Sarah's Transition Diary .. weeks 357 - 360


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

Day 2493 - Week 357 - Thursday 6th October 2011.

Day 2493. Thursday 6th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.35 .. I’m finally on the road ..

09.20 .. I’m in work ..

Fragmented lunch ..

17.35 .. I’m on my way home ..

18.42 .. I finally arrive at Waitrose ..

19.25 .. I’m home ..

19.35 .. Dinner .. Karen has made chicken biriani .. it’s lovely ..
00.05 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2494. Friday 7th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

23.02 .. I climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2495. Saturday 8th October  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

03.20 .. I wake with a start .. company phone ringing .. it's Paul in Afghanistan .. they are off air.

04.30 I've exhausted all attempts from home, get dressed and hit the road, enroute my phone rings .. it's Cyprus .. they are off air too, that confirms my suspicion.

05.12 .. I'm in our CTA, 2nd call was clincher, one 4 channel block of our SoundWeb fibre optic link to Arquiva is down, but what end .. and WTF are the spares.

Found spares in warehouse ( were handy in workshop ) and as it's easiest to swap our end first, I do .. success.

06.25 .. Paperwork done, head for home .. it's starting to get light.

07.20 .. Climb back into bed ..

I sleep on and off .. but sadly mainly off.

10.30 .. I give up and get up ..

10.35 .. It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 6 1/4lb .. that’ll be the soup and yoghurt diet.

12.00 .. I head for a shower ..

12.52 .. I head for Waitrose ..

14.15 .. Lunch .. French bread, pate, a little cheese and pickle .. I save some bread for a goos slick of two different honeys.

19.45 .. I do the soup .. what no Chinese .. nope.

22.05 .. I head for bed .. hopefully I’ll sleep tonight.

More to come ...

Day 2496. Sunday 9th October 2011. ( 29th Wedding Anniversary )

Memory Joggers ...

10.15 .. Karen gets up and returns with my wedding anniversary gifts .. 2 bunches of roses, 8 red and 8 white, a card and a box of chocolates.

10.20 .. I get up too and gather my gifts for Karen .. two bunches of flowers ..  a dozen red roses and a large group of Freesias .. her favourite flowers, a mix of pure white, pure purple and some variegated ones that are purple and white and a heavy hand blown glass paper weight that looks a bit like a tear drop, in the centre is swirls of purple. We both like purple !!! 

11.45 .. I head for a shower ..

12.25 .. I’m dressed and back downstairs ..

14.06 .. I head north to do an early drudgery .. need to clean the bathroom first ..

14.29 .. I’m in that position ..

15.23 .. I call it a day, and go do my cleanse ..

16.23 .. I head for Frimley Park Hospital for a scan on my shoulder ..

16.51 .. I’ve booked in with the receptionist .. hmmm .. there’s a few people waiting ..

17.05 .. passes .. another flexible NHS appointment.

17.25 .. I question with the receptionist how late they are running .. “are we?” is the response. She makes a call and I’m told they are just about to collect me. While I wait two more patients arrive, the receptionist tells them they are running “about ten minutes late” .. cobblers !!

17.32 .. I’m collected and taken out to a mobile unit in the car park ..

17.43 .. I’m finally on the platform and motored down the tunnel ..

17.55 .. It’s all over, the operator says the clarity of the images they got are amazing, I kept so still .. well the drugs worked then.

18.00 .. A chap who looks like a Nepalese, walks me back to the main building taking a short cut through “house services” .. I go pay my car park charge and head home .. 

18.25 .. I’m home .. 

17.25 .. I order a Chinese .. not the way I intended celebrating today, that’s on hold till we both feel better .. 

20.05 .. I’m home with the food. The last couple of glasses of Pouilly Fumé wash our food down .. my glass goes straight to my head .. ho hum.

Main course consumed, time for the fortune cookies .. “ACCEPT THE FIRST PROPOSITION YOU HEAR” and “AN OLD FRIEND WILL CONTACT YOU WITH GOOD NEWS” .. the first .. I hope so, the second one raises a question, so who loves me ?!

21.20 .. Karen makes a cup of tea and I go sit with her for a while, massaging her feet, and I openn the box of chocolates she gave me this morning.

22.05 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2497. Monday 10th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...       

Day 2498. Tuesday 11th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2499. Wednesday 12th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

Off work ..

More to come ...

Day 2500 - Week 358 - Thursday 13th October 2011.

Day 2500. Thursday 13th October 2011. !!!

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

Off work ..

More to come ...

Day 2501. Friday 14th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

07.38 .. Up and at it ..

08.38 .. I’m on the road ..

09.33 .. I’m in the office ..

Working with Matt, network guru .. trying to organise the swapping out of a switch in our Dalet Network ..

17.38 .. I head for home ..

18.33 .. I’m in Waitrose ..

19.08 .. I’m home ..

22.55 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2502. Saturday 15th October  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 8lb ...

More to come ...

Day 2503. Sunday 16th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

More to come ...                                   

Day 2504. Monday 17th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.22 .. I’m late ..

09.14 .. I’m in the office ..

11.10 .. I’m in position to swap out our main Dalet network switch, as prepared with Matthew last Friday .. but there is a delay .. News can’t stop just now .. Radio 2 has gone to CD and Afghanistan is going out live, so all but News’s Dalet machine can be shut down.

11.30 ..ish .. Paul gives me the go ahead to do what I need to do .. it only takes 5 minutes .. then we have to restart all the Dalet machines, in CTA and the studio’s ..

17.44 .. I head for home ..

More to come ...       

Day 2505. Tuesday 18th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

06.23 .. Up and at it ..

08.14 .. I head for work .. my “wonderful” Tomtom 950 live doesn’t tell me that the Egham bypass / M25 is at a standstill till I’ve committed to the A30 at Egham .. over 40 minutes to get to the roundabout .. I call Tracy at work to warn them.

09.40 .. I’m finally in the car park at work !!

17.48 .. I head for home ..

More to come ...

Day 2506. Wednesday 19th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

09.08 .. I’m in the office ..

13.25 .. I head for Gerrards Cross to get some Euro’s, just a small quantity to get us to France on Friday night .. I’m horrified at the “commission or profit” being asked by HSBC .. over 7.5% each way .. so If I bought £100 worth, then sold them back, I’d only get £85 back. I turn down HSBC’s derisory 1.073 € for £1 and head across the road to Nat West .. 1.087 .. still not good, but better, I take €100 worth.

14.20 .. Later, back in the office, I check the “interbank” rate .. 1.141 .. RIP OFF BRITAIN !!!

17.33 .. I head for home .. the traffic is terrible ..

18.38 .. I’m home ..

19.26 .. I head for Theale and the group meal, the first time in 3 months ..

20.01 .. I’m in the pub, get myself a drink and join some friends at a table ..

The food is pretty good tonight .. a “course pate” starter, beef bourguignon main and Bailey’s cheese cake for dessert, all washed down with a small lemonade and a cup of coffee.

Chat on our table is quite pleasant .. it’s a good evening ..

22.45 .. I pay my bill and leave ..

23.17 .. I’m home ..

00.02 .. I’m in bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2507 - Week 359 - Thursday 20th October 2011.

Day 2507. Thursday 20th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

04.50 .. I’m awake .. and soon aware that Karen is ..

05.50 .. Karen invites me for a cuddle .. purr, purr .. after a while I return the favour ..

06.10 .. The alarm ..

06.22 .. Up and at it .. then struggle to replace my beeper ( alarm clock ) battery . .it’s been signalling low battery for the last 12 minutes ..

06.29 .. I finally head for the shower ..

07.07 .. I’m back in the bedroom ..

08.16 .. I’m on the road ..

09.02 .. I’m in the office ..

13.15 .. I finally get my lunch .. PAB.

17.53 .. I drive out of the gate ..

18.48 .. I’m home ..

19.10 .. I order a Chinese .. after asking for the 2 main courses, Mary tells me what I want .. “boiled rice ?” .. yes please .. “bean sprouts ?” .. yes please .. “deep fried bean curd, garlic salt & chilli ?” .. yes please .. “15 minutes Sarah !” .. yes please.

Main course consumed, time for the fortune cookies .. “ YOU WILL HAVE SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING YOU DO NEXT SATURDAY” and “ FORTUNE COOKIES WILL GIVE YOU GOOD HEALTH” .. the first .. is that this coming Saturday when we’ll be in St Vaast La Hougue, in France, or the Saturday of next week when my bike gets it’s MOT ??, the second one .. hmmm .. I always eat mine but at the moment I’m not that healthy !!!

23.11 .. Heads for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2508. Friday 21st October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

13.15 .. I head for home .. via my mothers and the chemist in Lightwater.

13.50 .. I’m in my mum’s flat .. unannounced .. I’m highly surprised to find mother tucking into a lamb chop, roast potatoes and broccoli. She’s been telling us for weeks she can’t eat solid food anymore and has to be on a liquid diet .. embarrassed, she tells me to take the remains away as she really can’t manage it .. yes right mother !!!

14.47 .. As I’m about to leave, my company mobile rings, it’s Melanie from work .. a large box has arrived with my name on it, containing a large pinky red object .. that’ll be my new suitcase.

14.55 .. I head for Lightwater ..

15.15 .. ish .. I’m in the Chemists to get the remains of my outstanding prescription ..

15.23 .. I’m home ..

16.15 .. ish .. Karen is home ..

18.45 .. I head for the shower ..

20.14 .. We are on the road for Portsmouth ..

21.22 .. We are in the ferry terminal ..

22.35 .. We are finally parked up on deck six of the Norman Spirit ferry to La Havre ..

22.45 .. We are settled in seats 71 & 72 in the Velvet Club lounge ..

23.15 .. The ferry finally leaves .. late .. as this overnight crossing is a slow chug .. the time will easily be made up.

23.25 .. ish .. Karen and I head off to find a restaurant to get a cup of tea .. we end up in “la Bistro du Normand” restaurant. Seems the simple refreshment isn’t enough .. having gone for fruit juices .. a plate of chips is acquired .. that sort of fills a whole. 

More to come ...

Day 2509. Saturday 22nd October  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

Not sure if I slept much, Karen says I did for a while after I went for a comfort break about 02.00 .. Karen was purring away for periods of time before that ..

05.30 .. (06.30 French) ..  The alarm comes in the form of a tannoy announcement .. we head for one of the ferry restaurants for breakfast .. back to “la Bistro du Normand” restaurant. I go for what they charge as full English, just the bits I want. Karen picks a few items and gets charged individually. We are heading back to our seats as the queue for the restaurant builds down the corridor.

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. not this week.

A quick freshen up, brush my teeth and it’s time to head back to the car ..

07.00 ( 08.00 French, the official disembark time ) .. comes and goes ..

07.20 .. ish .. We finally roll off the ferry ..

The joy of French roads .. so smooth and so empty .. Violet hums along happily at 130KPH .. we have to pay 3 different tolls on or trip, €5.10, €1.00 and €3.90.

Just before Valogne I stop at an Esso garage on the motorway and top Violet up .. €1.63 for Esso Supreme .. a little more than it is at home.

09.50 .. ish .. We arrive in St Vaast, and park up just short and opposite the hotel. We head around into the market to see what’s there.

The market is more stretched out and organised differently to how it used to be done. One thing is missing .. the cheese wagon we have visited on every trip here on a Saturday isn’t here, there is another one, with different people, we do buy some cheese, but this one doesn’t do the stunning farm butter, which they used to cut from a big slab, I settle for a pack of pre packed butter.

After buying a few things in the market, I’ve acquired 3 more nice hair clips, we head into Gosselin’s  where we are welcomed by Bertran, for a nosey around. I buy 6 slices of their fabulous Normandie ham .. for lunch, to go with the trenche of Brie du mer I bought from the cheese wagon.

We discover they aren’t open on Monday, so the wine shopping will have to happen tomorrow.

11.25 .. Next into the bakers to get some lunch time bread ..

11.55 .. We are back at the car, we drive round to the sea side of the Marina, parking up with a view across to Tatihou Island.

12.45 .. We are done eating, but what to do .. we head of into Cherbourg .. for a little retail therapy ..

13.15 .. We are in Cherbourg, and initially totally confused as to what is happening with our favourite Hyper Market there, Carrfoure .. and get blocked on our normal route. What is happening, is that the site is being extended into the old car park .. and it’s going to have a a new name.

Eventually we find our way into the new / temporary car park .. I get myself another handbag .. from the same shop as before. Into the supermarket section .. we are looking at various things, I’m after some car stuff. Again they don’t have any Mobil 1 that I like to use in our clutch of Jazz’s .. but they do have their 5 litre containers of -30c screen wash at just €5 a pack .. 2 of those go in the trolley, with hind site I should have got 3. Why do I have to pay £13 - £14 pound in the UK for similar stuff ?!?.

We continue shopping, getting some food stuffs, including what should be a very nice little pack of “foie gras de canard” .. a luxury for Christmas .. if it survives till then !! 

17.00 .. Car loaded, we head back to Saint Vaast ..

As I pull up outside the hotel, there is adequate parking bays available, I spy two other English cars, one is a Volvo XC90, a 4 x 4 .. and it of course in typical pig ignorant ( 95% of UK 4 x 4 drivers fall into this category ) 4 x4 selfishness has driven onto the pavement where there isn’t a parking bay, just to be right by the hotel gate. In busier times I’ve parked 100m away to find a bay .. grrrrrrrrrr. 

17.25 .. We are in the hotel, the welcome is warm, even though we haven’t been back since Easter 2010.

18.42 .. We are late as we head for the restaurant ..

After some discussion, we settle on the €39 menu for tonight, agreeing we’ll have to go al ecarte tomorrow. I pick a bottle of half decent St Emilion wine to wash our food down. I go for the cheese course too .. which Karen has a pick at .. << smiles >>.

21.15 .. ish .. Coffee’s consumed, we head upstairs to our room for a quick change before heading out for a walk ..

21.25 .. It’s a bit breezy as we head outside, but it’s not that cold. We decide to do the short route up the “high street”, out of the end opposite the marina entrance then back towards the lock alongside the harbour. We do a bit of window shopping as we wander along.

22.00 .. ish .. We are back in our room .. Karen heads for the bathroom .. 

More to come ...

Day 2510. Sunday 23rd October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.00 .. (08.00 French) ..  The alarm ..

Post shower,I sort out my meds for the day .. I start my new oral Oestrogen today .. out goes 6mg of Zumenon daily and in comes 6mg of Elleste Solo ..

08.35 .. We head off and across to the breakfast room ..

10.00 .. We are in the car for the short drive around to Gosselin’s to fill the car a little with wine .. 30 bottles of our favourite whites .. Pouilly Fume, Pouilly sur Loire, Fontbonne ordinaire white .. and a selection of our favourite reds .. 18 Fontbonne “Cuvee Marie”, all but 4 of his total stock, a nice St Emillion and a new Medoc that Bertran recommends as an old favourite has all gone. I pick up a double bottle of the Fontbonne “Cuvee Marie” .. later as we are paying Bertran gives us another as a gift. Karen gets a nice bottle of Armagnac VSOP for her brother’s 40th birthday which is gift wrapped for us.

Later, Karen spots that the double bottle of Fontbonne is actually 3 times the price of a single .. DOH .. but we did get a second free I point out .. << lol >>.

11.10 .. Bill paid .. OUCH .. our trolley is wheeled out of the side of the shop and round to the front where our car is .. I pack the boot as usual .. I have a knack of maximising the space, really important with the Jazz .. our old Cavalier would have held all of this, and more, and all our luggage as well, the wine we have leaves little space for much else.

11.20 .. We nip into the bakers next door before they close .. not seeing a “tarte au pomme” on display I ask for one questioningly .. a phone call is made, and one of the girls disappears with a “deux minute” .. a tarte has been bought around from their other shop by the church .. << BIG GRIN >>.

Karen suggests we try one of their whole meal baguettes .. and we get a couple of “tartellet au frais” .. glazed strawberry tarte .. we pay and leave.

11.40 .. Back in the car, the big decision .. what to do with the rest of the day .. I dismiss yesterday’s idea of a trip to St Malo as to far in the remaining time .. Karen’s decision is to head across to Vauville on the west side of the peninsular .. so we do.

It’s a nice drive .. across country via Valognes .. the roads are just so well maintained .. most of the time we rarely fell a bump.

12.45 .. We’ve landed in the middle of Vauville, TomTom powered .. now we need to go find somewhere to park up and enjoy a sea view with our lunch. Easier said than done. There’s clearly a lot of “privee” beech access.

12.55 .. Eventually I turn down a lane 2 or 3 Km from the village and end up in  car park .. I’m able to park up facing straight onto the beach .. lovely !! It’s a lovely view, Jersey is visible across the sea, and on the long sandy beech people are land sailing, and kite “roller boarding”. On the sea, a couple of chaps are kite surfing too !!

Lunch .. Karen’s choice of bread was excellent, gosh it’s lovely. It’s light and airy like real French you  cannot buy in England .. but it’s “Granary” with it. The remains of yesterdays cheese and ham is our filling .. lovely. Before eating our strawberry tarts we demolish a bag of French “party sausages” .. delicious !!!. Karen wasn’t wild on the tart .. she could taste a hint of almond, which isn’t on her favourites list .. but I loved mine and finished her base !!!

14.00 .. ish .. We go onto the near deserted beech where the tide is coming in .. we take photo’s of each other, Karen goes for a paddle cause her shoes just slip off, my new trainers would be a fight as they were to get on this morning .. she says the water is surprisingly warm. The car was showing 20c as an outside temperature .. it’s certainly quite warm despite of the strong southerly breeze.

Did I mention that this idyllic little beach is between two of Normandie’s nuclear power stations, about 5 Km from each, and one is clearly being expanded. I have no worries, the French mastered nuclear decades ago, forget wind power .. though you do see the odd wind turbine in Normandie .. they won’t go powerless like Britain will on baking summer days !!!

14.30 .. ish .. we head north along the coast .. to Herqueville then later on to the very tip at Goury via a very scenic beech road .. lovely.

16.20 .. ish .. We head back to St Vaast using the TomTom to take us the fastest route .. I’m going a little to quick and miss a turn and have to turn around .. DOH.

17.10 .. We are back at the hotel .. I go find my favourite step at the end of our corridor and check in on Facebook and Google plus,

18.30 .. We are the first into the restaurant tonight .. but it soon fills up.

We both have alcoholic aperitifs tonight, which we discover are on the bill tomorrow as gratis .. we order our food and the gastro experience  restarts. We are given a couple of small appetizers each before the meal proper starts. I also order a nice bottle of Margeoux wine, which is really nice.

We’ve both gone for yesterday’s starter .. the “foie gras de canard”, it was just amazing last night ..  
Our “main course”, Karen’s is medium-rare, mine is blue .. in French reads “ Filet de boeuf / salisfy, trompettes de la mort / langue de boeuf et jus de viande” .. their English translation reads “Beef fillet / salisfy, wild craterellus mushrooms / ox tongue and meat juice” .. there’s some finely chopped and cooked dark green stuff adorning the plate too .. not knowing what it is I do try and avoid eating any, knowing many dark green vege’s have high levels of Iodine in them.

Next arrives my cheese course, which again Karen has a little pick at .. << smiles >>.

For desserts, we go different ways .. I go for “Ravioles citron / bouillon cacao amer / friand à la muscade” that’s “Lemon small ravioli / bitter cocoa soup / nutmeg puff pastry” .. it sounded good, but I was left disappointed .. Karen went for the “Clementine marinated in Grand-Marnier / flamed meringue / biscuit ice-cream and pistachio” .. she wasn’t overly impressed either !! While we were eating Karen noticed reception suddenly filled up, it’s a family mob of English ..

21.01 .. We are back in our room .. I’m starting to feel unwell .. maybe some fresh air would help me.

21.10 .. A change of shoes and top for me, we go for a walk, but the plan of doing the long one tonight is soon forgotten, I don’t feel good and the difficult part is that tonight the lock is open, where I would have thought given the tides earlier it would have still been closed.

As we leave the hotel for our walk I notice that last night’s 4 x 4 English sinner has been replaced by another .. it must be the mob that just arrived, despite loads of free parking spaces just a few metre’s away, new English 4 x 4 man has decided to reverse his Mercedes ML320 up onto the pavement leaving little space between his back bumper and my legally parked Jazz in a bay. I feel we sensible English car drivers should apologise to the French for the scourge and scum of the earth that is visiting English 4 x 4 man is .. arses .. 95% of them !!!

21.35 .. We are back in our room .. time for bed, Karen heads for the bathroom, I soon forget about doing some diary and just lay there .. my face is feeling as if it’s swelling .. it is .. Karen gives me one of her anti histamines ..

22.45 .. I finally climb into bed .. Karen gives me a quick sort of cuddle .. well I lay n her arm .. I’m feeling unwell and might need to get up quickly ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2511. Monday 24th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

I have trouble getting off to sleep .. I’m boiling ..

I seem to be awake more than I’m a sleep ..

04.00 .. I’ve been awake for a while when I cough and am nearly sick .. I sit up on the side of the bed for a while after taking a couple of drinks of water..

07.00 .. (08.00 French) ..  The alarm .. Karen gets up first to shower, my face is quite swollen, my head now feels like I’ve got a tight band around my forehead.

07.30 .. ish .. my turn for the bathroom .. a look in the mirror confirms my face .. yes it is my face, just a lot fatter around the lower half .. up side .. I’ve got less wrinkles !!

Maybe washing my hair might make me feel better .. to be honest it doesn’t and now I need to dry it abit ..

08.30 .. We head for breakfast across in the annex .. I really don’t feel well .. maybe a good breakfast will help.

09.15 .. Back in our room .. it’s a quick clear up, pack up and stagger down to reception .. and try and find out what the white vegetable things were with my beef fillet last night .. we think it must be the mushrooms !!!

09.50 .. We are in the car, ready roll. I set the Tom Tom for  a 14.15 .. it says we have 1 hour 50 minutes spare .. we are planning to stop at a hypermarket en route.

11.05 .. ish .. We park up in the E.Leclerc hypermarket in Bayeaux, we grab a trolley and head in ..

14.23 .. We arrive in the ferry terminal .. once through check in where we are greeted by name ( isn’t number plate recognition good, shame it wasn’t working in Portsmouth when we came out ), then through passport control ( something new on the French side !! ), we join lane 3 and wait.

14.35 .. Lunch, I’m starving .. Bayeaux bread, ham and cheese .. followed by a pot of rice pudding .. lovely.

16.08 .. I’m aware the ferry is moving .. and head out on deck to get some pictures ..

On my return we move back one row of seats to 638 & 639 .. my laptop power cable is just long enough to run neatly along the side of the cabin, and now we can see out side. I’ll have to remember to bring my 13A mains lead this time .. this boat has 13A sockets not “schumo” sockets like other ferries we’ve been on before. However, I’m an engineer .. been in this situation before .. out with the jazz Ignition key, it’s a nice fit in the earth pin hole so I can push the safety shutters down and insert my 2 pin European plug .. sorted .. for 5 hours or so of diary catch up time.

I take the SD card out of my camera and copy the weekend’s pictures to the laptop .. Karen and I do a quick review, after deleting a few and rotating many on the PC .. we are left with 184 !!! 

16.25 .. Karen heads for a comfort break and then on to the shop. As she does, I’m heads down doing some diary when I sense the ship rolling slightly .. the safety announcement did suggest “there might be some movement due to sea conditions”.

18.35 .. ish .. We gather our valuables and head for “la Bistro du Normand” restaurant .. I need the loo first.

Well there’s a queue, not only to be served, but also to pay .. hot food .. read tepid once you’ve paid and got to an empty table.

19.25 .. I’m back in my seat .. Karen’s gone for another comfort break, back on with the laptop, more diary ..

20.15 .. With an hour to go I put my Vodafone 3G dongle on a cable and rest it against a window. Sadly this cabin is Starboard side, and though only an hour away from our arrival time, I can’t get into the network .. I’m sure the other side of the boat, the Isle of Wight side signals will be beaming in .. maybe I’ll go for a walk !!

21.15 .. We enter Portsmouth Harbour ..

22.52 .. We are home .. the cars done 515 miles since leaving home Friday evening .. it’s now a case of just getting the essentials out of the car and leaving the rest till tomorrow.

While waiting for the bathroom, I try the 2 watt ( 25 watt tungsten equivalent ) LED lamp in the little dome light behind the TV .. it produces a soft but quite white light .. I like it .. just need some 50W & 100w equivalent. Was it worth £12.50 .. will it last the claimed 25000 hours .. the clock is ticking.

23.46 .. I climb into bed .. nightie night ..

More to come ...       

Day 2512. Tuesday 25th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

Day off .. so no alarm ..

08.02 .. I wake with a start, very dry .. I take a large drink from my untouched water .. my head still hurts a little from yesterday, but my face feels good.

11.23 .. I’m on the road in the direction of work .. 

11.55 .. I’m in Gerrards Cross .. I have some shopping to do .. can’t say what till after Thursday .. Karen’s birthday !!

12.16 .. I’m in the office at work .. some are a little surprised .. but I’m only in to collect my new suitcase ..

12.21 .. Back on the road ..

12.52 .. I’m in my mum’s flat .. no surprises this time ..

13.22 .. I’m home .. Karen’s sitting on the floor talking to a friend on a phone ..

13.35 .. Lunch is served .. bread, cheese and a lot of French goodies .. I finish off with a slice of Tarte au Pomme .. wow !!! Washed down with blueberry juice.

14.10 .. ish .. Karen disappears of to a friends house ..

Having been in conversation with a couple of folk on the Yahoo Group for the Westerly Owners Association about how best to put crimps onto wires .. so I do a demonstration crimp and take pictures of the stages with my little USB microscope .. after posting them to the site I get asked how I took them .. the detail is something else !!!

17.50 .. Karen is home ..

18.40 .. Dinner part 1 .. a French cheese and jambon twist .. it’s really nice. Dessert comes in two parts .. one can only be described as an Apricot Danish Pastry, the other is a bowl of St Vaast market creme rice pudding .. it’s stunning with a little strawberry jam.

23.30 .. Time to head to bed .. tonight I’m going to start my new oral progesterone ..

More to come ...

Day 2513. Wednesday 26th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2514 - Week 360 - Thursday 27th October 2011.

Day 2514. Thursday 27th October 2011. ( Karen’s birthday )

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2515. Friday 28th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.59 .. I’m in the office, only Callum has beaten me in.

I find an email from the Suporn clinic asking those booked for revisions like I am to postpone their plans if possible. To make life more difficult they’ve withdrawn clinic transport for such cases even though it was a 1600 Baht each way deal.

I reply to it to ask that I might continue .. as I’ll lose my £240 Air Asia flights as a loss, then have to trump up another £750 to fly back. It’s unlikely I’ll get another trip to Brunei in the current MOD contract .. if we don’t get the contract renewed, it’ll never happen, and we now know there are 4 other bidders against us.

17.34 .. I’m on the road for home .. Friday night hell on the M25 has the TomTom divert me down through Slough Windsor and Sunninghill.

18.40 .. I’m home .. 

19.10 .. Dinner .. spicy chicken soup followed by a load of French cheese on crackers followed by a slice of “tarte au pomme” .. lovely ..

00.22 .. I finally climb into bed.

More to come ...

Day 2516. Saturday 29th October  2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.10 .. The alarm ..

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 13lb .. ho hum the price of lovely cheese .. to think Tuesday when we got back from France it was just 14st 11lb.

09.20 .. We are in Egham, to fill up Sparkle .. she’s running on vapours. However I’m going to play  Shell at their own game. They’ve sent me some vouchers to use, one requires 3 20litre plus fill ups before 28/11/11 .. so rather than fill the car up, I just put 25 litres in .. she’ll probably take another 20 litres later post Claire trip. Violet needs a fill up too .. so I’ll be able to “ker chang” that token by next weekend when I go Brunei.

09.29 .. We join the M25 .. it’s moving well.

09.55 .. We are on the M1 .. again everything is moving well. Karen gets cut up in road works by a German 4 x 4 towing a motorbike trailer .. as we’d just passed a Belgian camper I suspect there might be a motorcycle think going on at Silverstone.

10.44 .. We arrive at the services, Claire’s home car pulls in moments after us .. we bail out to help transfer Claire, she’s got a long face ..

10.48.. Transfer done we are off .. Claire doesn’t seem overly happy .. ho hum.

11.05 .. After a period of silence on Claire’s part, she starts to talk about food .. more like her normal self. She’d like a BBQ .. well the weather isn’t too bad so that might be possible.

Claire’s crying from time to time, we don’t know why .. even her favourite “Enigma”  isn’t doing it for her.

11.25 .. We are back on the M25 ..

11.56 .. We leave the M25 at Egham .. it’s been a good run so far today ..  

12.14 .. We are home ..

21.53 .. I’m in bed !!!!

More to come ...

Day 2517. Sunday 30th October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

07.10 ( 08.10 BST ) .. Karen gets up to make a cup of tea and get Claire’s meds ..

07.15 .. As Karen returns Claire gets up .. well timed .. but Claire hasn’t been up all night, and she’s still got a dry nappy .. fab !!!

07.22 .. Post comfort break Claire want’s to get up .. so we are all up ..

Claire’s not a happy bunny .. seems to have a bit of a temperature ..

09.50 .. I’m in the bathroom ..

10.35 .. I reset the bathroom clock from my little “radio clock” and head down stairs .. I dry my hair best I can ..

11.00 .. ish .. Robert arrives ..

13.47 .. We are on the road in Violet ..

13.59 .. We are at Waitrose .. I fly in for a few essentials ..

14.22 .. Back in the car, our progress is halted by closed crossing barriers ..

14.26 .. Barriers up .. we are off .. I’ve set the TomTom, seems a 53 minute delay on the M25 / M1 route .. I accept the “faster route” of M25 / M40 ..

14.33 .. In Egham .. a frustating session with pump 8 .. takes a trip to the pay window to get it reset.

14.39 .. Back on the road ..

14.43 .. We are on the M25 .. the first overhead sign we come to says “M1 queues J11 - 14" .. so the TomTom is guiding us well ..

14.51 .. We peal off the M25 onto the M40 .. it goes really well with only a couple of slower patches .. hope there’s nothing on at Silverstone to delay us ..

15.29 .. We leave the M40 and head across country on the A43 for Northampton .. 

15.58 .. We arrive at Northampton services .. the transfer is soon completed .. Claire gives us both a hug between cars then gives us a wave as the homes car drives off ..

16.03 .. Back on the M1 ..

16.15 .. ish .. At J14 we are pealed off by our TomTom to save 5 minutes .. it takes us back to J13 after a quick trip around Milton Keynes .. then it takes us over the M25 and takes us around North Watford before dropping us onto the M25 at J19 ..

17.15 .. We join the back of a slow moving queue just after M25 J16 .. ho hum.

17.28 .. We leave the M25 .. soon to be home ..

17.44 .. We are home.

18.05 .. I call Mary for a take away ..

18.18 .. I’m in the Chinese .. only to find Ashleigh, our hairdresser, waiting there with her boy friend.

First fortune cookie "AN OLD FRIEND WILL CALL ON YOU" .. hmmm .. I wonder who that might be.

The second fortune cookie "YOU WILL HAVE SUCCESS IN EVERYTHING YOU DO NEXT MONDAY" .. if that's tomorrow (this Monday to my reckoning ) .. I've booked another hour to try and crack what I failed with on Friday in a Studio at work .. If it's next Monday I'll be in transit to Brunei via Singapore, and need to blag some kit through Brunei customs without incurring their massive bribes, no I mean import duty .. << sighs >>.

21.55 .. I head North ..

22.20 .. I climb into bed ..

More to come ...                                   

Day 2518. Monday 31st October 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.11 .. I’m on the road .. where is everybody .. this is supposed to be Monday !!

08.53 .. I’m in the car park .. how odd.

I find an e-mail from the clinic in Thailand .. seems I can go ahead as planned .. phew !!

11.05 .. I head for Studio 1 to try and finally crack the issue that has been bugging me .. and all the DJ’s.

Initially there is a diversion from my task, in the guise of Adam, Vicky’s henchman whose come in part to moan about the new processor settings I’m pushing. He takes offence when exhausted, I reveal some home truths. He repeats some of the crap that Vicky has spread as negative propoganda.

I go get some of the documentation that Phil has got together and show Adam .. he’s silenced .. and after further discussion he agrees to go do some experiments.

11.35 .. I finally get to tackle the sound desk .. and I’ve cracked it, just in time for DJ Richard to enter to do his show. He tells me the fault I’ve just cracked “has always been like it” .. he does a test with me and confirms the fault has gone .. Yippee !!!

12.55 .. I head down into Chalfont St Peter .. I need to get some light bulbs for mother and do a bank raid .. I need to get a load of Sterling for my Thailand leg of my trip.

13.35 .. I’m back in the office .. mission completed.

17.35 .. I head for home ..

18.28 .. I’m home ..

18.45 .. Dinner is served .. Soup and garlic bread .. followed by a Jacket potato topped with Comte and a few tomato’s .. dessert is a slice of tarte au Pomme ..

23.40 .. I call it a day ..

00.12 .. I finally climb into bed ..

More to come ...       

Day 2519. Tuesday 1st November 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

08.12 .. I’m on the road .. this isn’t yesterday .. the TomTom is showing a big problem on the A30 at Egham .. I start to deviate my route, then the TomTom takes over and takes me to Chertsey and the M25 again ..

09.01 .. I’m in the car park .. I have a quick chat with the car valet man whose going to try and remove a patch of haze from Red ..

13.22 .. I manage to get away and head for town, first a chat with the valet man .. he’s failed .. he has some suggestions .. all seem expensive .. Red will survive as she is.

In Gerrards Cross, parking is the usual lunch time pain .. eventually I find whole and head for the shops .. I need things from both Boots and Holland & Barratt. While I’m in town I get Melanie the lamp bulb she needs.

14.15 .. I’m back in the office ..

17.32 .. I head for home .. via Tesco’s in Gerrards Cross .. I end up calling mother twice to question things and offer something extra ..

18.48 .. I’m in my mums .. she’s such hard work ..

19.16 .. I’m home ..

19.28 .. Dinner is served .. French duck casserole with mash potato .. gosh that is soooo good !!! Dessert is a bowl of strawberries and ice cream ..

21.25 .. Karen delivers me a cup of tea .. I soon go join her on the settee ..

More to come ...

Day 2520. Wednesday 2nd November 2011.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

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

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