Sarah's Transition Diary .. weeks 337 - 340


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

Day 2353 - Week 337 - Thursday 19th May 2011.

Day 2353. Thursday 19th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

20.37 .. I finally head up to do the drudgery ..

21.03 .. I’m in that position .. three days early .. to avoid doing it away or doing it late. It doesn’t go well ..

22.01 .. I call time ..

22.43 .. I’m in bed waiting for Karen ..

More to come ...

Day 2354. Friday 20th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

It’s the Friday morning weigh in, it won’t happen tomorrow for sure .. 14st 11 3/4 lb .. hmmm ..

13.02 .. We head for the pub .. in Marks Jaguar V8 .. for such a big car, getting in and out of the back and the front is quite a struggle ..

14.10 .. We are back in the office ..

16.41 .. I’m in the car heading for home ..

17.52 .. I’m home ..

19.20 .. Karen and I head for The Half Moon in Windlesham ..

21.40 .. We head for home ..

22.50 .. I’m sort of packed for tomorrow’s trip to see Nanda ..

23.22 .. I’m in bed .. a quick cuddle and it’s lights out time ..

More to come ...

Day 2355. Saturday 21st May  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

05.00 .. The alarm .. groan ..

05.05 .. I’m out of bed .. however my upset stomach still seems to be with me .. oo er.

05.50 .. My hair is dry enough .. time to get my act together ..

06.12 .. I start to load the car .. lovely sun but a little cool at this time ..

06.20 .. I’m on the road .. I set my TomTom and my Garmin Forerunner going ..

Once my TomTom has sorted itself out I realise I’ve got another 18 or so miles to go than I thought. My 70MPH cruise has to come to an end ..

07.35 .. I’m in Dover .. phew ..

07.50 .. I’m on board P & O’s Spirit of Britain ..

08.15 .. As we set out to sea, I’m enjoying a greek yoghurt breakfast so I can take my pills ..

I head out to the rear deck .. get a 3G connection and try to Skype Nanda and Karen. Seems Skype have a problem this morning .. no normal Skype contacts are available .. so I Skype Out Nanda and Karen to let them know I’m safely on the ferry ..

I go inside, as I’m getting seriously chilled sitting outside, though up wind of the smokers, the air was refreshing for sure.

I sit and do some diary, then connect to the ships free wi=fi and drop a note onto my two Facebook profiles ..

10.25 .. French time, my Forerunner that has been going since soon after leaving home, is showing 3hrs 6 mins and 125 miles travelled so far .. we are just about to enter the harbour at Calais .. so time to head back to the car.

14.55 .. I call Nanda as I cross the river into Arnhem .. to let her know I’m nearly here .. however ..  my TomTom doesn’t know about a recently changed one way street .. so I can’t turn up it as I did last year .. I follow my nose and after what seemed a life time of the TomTom telling me to “turn around when possible” .. she clicks to a new route.

15.05 .. ish .. I arrive at Nanda’s 

16.00 .. Hans arrives ..

17.00 .. ish .. We head off to a bar in town that Nanda and Hans knows .. for a drink or two before walking to a restaurant for a meal with two more friends .. “Marijke” and her husband “Yongs” .. 

19.00 .. We meet the other two at the restaurant just up an alley way from the bar .. they both speak English, “Marijke” very well indeed .. she’s a teacher and helps me decipher the menu, French food, but a Dutch menu.

The food and wine is lovely and the evening is delightful.

21.30 .. ish .. We are finished in the restaurant and head for “Marijke and Yongs” house, it’s not to bad a walk. We start off in their lovely garden before moving into the house when it gets to cold. I think Nanda is surprised by how much I drink .. I’m now on Baileys !!. 

24.00 .. ish .. We walk back to Nanda’s home .. now it is a bit of a trek .. “Yongs” had lent me a jacket to wear .. it’s getting chilli as the wind picks up a little.

01.15 .. Nightie night ...

More to come ...

Day 2356. Sunday 22nd May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

11.10 .. I wake with a start .. oo er .. and rush own to see Nanda .. she was going to leave me 

14.25 .. ish .. we arrive in Giethoorn, Nanda takes us into what looks like a café / restaurant car park .. we walk to the rear where we hire a little boat for 2 hours .. €30.

The trip along the narrow “ditches / canals” is fun, and a few low speed collisions happen .. oop’s. We have been shown a 2 hour route on the map we were given, however we decide to stop for lunch en-route, Nanda seems to know where to go, so it’s a done deal.

15.15 .. We arrive at a pub, “Smits Paviljoen”, on a end of an Island facing across the lake .. the lake is called “Bovenwijde” .. it’s pleasant, we sit in a window in the sun overlooking where our boat is tied up.

Lunch is a spicy chicken burger with chips .. washed down with a beer.

15.50 .. ish .. We head back to the “boat yard” via a detour out around an island, in hind sight it was a slight mistake. As we crossed the lake to the Island the water got choppier in the wind, I warned Nanda it would be worse going back ..

18.10 .. ish .. We arrive at the “Tempo Dulu” ( Indonesian Restaurant .. the welcome is warm.

Nanda orders some drinks then it’s the help yourself buffet .. luckily as Nanda guides me around it’s clear there are not many “fishy” dishes for me to avoid ..

19.40 .. ish .. we are done .. I settle the bill and we drive back to Nanda’s ..

Back at Nanda’s we do a couple of things .. one is to try and get her laptop and PC talking together .. problem is her PC’s are running Dutch versions of Windows .. or should I saw “double Dutch” 

21.00 .. ish .. I move on to my pet project here .. getting Nanda to accept me repositioning her speakers .. they are too far apart, too high up and pointing straight out. The result is you don’t hear any HF till you are standing up, and then only if you move out to the sides .. stereo image there is non .. just a massive whole between bi mono speakers !!!

23.00 .. ish .. We head to bed ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2357. Monday 23rd May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

10.05 .. I’m awake ..

More to come ...

Day 2358. Tuesday 24th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.15 .. my alarm wakes me up .. well I was awake and just happened to be looking at my phone when it lit up to start sounding ..

 06.25 .. I hit the bathroom before Nanda is up ..

08.50 .. ish .. Nanda and I head off in her car to go do a geocache near the Airborne Museum in Arnhem .. after a short drive with additional detours we arrive at the main allied cemetery and park the car.

The first way point is a small memorial where we are supposed to count all the “e”’s on it .. Nanda can’t be bothered to try .. she doesn’t tell me at the time this info is key to finding the cache later .. ho hum.

We arrive at the second way point .. a chestnut tree .. we are supposed to find an odd branch or piece of wood nailed to it and need to count the nails .. we are doomed .. we can’t find the nails !!!

On to way point number 3 .. 500 metre or so walk through the countryside to find a house .. we need the door number .. it’s 463 !!

We head off for a 4th way point but we decide, as the later ones will be hopeless anyway, we divert back to the car,

The “direct route” back takes us through the cemetery ..

10.35 .. We head back to Nanda’s, taking in the main memorial for the Airborne soldiers opposite  
10.55 .. We are back in Nanda’s home .. I upload our little walk around onto my Garmin Connect account .. so we can see what we did.

Part of this mornings amusement is to get Nanda set up on Facebook .. the teaser to get her to create one is that I show her a comment by Aey on my TS profile asking if I’m staying with Nanda .. YES !!

After some effort and Nanda getting annoyed with technology again .. we’ve done it .. I add her as a friend on my non TS account and show her what user names to “Add” for the Thai girls and Frankie in the USA.

13.10 .. with 25 minutes before I’m supposed to leave ( with a 20 minute safety buffer ) Nanda starts to make lunch ..

13.27 .. Lunch is hot German “Emperor” rolls with cheese and salt beef .. 

13.57 .. I’m already over 20 minutes late .. the car is loaded, but I can’t find my Garmin .. doh .. back to her house, I return without finding it ..

Nanda goes and has a look while I take the car apart .. before she can return .. I find it in a bag I’d already looked in .. DOH .. I run in to let Nanda know ..  

14.04 .. I’m finally on my way ..

17.38 .. I’m at passport control .. if the idiot put his phone down he’d not have so much difficulty feeding my passport into his machine .. DOH. I soon join lane 32 to wait bording.

17.45 .. I reckon I have time to powder my nose .. it’s a short walk ..

17.59 .. I’m on board the flagship of P&O’s dogs of the sea .. “The Pride of Calais” .. I’m sure Calais is proud to have this old hulk named after the town .. what no Wi-Fi !!!

16.05 .. ( BST & Ships time ) .. I head for the food court before it fills up .. success .. a toffee muffin and a small bottle of apple juice .. £3.78. It’s not a lot to eat !!

16.18 .. I take a bench seat in the bow positioned bar window so I can get BT 3G as soon as I’m in range !! .. out with the laptop and start some diary ..

The captains announcement is that this afternoons crossing will be smooth .. in this wind !!! .. my doubts are soon confirmed as we crash into a few waves sending shudders through the wreck.

As I’m typing I’m listening to a group of women chatting adjacent to me .. I have to bight my lip ..  << giggles >> 

16.52 .. I hear a phone chime a text message .. I have service on my phone .. so I try and call Karen .. no answer.

I look over my shoulder .. hey the white cliffs of Dover now emerging from the mist .. time to try my 3G .. success .. but only for a short while on GPRS ..

17.03 .. Karen calls back .. she was at the dentist ..

17.15 .. I give up the 3G battle and do some more diary ..

18.02 .. After posting some messages on facebook my attention is drawn to us manoeuvring inside Dover harbour .. only because the cavitation caused by the props in reverse is shaking the vessel vigorously .. gosh what a heap tis crock is.

18.08 .. Time to head for the car ..

18.24 .. I’m like a rat out of a trap .. as far as a BP garage a mile or so along the harbour heading for the M20 ..

18.32 .. Car topped up with BP Ultimate .. only 141.9 .. ordinaire was 135.9 .. Europe eat your heart out !!! The TomTom is giving an ETA of 20.04 .. I give Karen a call

19.50 .. I’m home .. gosh that hug felt good ..

20.05 .. Dinner is served .. a M&S Chilli con Carne .. to be followed by Cheese and biscuits .. 

20.28 .. ish .. I’ve just started my Cheese and biscuits when Nanda calls on our Skype phone .. I’ll call her back ..

20.37 .. As I’m booting the PC Nanda calls ..

22.15 .. I follow Karen up with my main bag from the trip .. and unpack ..

More to come ...

Day 2359. Wednesday 25th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

10.10 .. The security gate call me to tell me the chap from Chiswick Honda has turned up to get my car, and leave me the loan one ..

I’m standing in the car park a good five minutes before the chap comes from the other direction, god knows where he’s been .. we do the exchange and he drives out of the car park the wrong way !!! A couple of minutes later he returns again and I point him out round to the barrier.

17.31 .. I leave the office ..

More to come ...

Day 2360 - Week 338 - Thursday 26th May 2011.

Day 2360. Thursday 26th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.07 .. I head for the dentists ..

08.17 .. I’m in the dentists .. luckily the earlier patient is still in the chair ..

08.21 .. I’m called down by Ingar, my dentist ..

08.50 .. I’m out of the door, two x-rays and one “repaired” front tooth

09.45 .. My mobile rings .. it’s Chiswick Honda ..

09.50 .. I’m back in the office ..

18.05 .. I finally leave for home ..

19.27 .. I’m home .. that was hell !!

21.35 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2361. Friday 27th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

08.55 .. I’m in the office ..

17.42 .. I head for home ..

19.21 .. We head for Bluebeckers in Chobham ..

19.31 .. We arrive at the pub / restaurant ..

21.54 .. We are home ..

23.02 .. Time to head to bed .. 

More to come ...

Day 2362. Saturday 28th May  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.20 .. The alarm goes off ..

08.02 .. I head for the bathroom to sort the routine .. I’ll wash my hair tomorrow so it cleanish for my early start on Monday. Post shower it’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 10 3/4lb ... 2lb lighter than my return from seeing Nanda on Wednesday morning.

I get dressed and head down to sort the kitchen routine ..

08.59 .. I’m walking past the bathroom door when I hear Karen talking on her mobile .. there’s a glimmer of hope that Claire might be in the mind to come home ..

09.39 .. The home calls, Claire’s in their car and they are about to leave .. it’s a quick scurry around and out of the door ..

09.43 .. We are on the road .. I soon rig the TomTom and find Northampton services in the recent trips list .. once it finds itself it gives us an ETA of 11.16.

10.02 .. We join the M25 .. it’s running well, so is Sparkle after her return from service yesterday ..

10.22 .. We join the M1 .. it’s grey and miserable outside but at least it’s not raining yet ..

10.45 .. I see Nanda pop up on Skype .. so I plug my little USB handset into the laptop and do a video call with her ..

Nanda’s in good form today and we chat briefly till the 3G starts to falter in weaker 3G area .. but it  has chewed up a chunk of my data allowance for sure !!

10.55 .. It’s starting to drizzle .. ETA with Claire now 11.10.

11.10 .. We are along side the homes car ..

Initially the situation isn’t good, Claire’s got a face on that isn’t happy .. the staff keep unbuckling her seat belt but she snatches it back and re-fastens it. We try the various bribes .. show her the goodies waiting for her in our car .. nothing works.

11.25 .. ish .. One of the carers gets in the back next to Claire to try and stop her moving away from the door. I put Enigma MCMXC a.D. on the cd player, it is her favourite music / CD, something she always asks for  .. this gets her attention at least with the other door of the car open.

11.32 .. Claire is finally in our car .. it’s a mixture of tears and giggles ..

11.35 .. We pull away and head for home .. straight into a traffic jam ..

12.09 .. Karen pulls into a motorway services to get some urgently needed supplies for lunch .. we really didn’t think Claire would be with us today, so we hadn’t shopped for it. While Karen shops in the M&S simply food ..

12.11 .. I call mum using the TomTom’s hands free .. she and Claire communicate, mum can hear Claire’s muttered single words ..

12.29 .. Back on the road again ..

12.51 .. We rejoin a stuffed M25 the TomTom says there are 34 minutes of delays a head .. we are asked do we want to take a faster route .. 4 mins faster allegedly .. stupid question .. YES.

13.12 .. M25 J17, the TomTom wants us off .. so it’s the A412 down to Slough, cut through Datchet to Old Windsor, along to the start of Runnymede to turn right up over Englefield Green. When we turn onto the A30 Claire is happier, she recognises where we are.

14.04 .. We are finally home ..

17.25 .. A text message from my colleague Mark tells me he’s handed the on call sword to me .. I was expecting it sometime around now.

17.40 .. I order the Pizza’s and hope nobody needs an engineer for next 20 minutes ..

18.02 .. I’m home with the food, Claire eats it really nicely .. there’s hope yet ..
20.21 .. My heart stops as my mobile rings .. it’s Arqiva’s MCR telling me about the ongoing mux fault they have, we have no redundancy on a couple of our main satellite up links .. and that spares should arrive Monday or Tuesday .. thanks.

20.31 .. Another call from work .. this is a serious one, though it’s

20.43 .. I have to call boss Jon for some advice ..

20.50 .. We have to try and get Claire to bed before I can leave ..

21.10 .. I’m finally in the car heading for work .. I go the long fast route ..

21.41 .. I pull up outside the front door to the studio’s and CTA.

22.37 .. I call BT to report the Kilo stream faulty .. I’ into there queueing system .. lovely on a Saturday night. The person I speak to says he can see faults from his diagnostics panel .. great .. eventually I get a fault number. I scribble it down to put on our fault logging system later at home.

A quick clean up, taking my tools and head torch back to my office and turning the lights off.

22.52 .. I’m back on the road ..

23.27 .. I’m home ..

23.58 .. My mobile rings .. it’s a BT engineer saying he’s tested of Kilo stream to Lisburn and it’s fine, though he can see some minor glitches at the far end that have been recorded .. after a short discussion he’s going to fault out and replace the MTU at the Lisburn end .. I have to search some names and numbers for him to contact ..  

More to come ...

Day 2363. Sunday 29th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

05.55 .. I’m thinking about getting up .. Claire isn’t going to let us sleep ..

07.55 .. Karen gives up and goes and makes tea for us ..

08.15 .. I head down and sort the kitchen routine .. eating my breakfast in the lounge, checking the status of things at work .. my friend / colleague Mark hasn’t taken back the on call status yet .. I check my e-mails.

08.45 .. I head to the bathroom to shower .. 

11.25 .. ish .. Tracy arrives .. Claire seems less argumentative with her ..

11.58 .. Claire is safely locked in the back of Sparkle ..

12.00 .. As Karen rolls forward out of our drive her mobile rings .. it’s the home .. they are trying to get staff together to meet us at Northampton Services ..

12.23 .. We pull up outside my mum’s in Egham .. I dash in with her vital “Actimel” .. and get a moan from her .. she’s had such a bad night .. I bite my tongue .. yes mother, ours was bliss. I can’t hang around ..

12.26 .. Back in the car and away ..

12.29 .. We join the M25 at the usual place .. the TomTom says we have a total of 10 minutes in delays .. the first is 19 miles away .. just before the M1 then ..

12.52 .. We are on the M1 .. well it’s moving OK for now .. but the first warning sign tells us “congestion after junction” we are approaching J8 .. the speed limit starts to come down .. 60, 50, 40 as we go over the brow of a hill to be greeted with 4 lanes of massive queues of brake lights ..

13.05 .. Once past J9 things pick up .. ETA 13.43 .. we’ll see.

13.23 .. We join another queue into the road works before J13 ..

13.41 .. A hundred metres from the off ramp at J13 on our side we see the problem .. an accident in the contra flow has closed that lane in the other direction, quite a few cars are involved, two badly damaged .. one French hatch back badly enough that the diesel tank has ruptured .. the queue this side is from rubber neckers. Our ETA now 14.01 .. <<sighs>>.

13.45 .. Nanda pops up on Skype .. we chat, she’s been reading my facebook accounts of the last 24 hours .. she’d like to help, she’s offered to come to UK and help us find another home for Claire in the past, seriously .. she’s that sort of woman .. wonderfully generous with her warmth.

13.55 .. Nanda is off ..

14.02 .. We arrive at the drop off point .. Claire has cheered up a little and puts up no resistance to getting her into the other car, which is a relief but is also a little upsetting for Karen and I.

14.08 .. Job done .. I set the TomTom for home .. 76 minutes of delays .. new route 34 mins faster .. my prediction was right .. it’s the longer Oxford route to get us home .. << sighs >>.

So we head off towards Oxford, Karen still driving despite my request .. as we head down towards Silverstone Mrs Schumacher gets right out of the box .. I have to remind her of the speed she’s doing in Sparkle .. oop’s.

14.38 .. We join the M40 .. with plans to stop at the next services which happen to be a Waitrose one 17 miles ahead.

14.53 .. We arrive at the services .. we have a big choice .. Burger King, KFC, Waitrose and a couple of others. Karen has defrosted some sausages which we were going to BBQ with Claire .. so it’s a cooked meal tonight based on those .. so Waitrose sandwiches, drinks and some “Indian bites” .. and a fruit drink each. Observing .. this is I think the first Waitrose we’ve done on a motorway .. most of the stuff on the shelves is short shelf life remaining .. and very expensive compared to M&S ones we normally use.

15.30 .. Back on the road again .. ETA home 16.25 ..

The view as you swoop down from Oxford looking across the valley towards West Wycombe is lovely this time of year .. and now the sun is shining on us. Once at High Wycombe we ignore the TomTom and turn off and head for the M4 to drop down to home via Bracknell .. it saves a couple of miles and the minute in time extra is no big deal .. avoids the M25. The M4 between Maidenhead and Bracknell is an uphill flog, but it’s nice countryside << smiles >> .. I’m not driving so I can look around << doesn’t stop me anyway .. LOL >>.

Mrs Schumacher post lunch was definitely back in the box .. we don’t improve more than a minute on TomTom’s estimate ..

16.25 .. We are home .. time to chill ..

21.10 .. I head for bed ..

22.10 .. Lights out .. nightie night ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2364. Monday 30th May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

05.35 .. Karen gets up for a comfort break, waking me up .. on her return we cuddle ..

05.40 .. The alarm ..

05.44 .. Up and at it ..

06.37 .. I’m on the road .. Monday morning .. in my dreams .. don’t see another car for 4 miles !!!!

06.50 .. I stop for fuel in Egham ..

07.26 .. I’m in the office ..

07.40 .. I’m lining up the desk, as in tweaking presets under panels, in Studio 3.

08.02 .. As I re-power the codec, it lights up as the BBC call in .. but it’s not framed !!

08.04 .. My mobile rings .. after selecting the correct speed dial their end, the codec frames when they re-dial ..

08.45 .. The BBC does it’s first pre record with our Afghanistan studio in Bastion .. 

10.45 .. Sat in the studio ready for the important bit ..

13.05 .. I’m grad that’s over ..

13.55 .. I finally get to eat my fruit ..

19.12 .. I leave the office for home ..

19.25 .. I leave the office again .. with my laptop ..

20.09 .. I’m home ..

22.25 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...       

Day 2365. Tuesday 31st May 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.25 .. The alarm ..

08.14 .. I’m on the road ..

09.01 .. I’m in the office ..

10.10 .. I start in Studio 1 changing relays on the 4 relay boards .. initially my feeling is that this will be a slow process with only one of the four boards being completed in my much shortened session ..

12.20 .. Well that’s amazing .. I’ve done all 4 boards, 24 relays .. no lifted pads on the wrong side of plated through holes .. my experience shows again in my technique. I “buzz out” every board to make sure of the connectivity on the top side of the board .. they are all good first time round.
12.25 .. Lunch .. PAB ..

Post lunch James shows me how the OB kit fits together .. it’s well designed by Seb and himself.

13.10 .. James starts his demo of the OB kit for the DJ whose going to be using it ..

James takes me through the setting up of our hyper portable satellite uplink .. it’s an Inmarsat unit that effectively gives us a 64kbs ISDN circuit. Before James showed me I was very nervous about it, but having set it up, it’s pretty easy.

17.33 .. I head for home ..

21.00 .. BBC 1's Panorama starts .. "Undercover Care: the Abuse Exposed" .. to say we are shaken, shocked and gutted is an understatement. This is far to close to home for comfort given recent things at Claire's home near Alfreton.

We've had concerns over Claire's care for a while, though her home is very different in structure to the one shown tonight. One thing we do know is the "Care Quality Commission" (CQC) is a gut less wonder not fit for purpose .. we've expressed concerns to them many times only to have our concerns ignored, dismissed or not proven.

CQC do checks we know, both announced and unannounced. Even unannounced once somebody knocks on the door, be sure all staff will know pretty quick. It shouldn't be down to the BBC to discover and investigate this, CQC or another fitter body should be putting undercover staff themselves into homes to monitor them.

22.00 .. Karen and I are both in tears .. I need a cuddle but I’m shunned as first she heads for the loo and then disappears upstairs without a word .. to follow or not ..

22.55 .. I head for bed ..

23.25 .. I’m in bed .. it’s cold to say the least .. I don’t matter it seems.

More to come ...

Day 2366. Wednesday 1st June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

I didn’t sleep to well .. after last nights TV ..

06.25 .. The alarm ..

08.19 .. I’m on the road .. a little late ..

09.05 .. I’m in work ..

It’s a busy day ..

09.50 .. ish .. boss Jon takes me to Studio 3 to give me a lesson on Dalet 5.1 .. our playout system. There are familiarities with the RCS system we used at my last place ..

Jon and I are staggered at the distortion coming out of our Studio 1, listening to our station output in Studio 3, where an impromptu live session is taking place .. this must be the worst moment of radio I’ve ever heard .. the DJ is clearly clue less !!

13.05 .. I finally get to eat my fruit ..

13.24 .. I head off to Gerrards Cross .. I need some apricots to snack on and some “treatment gloves”. Boot’s no longer stocks them, but the assistant points me across the road to what appears to be a tiny chemist .. but it gets a lot bigger in side.

Yeah .. the surprise me pleasantly .. they have the brand I used to buy in London, so much better than the other two brands I’ve had to try since last July .. that’ll be much nicer.

14.01 .. I’m back in the office ..

Martin from projects gives me a hand with a troublesome Kilo-stream and it’s codec .. problem is we don’t have a complete spare for this .. so we end up taking parts out of the broken one to put into the possibly good one.

17.00 .. Seems the engineer in Lisburn, N Ireland, has gone home .. so we can’t do much more.

17.28 .. I’d better do the daily checks ..

17.38 .. ish .. Mark appears behind me in CTA .. and asks if I want a hand with the chores .. I thank him, he’s in his motorbike kit so he’ll overheat rapidly, I’ve not got a lot more to do, so I thank him and decline his offer.

17.54 .. I’m on the road ..

18.44 .. I’m home ..

18.58 .. Dinner is served .. chicken curry with rice and spicy mango chutney .. yogurt, oat granola with a tea spoon full of Brunei honey .. lovely.

A chat with Nanda on Skype .. it’s fun talking to her ..

22.00 .. I start some quick diary notes, for yesterday and today ..

22.40 .. I’m heading for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2367 - Week 339 - Thursday 2nd June 2011.

Day 2367. Thursday 2nd June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.20 .. The alarm ..

Sorry .. I've been lax with my note keeping ..

From my Facebook account ..

"I love school holidays .. 40minutes door to car park, and really tried to keep to 56 - 60 on the motorway .. wish every morning could be like this, Friday mornings every morning !!!"

More to come ...

Day 2368. Friday 3rd June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

09.04 .. I pull into the car park just as Mark is walking away from his car ..

09.06 .. I’m in the office.

10.10 .. I’m finally on the road for Gosport, but head to home first for a fringe trim .. it’s sort of on the route and my fringe has been driving me mad since before the trip to Nanda’s.

16.45 .. Time to hit the road ..

18.08 .. I’m home ..

18.40 .. I order the Chinese ..

19.05 .. I’m back with the food ..

23.20 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2369. Saturday 4th June  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

05.15 .. The alarm .. groan ..

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 10 3/4lb ...

06.40 .. Lisa arrives a little late for the planed “via Guildford” route .. so it’s a charge down the M3 direct to Gosport ..

07.20 .. ish .. We’ve stopped for coffee at Winchester services .. Lisa introduces me to a “flat white” coffee .. quite nice actually ..

08.03 .. We arrive outside the disabled entrance as required .. but there’s one hell of a queue already .. we see the others drive through ahead of us in the company Golf ..

08.12 .. We are finally “on site” .. Chris has already got some of the kit out of the trailer ..

11.00 .. We are on air ..

12.03.02 .. Back to us for part two ..

12.15 .. ish .. a phone rings, to tell us the link has dropped .. really odd .. we are still “framed” ..

13.00 .. I’m up the ladder trying to tweak the position of the Inmarsat antenna to get a little more signal .. Hal is talking to me on “talkback” .. but not enough .. but I do get a small improvement ..

13.03.02 .. Back to us being live ..

14.00 .. The program ends .. “and breath out” ..

15.45 .. We do a link into another show to give the result for the Field Gun competition result .. a win for the crew from HMS Heron .. at Yeovilton. Following that we are given the OK to start packing up ..

17.55 .. Lisa and I leave the site and head for my home ..

19.08 .. We are back .. Lisa puts her bits into her Merc and departs for her home just a few miles away ..

20.01 .. Karen and I head for Chalfont to drop off the company car with kit and collect Red ..

20.45 .. I park up the C4 at the back of our office ..

21.00 .. ish .. We are in a very empty ( just 4 other women on a table ) Maison Rouge in Gerrards cross .. one of a chain of “French”  restaurants. Entertainment before the food arrives is two young girls from the building next door .. a scouting establishment. These two youngsters, probably 12 years old, maybe, looked like a pair of hookers dancing and yelling around in the street on really high heels neither could walk in till a car pulled up to take them away.

The food is really nice, I have a massive garlic mixed mushroom starter, Karen has 3 baby camemberts with a salad and redcurrant jelly .. Karen has the duck main from the specials, I go for the rump of lamb with carrot and swede mash .. we have to do desserts .. Karen opts for the white chocolate ice cream, mine is the crepe with banana and chocolate. My crepe was the disappointment .. it was more like an english thin pancake than what I normally have in France which is normally heavier.

22.20 .. Bill paid, £63 (with two glasses of wine) .. we head for home.   

23.05 .. We are home .. a cup of tea, then I set to uploading some pictures of today’s events to my 2 facebook accounts ..

01.05 .. I finally climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2370. Sunday 5th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

I slept well ..

07.20 .. I’m awake, I’m parched .. a slug of water and I dose off again ..

09.12 .. Karen returns with a cup of tea ..

09.40 .. ish .. up and at it .. well a comfort break .. was going to go back for a cuddle but Karen uses this as an excuse to escape ..

12.30 .. I’m in the bathroom .. a little facial grooming

13.45 .. Nail fixed, a little hoovering in the bathroom .. I head down stairs.

13.55 .. Lunch is served .. bread cheese x 3, crisps with a dip and some olives. I save some bread for a good slick of Devon set honey from last years holiday there.

Post lunch .. I send an email to work as I’m going to be late in tomorrow after physio on my shoulder.

14.50 .. Got to go do some shopping at Waitrose, then head off to see my mum ..

15.56 ..I return home because I’ve bought ice cream .. it’s a quick turn around and I head for mothers ..

19.15 .. Dinner ..

20.00 .. Karen and I settle to watch the Murrey Walker documentary on BBC2 .. fantastic ..

21.00 .. Karen goes to make some tea .. I settle back at the PC ..

21.15 .. I log into Yahoo to find a message from Lucinda .. we soon start chatting ..

21.25 .. I log into my e-mail and see the reminder pop up for my dilation today .. ahhhhhhh .. it’s too late now .. I’ll have to do it tomorrow .. it’s already been 16 days cause of my trip to see Nanda .. bum!!!

After finishing the chat with Lucinda I dig into my emails and answer a few Yahoo group ones ..

22.35 .. I need to head to bed .. but notice I haven't uploaded any diary for over a month .. oop's .. so I sort that out ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2371. Monday 6th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm goes off ..

08.18 .. I’m on the road to Frimley Park Hospital .. not sure why I tried the “back way” along the Red Brick Road, .. but I did ..

09.02 .. I’m late .. what 42 minutes to come 7 miles !!!!

09.06 .. “Stuart” calls me in ..

09.46 .. I leave the hospital and head for the M3 at J4 .. sadly it’s stuffed, and the TomTom failed to give me a traffic update till after I was committed on the slip road up .. DOH .. 10 minute delay due to an accident near J3..

10.44 .. I’m in the office ..

12.50 .. I eat my lunch ..

13.05 .. I drive the still stuffed car from the weekend around to the warehouse .. and catch Mark just shutting the door .. to late Mark!!. Actually I didn’t have to ask, he’s a real nice guy and offered to help immediately and the job was soon done ..

17.45 .. I’m just heading for the door when the Technology hotline rings .. I answer it .. mistake. A chap in Damascus needs advice in lining up his dish to get our services. Clearly he hasn’t used it for ages as it’s still pointing at Eutelsat W3 .. we switched to W2A some time ago. So I reboot my laptop and give him the info his installer needs ..

18.15 .. I finally leave the office ..

19.03 .. I’m home ..

19.18 .. Dinner is served .. chicken, sausage and mushroom risotto made with home made chiocken stock .. was lovely .. dessert was Strawberries and ice cream ..

20.10 .. I head north to do the drudgery ..

20.35 .. I’m in that position but it’s not feeling good ..

21.45 .. It’s not feeling good, not got to depth properly .. I give up ..

22.25 .. Post dilation clean up completed .. I head down to the PC to turn it off .. but do a little diary ..

23.26 .. I head to bed ..

More to come ...        

Day 2372. Tuesday 7th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.10 .. I’m on the road ..

As I leave the M40 at J4 the A40 going east is stuffed, so I can it taking a long time to get back through that and to work later ..

08.57 .. I’m in Halford’s in High Wycombe to get a couple of bluetooth hands free units .. the computer still says there are two in stock .. but they can’t find them ..

09.07 .. I leave for work. The TomTom rescues me, taking me east before going south and east again doing an amazing “rat run” that brings me back to the roundabout for M40 J4, bypassing the busy A40 .. brill ..

09.27 .. I’m in work .. but there’s still trouble at mill with the satellite link back from Afghanistan ..

I call around some other Halford’s branches .. nothing .. so I do a search and discover that the Carphone Warehouse is selling the same hands free units .. but £24.99 instead of £19.99 at Halfords. However .. they are doing an offer on accessories like these .. buy one get one half price .. and free delivery .. done deal then.

10.13 .. I suddenly realise I’m late for the post mortem on Saturday’s OB at Southampton ..

Well the meeting is pretty much typical .. with people defending their positions on what could be done better .. I’ve gone in with a list of improvements to the OB kit that I hope to have done before the next OB .. the bluetooth kit to connect an ordinary mobile phone to the mixer for “2 ways” .. cooling slot grills to be fitted to some of the cases and boat hatches to go into the trailor to help with ventilation .. it was an oven last Saturday.

10.45 .. The meeting ends ..

I chase up a returned call from a Halford’s branch, but Mark had taken a call earlier, and he hands me a list of branches with 2 in stock. I pursue the Carphone Warehouse deal, and soon have 4 units ordered for less than £75 .. excellent ..

Next job is to find a company that will sell me some ventilation fittings for the OB kit .. all the people I’d normally go to draws a blank .. a google search eventually comes up trumps ..

12.45 .. I eat my lunch PAB ..

I try to order 10 ventilation inserts for the OB kit flight cases .. my company card is refused, grrrr .. worked OK with Carphone Warehouse earlier.

I call the company, apparently their stupid payment site “powered by Sage” .. always rejects corporate cards .. what a load of rubbish that is then. My order is taken manually .. hopefully I’ll get it soon.

15.30 .. ish .. Seb and I start on the Sound Web .. part one is to “rename” the sources currently in use on the computerised remote display ..    

17.52 .. I spot the time on my watch .. poooo .. I save the changes I’ve made to the Sound Web kit and head back to the office via a pit stop ..

18.03 .. I’m on the road for home .. I only get about 4 miles when my fuel light comes on .. now there’s a conundrum .. refuelling .. the Esso at Windlesham won’t be doing cut price till tomorrow .. allegedly .. to go to work tomorrow and back, with the 22 miles from tonight, means I’d have to get 75 miles out of the “reserve” .. 1.7 gallons or less .. 52 mpg .. too close a call .. I shouldn’t have done that run to High Wycombe this morning.

18.54 .. I’m home ..

19.05 .. Dinner is served .. it’s a ham and cheese salad .. dessert is a bowl of cherries and a portion of natural yoghurt as a chaser .. << smiles >>.

Post dinner I’m flipping between the PC and the settee ..

21.15 .. ish .. Karen puts a second coat of bright metalic pinky red polish on my toe nails .. one I bought in Germany when shopping with Nanda ..

22.00 .. I’m heading for bed .. I’m shattered ..

More to come ...

Day 2373. Wednesday 8th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

06.25 .. Up and at it ..

08.08 .. I’m on the road heading for the Esso garage on the A30 ..

It’s discount day at the garage, 134.9p a litre for unleaded ordinaire .. with the Waitrose voucher I’m clutching it’s 131.9p a litre .. result !! << smiles >>.

09.07 .. I’m in the car park at work ..

13.41 .. I head out for a jog / power walk .. despite there being more than a two week gap since my last go at this, I’ve beaten my best time for this distance by 54 seconds, my heart peaked out at 166bpm, that’s too high according to my GP given my history.

17.35.. I’m just about to head for home when Peter / Micks phone starts to ring, I answer it .. DOH .. should have remembered yesterday. It’s Peter, currently in the Falklands doing his 6 months tour there .. he needs me to check out a Crypto works card for him, as he doesn’t have his own login and password.
17.50 .. I finally leave work  .. the M25 is stuffed at J14 ..

18.47 .. I’m home ..

18.58 .. Dinner is served .. Risotto left over from two nights ago .. pepped up with sauted mushrooms  and ham cubes .. lovely, dessert is bio yoghurt with oat granola and maple syrup, just for a change.

23.56 .. I finally climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2374 - Week 340 - Thursday 9th June 2011.

Day 2374. Thursday 9th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

I’m granted a snuggle .. << smiles >>.

06.27 .. Up and at it ..

07.10 .. I’m dressed .. into my office to locate my essential supplies to drill the PCB I’ve found that I need to use at work ..

07.25 .. Post breakfast I boot the PC to find the documentation and print it off for the cell phone interface board I have found ..

08.48 .. As I join the M40 East I don’t go far before I meet the back of a queue .. 3rd morning running !!!

09.07 .. I’m in the car park ..

The morning is spent drilling, tinning and stuffing in the components I have to hand ..

13.05 .. Look at the time .. I stop to eat my fruit ..

13.24 .. ish .. I head out for my walk / jog .. towards the end on my return I catch up with boss Jon walking back to his office from the car park ..

13.41 .. I’m back .. 17mins 53 seconds, 26 seconds faster than yesterdays record time .. where the hell did that come from given I’m not feeling great anyway .. I don’t know .. but my Garmin Forerunner has recorded my heart doing 173 bpm, this definitely in the naughty zone according to my GP.

17.48 .. I leave the office and head for the car park with James and David. I soon discover the M25 is stuffed ..

18.40 .. I’m home .. Karen starts putting dinner together ..

Dinner is served it’s a ham and chicken salad .. dessert for me is a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream .. lovely ..

22.45 .. I’m heading for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2375. Friday 10th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

03.05 .. I’m awake .. boiling hot .. did I forget to “take” my Vagifem last night .. I’m sure not ..

I toss and turn for ages, unable to get myself comfortable ..

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

18.40 .. I’m home ..

19.56 .. We arrive at the “The Mill House” at Odiham, once known as one of the Blubeckers chain .. oh the memories .. Karen and I had our first ever meal at the original Blubeckers in Shepperton 30 years or so ago. Dawn and Anne are waiting for us .. it’s stopped raining for our walk into the place.

We are escorted down to the downstairs restaurant, this has been changed a little since our last visit here a few years ago .. now they’ve boxed in the old mill wheel and water flowing down under the building in glass, so you can see it .. lovely ..

22.40 .. ish .. Bill paid .. we all head out into the rain to our cars .. 

More to come ...

Day 2376. Saturday 11th June  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.10 .. The alarm .. except I don’t remember it going off ..

07.22 .. I stir looking at the clock, Karen is prompting me to get up .. I roll over for a snuggle ..

07.38 .. Up and at it .. a quick pit stop then I head down to do the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 9lb .. just one pound but heading the right way ..

10.18 .. We leave home in Sparkle .. Karen is driving .. ETA Alfreton 13.01 .. assuming no lunch time stop at Donnington.

10.33 .. We join the M25 .. it’s flowing well initially, though it slows a little for a while between J15 & J16.

11.10 .. We join the M1 ..

11.19 .. We join a traffic jam at J10, the Luton Airport turn off .. heading into the roadworks ..

11.31 .. We pick up speed again once in the roadworks ..

A chat with Tracy in Gibralter on Facebook chat ..

A chat with Zara B on Facebook chat .. 

12.45 .. We pill off the M1 and into the Donnington Services ..

Lunch is two packs of M&S “Ultimate” sandwiches shared .. a couple of sausage rolls and a pot of yoghurt with black cherry compote .. all washed down with Pink Lady apple juice ..

13.32 .. Back on the road to Alfreton .. 

14.00 .. We arrive at Claire’s home ..

Claire’s not happy to see us ..

17.20 .. We drive away from Claire’s home .. I’m driving ..

19.32 .. We stop at Egham for fuel .. 135.9 .. in hind site maybe we should have continued to the Esso Garage at Windlesham .. it’s a relief as we drive past it that it’s the same price, we don’t have a Waitrose voucher today.

19.58 .. I’m in the chinese in Bagshot ..

20.12 .. We are home, a quick clear out in the car and in to eat our food ..

20.35 .. ish .. Lychees and fortune cookie time .. my fortune cookies read .. “YOU WILL EARN A LOT OF MONEY IN THE FUTURE” .. the second one .. “ON YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY YOU WILL MEET LIFE LONG FRIENDS” .. I’ll think about those for a while.

22.40 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2377. Sunday 12th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

More to come ...                                   

Day 2378. Monday 13th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm goes off ..
15.06 .. I’m on the road for Guildford ..

16.05 .. I’m in the car park at The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford .. finding a car parking space at this time of the day isn’t so stressful ..

16.11 .. I book in in the Gynae department .. and told to take a seat.

16.20 .. my appointment time .. I’m collected by a nurse who takes me to a second waiting room, and informs me “we’re running about an hour behind at the moment” .. I reply “so what’s new, I seem to wait an hour every time I come here” .. I get a “black look” from the nurse ..

17.10 .. Finally called in to see the doctor .. yet another one !!!

17.38 .. I’m back in my car ..

More to come ...       

Day 2379. Tuesday 14th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

17.38 .. I finally leave the office .. the M25 isn’t too bad ..

13.43 .. I finally head off for my jog / power walk .. it’s not a record breaker today, far from it .. I feel terrible and my legs are made of lead ..

The afternoon is a teach in for Callum, one of my trainee colleagues, lessons in how to bang holes into boxes .. especially flight cases, in this case the OB mixer case. We’ve got 6 “dishes” to fit to the case, 2 for connectors, 4 for ventilation dishes.

18.34 .. I’m home ..

18.55 .. Dinner is served .. a ham salad followed by a dose of Waitrose organic mango / pineapple / passion fruit yoghurt .. gosh that was nice ..

More to come ...

Day 2380. Wednesday 15th June 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.45 .. ish .. my mobile rings on the M25 .. TomTom answers .. it’s Arqiva .. trouble at mill on all out satellite circuits .. that sounds fishy .. but nothing I can do ..

09.07 .. I’m in the office .. Marks on the job with Arqiva .. their fault anyway !!!

16.58 .. I start the daily checks .. a little late ..

17.52 .. I’m on my way home ..

18.46 .. I’m home ..

19.04 .. Dinner is served .. a mushroom and panacotta risotto .. lovely .. dessert was bio yoghurt with oat granola and a spoon load of Brunei honey .. yummy.

A chat with Linda on Skype ..

23.10 .. I head up .. to do a nail and head for bed ..

“a nail” .. what was I thinking .. 5 needed to be redone urgently, so I did a 6th ..

01.15 .. I finally climb into bed .. nightie night.

More to come ...

Diary .... the next 4 weeks....

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