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
As you will have seen from my Facebook status messages and tweets, we had a busy holiday, but enjoyable.
Friday 14th May – we got a taxi to Royston Station, FCC train to
Saturday 15th May – from the hotel with the German-accented lift (you may recall I mentioned this when I stayed here in early 2009), we got a cab to Haymarket for the hire car company Thrifty, before picking up EY 10 OAP, an automatic Ford Fiesta Titanium. The choice of letters was pointed out frequently! Anyway, from there, quick stop at Ferrytoll Park & Ride (snapped my first Nordi Travel bus on the 651, as well as a chance find of the new Fife bus map – first one in ages!) before continuing via the A92 and across the Tay Road Bridge to Dundee. As we arrived with plenty of time before our next event (at 15.00) we stopped briefly for a few things in town – I got some coffee beans and syrups from Braithwaite’s, as well as catching up on bus timetables! We then drove from
Sunday 16th May – we left Farnell, and drove through Dundee and the A90/M90 to the Kelty Interchange, before going via a back-road to the
Monday 17th May – we left Farnell via Forfar, A94 to Coupar Angus, back roads through Lethendy and Spittalfield to Birnam, then onto the road through Dalguise to Aberfeldy. After filling up the car with fuel, we parked it up, and prepared to sample Caber Coaches Service 91. This is essentially a beginners guide to Highland Perthshire, taking in some streets around town, before heading up for a loop around Coshieville and
Tuesday 18th May – we left Farnell returning via the road that we came back on the night before, the A94 to
Wednesday 19th May – we needed a rest from the day before, but agreed to do a handful of things that we had planned for Thursday, to spread the load. With the latter start, we met a colleague of Lynda’s for lunch at Brechin Castle Centre. L suggested meeting, largely as the colleague is about to go walking the Camino… From there, we drove through Brechin, Aberlemno, Lunanhead and Forfar, then onto
Thursday 20th May – bit of a star-shaped day. Started from Farnell, driving direct into Montrose, stopping for some pictures and coffee. We drove back the way we came to Farnell Crossroads but then continuing to Forfar West i.e. Orchardbank. This included a quick stop for lunch, then onto JP Coaches yard for some photos. From there, back to Forfar, cross-country to Barry Mill. C had never been here, despite living more than once in Carnoustie. We happened to walk in at the start of a tour, so joined in for the look. Took the car back to Sainsbury’s Claypotts for fuel, before driving to Linlathen (the scheme) where my mum, sister Ruth and new nephew Jonah live. We arrived to find Ruth was on the way home with Jonah. Shortly after their return, we went off to see my dad, back in the car past Claypotts then onto
Friday 21st May – trimmed this back a little, so I could get some duties done for Tiger Line early morning. Got those done quickly by mid-morning, we left, and started heading north on the A90 towards
Saturday 22nd May – we both needed to get our breath back! So, walk around Farnell village early afternoon, before we went out in the evening to
Sunday 23rd May – a quiet-ish one, but we drove through Forfar, Newtyle (quick stop to nab a pic of my dad’s old care home, now boarded up and for sale as homes), then onto Errol, Cairn O’ Mohr Winery. After drinks, stocking up on fruit wine and Arran cheese again, we proceeded to go back to Maza at
Monday 24th May – we finished packing up, and got back in the car. Drove via Forfar into
That was it… C liked the hire car, better than the Mazda we have! We got to meet new and old family members, and we both did a fair bit of mileage and shopping. Thanks to everyone who helped somehow with this!
Tuesday 25th May – was meant to be at PFH, but tired the day before, so decided to stay home. Wednesday 26th May – got a bit upset on the way to work at Switchboard, so back home. Despite these two days, I did get out to work at Woottens on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th May. We are now having a very quiet three day weekend to relax, and get back to normal, whatever that might be!
The last day of the month, Friday 30th April, saw a day working on Helpline. In the evening, we went out to Harvester in
Yesterday, Saturday 1st May saw the plans change several times. It ended up that I was initially trying to resolve an issue with the new joint bank account. Out of all the changes that I made, one of the standing orders had been set up to pay in to the account, instead of paying it out. After visiting the branch in central
Today, Sunday 2nd May, is catching up with things! Being busy with work has been a good thing, but now it is nice to have some time to relax!
Happy May Day Bank
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!
Yesterday (Tuesday 20th April) was an interesting day.
Firstly, I ordered a Blackberry Curve 8520 over the weekend, and it turned up shortly before leaving for
I had the offer of getting the 8520 for £27 and paying the same as what I am currently paying i.e. £15 a month, for 100 minutes and 100 text messages, plus a flexible booster to add something of value i.e. unlimited text messages, plus all the data the Blackberry can eat. So, I can get all this for the same as what I’m currently paying, plus being able to fix the cost. In the end, I decided to splash out another £5 a month i.e. £20 in total, to increase from 100 to 300 any network minutes, and this got me the brand new 8520 for free. That’ll do. I like the keyboard layout having letters and numbers in QWERTY format, as opposed to pressing each key up to seven times! Feel bad about leaving o2, but, they’ve had quite a few years of money out of me! The Nokia 5000 will be kept as a spare phone, alongside the other handsets that I am now collecting.
So, aside from that, I went into
We went for lunch, then towards the top end of Tottenham Court Road. While I was waiting, I spotted an unofficial campaign to get Londoners off the buses, and walking. You can read more about this here. I’ve taken a few pictures of the slogans, and you can see those here.
After all that, to work! It was a good afternoon, once it got going, and I went home into the evening peak, very happy with all that I’d done.
Today and tomorrow (Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd April) is a day working from home, and deliveries.
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.
Yesterday, windy, so we went to Newmarket for lunch at Pizza Express. We stopped briefly at the car park of the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, so I could snap up one of the new Stagecoach Cambridge Enviro400 double deck buses. This batch of 50 are entering service across the citi network and beyond, and you can see the resultant snaps here.
It’s been a quiet Easter weekend.
Yesterday, did something I’d not done in a bit – took the bus to Cambridge and back, for a couple of hours. Some random pictures from Cambridge’s buses taken, and on show here. The 50 new Enviro400 double deckers start entering service at Cambridge the next day i.e. today, so some of these are “last day” shots before a reshuffle.
Further to my last post, it’s been a busy time of it in the last eight days.
Thursday 25th March was a run from Royston via Centrebus Service 90 to Baldock, then Herberts Travel 391 to
Friday 26th March was a morning on the Helpline, and it was originally to be my last, although a stay of execution has been granted for now. It was also a day of several purchases, some cuddly, some edible, some wearable, you get the idea.
Saturday 27th March was an early evening on Switchboard, back home in time for a late dinner/early supper.
Sunday 28th March ended up being a quiet one, aside from lunch out.
Monday 29th March was a day working from home.
Tuesday 30th March was a late evening shift on Switchboard, which takes me up past all the tallies to complete the minimum requirement for a trainee volunteer, which means I’ll be able to have a ratification interview over the coming weeks, to remove the word trainee from my title!
Wednesday 31st March was our 3-year anniversary! We initially went out for lunch, although it wasn’t our fault, we ended up with a long wait, and inedible food. Never mind, onto Helpline, where it was intended to be our “last day” drinks. Although now it’s no-where near it, plans had still been made! So, after a last day that wasn’t, and a lunch that hadn’t been either, but we more than made up for it by visiting The Golden Curry on Mill Road, Cambridge. This is, of course, the restaurant that we attended three years previously, the day I fell in love with Caroline (and we visited then with auntysarah and the_local_echo ). After a really lovely dinner, car back home.
Thursday 1st April has been a day at home, with lots to do!
A few notables - bought several items in Hitchin Market, mostly card and a largeish craft items store box (flat packed!) Beford Borough Council's timetable book has been reissued from Februrary in a slightly revisevised style - new front, and upright A5 pages. Around the same time, Central Beds reissued their Biggleswade guide in current style. Speaking of books, there is a new bookstore in Letchworth, called Buy The Book - wasn't that the bookstore in Ellen's sitcom?
Today, Wednesday 24th March was at home, working. One interesting site, Stagecoach Cambridge brought down some timetables in their publicity van...! In the past they've stuck them in the post.
Tomorrow, who knows? Have plans, but see how I feel.
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.
I've been really busy over the last eight days.
Following on from my last entry on 8th March, I have been mostly busy working from home. Exceptions were out at Switchboard on Thursday 11th, working on Helpline on Friday 12th, back out to Switchboard on Saturday 13th before going out in the evening. Following all this, we were out in the car around Stevenage on Sunday. I have also been working hard around the house, and am currently in the midst of backing up the computer contents to remote storage - C got round the issue of it not working with external drives somehow, by getting it in another place!
I briefly mentioned earlier that the Prisoner's Families Helpline will still be operated locally for a further three months.
Friday 5th March was a day working at Helpline. There is a slight glimmer of hope in a meeting being held on Monday 15th to discuss plans, but beyond that, no-one yet knows what will happen, or how, with regards the transfer of the service. Back home in the afternoon, bought a few things in Cambridge to make dinner, and then prepared for Saturday. I took a few pictures in Cambridge, and you can see them here.
Saturday 6th March was the 2010 Million Womens Rise – and Switchboard had a presence in Trafalgar Square! So, we went into London, had breakfat at Camino (near Kings Cross) before continuing. Lots of fun, although cold and a bit tired towards the end! We then continued to a Spanish resturant C liked the sound of in Portobello Road, so we went out west, but (as we went in spec) we didn't realise they were closed for a private party! So, back to town on a 23 bus, until we spotted Star Of Bombay on Westbourne Grove. Good food, although I was a little tired and didn't properly enjoy it. Cab back to Kings Cross via Edgware Road and Camden Town, before a ride back to Hertford North, for a rail replacement bus back to Royston. You can see the pictures that I took here - a mix of rally/march pics and some bus stuff!
Sunday 7th March was a day to catch up and relax!
Monday 8th March was mostly working at home for Woottens, and lots of work done on the Tiger Line page on Facebook, plus promoting the service changes from 19th April. Happy International Womens Day all!
Arriva Versa 2403 331 Royston Bus Station - Ware Town Hall
Arriva Trident 5446 310 Ware College - Hoddesdon, Clock Tower
Hunny BMC ending in XCL 392 Clock Tower - Rye Park
Hunny BMC ending in XCL 392 Rye Park - Harlow, Bus Station
S M Coaches Dart K714 KCU Harlow - Hertford Bus Stn
Arriva DAF 3832 331 Hertford Bus Stn - Ware, The Priory
Arriva Versa 2403 331 Ware, Amwell End - Royston, Old North Rd at Orchard Rd
Pictures from Monday, including a Centrebus Dennis Lance broke down at Hoddesdon, and building work at Harlow bus station, can be seen here.
Today, aside from my earlier announcement, it's been a busy day otherwise. Into London for Switchboard in the morning, before returning early afternoon!
Tomorrow... well... ;-)
I've been extremly busy with many things over the last 12 days since my previous LJ post.
Wednesday 17th February was quiet at home.
Thursday 18th February was an afternoon out. Caroline had the afternoon off work, for an evening social with LLGS Womens Group. So, we travelled into London, dropped off a package for Malc, before continuing to the West End to get some new jeans at Evans for me (as well as some shoes!), partially following Tesco no longer stocking the sizes that they used to (except online). From there, we had dinner at Pizza Express, before continuing to Elephant & Castle by taxi (a gap in the 148's in lashing rain!). While the rain deterred some, we had coffee before browsing an exhibition "Another Side Of The Rainbow", placed in the shopping centre for LGBT History Month. We then continued by Tube to Angel, before going for a couple in The Castle (pub in Islington), back to Kings Cross, then home by train.
Saturday 20th February, first of all, was subject to railway engineering work between Hitchin and Stevenage, so I decided to avoid this by getting C to drop me off at Whittlesford Parkway, taking the National Express East Anglia Cambridge – London Liverpool Street line. Bonus – a new route for me! On the outward journey, I took the train to Tottenham Hale, before changing there onto the Victoria tube line. I was heading to a building near Victoria, for an away day organised by the Womens Group of LLGS. It wasn't work, it wasn't a social, but a mix of both. Additionally, I am now one of the four co-ordinators (below the two co-chairs) of the group, voted in on the day. From there, a couple in an adjacent pub, before I took bus 11 home from Westminster to Liverpool Street, changing there for a train to Whittlesford Parkway.
Sunday 21st February was a day at home.
Monday 22nd February was an essential day out. However, a couple of snags before I got the chance to get out the door! Snow had fallen, quite a bit of it, which naturally needed attention. Secondly, the weekend railway engineering work on the First Capital Connect Great Northern line had over-ran, so my plan of getting an early morning train to Stevenage turned into a train to Hitchin, then a coach belonging to Hamilton's of Uxbridge to Stevenage railway station. The coach was nice enough, but naturally extended the journey time somewhat, before joining slow traffic on the M1, and (minimal) roadworks through Coreys Mill to Stevenage. From there, the journey plan started to slip. I had intended to change there to the 635/634 uno bus to Hemel Hempstead fast, but no. Took Enviro 3550 on the Arriva SB8 to the Bus Station, had breakfast before going for 3562 on the 301. We started losing more time, and were told to turn short at St Albans, instead of continuing to Hemel. However, it got worse before it got better. The virtually new bus was struggling in the snow, up and down hills, and with other slow moving traffic. We were 41 minutes late at Welwyn Garden City bus station, 69 minutes late at Hatfield railway station, but by then the roads were starting to improve, and less hills to negotiate, so we ended up 62 minutes late at St Albans. The first bus that was taking me close to my plan was a 321 to Watford, so piled on Mercedes Citaro 3562 for a good run to Watford Town Centre. From there, early lunch (!!!) before continuing on Tiger A12 WTN of Woottens/Tiger Line on the T2 to Hemel via Cassiobury Estate and Kings Langley, Arriva Dart 3500 on the 550 back to Watford Junction via Nash Mils and Cassio Campus, Arriva green Solo 2492 on the W30 to Watford town centre, then Woottens/Tiger Line A15 WTN on the T1 back to Hemel via Cassiobury and KL again, before taking uno Scania 352 fast back to Stevenage via the M10, Hatfield and A1[M] on the 634, which continues as a 635 to Stevenage railway station. Train back was also delayed, but only by around 20 minutes. The one day where I had to go out... anyway, you can see the pictures here.
Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th February at home.
Thursday 25th February was an evening out working at Switchboard. So, a quiet day in, before travelling into London against-the-peak-flow and having a few hours on the phones before coming home. Made the last train before the engineering work rendered everything turning back (from both directions) at Hitchin.
Friday 26th February I felt a little tired and under-the-weather, so stayed in.
Saturday 27th February was a day out and about, with shopping. Feeling a little better (but very tired at the end), we went from home to Stevenage via the A10 and A602 for lunch at Toby, before stopping for some items of clothing on special at Sainsbury's. continuing back up the A1, A505 and then onto the A10 north as far as Shepreth, picking our way through Haslingfield to Barton. Couldn't find any shoes suitable in a wide-ranging store, but we were planning to go into Cambridge retail park anyway. Found a few things in Evans (but less than purchased in Sainsbury's) before back home via Staples. 100 miles done in the car in the day, and tired but happy at the end!
Sunday 28th February is a quiet day, catching up. It is also our 35 month anniversary today (another reason for going out y'day!) We always celebrate it somehow, but now we are at the 35 month mark of our relationship, 31st March sees three years, or 36 months, together. We'll see what happens that day!
Additionally, on my last post, I made a closing reference to some extra good news. With a bit of luck, I'll be able to tell all this coming week.
It's been yet another busy week, with little time to explain what's gone by. I used the phrase “it's like I have my foot on the accelerator” at the moment. The last nine days have generated a huge number of miles, lots of people met, and some unique moments and challenges.
Monday 8th February Went into London to work an afternoon at Switchboard, and stopped on the way to drop off a card to the newly-engaged Malc & Ray (along with several timetables for Malc) – congratulations again! You can see a handful of random shots taken at Euston here.
Tuesday 9th, Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th February Working behind the scenes on forthcoming tours and visits for the Anglia Bus Forum and Dundee Area Bus Forum. Some interesting ones, and trying to build on previous years, by doing more.
Friday 12th February Typically, having had three days at home, everything slid to the end of the week. I went into Cambridge to work on Helpline in the morning (they are still none the wiser as to the transfer of service at the end of March), before travelling to London, to work on Switchboard in the evening. A late night, but an enjoyable day.
Saturday 13th February After a long lie, got up and prepared to go back to London, for another evening. This was to do a charity collection (or “bucket rattle”) for Switchboard. Basically, we were (mostly) dressed in pink LLGS T-shirts (hence the subject line!) and we went to 15 venues around the West End of London, and ended up raising £560 through donations, and got a huge amount of positive feedback from people we met. We had another wonderful evening, and another late night, but very enjoyable! Nabbed a few pics of the rattlers en route, which you can see here.
Monday 15th February Remember I mentioned in these posts (1, 2, 3) that today was the first day of new and revised bus services across The Fens? Well, I had an early start, and took a train to Cambridge, changing there for a Kings Lynn one. Said hello to Andy J at Kings Lynn Bus Staton, before I went on to start a day's travel on a Norfolk Green Explorer – starting with Solo 600 on the 46 to March via Islington (the Norfolk village, not the London borough!), Wisbech and Guhyrin. Managed to arrive through Wisbech in the midst of turmoil with one road closed one side, and diversions and delays. Never mind, made up the time after the diversion around Wisbech St Mary. From there, a quick changeover to refurbished Solo 602 on the new Service 34 to March Tesco, Benwick, and then back to March Broad Street, meeting Rob B in the process. After stopping for lunch at Bakers Oven (is this the one store not yet rebranded to Greggs?) and a quick browse in an adjacent bookstore/stationer, carried on with Andy J and Rob B on loaned-from-Stagecoach-for-six-weeks Volvo/PS 702 on new Service 56 from March to Wisbech, that replaced the top end of Stagecoach Service X9 from that day. After some snaps in Wisbech, and bumping into another Rob B, myself and Andy continued on Coasthopper-liveried Vario 415 on new Service 55 across the Lincolnshire boundary into Long Sutton. After crossing the road, we took Tempo 106 on Service 505 back to Kings Lynn. After that, some shopping briefly in Lynn, before taking the train to Cambridge, for a connection to Royston. We went out briefly, then back in, then back out, before settling for the night. It was a wonderful day out. The pictures really do have to be seen – do take a look here!
Tuesday 16th February A productive day, including some catching up. Like this post, for example.
So, that is my story of the last 9 days.
On top of all that: something else good, that I can't quite tell you about yet. I promise to tell you when the time is right. Suffice to say, it's good!
Wednesday 3rd February – was a good day until I broke C's glass teapot. The problem was I was putting it down onto the worktop, and inadvertently whacked it into the side of the cooker top. She was on the phone at the time watching, so I couldn't really hide it!
Thursday 4th February – with my BABUS hat on, I was up early for a meeting into Bedford Borough Council's Local Transport Plan 3. A good first step in the compilation of the draft, and BCC were genuinely happy that we had a good turnout of people there. It was also good to put faces to names, even if I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone. So, that went well, except for one thing – my new boots tripped me up several times on the wet outside! My new boots did not have much grip on them, so I ended up slipping several times! (Since then I've got a rather large bruise under the knee, cuts and swelling to hands and fingers, as well as a sore arm and leg!) Travelled by train to Hitchin, Centrebus 80 to Hitchin town centre, Stagecoach in Bedford Mars Service M2 to Bedford (the last time I did the other route, the M1. This is where the “life on mars” quote for Facebook came from!) On the way home, M1 to Hitchin, then as I had plenty time to make my next train, as well as an Intalink Explorer ticket (10p more than a return from Hitchin to Bedford, plus it included the bus between train and bus), I stayed on the 94 through Hitchin Station to Letchworth, where I picked up my train journey to continue back to Royston.
Earlier in the week, I had a request from the editor of one of the local Archant papers, The Wisbech Standard, asking about the forthcoming bus service changes. Apparently they had seen my blog re the forthcoming Fens bus service changes (post 1 and post 2). Initally they wanted to quote from my blog, and I spoke to them on the phone, careful to stick to the facts. (I don't normally approach media in relation to transport, but they approached me!) This main article (not my photos) discusses the changes, with quotes from my posts on the forthcoming Fens service changes. Also interesting was their editorial bit (not my work either) which was highly critical – and I quote from one snippet, “This newspaper was only alerted to changes by a reader, and our investigations into the affect of the changes proposed by Stagecoach led us on a circuitous route and only thanks to a veteran bus 'blogger' did we finally access the information we needed.” So, if you wonder why I'm popular in Wisbech, now you know! It was interesting to spot even Stagecoach management saying they can see why people would be confused by the website...
Friday 5th February – out to work on Helpline in the morning, but then back home, as I was a bit tired (and sore!) from the previous day!
Saturday 6th February – out to Beefeater at Coreys Mill (Stevenage) for a change. We went to Sainsbury's over the road afterwards, but Caroline was unusually tired. She had a nap for a few hours once we got home. As well as food, C got a new (cheap) white teapot, and I picked up a few new T-shirts, and trousers and jeans - still to try those on!
Sunday 7th February – having a quiet day. Caroline has tried her new teapot that we got in Sainsbury's – just a cheap one, but it pours better than the glass one!