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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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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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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 London. To illustrate this, my current mobile (the Nokia 5000 that David bought me almost a year ago) keeps turning itself off when on screensaver mode. I pay £10 a month for a SIM-only package with o2, which is 150 any network minutes and 300 text messages. I do, however, use a lot of mobile internet data. On the days when I don’t want to take my laptop with me, I use my mobile phone to check my email (and sometimes other sites i.e. National Rail) via WAP. This uses about £5 worth of data a month, so you can see why change was needed. Well, o2’s Blackberry plans (just like those for the iPhone) are rather expensive, so I had a look at T-Mobile.

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 London, to do my first “solo” shift for Switchboard. Before hand, had arranged to meet Malc in central London for lunch. Before doing so, I stopped at Kings Cross Post Office, to send an envelope up to my mother & sister in Dundee. As I was queuing, I could see some small photo printer boxes. I’ve been looking for one of those for a while, and could not see them elsewhere! This one is an AGFA AP-1100, and I went over to that part of the shop, and asked to see it. The person behind the till took one down, blew the dust off it, apologised, then got a cloth and cleaned the rest of the dust off! It’s a little thing that prints 6x4 pictures. For the times when I need one, I normally get prints made online. Well, the supplies (paper and ribbon) for this thermal printer work out around 30p each, which is the same as I’m usually paying for small numbers of prints, plus, no waiting! If you are thinking “more extravagance”, well, it was only £19.99. Result.


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.

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Further to my blog post, Caroline has bought Windows7 for her PC - OEM version - when she got my new hard drive. (I've got it on the netbook). She's not so impressed, as it's lost networking capabilities... now, she's had to install a USB key to get it to work - I still don't understand that one...
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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 [ profile] 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 [ profile] 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!

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I am out to work this afternoon, but having some time around London first. Partially to get out after the bad weather, partially to try the new netbook pc! Now on the train passing through Potters Bar, on route to Kings Cross. Have just discovered the 6 hr battery is able to do 4 on a high setting, or 13 hours on power saver - bonus!
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Today was going to be a quiet one. Firstly, I was nostalging with a large box of eBay purchases - a lucky find! - stacks of London Buses timetable leaflets, mostly from 1999-2001, and a fair number of those area local transport guide books (now no longer printed). Also delivered today was an unexpected book, with no cover note or warning, I think I must have won this or something.

In the afternoon, after a bath, we went out for a bit in the evening, before back home, and we’re now in the midst of getting my setup and work on the Mac back and working. I’m comparing and contrasting lots of things, partially through increased mobility with the little laptop. Keep watching!

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... that I got my phone handset back today by post (Nokia 5000). I had not been using the back-up MX1 (not MXI as I typed last time) but it was a little too basic for my needs. I had to enter each letter of a message indvidually, then delete the space it put in after each letter automatically, then move to the next letter,etc. Never mind, I've got a spare if the Nokia ever has to go back for repair, and it kept me in touch in the meantime. Some parts of the Nokia have been replaced, and a software update has apparently been done.
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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...

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On Tuesday 28th, we went out to Stevenage, initially to return my defective mobile phone to the o2 store, for repair. “Not paying attention” award perhaps, as despite having my name and address printed on the original receipt, she my name on the repair computer as Miss God! From there, back via lunch at Toby Carvery, before returning home.

On Wednesday 29th, we had a quiet day in. See what we’re doing, going out day about where possible? 

On Wednesday 30th, we both went to London. It was my first (listening) shift with my personal trainer at LLGS. We both travelled into Kings Cross by train, where I went to work (First Volvo VNL2323 on the 476), and C went off to the Apple Store, in the west end. I seem to be doing well, and have taken calls already. After work, we travelled from Islington by East London Scania 15121 on the 205 to Paddington (further First Great Western timetables - see review of the book here). The person behind the counter had never sold more than one in a shot, so had to go and find some more! They had to go through the till one at a time, as they are numbered etc. Anyway, after that, we were going to stop at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, but C decided against it (it was raining off and on, and she was getting tired), so we continued onto Victoria on London Central bendibus MAL42 on the 436. From there, I posted a few things, including the forms back to the OU, before we had an early dinner at Pizza Express - club vouchers FTW! As seems to happen quite often, we arrived when it was almost empty, but it went to people queuing up at the door to get in, as we left! From there, back to Victoria, then Kings Cross by equally bendi MA51 on the 73, then back home. When we got home, a package of three T-shirts from Little Ms Tees had arrived – an army green Cooler Than Shane, a black My Ex-Girlfriends etc., and a light blue Chapstick Lesbian. If you don’t get the latter, it comes from a certain song!

This brings me up to today – Thursday 31st December 2009, Hogmanay, New Year’s Eve, or simply the last day of year. Happy New Year for 2010, and enjoy whatever you get up to tonight, wherever you are.

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On Christmas Eve, I did say that we got a few things from Tesco, and two of them were mobile phones.

My current Nokia 5000 (left of picture) has a habit of locking up while in screensaver mode, so I wanted a replacement to use in the meantime, as I’m going to get it looked at under warranty. Now it’s currently on o2, and I fancied the slightly small VXI Mini (right of picture) as a spare, or to replace the Nokia temporarily. It’s basic, but it was only £18.99 unlocked. It’s also good to use to avoid more expensive phones getting damaged! At the same time in Tesco, the LG GB102 (centre) was on T-Mobile for £8.99, and I fancied it to give me more options. I will look at the mobile phones that I have in time, but for now, I’ve got choice. Caroline liked the look of the LG versus the VXI, so I bought both! (well I did have some extra Christmas cash to spend!) At the same time, bought a white “snowball” fleece jacket for £5, and two tops for £7. Latter did not fit, but the former was in a comfortable size.

So, that brought us up to the big day, and time to see how the Christmas preparations went. As you may recall from earlier in the month, I fancied a netbook computer (the smaller version of a laptop for use when travelling). Caroline took me to Micro Anvika earlier in the month, and I picked out the Acer Aspire One D250. I did not want her to spend too much on it, but never mind, it’s Christmas I guess! It has an Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive, 10.1” LCD Display, webcam, wireless and network card slot, card reader for the camera, and I was upgraded to the one with 6 hours battery life. It is worth the little bit sticking out the back, for twice the battery life. It dual-boots with Android (not used yet) or Windows 7, which I am getting used to! Not a lot different from Vista, but if you went straight from XP you might get lost. By comparison, it’s actually smaller desktop footprint than the current all-Essex bus timetable book (A4-ish) that is on the left of this comparison shot. I picked red, but it also comes in blue or black.

In addition to this, got a mouse and reversible sleeve for the netbook from C, plus other goodies from the family, including biscuits, pens and some bath stuff. So, after a quiet Christmas Day, we went out on Boxing Day. Tesco was open for the first time in quite a few years, so I used the chance to take the tops back! They were £5 each or 2 for £7, but for whatever reason I was given £10 back on my card! From there, onto Cambridge Retail Park, and we stopped at Evans. I ended up with a long pair of black boots, short pair of brown boots, and a pair of “smart shoes” for £58 the lot in the sale. After this, onto Cineworld at Cambridge Leisure for Avatar 3D, which we enjoyed. We then went to Pizza Hut, ending up with a rather large box to take home (after we couldn’t finish the pizzas!) Well, my appetite is going up and down…

… Today, is a quiet day indoors!

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Do you remember some time ago, I found this PC vs Mac ad in South Park style? Well....

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Yesterday was a day out with a bit of everything. After hearing that there was new stock at the booksale we frequent in Cambridge, drove there first, although there was nothing for us this time. From there, it was back down the A10, but not home, and onto the A505 towards Stevenage. (C is starting to get a taste for lunch/dinner at Toby!)

From there, stopped at the adjacent Tesco - no C5 (aka 9"x6") envelopes but did find a new kettle that we needed. The other one has a habit of turning itself back on, and it was bought from Woolworths in the last month, so warranty swapping is not going to be an option!), before continuing to a small village called Woolmer Green. It’s just south of Knebworth, and I passed through foe the first tie in ages on the 300/301 service last Monday. However, I spotted a chocolate factory that I’d not seen before. Advanced Googling later showed it was Lessiters, and their factory shop was open all week, including Saturdays. We left after just over £20 of purchases, including a cup of chocolate and hazelnut bits for the forthcoming journey, rest for later.

So, that done, back in the car, and drove to Hatfield, where we took the train (one-day all inclusive super off peak travelcard, with usual 34% railcard and 20-25% extra promotional weekend discount, meant travel from this point to London, plus unlimited in London, just £8.25 each, versus the usual £15 or so!).

We took the train into London, bus to Tottenham Court Road/Centrepoint, before stopping at Morgans (new copyholder for me, less than £4, and slightly better than the Staples ones that seem to break when the curtain blows, plus two new leather iPhone/iPod Touch cases for £2.99 each). From there, Caroline wanted a stop for drinks, and we wanted to touch on the British Museum, although we wouldn’t have time to do the whole day there this time. So, we stopped there for drinks and a quick snack, before leaving to return another time. We then continued down to the Charing Cross Road bookstores (purchased a copy of TubeWhizzard at Foyles), before returning to St Giles High Street for an early dinner at First Out. The building is now the last one in the street, before the vast gap which has been demolished to make way for Crossrail.

Tube back via Holburn to Kings Cross, onto a Peterborough stopping train (faster than those ending at Welywn or Stevenage) back to the car at Hatfield. From there, back to Royston (stopping at another Tesco on the way!) before arriving home. We enjoyed a variety of different things, and you can see all the pictures here.
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In addition to the most obvious change of status (last week), it’s clearly not my week this week either.

Monday I felt unwell, run down, tired, but more so than usual. Made plans to go out Tuesday, but hoped I’d not be unwell then too.

Tuesday, day out.
Bought my Explorer ticket off Arriva The Shires 2404 on the 331, although my first journey was on
Richmond’s Solo YJ 05 YMY 23 Royston, Bus Station – Hitchin, St Mary’s Square (driver doesn’t do change!)
Arriva Volvo/Wright 3302 100 Hitchin, Hermitage Road – Stevenage, Lister Hospital
Was going to change at the bus station, but as the next bus was behind..
Arriva Enviro 3557 301 Stevenage, Lister Hospital – Hatfield, Gracemead House
Had planned to get off at Welwyn but stayed on for the next one
Uno Dart 574 624 Hatfield, Gracemead House – Watford, Town Centre
Driver swapped at St Albans, and the outgoing driver was upset about his controller phoning his mobile! The replacement driver was okay, but questioned if I was interested in him, while snapping up the bus at Watford… he didn’t spot the engagement ring then!
Woottens Tiger/East Lancs A12 WTN T2 Watford, Town Centre – Hemel Hempsted, Bus Station
Uno Citaro 303 634 Hemel Hempstead, Bus Station – Hatfield, UH Forum
Next bus arrived 13 minutes late…
Uno Dart 650 641 Hatfield, UH Forum – Hertford, Bus Station
… and arrived into Hertford 17 minutes down, thus meaning I managed to miss the connection for the last bus to Royston….
Arriva Versa 2403 331 Hertford, Bus Station – Buntingford, Baldock Rd opp Greenways
… where C picked me up in the car, saved me walking the 7.5 miles back to Royston! You can see all the pictures here.
They have been condensed even smaller than the last (Ely etc.) lot, so do let me know what you think.

Wednesday/Thursday, and the hard drive on the Mac has failed. The majority (since yesterday morning, when the main hard drive started to go) had already been automatically backed up, although on restart, Entourage downloaded ALL the email (I leave four weeks on the server or so), not just those from the last 24 hours that had been missing.
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Yesterday (Thursday 24th) I decided to get out the house, and go for a bash around on an Intalink Explorer.

Cut for length and pictures )

Mac Truths

Sep. 21st, 2009 08:55 am
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Found thanks to [ profile] shullie ...

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After the last two days at work, Saturday was always going to be different. Following almost 7,000 pictures on the HP Photosmart E327 digital camera that I bought almost two years ago, it might be time for a new one. After a problem with the card (that required another download to get it to work) a few months ago, as well as a few dents, it’s now time for a new one. So, after some looking around, I now have a Samsung ES15 10.2MP digital camera, plus delivery (BTW, I got the Silver one, not the pink or black ones!) Purchase from eBuyer was just under £70, including free soft case and 2GB card.

So, once everything had been delivered, we said we’d go out. We drove to the market town of Hertford, on Saturday market day. After parking the car, some market shopping, and going for lunch at The Six Templars, we continued to Saks Hair & Beauty around the corner. If you’ve seen my hair recently, it’s been growing now for six years – yes, pre-transition as well! This is the reason why I’d wanted to go today to have it done – well, Saffon Walden branch was full today, and this was next! After two hours of work, the stylist did a wonderful job at not only detangling it (the lump at the back was getting so much bigger!), but I did fancy a completely new look. Now this time, I did not go for a colour, just a cut and restyle, but this was a big enough step for one day! So, here I am, shortly before going back to the car… you can see all the pictures here.

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Well, it’s been a fairly busy time of it, and I’ve had to be Mystic Suzy, again. Before I explain what happened on Sunday past, I’d like to bring you up to speed on a couple of other things.

Caroline agreed to purchase a new all-in-one laser printer – essentially similar to the existing Brother HL-2035, but with a scanner, fax and copier too – the MFC-7320. There was nothing strictly wrong with the last one, but it does mean that the inkjet fax (that I bought back in early 2002) is now finally replaced, and the scanner (which can only work with ONE short USB cable, and keeps slipping off the top of the PowerMac) can also be replaced. It also has an automatic document feeder. So, after some experimenting with scan file sizes (it comes with a CD for Windows, and another CD for Mac OS X series), I gave it a 64 page Inventory (as they call a fleet list) from RGRTA (a recent FOIL request!) in four sections, and it can scan one then another and another etc. – as well as scanning direct to PDF. In other words, something that might take me an hour or two, now takes a few minutes. While the majority of the service changes for 2009 have happened, the scanner will no doubt come in useful when it comes to digitising, and making short work of stacks of paper! It can also do dry, plain paper copies, that I can take with me without the ink running when taking it out in the rain! It’s not much more to buy the refilled carts for this one over the other one (and you get cheap drums too) – the price difference actually works as a saving, if you take into account the cost of buying inkjet carts for the old fax. Say nothing of the time I tried to refill one with black ink…!

So, after that at the end of the week, and a quiet day on Saturday, we got ready to travel to central London on Sunday morning. After I ended up withdrawing my application from another voluntary org (after some unfortunate narrow-mindedness) in late February, I was looking around for something else to add to what I’m currently doing. So, in March and April, I started looking around, and submitted an application to the London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard in mid-April 2009. Anyway, got called in for an interview (Sunday 6th September, 1415), so we decided that we’d both go to London, and have an afternoon of it.

Usual FCC train into London Kings Cross, Arriva Citaro MA15 on TfL service 73 to the stop before the Angel one-way system, so I can point out to C where I’d be going, then around the corners to have lunch at the nearby Wetherspoons, The Angel. After lunch, I got rather nervous, before walking back to the offices for an interview. It was a set of more-or-less fixed questions, and I must admit, I got very nervous. I don’t know if it was the thoughts of being rejected one more time or not, but something was. Anyway, made my apologies, but the two who were interviewing me were very kind and helpful in that regard. Afterwards, back to C in The Angel, and I thought I had a 50/50 chance.

Caroline finished her drink, and we crossed over for a Metroline TfL 43 bus (in preference to the Northern Line) to London Bridge. Once we figured out the temporary arrangements in regards to resurfacing the pavement and street furniture, two went past, but we did catch one new Enviro400 on this service to London Bridge. We went this way as Caroline wanted to go into Greenwich, and there was no DLR on this day south of Canary Wharf, and no Jubilee Line service at all. So, needless to say, the trains were all going to be busy! We got into London Bridge with a minute to go, so didn’t get that one. By the time we made it to the platform, the next SouthEastern train (10/12 mins later, 4 tph) wasn’t that far off.

We got off in Greenwich, walked up to the one-way system, and onto Greenwich Park. Now, this wasn’t a day for snapping up buses, but I did get rather interested to see this very unusual BMC bus of Travel with Hunny (a recent purchase for their ECC 392, but on the DLR rail replacement) in Greenwich.

Caroline and I then walked around Greenwich Park for a bit, although I was getting a bit tired. We stopped for a bit, before going for a Pizza Express. That seemed to re-energise us, and we went for the Thames Clippers boat service to London Waterloo, via the Thames. I did take a few pics of the pier, the boat, and more, and you can see them all here.

After that, we went via bus 148 to Victoria, quick stop here before returning to Kings Cross on another bendi 73 (albeit with a driver that kept the doors shut on stand, and was rather rude when anyone attempted to get near him!). Anyway, we got to Kings Cross with time to spare for our train back to Royston, tired but happy!

So, Monday was catching up with everything, and Tuesday was out at PFH. A very hot day didn’t help feeling a little tired, but I’ve survived! Today, Wednesday, and I’ve had a phone call from the person who arranged my interview at LLGS. I’m successful… even though I was very nervous, I did get through, and I’m starting training (one of two groups) on Saturday November 7th. Now, that is rather convenient, as the last of the Open University stuff goes in during early October. I’ve got no immediate plans to do another one, instead, hopefully, the training will go well. Of course, the Open Uni is very flexible, meaning I could put it on hold for as long as I liked, before continuing to my next course.

You’re probably wondering… well, the LLGS minimum commitment is two x three-hour shifts a month, which shouldn’t be too difficult. It’s more miles – around 46 miles by bus and train, in contrast with the 19.9 to/from PFH. However, by helpful train stopping patterns (London trains don’t stop at all stations – separate blog post to follow later in the week!), there is not much in it at all. The fast trains are under an hour, and just three stops away by bus, or about a 15 minute walk, would get me to LLGS, based on time from Royston station. When I get the train, and two buses to the PFH, it’s about 70 minutes on a good day. So, there is only a few minutes in it, all going well! It will allow me to build up my knowledge and skills, as well as getting out towards London more often. I intend to do this alongside work for the PFH, and do not intend to stop. As for health, well, it’s a good few weeks between now and starting the training course. This should give me more than enough time to get hold of the doc, and look at adjusting the pills. Now I see what they can do, might be worthwhile adjusting things.

Now, hopefully, it’s all starting to sink into place… but if not, here’s a little about the Switchboard. (Well, I did one for the PFH when I got my acceptance from them, so it’d be rude not to!)

London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard (LLGS) provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men, bisexual, trans people and anyone who needs to consider issues around their sexuality.

All volunteers identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, so you know that the person answering the telephone will have an understanding of your situation. Our volunteers won't judge you or tell you what to do; they will though provide suitable support, offer appropriate information, and discuss relevant options.

The helpline operates from 10am to 11pm, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Our helpline number is 020 7837 7324, the recruitment hotline for volunteers is 020 7837 7606, and our text phone number is 020 7689 8501.
Our information website provides 24 hour access to our database of information and resources relevant to the LGBT community.
(Other services provided can be found via this link)

Needless to say, I’m rather happy!

Now, preparing for Saturday’s Anglia Bus Forum tour!

suzyscottdotcom: (Default)
It’s been a busy bank holiday weekend. I’ve got TMA04 for M150 OU course to go in by Tuesday night – but I’ve done 50%, so (a) I’m not ignoring you lot, and (b) it’s now time for a break.

We were out yesterday, intending to do other things, but made it as far as Cambridge Retail Park, where Caroline invested in some more shiny gadgets. My spending excess was on a Cupertino Mousepad – not the heaviest of upgrades, but a very smooth surface. Every time I spill something on a cloth one, the optical mouse goes wonky… anyway, Caroline mentioned that Cupertino is where Apple are based. Maybe that’s why the silver and white design came from.

The subject line came from a T-shirt I spotted in Homebase yesterday, which was immediately texted to [ profile] thebustocrookes  – Dougie seemed to approve! Having said that, ideal book title? London Cheesecake/Apple Danish/Mexican Lattice is not quite the same!

What else? Well, hello to [ profile] chancernw  on LJ, and everyone that I’ve added (or who has also added me) via Facebook in the last few weeks.


suzyscottdotcom: (Default)

September 2010



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