Sarah's Transition Diary .. weeks 381 - 384


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

Day 2661 - Week 381 - Thursday 22nd March 2012.

Day 2661. Thursday 22nd March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2662. Friday 23rd March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..
More to come ...

Day 2663. Saturday 24th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

07.40 .. Up and at it ..

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. oop’s .. forgot.

08.45 .. I’ve diverted my on call phone to Melanie for a couple of hours ..

08.59 .. I’m in the hair dressers ..

10.45 .. I’m home .. I grab the on call phone back from Melanie ..

11.05 .. I make an attempt to remove the snow tires from RED, it’s getting rather warm for them ..

11.30 .. Problem, having struggled to release 2 of the nuts from the N/S wheel, with all the nuts of the wheel is stuck solid .. it won’t circum to my club hammer .. in desperation I call Roadwheel in Fleet.

12.04 .. I head for Fleet ..

12.28 .. I arrive at Roadwheel Tyres in Fleet ..

12.40 .. I head for home ..

13.03 .. As I head off the M3 at J3 Karen calls .. after a short discussion seems I’m going home first .. but detour via the BP garage for a quick car wash.

13.18 .. I’m home ..

13.25 .. Lunch

20.22 .. I’m in the Chinese .. it’s not too busy, Mary asks if I want my Chicken in black bean spiced up .. yes please ..

20.29 .. I head for home ..

20.35 .. I’m home with the food ..

21.10 .. I open my fortune cookies .. “GOOD NEWS WILL BE BROUGHT TO YOU BY MAIL” followed by “A DREAM WILL SOON COME TRUE”  hmmmm .. Don’t medium size lottery wins come through the post ?!? .. The second fortune cookie might relate to my 30 year dream of having my own yacht .. a nice 5 figure win would help me get a nicer one .. yeah right .. in my dreams still .. << sighs >> .. I’ll settle for something smaller if my company gets it contract renewed in a few months time !!!

00.21 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2664. Sunday 25th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

09.50 .. Up and at it .. what no overnight wake up calls .. << big grin >>.

12.40 .. We head for my mums .. taking the company laptop just in case ..

12.55 .. We are in my mum’s .. Juliet and Robert are already here.

15.55 .. We head for home .. stopping at the BP / M&S Simply Food garage at the bottom of Egham Hill .. and get some sausages and mini baguettes for dinner.

16.18 .. We are home .. I go open the BBQ up to have a look .. OMG .. so much for the instructions from the Canadian salesman 10 moths ago .. I strip it out and clean what I can ..   

17.25 .. I light the BBQ .. and put it on Max for 20 mins or so to really heat it up and sterilise it.

17.45 .. The thermometer in the lid is right off the top end of its 550F scale .. with a little bit of smoke escaping .. gosh that’s hot .. I put the gas down low and lift the lid to allow it to cool down.

17.55 .. The sausages are in ..

18.25 .. Dinner is served .. BBQ sausages in mini baguettes with a salad ..

23.30 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2665. Monday 26th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

09.00 .. Nearly at work .. I’m now officially off  “on call” .. for a few moments anyway ..

09.05 .. I’m in the office ..

Phil is out for the next couple of days, so I agree to stay on call ..

18.45 .. I’m home ..

18.55 .. Dinn er is served .. Cold BBQ sausages from yesterday and salad .. followed by a lemon cheesecake pot ..

19.25 .. Karen and I walk around the block .. I’m panting and heavy legged when I get home ..

22.12 .. I’m heading for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2666. Tuesday 27th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2667. Wednesday 28th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2668 - Week 382 - Thursday 29th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

12.30 .. I go and set “SitRep” up .. before grabbing my lunch ..

17.38 .. I head for home, stopping at the Esso garage in Denham where half of the pumps have been closed. I fill SPARKLE up and also my reserve 5 litre can. We might need that next Wednesday when we have to do a return trip to Alfreton for a meeting about Claire.

The M25 traffic is terrible and the TomTom takes me along the M4 out to Datchet and up across Englefield Green to home ..

More to come ...

Day 2669. Friday 30th March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

09.55 .. I need some comfort, I’m really hungry, so I head for the canteen and get a cooked breakfast .. 2 sausages, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 hash browns and a good portion of baked beans.

13.20 .. I head out to fill RED up and visit boots. I head out the south east side of Chalfont St Peter to get to the A40 to turn left back to Gerrards Cross. I stop at the BP garage, there are queues on the forcourt.

13.45 .. I manage to park quite close to Boots, which is a relief ..

17.44 .. I head for home .. the traffic is worse than last night, and again the TomTom takes me a different way, this time avoiding the M25 completely.

18.55 .. I’m home ..

More to come ...

Day 2670. Saturday 31st March 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

08.45 .. It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 12 3/4 lb .. post breakfast ..

9.14 .. We are on the road to collect Claire in Sparkle .. trying to get Karen to only do 60mph to save fuel is difficult .. can’t keep slapping her for doing more. I bought Sparkle home Thursday with 53.5 mpg on clock when I parked it in the drive .. post Karen driving to Lightwater yesterday she’s got it down to 48.4 as we left home.

At the bottom of Egham Hill on the A30, the BP garage has no fuel ..

09.33 .. We join the M25 .. it’s not very busy .. all the sensible people are saving petrol probably ..

9.54 .. We join the M1 .. it too is quiet initially .. but the road works aren’t good news, especially on the south bound side !!!

10.46 .. We’ve arrived early at the pick up point at Northampton Services ..

10.49 .. We are on the road for home .. Claire seems very happy ...

11.20 .. Karen pulls off into Toddington services .. a chance for me to take down the camera above the mirror. I find a little wire cable twist tie which I strip the plastic off the end to get to the reset .. sorted .. but this will have to go back as clearly it can’t be trusted.

11.32 .. Back on the road ..

11.55 .. We rejoin the M25 .. Karen’s moaning cause I’m making her drive slower .. to save fuel .. she’s got Sparkle up to 54.4 mpg by the time we cross the M40, with 3 of us in it .. by keeping to about truck speed .. 56 - 60 mph. Think green I keep telling her.

12.13 .. We cross the M4 .. 54.5 mpg

12.17 .. We leave the M25 .. 54.7 mpg .. this won’t last till we get home.

12.35 .. We are home .. 54.5 mpg .. Karen’s been really gentle coming up A30 and along the lanes .. no Mrs Schumacher today.

13.10 .. Lunch .. a ham roll, olives, naked crisps with a dip .. an amazing chocolate muffin home made by my niece Roxanne ..

15.45 .. We head for my mothers ..

17.05 .. We head for home, stopping at the Shell Garage in Egham to top Sparkle up .. they’ve added 2p a litre to their prices the last couple of days. The BP at the bottom of the Hill still has no fuel.

17.55 .. I order the Pizza’s ..

20.45 .. I sit down and fill in the initial application forms for the Surrey Police IAG.

23.00 .. I head for bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2671. Sunday 1st April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.55 .. Karen gets up to Claire, but Claire wants to get up .. so Karen gets up .. gosh I am shattered and my left shoulder is killing me .. I lay in bed for a while, but guilt kicks in ..

07.23 .. Up and at it .. I go sort my breakfast and tablets ..

07.55 .. I head up to my nail studio to do some maintenance .. a little is needed

09.20 .. I head up to shower .. but I’m messing doing other personal care for rather a long time, to be ejected by Karen because Claire has disgraced herself to give her a bath ..

10.07 .. I lay in bed and switch the TV on while Karen baths Claire ..

10.33 .. Back to the bathroom .. it’s a full monty for my hair .. double washed and conditioned ..

11.28 .. I’m back in the lounge .. initially the computer distracts me ..

11.43 .. ish .. I dry my hair .. not totally roasted, but enough so that it should be dry a little later ..

12.18 .. I light the BBQ ..

12.30 .. The first sausages go on to cook .. they may have tasted nice in the end but stringy “chipolata” type sausages don’t like our BBQ.

12.50 .. Thee first sausages are ready .. simply wrapped in a roll with a little ketchup .. lovely !!!

13.45 .. We leave home, in Sparkle, to take Claire back ..

14.20 .. I’m back in the car, we head up the A30 to Egham to get on the M25 ..

14.37 .. We join the M25 .. it’s unusually quiet for a Sunday afternoon .. I wonder if petrol shortages have anything to do with that. Mrs Schumacher is back .. I point out the tumbling MPG figure on the cars computer and the fact we have 20 minutes spare time to our 16.00 meeting time. Karen backs off, but needs reminding a few times more .. << grins >>.

14.59 .. We join the M1 .. again it’s a bit quiet initially ..

15.25 .. Claire is making a right racket in the back of the car .. snoring, I know where she gets that from .. the person who kept me awake for quite a while last night.

15.50 .. We arrive at Northampton Services ..

16.15 .. Back on the road .. relief ..

17. 17 .. We join the M25 ..
17.33 .. We leave the M25 ..

17.49 .. We are home ..

18.00 .. ish .. I dig out the lawn mower .. after cutting the first strip on a higher than usual setting, No. 3 .. I’m mortified at the number of dandelions trying to grow .. I wasn’t around during November to remove the dandelion heads, somebody let them go to seed .. DOH, DOH .. loads of daily digging to do for coming weeks .. I’ve got all the bigger ones out for now and any I spotted with a flower bud at the centre.

18.42 .. The front lawn is done, I pack the mower away and drag the brown bin back .. 

18.50 .. Time to relax with a cup of tea ..

More to come ...

Day 2672. Monday 2nd April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2673. Tuesday 3rd April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2674. Wednesday 4th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

19.05 .. We stop at The Royal Oak, near Farnham, to eat ..

19.55 .. Two courses later .. we are on our way home ..

20.45 .. We are in the cross channel ferry terminal in Portsmouth ..

22.05 .. We finally board the LD lines “Norman Voyager” ..

22.10 .. We dump our stuff in our cabin on deck 6 .. 6A14 .. and go do a quick tour and head out on deck ..

22.35 .. Back in our cabin .. what  no nightie !!!

Help from one of the lady stewards to try and sort our cabin temperature .. we end up with an extra blanket each, but I find I don’t need mine ..

23.15 .. We are tucked up in bed .. waiting for the ferry to leave ..

More to come ..

Day 2675 - Week 383 - Thursday 5th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

05.15 .. My phone alarm goes off ..

06.50 .. We are in the car .. waiting ..

08.25 ( 07.25 UK ) .. We finally leave the ferry .. Karen wants nothing to do with going to Giverny in the rain .. so we don’t get to go see Monet’s garden in it’s spring glory .. maybe try that next year  ..

09.15 .. ish .. We arrive in Honfleur .. after a bit of an up and down driver around town, including some very narrow and radical hill climbs .. we find a parking space by the old quay side in the old port area. It’s very picturesque .. I take a load to prove it.

We walk around to the church, the main attraction is the old one close to the old port a couple of streets away up the hill .. it’s allegedly the oldest wooden building in europe .. “free standing” on a stone plinth .. it’s very quaint, it’s not till we’ve worked our way around that I realise it’s a Catholic church .. and make a hasty exit .. not feeling clean anymore !!! 

We walk around, try a couple of restaurants looking for a drink, but they all seem to want to sell us an early lunch only .. DOH ..

11.35 .. We leave Honfleur .. under a bit of a cloud feelings wise ..  the weather has brightened up .. shame we didn’t go see the flowers ..

12.40 .. Past Caen, we stop for fuel and a bight to eat .. it’s a sort of motorway service station, an Esso garage with a “Paul’s” café inside. We both have the small baghette with sausage and cheese heated in a grill .. it’s food .. the €9.95 deal includes a dessert, mine is a large slice of lemon tart, my choice of drink is hot chocolate .. OMG .. the richest hot chocolate I’ve ever had .. would almost pass as chocolate sauce ???  

13.25 .. We are on the road again ..

14.25 .. We arrive in St Vaast .. we head around to the back of the marina for a ook at the boats before heading into “La Marina” restaurant/café , otherwise known as the St Vaast yacht club for a hot chocolate each ..

15.50 .. We check in at the hotel ..

More to come ...

Day 2676. Friday 6th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..
More to come ...

Day 2677. Saturday 7th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ... ( written retrospectively Sunday 8th )

07.15 .. The alarm .. time for a quick cuddle ..

It’s the Saturday morning weigh in .. oh no it’s not .. it’ll have to wait till Monday .. then I suspect the scales will develop a tendency to over read !!

09.15 .. We are in the restaurant .. again the service we are getting is not attentive enough. The hotel is relatively quiet .. with breakfast in the main dinning room again.

We did eventually get asked about drinks .. eventually it did arrive, but only with cold milk for my coffee au lait ..

09.50 .. We head back to our room .. I’m not a totally happy bunny.

10.05 .. ish .. We head off round to the market .. this time of year it’s not quite the place it will be in a couple of months, when all the local farm produce starts to hit the place. However all the regular stalls are there .. 

At the one I usually buy my hair clips from it’s bad news .. in the essential large clip range they only have black or dark brown .. I have enough of those !!!

The cheese wagon is there, and the lady who owns it and has served us for over 20 years gives me a ready knowing smile .. her assistant serves us when it’s our time .. so it’s an ample €18 of different cheeses and an over size chunk of fresh farmhouse “Douh” ( unbelievably creamy unsalted butter ) that ends up being wrapped up .. hope mother wants a load !! One of the cheeses is an experiment .. we find out tomorrow !!

While walking down the far end of the market which is literally just across from the harbour edge road, I hear a bang of a flare being fired. There is some sort of festival going on today in the marina .. but some stupid moron has fired a parachute flair over the marina .. it drifts down and lands in the marina .. if it had landed on a boats deck the damage could have been immense .. I know cause I witnessed such a disaster on a friends boat a few years back. A flare had landed on his deck, although he’d acted quickly to get it over the side .. his deck was badly damaged.

We buy some bread from our usual bakers .. and I get a slice of the monster apple lattice tart that one of the market stall bakers was selling .. then we head off for lunch.

19.35 .. I’m finally ready and we head down to the restaurant .. seems like we’ve been demoted, we don’t get the corner table for 4 layed out for two as we did on Friday, we get the next table along which is for 2 only anyway.

Madame Brix takes our order .. Karen settles for the €29 3 course menu, as it has all what she wants to try. With my cautious diet here, I have to go al a carte and still take a main from the €29 meal to make a 4 course meal .. I want to get to their cheese board tonight .. So it’s the lovely foie gras starter, the mignons of fillet of port ( which Karen has too ) followed by cheeses and then the fillet tarte au pomp .. the chosen wine tonight, I thought something red but lighter, so opted for a 2007 Bourgogne red .. light, fruity with a peppery after taste .. and 13%. Coffee follows, I ask our new tall male waiter if they have any Bas-Armagnac, he miss hears and brings back 2 .. I end up drinking 1 ½ probably.  
21.50 .. We are back in our room .. I’ve got quite a stomach ache now .. DOH .. so decline the walk around the block.

22.45 .. I finally climb into bed .. 

More to come ...

Day 2678. Sunday 8th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

Unsurprisingly .. I slept well ..

07.45 .. The alarm goes off ..

07.50 .. ish .. after a brief cuddle, I get up to quickly use the loo then Karen gets up and showers .. leaving me to do some packing, except I got side tracked by the laptop. The Facebook upload of the video has failed again .. I blame the shaky connection we have on WiFi in this room.

08.35 .. Karen is out of the bathroom so I can have a quick shower .. quick and shower doesn’t compute in my head, even without a hair wash ..

09.15 .. ish .. We head down to the restaurant for breakfast .. sadly again, in the hands of the new tall male waiter the service we get isn’t good .. I’m going to have to leave a comment on the suggestions sheet when I hand it in .. I’m wondering if the new staff have been briefed about me, or if he’s guessed and doesn’t like .. but it’s clear we aren’t getting the attention others are again.

09.50 .. We’ve had our fill, and return to our room to quickly finish packing and depart .. I fill in the customer survey form and modify it slightly .. “How did you find our hotel?” .. a series of tick boxes .. for internet, personal recommendation etc .. none to say “returning guest”, so I add one, along with another box “How many times?” .. I’ve lost count to be honest, probably over 50, but I put 45+ .. << grins >>.

10.25 .. Madame Brix herself sorts out our bill and explains it to me .. she takes my customer survey form and without looking at it adds it to a pile.

10.30 .. Done and dusted in the hotel .. we do a temporary load of the car and head around to Gosselin’s to do some shopping .. for wine mainly. We wander around checking the locations we know where he stashes the wines we like .. mainly in the “Caves” area, not the bulk boxed area’s for the lesser wines, I know, I can be a bit of a snob sometimes .. LOL.

As we are heading into summer, the wine shopping is predominantly white .. 12 Pouilly Fume, 12 Pouilly Sur Loire ( and the last on the shelf, 13th bottle, as a present to us after I told Bertrand it’s Karen’s favourite ), 6 Chardonnay’s, 6 Menetou Salon Blanc and 6 Rose that Bertrand promises is a good substitute to the one we like and he has no stock of. All paid up £292.22 in sterling, his bank are offering us a cracking €1.172 = £1.00 rate , he wishes us well and we leave assisted by one of his lads who wheels the trolley out and unloads it onto, luckily, a dry patch of road.

Karen and I clear the boot space to pack the wine into before putting stuff back in. The back seat are of the car is stuffed too with our bags and other shopping. Poor Violet is definitely down at the stern. 

11.40 .. We are done .. it takes a while to repack the car. We nip into the bakers next door to Gosselin’s to get bread for lunch .. Karen fancies one of there baby ciche’s, I go for one of there large Pain au Raison .. lovely.

We head round by the Marina, as we do, for a final goodbye .. the sun is now out cause we are leaving, an opportunity for a mini video of the open lock gates and the scene around .. including the Tatihou wagon.

Before finally departing, we go back to the village and park up the other side of the road from Gosselin’s, to use the cash machine to top up for next time, and take a walk down to the clothes shop at the lock end of the town before the one way system .. we spotted a pale purple fleece jacket that might have fitted me Saturday.

I find the jacket and try it on .. it fits, though I’m going to have to “sell” one feature of the sleeve as something else .. LOL .. getting clothes with long enough sleeves is a pain.

12.28 .. We drive away from the hotel for a final time .. heading off in the direction our TomTom has suggested .. we’re heading to join the main dual carriageway N13 at Valognes. Just before Bayeux, at Les Veys, I stop for fuel .. brimming Violet now will ensure, at least, that we can get home.

14.25 .. ish .. About 4 Km short of the ferry terminal I stop for fuel, but I have to turn off across the main dual carriage way to get to an Esso Express service station, as the Total station this side of the road is all shuttered up.

This is a bit of a worry, this is an unmanned station that requires the use of a credit card at the machine .. I tried the Esso Express in Cherbourg a few years ago and it wouldn’t take an English card of any sort. However I’m OK .. but I am using my Santander card .. maybe it thinks it’s Spanish .. ho hum. As I’m filling up a French female tramp appears and starts talking French at me .. “Parlevous Anglaise?” I ask .. she continues .. I ask again .. she gets the message and wonders off.

Back in the car relieved .. I drive forward then stop and save the filling stations position in our TomTom .. “Esso garage near La Havre ferry” .. and continue our journey with a brimmed tank.

14.38 .. We check in at the terminal .. it’s only just opened. I remember the good old days of zero checks on the French side .. not only do we have to show out passports to get our tickets .. we then have to drive forward ten metres of so and stop again .. except I didn’t ad got shouted at “Stop” .. doh. The girl customs agent checks Karen and I out and she cracks a wide grin when I look at her .. then pulls a funny face before handing our passports back to Karen, smiling. Maybe she’s sussed us .. LOL.

14.48 .. We are parked up in lane 2, time to eat. Before we do I store my location as my own “Le Havre Ferry Terminal” favourite in the TomTom. I then copy that into our own “Our_France” POI list along with the filling station.

And so we eat .. the fresh bread bought in St Vaast, some beef salad pot bought in Carrefour and the odd cheese bought off the wagon yesterday. Gosh the cheese is an amazing winner .. will have to be more up front with the Samsung phone camera when we are shopping in future. Once we’ve finished .. I walk the rubbish to a wheelie bin at the front of the queue and then visit the toilet in the terminal building before returning to the car.

15.35 .. Back in the car, I suggest to Karen she drives from here, as she’s done zilch so far .. she refuses, she doesn’t want to drive on to the ferry, I can’t see why not .. simply follow directions and the car in front !! .. so I’m unable to sit there doing my diary .. I get the arse for sure .. grrrrrrr.

16.15 .. We start to move towards the ferry .. I can’t understand why some of the other rows are being taken on first .. but all seems to work out well for us in the end.

16.25 .. We are on the ferry, the Norman Voyager again .. this time on the second vehicle deck, deck 4. This isn’t what one would call a roll on roll off ferry, I’m wondering if it’s original origins was as a ferry somewhere known for storm’s, as clearly the bows don’t open. All vehicles have to go on and before getting off, turn around inside, however it’s so wide inside I could do a figure of 8 in any of our Jazz’s with room for an O on top << grins >>.

As we are amongst the first on, on this deck ( there’s only a row of trucks at the very front, already turned around ), we are ushered around inside and end up near the front of the queue in lane 2, facing ready to drive straight out .. so maybe I’ll have a quick and easy escape when I drive off later.

This ferry isn’t for sitting in .. luckily, as we are amongst the first on, we manage to snaffle a couple of seats in the “seaside lounge”, port side too. After a quick look around, we settle on two seats with none  in front of us, close to the door out to the deck. I chose these cause it gave me 3 power sockets to choose from, few of the other seats had power at all.

17.05 .. we’ve not long left the quay side when I take a peak outside .. quite heavy fine drizzle, with visibility down to a few hundred metres .. lovely .. I take a picture out of the Port side before heading back in and across to the starboard side .. no change .. we must be heading straight into the rain as both sides are as wet as each other to stand in ..

Time to break out the laptop .. I’ve done very little on it except a few Facebook updates Friday, and Karen’s been using it for Facebook and Skyping Claire in Alfreton. I’ve tried to do all my Facebook stuff from my Samsung galaxy S2 ..

17.25 .. ish .. We’ve not been at see long when there’s a tannoy message asking for a doctor “ we have a medical emergency on board” ..

I’m head down into diary catchup ..

19.40 .. There’s a tannoy message to say the self service restaurant is about to close .. so we pack up and head along to eat, leaving coats on our seats to keep them. By the time we get there, there is a bit of a queue formed.

Also once up out of our seats it’s quite clear we are listing to Starboard, noticeably .. possibly 8 - 10 degree’s. 

The lady serving is the same lady who helped us with extra blankets Friday night .. multi tasking. She says “I recognise you, have you had a good trip?” ( with a lovely French accent ) .. “We recognise you too, yes we’ve had a nice time .. do you never have time off ?” .. No, she says she sleeps on board.

Karen has Lasagne and chips .. I made a mistake .. I went for the chicken tikka masala curry with rice .. it looked “ok” but was tepid by the time we sat down. Samples of Karen’s chips, then her lasagne showed she’d chosen well.  

20.03 .. We are back to our seats, I nip outside to see what it’s like. It’s stopped raining but there is quite a wind. On a moving ship it can be difficult to gauge the wind direction, but my knowledge or reading the sea shows we are almost head int wind, maybe 10 - 20 degrees off the Port side. That shouldn’t create the list we have, and it could be the captain has decided to run with the stabilisers retracted to save fuel along with a little lack of care balancing the ship by the crew loading up the car / freight decks.

20.05 .. Laptop re booted .. back to the diary.

22.05 .. We finally roll off the ferry .. then have to queue to get through border control ..

22.20 .. We leave the port and head for home .. the TomTom wants to take us west along the M27 to the M3 .. ridiculous .. I head our normal way and find no delays .. this is the fastest route ..

23.22 .. We are home .. we unload the essentials and then start to settle for the night.

I boot the home PC and check my emails .. well down load them and doo a quick check in on Facebook.

00.25 .. I climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2679. Monday 9th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

07.40 .. I’m awake ..

More to come ...

Day 2680. Tuesday 10th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2681. Wednesday 11th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ..

Day 2682 - Week 384 - Thursday 12th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

13.40 .. I head for Waitrose in Beaconsfield to collect the TV I had ordered.

17.40 .. I head for home ..

More to come ...

Day 2683. Friday 13th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..
09.12 .. I hobble the short distance from my car, through the office door and across to my desk .. my legs are killing me ..

11.30 .. ish .. Dave calls me into the office .. he’s asked me to do the lead again going to Brunei in June, taking new boy Nick with me. This would have been Marks lead if he hadn’t gone of to Afghanistan, prompting the employment of Nick. I accept, though I’m dreading the flights in my current state of health with my legs ..

More to come ...

Day 2684. Saturday 14th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

07.10 .. The alarm .. We snuggle up ..

07.38 .. Up and at it .. gosh my legs are killing me this morning .. I struggle to the bathroom .. I try and do a few squat exercises using the bath side handle to haul myself up .. this isn’t good.

08.25 .. I’m clear of the bathroom .. I put my undies on and go down to do the Saturday morning weigh in .. 14st 13 3/4lb .. cringe .. this has to get better.

09.10 .. I boot the laptop to copy the diary across ready to get Claire ..

10.05 .. The home calls .. they are going to try and get Claire into the car shortly ..

10.12 .. The phone rings .. they are just leaving ..

10.16 .. We are on the road in Sparkle .. at least the weather isn’t to bad today.

10.36 .. We join the M25 .. it’s moving well .. I have to remind Karen that we do not to do the speed she is ..

10.57 .. We join the M1 .. short of the roadworks everything is going well ..

11.06 .. We get to the roadworks after J10 with no issues .. 3 lanes open each side .. nobody working so why a 50mph speed limit .. beyond J11 there is still clear evidence of road works .. still a contra flow running .. we stick in the two lane section as usual.

11.43 .. We arrive at Northampton Services .. Claire is here already. There is a short discussion with one of her staff after we’ve got Claire in our car ..

11.48 .. We head for home .. Claire seems happy enough .. within seconds she wants the Enigma CD we carry in the car on .. and starts asking for Pizza ..

12.15 .. Karen pulls ff into Toddington services .. to do a little shopping .. there’s a lovely old English sports car parked opposite .. mint condition .. I take a picture and post it on facebook.

12.47 .. We rejoin the M25 .. still moving well, for a while she does my trick of tucking behind an arctic lorry that is ow to the ground .. the MPG suddenly improves drastically .. till she gets bored !!.

13.11 .. We leave the M25 .. nearly home .. just our luck to get behind a JCB lumbering up Egham Hill .. aka the A30 westbound.

13.31 .. We are home ..

16.22 .. We arrive at my mums ..

17.50 .. We head for home ..

18.15 .. I order the Pizza ..

18.39 .. I’m home with the food ..

22.08 .. I head down stairs to shut the computer down ..

22.45 .. I climb into bed ..

More to come ...

Day 2685. Sunday 15th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

05.32 .. I’m woken by the sound of coughing .. Karen’s in the bathroom .. with Claire ..

06.10 .. Claire wants to get up .. so Karen gets up and I watch the BBC news coverage of the Titanic centenary .. very moving .. especially a distant relative from my mothers side went down on her .. one Laura Francatelli lost her life having boarded in Cherbourg, yes I have a sip of Italian blood in my veins.

06.25 .. Karen brings me a cup of tea .. this is a get up signal .. while it cools I flick around the TV and find the Chinese F1 ..

07.05 .. I get up and head down stairs .. where I find Claire asleep on the settee !!

I sort my breakfast and settle to watch the Grand Prix .. which turns out to be quite stunning .. lots of close racing

With me with my head stuck in a thrilling F1 race .. Claire wakes and Karen takes her for her bath .. she returns just as the race finishes so I can dry her hair. Ross Braun must go down as KU’s F1 leading light since Colin Chapman, the number of winning teams he’s transformed.

10.12 .. I head for the bathroom ..

11.45 .. I light the BBQ .. it maybe bright wall to wall sunshine at the moment but it’s flipping cold !!

12.05 .. Time to start cooking, Karen part cooks the chicken in the microwave to to give it a hand .. jacket and scarf on to keep warm, I head out to cook 12 sausages and finish the chicken off .. the food will be eaten inside I have no doubt ..

12.40 .. The food is cooked .. and so we feast .. sausages in rolls .. chicken on the bone to noar.

14.15 .. We are on the road, some 15 minutes early .. Karen has an excuse to save fuel, or as she had explained to get home earlier .. the home car is often early. The A30 to Egham has a few typical Sunday afternoon drivers ..

14.35 .. We join the M25 .. it’s moving well but we shouldn’t be in a hurry ..

14.56 .. We join the M1 .. some dark clouds ahead ..

15.10 .. It starts to rain .. doing 56 - 60mph is boring .. according to Karen ..

15.41 .. Karen’s had enough and goes up to 70 ..

15.48 .. We arrive at Northampton Services South .. no sign of the homes car .. Karen should  have driven slower ..

15.55 .. The homes car arrives ..

15.59 .. Back on the road ..

16.45 .. As we come to the M1 / M25 junction we are suddenly in a Ford festival .. lots of “classic” Fords all cruising along .. Sierra Cosworth’s, Ford Cortina Mk1 GT ( sadly not a Lotus ) .. old Escorts .. nostalgia.

16.49 .. We join the M25 .. it’s a little busy ..

17.10 .. We leave the M25 ..

17.13 .. Karen pulls into the Shell Garage .. 140.9 .. ouch ..

17.30 .. We are home ..

I go and put the cover on the now cool BBQ, and then sort out the TV situation upstairs .. taking out the one that needs to be returned, putting the old one back in for a while.

19.55 .. We head off round to the local Indian .. it’s nearly empty. Part of the way through the meal Karen realises she recognises some voices from behind a partition .. it’s a school governor and his wife whop used to work in the school. Karen is worried she might be seen with me.

21.25 .. Bill paid, we scuttle out before anybody realises it’s Karen.

21.29 .. We are home ..

22.37 .. Time to go and sort myself out .. a couple of nails to sort before work tomorrow.

More to come ...

Day 2686. Monday 16th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

19.20 .. My company phone rings .. it’s a woman from our Gurkha headquarters in Shorncliffe .. “we are off air” .. I take her word for it and boot my company laptop .. which takes an age !!!

19.43 .. My mobile rings .. same woman .. we aren’t hearing anything now !! .. “but you told me you were off air before” .. I dump a temporary file onto that services player ..

20.00 .. I watch nervously as the Gurkha service goes into the news .. things start to reload .. very slowly ..

20.03 .. The news ends .. and the player plays it’s programme .. phew .. << grins >>.

More to come ...

Day 2687. Tuesday 17th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

More to come ...

Day 2688. Wednesday 18th April 2012.

Memory Joggers ...

06.10 .. The alarm ..

18.12 .. I finally leave the office, and head for mothers to retune her 2 TV’s .. and the M25 is well stuffed ..

19.18 .. I’m outside my mothers flat ..

19.28 .. Sorted .. I head for home ..

19.43 .. I’m home ..

More to come ..

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

Return to Diary Index.....

Return to page 1 (main page).....