve also raised my heart beat to a scarey 161 BPM, at a slow jog for a few seconds. I soon felt my chest tightening .. so I went back to a power walk. I guess I should really carry my GTN spray with me when I do this.

13.22 .. I’m back in the office.

16.40 .. I catch the lump on my left foot .. loads of blood .. it doesn’t want to stop. I start to think what Christine ( in Whitby ) would do at this point ( faint probably ) .. when I start to glow profusely. I have two blood covered pieces of kitchen roll and reach for a third .. I sit back and put my foot up on my desk .. with a tissue stuck to it .. I start to feel better.

Number 1 in the stations top 500 .. it had to be Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen .. and it was.

17.10 .. My foot has stopped bleeding I think, so I put a plaster on it .. I head for the loo, on my return blood is visible through the plaster .. ho hum.

17.31 .. I leave work ..

18.21 .. I’m in the garage in Egham for a refill .. I’ve done two tank fulls without resetting the trip counter .. 770.7 miles, allegedly doing 55.7mpg on the economy gauge. From previous experience, this probably closer to 54 mpg .. pretty damned good for a car with over 115k miles on it.

18.38 .. I’m home .. I drop my stuff indoors then go dig out some dandelions from the front lawn.

18.48 .. Dandelions sorted .. for now.

19.02 .. Dinner is served .. grilled chicken breast with a salad .. dessert is Tesco’s English strawberries .. with ice cream .. lovely. It’s washed down with a glass of Bob’s Muscadet “Sur Lie” .. from 1999 .. and still very drinkable.

Post dinner .. the evening is spent watching TV and being together on the settee .. I massage Karen’s legs and feet, with my head in her lap .. she strokes my hair .. purrr .. purrrrrrrrr.

20.30 .. ish .. Dinner is followed by a couple of glasses of Strawberry creme liquor .. lovely ..

21.30 .. I head for the PC .. to check my emails and things ..

21.35 .. Karen makes a cup of tea ..

22.10 .. Karen collects my cup as she heads north ..

22.25 .. I head north .. I have a nail to save before I get into bed ..

23.18 .. I’m in bed ..

23.28 .. Lights out .. nightie night.

More to come ...

Day 2320. Saturday 16th April  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

01.30 .. I wake with a start .. I need the loo .. oo er ..

I slept pretty well till ..

05.25 .. Gosh I’m so dry .. a large slurp of water .. and back to sleep.

07.25 .. The alarm .. I’m so tired .. time to snuggle up ..

07.50 .. After some cuddling .. it’s up and at it .. I’m first in the shower .. but my calves are really tight again this morning and walking hurts a lot. I stand in the bathroom doorway and shuffle my feet back to they are flat on the floor but I’m leaning forward .. 20 or 30 seconds later my calves have stretched enough for me to stand upright more easily.

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 9 ½ lb ... well clearly exercise and a return to salads is good for me .. just got to sort my legs out so I can do more ..

The news from the home isn’t brilliant .. but we’ll have to play a waiting game ..

08.35 .. I’m downstairs .. I sort out the kitchen routine then boot the laptop while I munch my breakfast ..

09.15 .. I’m doing the washing up and miss the phone .. it was Claire’s home. Immediately Karen’s mobile rings .. Claire’s changed into clean PJ’s but is refusing to leave her bedroom ..

So it’s going to be a waiting game .. I spend some time trying to sort / clear a pile of old post that has been “saved” ..

10.35 .. We head out towards Claire’s home .. if they can get her up and out they’ll meet us at another exchange point .. otherwise we are heading all the way there ..

En Route to Egham to top Sparkle up I start to sort computer things out .. laptop wise, as Karen’s driving .. I manage to drop my 3G dongle and it disappears inside the car. I do a quick search on the garage forecort .. it’s vanished !!

Karen pulls out of garage and I search again .. I find it inside a plastic moulding that protects rear passenger feet from the front seat mountings ..

13.10 .. Lucinda pops up on Yahoo ..

13.17 .. I say goodbye to Lucinda, about to go into a 3G black hole .. then we’ll be at Donnington Services for lunch ..

13.22 .. We arrive at Donnington services .. lunch is an M&S picnic in the car .. £4.00 for a “speciality sandwich” .. ok it was nice .. but £4 is a total rip off.

14.02 .. As we leave the services, relieved, sustained and refreshed .. Karen calls Claire’s home .. at least she’s out of bed now .. but when asked if she wanted to go home with us, it was definite no .. << sighs >>. 
14.32 .. At Claire’s home.

16.30 .. ish .. A doctor introduces himself to Karen and I and we are led to the staff office. It soon becomes clear he’s a “company” appointed psychologist, and asks a few questions about Claire’s current condition / situation and her past, drawing comparisons of when Claire was in Courtwick near Littlehampton over 3 years ago.  

16.43 .. We say goodbye to Claire .. Karen gets a little tearful ..

16.46 .. We are sitting in the car outside the home .. hoping that Claire will change her mind in our absence ..

16.53 .. We drive away, Karen’s insisted on driving ..

BBC Radio 2 starts to grate after a while, so I start playing MP3's from the laptop through Sparkle’s radio auxiliary input jack .. it’s good till we hit bumps and the hard disk self parks. I need to find away of forcing Windows Media player to use a bigger memory buffer.

18.45 .. We join the M25 .. it’s been a good easy journey so far .. ETA at home 19.27

19.07 .. We leave the M25 at Egham .. next stop Bagshot for a Chinese take away ..

19.14 .. We are in Virginia waters .. I try calling Mary with our order .. engaged.

19.16 .. I try again as we come into Sunningdale .. success.

19.41 .. We are home with our food.

More to come ...

Day 2321. Sunday 17th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

09.35 .. Karen goes and makes a cup of tea ..

10.52 .. Up and at it ..

12.20 .. I head for Waitrose .. it’s a short list as most of our shopping now comes from Tesco’s .. it’s not worth paying the Waitrose premium on branded goods.

13.03 .. I’m home .. Karen quickly sorts lunch ..

13.30 .. I go attack the strip of garden from behind the garage to the back fence .. it’s seriously hard work .. and all my “toys” as Karen calls them come into play ..

17.20 .. I’ve had enough .. the garden waste bin is stuffed again ..

17.35 .. Karen and I sit in the garden and have an ice cream each ..

I’m so grubby .. I need to go shower and wash my hair again ..

18.55 .. I’m down stairs, clean, sparkly and hair a towel .. dinner is served ..

Dinner was a Tesco’s £10 meal deal chicken dish with mashed root vegetables .. dessert was strawberries and ice cream ..

19.20 .. Post dinner .. Karen’s talking to Jamie on Skype .. I force the issue of our summer holiday by telling Jamie “mum wants to come and see you .. the last two weeks in August seems to suit all ..

20.08 .. I’m in that position .. it’s been two weeks again despite my wanting to get back on track ..

21.02 .. I call it a day ..

21.40 .. I’m all sorted and back downstairs.

More to come ...                                   

Day 2322. Monday 18th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.25 .. The alarm goes off ..

12.50 .. Lunch .. PAB

13.18 .. I head off out on my walk .. 1.5 miles in 22mins 06 secs .. 

23.26 .. I’m in bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2323. Tuesday 19th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

Another restless night ..

07.25 .. The alarm ..

08.54 .. I’m in the car park at work.

I quickly rush around doing some of the daily checks ..

09.30 .. ish .. we (James, Tom and I ) head for the companies Aylesbury warehouse .. in the “radio car” full of OB kit.

10.15 .. ish .. We are in Aylesbury ..

Well the OB trailer is quite a surprise ..

One issue for today is that the trailer is directly below some massive power pylons .. so 3G testing is nearly impossible.

12.15 .. ish .. Experiments completed, we head back to our base .. I’m driving ..

12.57 .. ish .. We are back ..

13.15 .. Lunch .. PAB ..

17.35 .. I head for home ..

18.29 .. I’m home ..

Dinner is served .. chicken and mushroom risotto, dessert is a sponge and treacle toffee topped sponge with ice cream ..

20.48 .. Nanda calls on Skype .. I can see she’s quite distressed .. she’s been to see her medical support team today about her HRT .. they didn’t deliver what she wanted to hear. In the end she cuts the call off .. I’m wiping away tears too ..

I sit and write an email to Nanda .. she needs help if I can do some research for her ..

22.50 .. I head to bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2324. Wednesday 20th April 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.25 .. The alarm ..

07.45 .. Up and at it ..

08.16 .. I’m on the road ..

08.33 .. I join the M25 .. it’s stuffed again .. very slow moving from J13 to J15 ..

09.06 .. I’m in work ..

18.10 .. I finally leave work ..

18.48 .. I’m home .. a very quick salad dinner, and clean up and out of the door.

19.23 .. We are on the road to “Bob’s house” ..

19.48 .. We arrive at Bob’s house .. probably for the last time ever ..

Karen and I are guided around what is left of Bob’s possessions .. there’s his old Marantz Hi Fi to load in the car, and some old odds and ends of sailing stuff .. Nicks already been in and taken much that was useful .. but there are some useable bits for Karen and I ..

20.40 .. We head for the pub .. the Wyvern just up the road ..

22.35 .. We head for home ..

More to come ...

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