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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 (Cambridge city centre) yesterday – it will be useful for drawing route maps etc.


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
Holiday. We’ll have one soon!


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 [ profile] 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 St Albans. I got some pictures from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and you can see them via those links.

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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 England, off-peak (or all day in London & Herts). As you can probably imagine, this may well save me some money! Before anyone reminds me that this is subsidised by the taxpayer, my income is taxed too, so I am still contributing substantially towards the cost. I knew I’d be refused a driving licence one day, the HD would see to that. However, it was a bit of a surprise, but Plan B was a good one! (Plan C was to appeal Plan B, then Plan D was to appeal Plan A). Interestingly, driving licence applications give you six months to appeal in England or Wales, or 21 days in Scotland. Why the difference?

F is for feelings. Again, doing very well.


G is for Girlfriend. Caroline is now working in Stevenage, following the relocation of her work, earlier this week.


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.

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I thought of a new way to update the diary, and a twist on the posting style of Busto aka [ profile] 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 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 [ profile] elaine4queen. We went into London yesterday (see P entry below). After lunch, we went out to Bethnal Green, meeting up with Elaine for the first time – and of course, her dog Poppet. We talked, and then we went out with dorg on a walk through Hackney City Farm and adjacent parks, before walking along the Regents Canal path to Cambridge Heath. From there, back to hers briefly, before going home – tired but happy. See all Saturday’s pictures here – including one of the Dundee Arms pub! (I did leave my memory card in the computer, thus meaning a few were taken on the cameras internal memory, and the rest on the Blackberry, which have came out well!)


F is for funding. Got a letter the other day… you remember I went to Charing Cross for one day last Summer, after waiting months and getting two appointments within days of each other? Well… I wanted to use it to get some follow-up assistance, and screenings, etc. They wanted to see the funding before seeing me – not from me, but from the relevant NHS trust. After all, I’d had the policy documents (obtained via Freedom of Information) that said they would… but these letters, for whatever reason, do not include the discussion. Sometimes I just wish they'd get on with it...!


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 Manchester… I wasn’t aware that the PFH brand and name cannot be transferred, so, it’s now going to be the Offenders Families Helpline… anyway, we had a fantastic “last Supper” evening, in the adjacent Milton Country Park. We were all given thank-you letters to show appreciation from our own boss, as well as one of the Ormiston directors. I took a few pictures, and you can see those here.


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 Cambridge’s Grand Arcade. I say tried, but it was the day after the launch of iPhone 4 (when everyone finds the bugs)… After waiting for 20 minutes to see someone, I explained what was wrong. He cut over me three times, trying to second-guess the problem (which doesn’t do much for my confidence!) So, I was then told to book an appointment… from the TV screens, the next one was another 3hours 20mins away, all to book a repair. Decided against waiting, and we stopped in a 2nd hand store in Cambridge, buying a replacement (non-Touch) for little more than the excess, and a lot less than brand new. Well, it didn’t work, and we were about to take it back, when C got it to work on the MacMini... Apple have gone down in my estimation, certainly in their UK Retail business.


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 London yesterday, Saturday. This was the occasion of London Pride 2010, and we helped to set up the LLGS stall. Did a few hours there, then we went for lunch… then see under E for the rest of the day! . (I did leave my memory card in the computer, thus meaning a few were taken on the cameras internal memory, and the rest on the Blackberry, which have came out well!)

S is for syrups. After finding some Monin coffee syrups on holiday, bought a mixed case load via Udal Supplies… Well recommended, and all gluten free!

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Since my last diary entry, lots has happened in June. Some work for each of my posts – the last month working locally on Helpline, the AGM of BABUS (which had a post-meeting talk by Mr Grant Palmer), some Switchboard work over the coming days and weeks, as well as work for Woottens and Tiger Line. You should be able to hear the first news of some of the work I’ve been doing soon… keep watching!


Huntingdon’s Disease clinic last week, and following previous hints about my weight, I have now lost half-a-stone in six months, and am feeling better than ever. My reaction time is better, and feeling good about myself means that I do not have to go back for a further nine months.


I had a Open Uni assessment to do, although things have been so hectic here that I was unable to put any concentration into it. I was proposing not to do any more for now, before my recent employment and health endeavours, but that kind of made it certain. Anyway, just thought I should mention it, rather than ignoring it. I may well go back and redo the unit in question in years to come - but for now, enjoying life in two new ways, that i never thought possible at the start of the year!

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It’s been a busy time since my last blog post! Here’s a catch up of the last little while, taking up to last Friday.

Tuesday 23rd June – My Day In The Cities
This was a hot day, enjoyable, but also my first out alone (except for work) for some time. Caroline dropped me at Melbourn at my request, and I went for a bash on a Stagecoach DayRiderPlus on a day trip around Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with some shades of similarity to my previous Peterborough trip – and yes, Broadway was closed this time too!
16023 26 Melbourn opp Car Park to Cambridge Bus Stn Met several ABF members!
21225 45 Cambridge Bus Stn – Huntingdon Bus Station
Took this one (in preference to the faster 55) so I had the option of getting off at RAF Wyton, but didn’t see the 30 anywhere, sp stayed on to the bus station for pics. This was my first passenger trip on one of the new high specification buses currently on the 15/45/55, with leather seats, WiFi, power points, and air conditioning – which all worked well on the hot day!
16130 46 Huntingdon Bus Stn – Peterborough Rivergate
Walked via pedestrian area, bought a few things and picked up stuff for the forthcoming ABF trip. I’d stopped into WH Smith, and had a look at their clearance stuff. I was reviewing whether or not to stick with my Moleskine diary that I’ve used for the last year or so (it was an 18 month one) and went for a reduced £5.99 fabric Filofax Mistral, Personal Size (the original 6 holes) in a white, turquoise, green, pink pattern. I had the Pocket and Mini before this, for as long as I can recall, back to when I first went south to London in 1999 and intermittently before this.
33696 citi5 Midgate House – Peterborough Bus Station
20849 32 Peterborough Bus Stn – Chatteris, opp police stn
16588 X9 Chatteris opp Police Stn – Cambridge Drummer St
16026 26 Cambridge Bus stn – Royston Queens Road.
See all the pictures here!

Wednesday 24th June – home for deliveries
A variety of stuff came and went, including our first delivery of food from Riverford Home Delivery from Riverford’s Sacrewell Farm, near Peterborough. Following rave reviews from [ profile] shullie  and others locally, we decided to giver it a try – a mix of this, less supermarket stuff, to be combined with other changes that we’ll talk more about later.

Thursday 25th June – Evening at work
An evening out for a work meeting, and I spotted traffic backed up all the way along the other carriageway of the A14. As it transpires, the traffic was stuck following a hit & run, where the driver drover the wrong way up the A14…

Friday 26th June – More of the same
Train to Cambridge, and I managed to get one of the ‘new’ green/blue 321 trains now at First Capital Connect. Afternoon at work – and another smash on the A14! (heard the latter on the bus on the way home!) Even the former MP for Huntingdon is also adding weight to the campaign
... anyway, you can see all the pics I took here.

Sunday 28th June – Out & About
We went into Cambridge, had lunch in Pizza Express Jesus Lane, but I was rather worried about C’s tummy. In any case, C wanted pics of the poppies growing around Foxton, so I grabbed a few.

Monday 29th June – Royston to West London [Charing X GIC] without a train
Well, my appointment at the Charing Cross GIC (Fulham Palace Road/Greyhound Road) and the first day of new GreenLine Service 712 saw a dual need. After talking to Caroline about travelling south, I explained we’d probably have to pay peak fares to go back on a busy FCC train back to Royston in the evening crush hour… but there was only £2 in it to go via St Albans. So, started with Charter Travel’s 127 service to take us to Royston Bus Station on Mercedes P490 TGA, then Arriva The Shires Optare Versa 3403 on the 331 to Ware/Hertford, changing at Ware College to Arriva GreenLine Citaro 3403 on the 724 to St Albans Peahen, walked around to St Albans St Peters Street, a bite to eat at Weatherspoon’s (The Watermead Barn) before talking Arriva GreenLine coach 3906 on the Service 712 to London Victoria. Off-peak returns were going to be £2 cheaper each than returns, evening though we could not come back this way. While waiting for a Travel London 211 (two previous ones were turned short at Chelsea, Worlds End), Caroline’s bottle of sparkling water managed to overflow onto her and the person beside in the shelter! Eventually, Trident 9786 of the newly sold Travel London took us to Fulham Palace Road/Greyhound Road. Appointment was a little late, but no biggie, we had time. I was seen by Dr James Bellringer, but as it turned out, there was not a lot to do (see Brighton post the previous week or before). So, why go all this way? Well they did give me an appointment quickly, so I wanted to make the best of it. We discussed them taking over our trans care (in my case from Scotland, and in Caroline’s case, the private sector, following our findings from the PCT etc.) Quickly out again, drinks from Sainsbury’s below, then similar 9790 back to Victoria mainline station. We stopped for KrispyKreme’s before walking out via the first weekday of the C2 extension to Victoria [in favour of the 8/N8], before walking onto Victoria/Grovesnor Gardens to get Richmond’s newish VDL coach 593 FGF on commuter service 796 back to Royston Tesco. We had air conditioned comfort, and plenty of space to stretch out. It was a busy day, and you can see the pictures here.

In Other News…
Remember I mentioned the new pills? Well, I do feel they are starting to work, but I did find out the hard way that I can’t have alcohol with them – one glass of rose and I was feeling rather woozy!

I am a little behind on the OU stuff (plus many other things in life) so I am trying my best to catch up!

The next posts will cover our weekend manoeuvres.
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Following my post on Monday night, I had a busy Tuesday morning preparing. We missed the DHL delivery driver (for a collection – despite putting a note for after 1300 on Monday, came and went at 1100!), so I sweet-talked Caroline into going north to Bar Hill first, to drop it off at the DHL delivery depot.

Then, straight onto the A14, M11 (where I did this post on the road, using the new o2 USB Modem stick), M25, A282 Dartford Crossing, before stopping at Bluewater Shopping Centre. Can’t believe that it’s ten years old this year! As you will see from these two pictures, Bluewater is in a very scenic part of the Kent Thameside!

After stopping for drinks, we continued – although I was a little lost (usually in and out of the bus stance – sorry, Bluewater Transit Centre they call it there - not the car park) so in panic, inadvertently had us turn the other way. We managed to get back on the last turn before the Dartford Crossings again, and we were able to go south once more. However, C did manage to upset me a little with the driving, although when we talked (and resolved things) later, it was down to the fact that she was trying to get us there in time. (If anyone sees a copy of that ‘M25 and around’ map, let me know – saw one on the window of a clearance store, but they had none for sale last time I asked).

So, M25, M23, A23, A27 Brighton by-pass to Sussex University, down Falmer Road to Woodingdean, for my 1900 appointment at the Sussex Nuffield Hospital. Before arriving, we (naturally) got stuck at the Downs Hotel traffic lights. As you may recall from previous visits, many passengers and staff are emblazoned high on the sides of Brighton & Hove Buses double deck fleet. So, which one was it waiting? Naturally, the bus was Scania 608, featuring none other than B&H mechanic Gethin Donaldson on the offside. I found him by chance on Bebo, after seeing this vehicle several times on the 2/2A through Woodingdean!

After booking in, and following the directions to go down the corridor after the second door on the left, we’d gone the wrong way – apparently they’d moved him to a room which was basically just by the entrance. (Unfortunately, no-one told the receptionist, which is why I ignored the large sign asking Phil’s patients to come this way!) We sat in the waiting area, he was running a little behind, but was still quite eager to see what could be done.

Physical time – and he defied logic, and was, shall we say, successfully able to position his fingers to make a diagnosis (I can still feel it now, which is probably TMI but what the hell!) It IS a cyst, and he’s able to resolve it. Yes, the PCT are able to fund it – and I am looking at a one-day procedure, probably staying in that night because of distance, but just the one. This is probably 2-3 months away, at the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath.

(Maybe a little OT here but I recognised it from a bus timing point and destination (amongst others, Countyliner’s Service 40X runs hourly to/from hospitals in Brighton, using MAN/MCV Evolutions. The service operates with Trust funding allowing patients and staff to travel for free).

AFAIK there will be no need for any other changes in the run-up to the surgery, and (thankfully) no extended stay therein – has to be a good thing!

While I was a little shaken up following the journey and the consultation, I was starting to relax. This was helped by dinner at the local takeaway (I didn’t fancy more than a few bites before going in), before (at my request) we drove down Falmer Road to Rottingdean (pronounced Ro’dean apparently), and then along the coast before turning up West Street, past the railway station, and up Dyke Road and Dyke Road Avenue (avoiding the bus lanes and gates!) We stopped at the traffic lights at the Dyke Tavern, which (given the local residents) might sound a slightly unfortunate choice of words. However, we continued along through Devil’s Dyke back to the A23.

It was then that we deviated off to go through Haywards Heath, and I realised that my trips through here had been by train. Aah well. Now I had to negotiate our way through with the atlas, but did manage to get us to the PRH. Looks nice enough anyway. Back to the A23 via the filling station for a quick drink and chocolate, before back to the A23, M23, M25, A282 Dartford Tunnel this way, M25, M11 to Duxford, A505, and back to Royston. We got back around midnight, and it still took me a while to sleep…

… until about 0720 this [Wednesday] morning, when Caroline woke me for the second time (with coffee!) We had to leave at 0830 to allow for traffic for my appointment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Forvie Site Brain Repair Centre for the HD clinic appointment previously booked. Slightly shorter than last time (Dr Barker is away, so it was Dr Wright), just a few tests, and lots of discussion and questions. Following this, the doc has asked my doctor to prescribe me Olanzapie (at a low 2.5mg to start with) to try and level things out, and building this up. If this is helpful, then it may eventually replace some of the other meds I’m on. It does make you more tired (although it may help with the sleep deprivation issues), and can make you put on weight – just like the rest of my meds – but, surprisingly, I was actually about five kilos less than the last time I weighed myself at home. Maybe it’s just the tolerance range, but it was something else to add.

Now at home, and having unpacked finally (we left most things in the car last night), tidied up, checked bank and other things, and now able to relax. Lets hope this is the start of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.
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With a busy time of it, I trust that I’m forgiven for overlooking the journal!

Today was a busy one too – after C’s two appointments this morning (and wait for blood tests afterwards), I’ve been trying to catch up since. Tomorrow, of course, is an evening appointment at Sussex Nuffield Hospital, Brighton, at 1900, then back in time for Wednesday morning 0930 at the Forvie/HD clinic at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge! Thursday, not just a CMA due in, then a discussion with the woman from ICAS in regards to the doctor who got us in this mess in the first place!

In the meantime, yes, it’s been hectic all around. Many things happening. Most important for me  being new phones (the last cordless phones were cutting out after less than five minutes, after four years of use), and a new Apple aluminium thin keyboard, which is useful for having all the keys in the right places (versus a PC one) and having a visible Caps Lock light (useful for when trying to TAB and hitting it inadvertently!) Sound simple, but it’s the things that I spend most time with. Also, lots of purchases, one leaving the flat – we’ve sold the colour laser printer via eBay, and replaced it with a mono one. No major problems, just an issue with cost of refilling it every few months working out more than we had hoped. The sale has helped pay for it’s replacement. Also, on Friday and Sunday, we had stops at Lush Cambridge for several armfuls of items.

Transport – meh, lots to talk about. I’ll come back to that.

So, I’m kind of in two minds, but then again, maybe that’s inevitable. (If you’ve just started reading my journal, you may wish to go back over the lump/bulge/bigger issues since November 2008). As to how I’ve ended up with two referrals for one set of work, well, that’s something else. Just hope that one way or another, this can be looked at, and diagnosed with whatever.

I had kind of hoped to say something thoughtful and monumental. It’s almost like being at the beginning again. Remember back to March 30/31 and April 1 2007, when I first came down for an appointment at the hospital – and ended up falling in love with Caroline. Many thoughts through my head that day – but the main reason for going was, of course, a prequel to surgery. As for everything that happened between those two things, well, what is done is done. In the meantime, I’ve became a better person for being in love, but that might still be skirting the situation. The reason for going down, is, of course, going to lead (eventually, more than likely) to some further surgical work. I shall take one day at a time on that score.

In the meantime, Wednesday morning, and it’s the Genetics thing again. Now, I’ve got this, like it or not. I’ve been trying to split bad feelings to between what should normally be expected (hormonal ups and downs), feelings of anxiety/depression (I’ve begun to think that it is mostly anxiety, but depression perhaps at certain times), and potentially explosive reactions that I’d seen before from my father. Of course, he couldn’t control the latter, and it’s not easy to watch. Especially when I didn’t know why, at that time. However, it does allow me to know what to watch out for – hope that doesn’t sound bad, but I frequently have to take the best of bad situations! Over the last few months, stability/walking has been an issue. Okay, I did have a fairly bad fall (well two of them one evening peak in central London) and that didn’t help – physically or mentally. It’s not a good thing to be walking and falling face-first. Especially when it’s not the first time. I am trying to take things a little easier for now. It’s kind of just as well that we’ve settled in where we are, for now, but never say never. So, how can I work around this? By putting the experience of bad days behind me, and vowing to live for the good ones. However, there’s a slight drawback in having to reveal all my personal problems in the last six months, in the space of several hours… and hopefully, some sleep.

I’ve done many things more than once in my life. Is this going to be the start of another journey, through the remaining months and years of my life? Trying to make the best of life as I can, as we are, and surviving through the bad times. I’d like to give it a go.
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Further to my post at the weekend, I alluded to a week that starts two weeks today, and C has two appointments on the Monday at Addenbrooke's, followed by my genetics on Wednesday morning at 0930, plus more other events later in the week.

So, what popped through the door this morning? Yes, an appointment to see Phil Thomas at the Sussex Nuffield Hospital, on the Tuesday between those three appointments, at 1930! Well, Woodingdean to Forvie (Addenbrookes BRC) in 12 and a half hours is doable...

...You wait forever, and then... you've guessed it - two surgery appointments at once, not to mention (between the two of us) four appointments in 48 hrs 10 mins...

... is their a bidding war on my fanny at the moment?

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It’s been a busy week.

As I mentioned before, we were out last weekend, and I bought some Garnier Herbashine 565 (Red Mahogany) crème colourant (hair colour), which C applied on Monday evening. I was out on Tuesday at work, swapping with the person who normally does this shift, as she couldn’t do this Friday. Got the book finally finished and launched on Friday, see separate post.

I’ve touched on the problems we’ve had with the doctor. Turns out that he’d not done a lot of the things we’d asked him to, often taking ages before getting a response within a few days, and blaming everyone else for these problems. After perusing our notes on Wednesday night at the surgery, it is a lot more of a detailed problem (and much more of it happening) than I’d first imagined. Detailed complaint ongoing, but we were very impressed with the female doctor we saw, and who deals with admin. We think we’d like to see her in future, and have asked for this. In the meantime, keep watching.

This week was not perfect. I did get some rather bad feelings throughout, and I thought these had passed. I remember my dad getting rather angry etc. around this stage too, and (with everything inherited and stuff) it seems as if this might be the start of a slope. When I mention that there are bad days and good days, I'd certainly had many bad days of late. Once again, I now find myself looking forward to a better week ahead.

This weekend, today is a quiet one. We’ve got a grocery delivery coming later, and might be heading out tomorrow.

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It’s been a busy week, dear reader. If you think I’ve been haring about up and down the A14, well, not yet. There will be time to try out the new high specification (it says here) buses on the 15/45/55. Seeing everyone else’s pictures, hopefully they will turn out to be better (or just as good) in the flesh! I’ve already seen several posts via Facebook “trying the WiFi on the 55”… well, it happened when it was new on the X5, Edinburgh routes, 900, etc. so why not!

You see, I’ve very busy this week, working on the 2009 edition of the Dundee Area Bus Fleetbook – the printed list of stuff for the Dundee Area Bus Forum coverage area. It’s going to be almost 50% bigger than last year, as I’ve included a lot of stuff that was asked for. The price has to go up, but not by 50% - jus enough to cover costs, and leave a little towards paying for the Forums for a few months. It doesn’t make me rich, and it is as much a reference for me, as everyone else! It’s almost ready to upload to Lulu, then get one printed off to check, before opening them for sale to the public in the next few weeks.

I’ve got Uni stuff to return to, and two more assessments before the end of this month, before I start dusting off the picture submissions for an Anglia Bus Fleetbook – new for 2009, but already going to be much bigger than everything else!

Speaking of things to do, I was approached a few weeks ago about looking after a website and a forum board, for a group. Going to their committee meetings tomorrow, and if all that is sealed, then I should be able to talk about it. I did notice that their website hadn’t been updated for some time… but they asked, I didn’t even have the chance to offer. Apparently the guy had heard of the work I did on the Anglia Bus Forum, and was rather happy with the way I operate it.

I’m getting a reputation – and a good one! It’s not going to make me rich, but as long as I’m comfortable, in more ways than one…

… and there is something else that I will come back to in due course (hopefully) as something else has caught my eye.

I’m asked often how I got into public transport, and the truth is, I just don’t know for certain. My dad was a conductor with Dundee Corporation Transport, but only for two weeks, before returning to his own trade as a baker. We always used public transport, as no one in our family could drive. I remember vaguely spotting a service change poster or something, and it went from there. Just like the transition thing, it was always the right thing to do – just, like so many other things in life, I was unable to pin it down to one specific incident or moment in my life. With transition, I just knew by the age of six that I could/should/would change. As for everything else that comes with it – well, that comes and goes. I hoped that one day, I would have changed, and be comfortable, enjoying what I was doing, but not necessarily working in transport. Health has been a problem, but we’re now happy and comfortable. Yes, sometimes things get in the way, and I am in no way rich…. But getting along.

Anyway, soon off to work, where I can swap typing about places such as Rottal (a village in the Angus Glens, served by two school buses) for talking about ROTL
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It’s been a week of swings and roundabouts – ups and downs. The main bit of the week has been keeping exceptionally busy, with OU work, book projects, and other things besides.

Monday, printer repair guy came, and finally resolved the issue after many attempts – put it down to a stiff hinge! Never mind, all is well now, it’s printing away happily once more. Monday night and an appointment at the doc turned out to be a waste of about an hour and a half – as he’d not called us in – and several of his other regulars said they’d had calls to come in too, but didn’t know why. His overtime payments form was top of the pile, so it’s nice to see priorities are in order! That night, naturally, I was a bit upset, as I felt I was still no further forward, and I feel that, maybe, we’re being lead up a blind alley here. Time will tell.

Tuesday, called Sandyford, to see if I could speak to someone (did get the timetables out to do a Tuesday morning journey to Glasgow at short notice, but I was tired enough, say nothing of the journey!) At the end of the afternoon, I spoke to Dr Ewan, who is willing to put together a letter for the surgeon, and ask them to look at it. Also had an unsolicited email of praise from the office, and the bit that caught my eye was;
“Positive feedback for you - I had a lady on Monday who said she had spoken with a very helpful friendly lady called Suzy on Fri ...and then went on to the next part of the problem - well done, she obviously appreciated your gentle caring approach with her and the clear explanations etc you gave her all your efforts are paying off.”

Wednesday, and C’s mailbox has been hijacked! I also had to fax a hell of a lot of stuff around to Sandyford once more, asking them to add a bit more to the letter, after a response from the surgeon’s PA saying that wasn’t what she needed. I’ve given them permission to speak to each other – and I hope they do. Maybe slightly quicker than my own GP – but we shall see. I know that I am very lucky that I’ve got the alternative option. Anyway, in the afternoon, we had a grocery delivery due, and the guy arrived a little before the 1700-1900 slot requested. However, this meant I cook C a surprise from what was delivered, rather than using the existing contents.

Thursday was my 5 years tranniversary – five years to the day I transitioned, 9th April 2004 (Good Friday, ironically). Since then they’ve mostly been apart – the 9th of April and Good Friday – but this year, just the one day! Anyway, busy morning catching up on stuff, and out to London and Milton Keynes for the afternoon. Stopped in London first, picked up some stuff that Malc had left for me (exchange of packages at reception in his absence!) before continuing to Victoria. At Victoria, tripped and fell forward at the top of the stairs – in front of some tourists, commuters, and a couple of blokes at the hotel kiosk, who just happened to be not doing anything…

… Anyway, after a look round Victoria, back to Euston, for a train to MKC. However, not straight forward as I’d hoped. I left the northbound Victoria line train, and started walking along the passageway to the escalators. Fell forward, straight down. Again. This caused a little more panic with the passengers, but I thanked them, picked myself up, and carried on. Was a bit weird to see a large section of escalator in front, and behind, me, empty. Guess it was for the best. Anyway, carried onto Euston for a train to Milton Keynes Central (well, a London Midland Siemens Desiro to Northampton), and pulled up my skirt to reveal the two big chunks out of my right knee. For a journey of about 50 minutes that only stopped at Leighton Buzzard and Bletchley, I got out, and up the stairs at MKC. It was at this point that I found out my knee had swollen, and walking and climbing the stairs was exceptionally painful. I had to stop again, but soon carried on, limping on. Went into Subway for a snack, took some painkillers, before getting MK Metro’s 22 to the Open University at Walton Hall…

… where I’d volunteered to go for a Focus Group on the new Student Induction Web resources. It was good to see the buildings for the first time – and, paying the travel costs meant I got an afternoon out of it too. Early evening, back by taxi to MKC (keep the receipt etc… LOL!) and then via Euston and Kings Cross again back to Royston, where C was waiting to pick me up at 2150, after almost nine and a half hours away. The pain to my knee was very unusual – having two falls and several near things in one day probably didn’t help.

Today (Friday) it’s been resting my right knee initially, but I’m up and about now. Still hurting quite badly, and it’s raining out there right now. Hopefully it will not snow as it did last Easter!


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September 2010



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