A mini A-Z post, to explain what I’ve been up to, in the last week!
A is for Addenbrooke’s Hospital (was H, then previously A). After moaning in the last two blog posts about waiting for an appointment for an ultrasound scan, I got a letter on Friday (yes… 6th August) to come in at 17.40 on Monday 9th August! So, after the #tigert5 developments, pedal back to Royston, and we will go from there. Except… no food for six hours before! So, if you see me pigging out excessively before lunch tomorrow, then you know why.
C is for Computer. Didn’t mention this last time, as we’d not set it up. However, I had been using the Gateway laptop as my main computer, following the Mac getting hit by a power surge. Well, it was refurbished when I got it, so it’s not going to last forever. The keyboard has started to wear out, so a new replacement has to be plugged in… oh, and when it reboots, I have to unplug everything before it will restart. So, now I’ve got some money, I wanted to replace it. So, I agreed to buy a case and one or two bits from eBuyer, and C would add the remaining components from a machine of hers. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – the Coolermaster! At under £60 for case AND power supply, think we got a good one here! C said it was a joy to put together. The old case (that was on the motherboard before) had a habit of overheating, but the Coolermaster has a huge airsuckything and several fans, plus mesh to aid airflow. I like it! Most of the stuff did transfer easily via Windows Easy Transfer, although iTunes then went mad and added everything already in the library, to the library. Also, got a Trust pen drawing device (Mini Tablet) on special at Maplin (
G is for Girlfriend. C’s been a bit tired the last few days – think I must have pinched her energy! (also see M).
H is for
M is for Mountain Dew. After getting cash in Hemel on Friday, needed a drink. Found a shop in Marlowes (nearest to the cashpoint that I used) stocking Mountain Dew. Well, that kept me awake until I got home! Also purchased another bottle for tomorrow – see A and T.
R is for #randomcoffeewednesday – well, we already have #muffmunchingmonday, thanks to Lizzy The Lezzy, #randomchocolatetuesday thanks to thebustocrookes, two for Thursday and one for Friday (#fannyfingeringfriday) from LTL. So, what’s missing? Random coffee on a Wednesday? Random Coffee Wednesday it is! When things settle down, it might well work out. Does anyone think #randomradiosaturday might be a goer?
T is for Tiger Line. Tomorrow is our big first day of the Service T5 – look out for Facebook and Twitter updates throughout the day with the hashtag #tigert5 (well, most of the day – see A). Following a lot of hard work over the last few months, it is nice to finally get the chance to see the fruits of my labours on the road! This past week we’ve been route learning, out and about meeting people in Amersham, Chesham and
When I did the last one of these, I did not intend to make this into a monthly personal blog post, but then again, I’ve been busy. Also, the State of the Suzy posts were meant to be every month – who knows…?
A is for Anniversary. Yesterday was our 3 Years 4 Months anniversary. We didn’t do anything special (see under C) but we had a little celebratory meal inside the day before, in addition to the events under C.
B is for Busy. Yes, been busy again.
C is for Civil Partnership. I was at a friend’s, which was my first, yesterday. Malc and Ray got hitched in the Hotel Russell. A handful of random photo shots here, but suffice to say, we enjoyed the day.
D is for Driving Licence. Well, I got the full “clean bill of health” from the HD Clinic earlier this year, so I decided I would apply for a driving licence. I’ve never had one before, and I did know that one day, it would be refused or revoked on medical grounds. Well, it transpires that as my meds sometimes make me sleepy, they aren’t even giving me a provisional. (They even sent me £50 application fee back, which came in handy the week before payday!) So, Plan B was to apply for one of these travel permits (“bus pass” as they are otherwise known), or ENCTS (English National Concessionary Travel Scheme). Bear in mind that I’ve now been refused a driving licence, I now qualify, so nothing to lose! I took the application down to the council offices in Letchworth a week past Friday (22nd July), and arrived in the post yesterday (31st July)! So, yes, I now get free travel, across most of
F is for feelings. Again, doing very well.
G is for Girlfriend. Caroline is now working in
H is for Hospital, which was under A last time (Addenbrooke’s). Well, I’ve had the dietician appointment, fine; some good points included a kilo and a half less since my referral letter! I am still waiting for the call back re the other appointment from the Gastroenterology department, so my Doctor is now chasing.
R is for Randomness. Now, Dougie (thebustocrookes) does an interesting thread called #randomchocolatetuesday where he takes a random chocolate, photographs it, then eats it – the posts are a lot better than this brief recap. So, if I had to do one Random thing, what should it be, and when? In previous work, when I didn’t work Fridays, I had my own personal policy of “try something new Friday” – back in the days before this blog! So, what should mine be? Transport related, GF food related, Health related, Love related, Clothing related, Shopping related, Coffee related? Thoughts would be welcome…
S is for Shopping. End of month means a few new things, as ever. However, I mention this as I’ve got a new wardrobe – well, got some more clothing, ordered online. MY account was clear, and it’s around this time of year that I need some stuff for both seasons. Some stuff I’d not had on in a long time… C seems to like the way the slinky vests go around my chest!
T is for Tigers. Well, I will try and keep transport stuff separate from these posts, but Tiger Line/Woottens are my main employer, so there may be the odd sighting or report here! In my post earlier today, I explain how things are going, with a picture of one of the repainted buses. Monday 9th August is the target date, and I’ve just got the resetting of the Wayfarer (ticket machines), setting up the electronic blinds (the traditional blinds for the new Tigers have arrived, and been fitted) and the last bit of route learning, and the launch. Duties are being issued to drivers this week, and all going well, we’re ready to roll on 9th August 2010. You can see a set of pictures here, which includes some “mid-way through” shots.
On top of all that, there are some other projects that I’m doing, behind the scenes.
I thought of a new way to update the diary, and a twist on the posting style of Busto aka thebustocrookes ...
… so, instead of a ten point random post, here’s what has happened to me over the last few weeks, in an A-Z format. It incorporates previous postings, and if you like it, I will do one as often as I can! I tried making it transport free, but there are a few posts to fill things up! Don’t forget, you can always see my latest transport pictures at http://pics.suzyscott.com and click on “Last” in the bottom-right hand corner. Tell me how you liked that, and I might manage to make it to 26 posts one day!
A is for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, who have cancelled one of C’s appointments for later in the year now twice, in each case moving further down the calendar. The same department also have ran into problems when I tried to change one of my appointments. I tried to change the date, after our plans for August had changed. So, I called, tried twice, eventually got given someone else’s direct number. I called, and got through on 2nd occasion. With a very “how did you get this number” note in her voice, she promised to call me back. As you’ll see under C, it’s already been overtaken by a request to see a dietician – but, being in Hertfordshire, we have the unique situation of being referred to a consultant at Addenbrooke’s, and a dietician who works around from Lister Hospital…
B is for Barclays Cycle Hire, as TfL insist we call it. I liked Boris’s comments when it was launched – although these were not included in the press release! He said “I'm so thrilled to be announcing that Barclays Bank, after years of taking extortionate charges from me, is doing an amazing and wonderful thing,” he said. “I think there could not be a better sign of Barclays' commitment to this city, to the environment and to a wonderful means of transport.”
C is for Coeliac Disease. I’m slowly getting used to this being the resolution that I have sought for so long, and am getting used to everything involved. We went to a “Newly Diagnosed” event in Stevington, Bedford, on Thursday evening, which was well worth the time. I’ve got a dieticians appointment coming up later this month.
D is for Depression. I did get really down a few weeks back, but it’s forgotten, because I’ve been fine since.
E is for elaine4queen. We went into
F is for funding. Got a letter the other day… you remember I went to
H is for Helpline. Wednesday 30th June was the last day of the current arrangement with the Ormiston Children & Families Trust’s tenure on the helpline – the only one of the original seven from the start on 1st January 2003 – ending. The tender was lost to Partners of Prisoners (POPS) in
I is for iPod. Well, I had an iPod touch, and shortly after the original warranty expired, it started having problems with syncing and charing. Well, it was like the internal circuits had gone. Tried to get this replaced by the bank, under the extended warranty that comes with such. £25 excess seemed not too bad, so I tried taking it into the Apple Store at
N is for National Express. I did have a run-in with a 787 driver on Wednesday after work. He took offence that I tried to pay for a £13.90 fare… with two tenners. I had no more change, I took that straight out the cashpoint. I’d planned to be home earlier, but I was working on some BSOG stuff. Anyway, we'll see what happens.
P is for Pride. As you will see from E above, we went into
It’s been a busy time of it, with some good times of late.
Results of the medical tests were interesting – the most obvious test does not pick up any wheat/gluten problems, but other tests were sort of hinting in that direction. So, it’s still a case to be investigated. After discussions with the doctor today, further referrals are to follow, with more blood tests to be done by me in a few weeks too. I’m still feeling better, with the symptoms slowly disappearing. This has to be a good sign, no matter what is involved, I think.
On Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th April, we were out and about on the streets of Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and
Monday 26th April, C had an appointment at
On Tuesday 27th April, I went out on an Intalink Explorer. Centrebus Solo 305 took me on the 90 to Baldock. As you may recall on my previous posts, Cozy Travel took over operation of Service 391 (Stotfold/Baldock –
Today, Thursday 29th, out to the doctors this morning (see above). Now watching out the window, as rain threatens to return, just in time for the bank holiday!
No word from me here (although I’ve been busy on Facebook, Twitter, and the Forums!) might mean you suspect the worst! Please don’t, as things are - I dare to say it, but – looking seriously improved for me. Improved you say – isn’t it hay fever season, the global turbulence from the Icelandic ash cloud that I’m not going to attempt to spell, and much more besides?
Further to my last post, I did say we intended to experiment, prior to getting the blood tests back for Coeliac disease. We decided to experiment with a gluten-free diet for me. So far, things are looking up. Why do I say this? Well, “the obvious symptoms” are largely gone. I appreciate it will be a while before my gut is back to “normal” – especially after 31 years of gluten attacks – and I’m not under-estimating it. Other notable boosters include an upturn in my feelings (or is that the increased prozac? Maybe a bit of both – but surely not just yet, as it would take some weeks before a change should be noticeable – or does it?), and an increase in my peak flow. So much so that I am going to take the meter into the docs with me! The last I checked, my weight was going down slowly, but in this time of turmoil, who knows if it will stay that way...!
As we go into what could be life-changing news, I do not intend to under-estimate it. However, for something that’s been upsetting my gut for 31 years (and now getting worse), it’s now the right time for change. (with apologies if anyone’s turned off, thinking this is turning into an Election broadcast!)
So, what else have I been doing?
Friday 9th April was a day at Helpline. The following day (Saturday 10th April) we went into
Monday 12th April was a visit to the depot of Stagecoach Bedford, with other members of the Anglia Bus Forum (you can see my pictures here). Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th was a mix of working from home, and deliveries.
Thursday 15th April was a day at work – for the first time since getting the job with Woottens and Tiger Line, I was in the office for meetings, snaps, and much more besides! I took a few snaps in the yard, and you can see them here.
Friday 16th April was another day on Helpline (one passing c2 snapped!), with similar the next day, Saturday 17th April.
On Sunday 18th April, I had my Ratification Interview for Switchboard. This was a basic run-down on what I’ve done so far, after reaching the 35 hour mark in volunteering on the phones. Success, so now I can drop the word “trainee” from my titles! We then went for a lunch (I had some Gluten Free stuff, without troubles) and then we visited the
Today, Monday 19th April, and busy at home.
On the evening of Friday 19th March, we went into London to see The Vagina Monologues, at The New Players Theatre (opposite Heaven nightclub off Villiers Street in the railway arches) which was a benefit performance for V-Day. Believe it or not, it was the first time I'd seen this very enjoyable, but sometimes moving, production.
On Saturday 20th March, went out for a day of shopping and more! We left the house, first stopping at The Factory Shop in Royston, mostly looking for a new handbag or two. Found, then down the A10 to Ware. After stopping at a new shop on me, Magika's Kitchen (deli that sells a variety of American foodstuffs alongside the usuals!), we proceeded via Hertfordshire Display (stationery shop – only spent a few quid this time!) before treating us both to lunch at The Navigator. We then went back to he car via Greggs and back to Magika's, to get some not-sold-in-the-UK-normally A&W root beer and peanut butter M&M's. Will go back there – like lots of shops, you could easily spend a fortune in there!
We then proceeded to Hertford, parked the car, and went out via the Bus Station (loo stop) and some of the market stalls. As the rain started to lash heavy, it was almost time for my hair appointment that I'd booked at Saks. As you will remember, I went there in October 2009 for a rather different hair style, and it's worked well. With this in mind, and the fact that C coloured it earlier in the week, I felt it did not need a restyle, but instead had it back to the same length it was when it was done 6 months ago, a couple of inches, and keep it easy to maintain. Joanne (the woman who did me last time) did well. We then left Hertford via a few things at Tesco, before heading for home.
A few pictures of me, and a few bus shots, can be seen here.
Today has been busy.
Yesterday (Sunday) we went out to Harvester – I'm starting to enjoy the food, and C got a really nice lunch as well. In the evening, we watched Lost and Delirious, which was a fairly powerful movie! I was sure we had Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, but we could not find it, so have requested this one next from LoveFilm.
Earlier on, I did a State of the Suzy, which I intend to do monthly. Even through only little effort, my weight is down by half-a-kilo. Does not seem like much, but I was more worried that, given everything, my weight would continue to rise substantially. I'm not that heavily built, but heavy enough.
Also mentioned in my State of the Suzy post was the fact that I'd got a letter to choose and book my own gastroenterology appointment via the NHS. The letter mentioned a choice of Saffron Walden Hospital, Addenbrooke's (Cambridge) or Lister Hospital (Stevenage). The website sounded easy enough, so I logged on after C went back to work after lunch. No appointments for any of the three of them were available! So, phoned them up, and my details have now been passed onto Addenbrooke's. In theory, I should hear within a fortnight, so I am hoping that I do. Two steps forward, one step back!
When the landlord came for their quarterly flat inspection on Thursday past, she asked me “Is everything working okay” and I mentioned the light switch between the lounge and the kitchen does not work, and has been baffling us! Well, the electrician called me up today on my mobile, and wanted to come round for a look at it – well done! It wasn't the bulb or the pendant, but a loose wire behind the switch plate.
Will be making dinner shortly!
At the change of the year, I set myself some plans and priorities. So, now it is the end of the first month, I think it's time to look back at what I have achieved, as well as the areas needing more attention. I am not going to get worked up about it, but I'd like to look back each month, to see where the patterns lie etc. rather than just waiting until the end of the year.
Weight Management – I've not had a lot of time to look after this, what with tearing up and down the GN train line to/from London and Cambridge several times a week. I have, however, made some small steps. Having said that, I am rather happy at my weight going slightly down. It was 131.3 kilos on Friday 1st January, and today, Monday 1st February, it is 130.8 kilos. I had not wanted it to increase further, and it looks like I might be turning the corner. I do, however, understand there is a long way to go.
Health – feeling positive a lot more than before, and made it through the holidays with no major upsets or arguments, which was an improvement. The meds may just be working for me, although as mentioned before, heartburn/reflux has been a problem, which is now well controlled. Still awaiting for further letter writing by my GP, who is doing wonderful work on our behalf. Today, however, I have received a “Choose and book” letter to book a gastroenterlogy referral, at Addenbrooke's (Cambridge), Saffron Walden Hospital or Lister Hospital (Stevenage). I was just thinking that it had been good that I had got through 2009 without any flare-ups with my asthma, however, I did have one on the 3rd January. Subsequent steroids and antibiotics seemed to clear the gunk, but it has returned, and I'm currently trying to get it away again. As we've been busy, we have not had much opportunity to continue the yogic breathing stuff we did before, although I intend to come back to it one of these months. I do intend to give myself some time to relax on days when I'm not working or out, and hopefully this will happen in the months that follow.
Getting Out & About – I had intended to get out of the house three times a week, most of the time. Aside from the aforementioned trip to Lister Hospital A&E on Sunday 3rd January, and accounting for the snow. I got out seven times by public transport in January, mostly to/from work, plus three days on my birthday weekend to/from and around Norfolk. We've also been out in the car six times in the month, so that has brought the tally up to 16 times out in 31. I have a number of trips planned for later in the year, and some for the more immediate future. I made up a “to do” list of bus routes I want to do, mostly in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. I've got the Herts list down potentially to just a couple for the year, but that depends on many things. If I can clear these, then so much the better. In London, there are a few routes that I'd like to do, but no formal list as such. Bedfordshire, did more of that last year, but plans also to do a few. Depends on money, health and weather. I will say that I met a lot of people recently, for the first time in ages, and quite a few for the first time.
Web work – My web resources continue as before, with hits growing. The reason for including this is that I intend to delegate some of the work from the Forums. I am currently working on a number of projects, so this may well be something for later. I am working on a number of ideas for Forum meets and days out, and members will hear first later this month. They will, however, be open to other friends, partners too, as they have always been.
Computing – let's not go there this month! Having said that, good trials of the netbook on days out, which I can see the potential. May well be able to do live posts of pictures etc. subject to signal availability, is that a good thing or bad thing?
Publications/books – the computing problems have deferred work on a number, but I am intending to have a few this year. Keep watching!
It's been an interesting time in the last few days.
Thursday, C came home for lunch, but was in pain, and limping a bit, so she stayed at home for the afternoon, with a promise that I would try and get her a doctor's appointment for the next day. In the background, I have done quite a bit on plans for this year. At the moment, my diary has a week free in April, then something every week till October. Of course I won't manage everything I've written in them, but it's nice to be kept busy! That's another point – I have two diaries this year, just in case I leave one of them behind somewhere.
Friday, out to work at the Helpline, and back home. In the meantime, Caroline has been out to the doctor, who diagnosed a muscle sprain somewhere. She was able to pick up my meds (see previous posts re meds recommended by elaine4queen ). I got some items from M&S for dinner (for Friday and Saturday), including some Spanish Red Wine – we had planned to go out Saturday somewhere, and this was the back-up!
Afterwards, we're sat having dinner, when my sort-of-new Gateway laptop (not the netbook) crashes. I come back to Windows errors. Cut a long story short, the disk is totalled, and will not boot up properly! Good start! Anyway, I thought about filling in an insurance claim, given we've lost 2 ½ computers (we'll not ask for a new USB drive). So, we did, with all the details. Didn't work, kept asking me to fill in the boxes. Then I had a brainwave of desperation... I deleted the contents of the two disputed boxes, and wrote “3 x Computers F*cked”. The form went straight through, naturally, although we did follow it up with a second to say that we tried giving all the details, but the system wouldn't want it. Technie TMI?
Saturday, and I was going out to Switchboard. Caroline was supposed to be attending the AGM of the CSJ, but she was still a bit sore, and didn't fancy it. So, me on my own into London and back. She did go out for a new Hard Drive for my laptop – which I think was worthy of a buying a snack for her on the way home!
Oh, and by the way, congratulations to thebustocrookes who has just purchased a new Apple computer. Dougie did notice the Apple store was in direct contrast with that of Currys – no teenagers trying to sell you extended warranties!
So, since I got home, it's been installing Vista onto this machine. It now feels kinda odd, like the last 26 hours had been a blip – it feels the same. Print – oh yeah... it's not installed yet....
… Plans for tomorrow... let's see!
On Thursday, I was working at Switchboard, followed by the Women's Group meeting into the evening, Got home at a similar time to Tuesday, having had a wonderful day of it! I could have stayed later, but I had a 1030 start on the Helpline the following day.
Since I got home on Friday, I've been feeling a little odd, and it has now continued into a cough/cold, sounding rather hoarse (not horse as I initially wrote on Facebook!) Well, it has developed into the same feelings as earlier in the month – wheezing, coughing and spluttering, coughing up gunk. My doc is off today, but I think my body is missing what it had earlier in the month! Saturday was a quiet one, and we went out for lunch on Sunday.
Today, quiet one for me, C is back at work, but preparing for tomorrow. One bit of news though – I have got a letter from the OU with regards to being assessed again for T175, and it's to be in by 3rd June 2010,with result expected early August 2010. At this time, that is all I have.
So, yesterday’s travels. Started with a First Capital Connect train from Royston to Kings Cross, before getting the newly spiralled Circle Line from Kings Cross St Pancras to Paddington. From there, First Great Western train to Hayes & Harlington, before a First London Trident on the U4 to Uxbridge. Stopped for lunch at Pret, and some pictures, before it got too cold to stand around! From there, Metropolitan line to Kings Cross, walked around to the St Pancras International back exit, Metroline Dart on the 46 around to Kings Cross, East London Scania on the 205 to work, then another 205 to Euston Road, before dinner, and a train home. I was tired by the end, but it had been an enjoyable day. Work seemed to go very well, judging by the comments.
Pictures will follow, as I’m having problems with the Mac and pluggable devices at the moment!
It's been an interesting weekend. I'd planned to go out yesterday to Stevenage, and we stopped for lunch first at Harvester once more. After this, we stopped at Hobbycraft. This time I was interested in a paper cutter, and it is a replacement for the one I've got that is now going blunt, and does not have cutting grids on it, so I felt good about buying a replacement – even at half price! Also bought some other bits and pieces, before getting back in the car.
From there, proceeded via Knebworth and Woolmer Green before going back onto the A1(M) for a junction or so, and coming off at the top end of Hatfield. From there, onto Hatfield Railway Station, where a semi-intentional stop resulted in the snapping of a uno Solo on the 608 (see the snowy pictures here). From there, on via Hatfield Business Park and Parkhouse to The Galleria. Nothing purchased in the relocated Paper Mill Shop (having spent a bit in Hobbycraft!) but we did stop at Julian Graves (more beans for the Jelly Bean machine) before stopping at The Body Shop, to pick up a little something. The last time I was there, I purchased an annual Love Your Body discount card (already saved the cost of it back!), which also entitles a £5 gift in the month of your birthday. So, got a nice body butter, shower cream, body scrub and lily gift set, in Moringa. Originally £12, down to £7. 10% off with card, £6.30. Deduct £5 for birthday gift, pay £1.30. ;-)
Today, we went to The Temeraire, the Wetherspoon's pub in Saffron Walden. We both had a nice meal/brunch. As we left, I spotted that they are doing a special Burns Week menu in a few weeks time – I think Caroline would like to return then!
The snow is largely melted, and the roads are mostly clear. The snow is now coming down again, but it is very light, and not lying.
On an aside, I was upset again last night. Maybe tiredness, maybe wearing off the amitriptyline (I did not have any for a few nights). For something relativity little, I'm confused as to why my mind is doing this. Never mind, weather permitting I've got three days/nights out this week, at least two next. Just two, but that will be made up by the special plans we have for this weekend!
Well, it's been a quieter two days than I was expecting. Yesterday, made it as far as the station at Royston, and got a phone call from the person I'd be working with, saying not to come in. (She'd been initally unable to get through the weather!) This was then followed with a call to work where I was supposed to be today, and their current bad weather plans include working from home and local staff, so I wasn't to go in today either. Yesterday, I had a quick trip into town, and it was more or less deserted.
It's been an odd one. I'm taking amitritypline to counter the perking effects of the steroids,but finding they are making me more tired during the day – like they did before – and upset, plus my tummy joined in too. Never mind, now relaxing after a bath!
I'm typing this out on the new Acer mini netbook, as the PowerMacG4 was refusing to boot up at all yesterday. Seems that they both did the same conking out overnight – Caroline suspects it was a power surge...
While I do plan to get out, ideally three times a week (two work, one other), the expected snow for tonight and tomorrow have put me off going out tomorrow! As a result, tomorrow will probably be only as far as the doctor’s surgery, if I can get a suitable appointment when they open tomorrow. On top of the planned snow, which may or may not emerge, there is also the fact that I was returning from hospital 24 hours ago!
An unusual chance observation was last night at Lister Hospital. The doctor that saw me prescribed me prednisolone, and gave me water-soluble ones. However, as I was waiting for the first dose to dissolve, I noticed that they were made with saccharin, which gives me a bad tummy/cramps usually. So, I pointed this out, and I got “regular” ones. Well, enteric coated, which saves the bad taste!
p.s. Random report – my favourite travel-related promotional item of 2009 was this Traveline South West fridge magnet… complete with a cheesey pun! lol