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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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Thanks to [ profile] elaine4queen‘s friending spree (good idea!) I have today got two new friends – say hello to [ profile] aleia_kali and [ profile] crackedmoon 


As for me, quiet day before C goes back to work tomorrow. It’s been nice to relax for a bit…


… Coming up next, will probably be a transport-related post…

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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 Cambridge, intending to add me to Caroline’s bank account (it’s at that stage of the relationship readers, and it’s going to be much easier!), and some shopping. Sunday 11th April was a quiet one to catch up!


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 British Museum for a bit, before returning home. You can see the pictures here. Pics include Caroline and me.


Today, Monday 19th April, and busy at home.

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Further to my last post about the first half of the holiday weekend, I forgot to mention what we got up to on Friday. We left Royston, via Saffron Walden, before the satnav sent us on a Z-shaped tour of the back roads of rural Essex, on route to Braintree Freeport Shopping Village. Got there, but it started lashing with rain, and it’s not indoor! So, from there, onto Colchester, before returning back to Royston.

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.
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Yesterday (Sunday) we went out to Harvester – I'm starting to enjoy the food, and C got a really nice lunch as well. In the evening, we watched Lost and Delirious, which was a fairly powerful movie! I was sure we had Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood, but we could not find it, so have requested this one next from LoveFilm.

Earlier on, I did a State of the Suzy, which I intend to do monthly. Even through only little effort, my weight is down by half-a-kilo. Does not seem like much, but I was more worried that, given everything, my weight would continue to rise substantially. I'm not that heavily built, but heavy enough.

Also mentioned in my State of the Suzy post was the fact that I'd got a letter to choose and book my own gastroenterology appointment via the NHS. The letter mentioned a choice of Saffron Walden Hospital, Addenbrooke's (Cambridge) or Lister Hospital (Stevenage). The website sounded easy enough, so I logged on after C went back to work after lunch. No appointments for any of the three of them were available! So, phoned them up, and my details have now been passed onto Addenbrooke's. In theory, I should hear within a fortnight, so I am hoping that I do. Two steps forward, one step back!

When the landlord came for their quarterly flat inspection on Thursday past, she asked me “Is everything working okay” and I mentioned the light switch between the lounge and the kitchen does not work, and has been baffling us! Well, the electrician called me up today on my mobile, and wanted to come round for a look at it – well done! It wasn't the bulb or the pendant, but a loose wire behind the switch plate.

Will be making dinner shortly!

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It's been a busy two days - ish. Wind back to Monday evening, and I noticed that there was an unidentified beeping. Tuesday morning, and the USB hard drive has lost everything, except some trash stuff! Caroline did manage to recover a fair bit, although it's put all so many thousand files into the same directory! Will try and restore the previous setup once more.

In addition, yesterday was out to London for Switchboard in the day, before I returned back to Herts, and out to meet friends in Harston for the evening. Everyone was complaining about the cold last night, although it wasn't too bad in central London, but the further you got out... when we left The Queens Head in Harston, it was minus two.

Today, it's wet and cold out, and I am catching up with as much as I can! Facebook seems to have thrown several wobblers today - firstly, allowing me to add 1 of 2 friends, but not the second, and then not giving the name! Solved, at the sixth attempt...

...Doc called me while I was out. No further forward with the other referrals, but, other stuff was discussed. As a result of suggestions from [ profile] elaine4queen, she has agreed to prescribe me zopiclone for "as and when" use i.e. only one or two scripts a year. She was going to prescribe me something else, although it would have conflicted with the fexofenadine. I think I'm getting more antibiotics, apparently she could hear my voice being different down the phone, and that was enough! (That, and I had them a few weeks back). Thanks Elaine!
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On Thursday, I was working at Switchboard, followed by the Women's Group meeting into the evening, Got home at a similar time to Tuesday, having had a wonderful day of it! I could have stayed later, but I had a 1030 start on the Helpline the following day.

Since I got home on Friday, I've been feeling a little odd, and it has now continued into a cough/cold, sounding rather hoarse (not horse as I initially wrote on Facebook!) Well, it has developed into the same feelings as earlier in the month – wheezing, coughing and spluttering, coughing up gunk. My doc is off today, but I think my body is missing what it had earlier in the month! Saturday was a quiet one, and we went out for lunch on Sunday.

Today, quiet one for me, C is back at work, but preparing for tomorrow. One bit of news though – I have got a letter from the OU with regards to being assessed again for T175, and it's to be in by 3rd June 2010,with result expected early August 2010. At this time, that is all I have.

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Firstly, my thanks to everyone for the birthday cards and wishes – most appreciated – and we were both rather impressed with the sheer volume of them!

Anyway, yes, it was a lovely weekend. On Friday, I'd been out to work on the PFH in the morning, then back home again. In the evening, we took a First Capital Connect train through to Kings Lynn, which is 54 ¼ miles from Royston by train, and about the same by road. As it was early evening, we had a through train, and took a cab to The Globe Hotel. We were staying there two nights, and had supper there on Friday night, as well as breakfast (well, more like brunch!) both mornings.

On Saturday, after a browse through the shops (it was wet and windy!) we had planned to sample the Norfolk Green Coasthopper service(s). We had intended to do this early last year, but for various reasons, we didn't. So,
after brunch, we went for the bus, and each bought a Coasthopper Rover – all day travel along the coast for £6 each. The ticket machines have been upgraded since this review of Elaine's visit five years ago – I think the one in Elaine's scan was a laminated Wayfarer Saver, but the company are now using Wayfarer TGX machines.

The intention was to do as much of the route as we could in one day. Well, it's actually three seperate services, which change destination. The bus starts from Kings Lynn displaying Hunstanton 35, then changes to Wells (service Coasthopper), and then at Wells, changes to show Sheringham or Cromer (Coasthopper). The buses run through with the same drivers and tickets, and it's an enjoyable 50 mile or so run each way. We started at 1225, so we went Kings Lynn – Hunstanton – Wells – Sheringham on Optare Solo 316, named Pocahontas, seen here at Sheringham at the end of the journey. The driver has reset the blind to Sorry Not In Service, which flicks on the bottom line to include not only the new Coasthopper website, but NG pages on Facebook and Twitter as well!

We had arrived here, beside the preserved North Norfolk Railway...




... and the National Rail station (for National Express East Anglia Bittern Line
trains to Norwich), which are apparently being linked for the first time in over four decades.

We had a look around the town, and found a rather nice sweet shop called The Chocolate Box amongst others, before going back for a bus back to Lynn. Our return bus, Solo 315, was dubbed Thomas William Coke, and this took us back over the same roads to Lynn. By this point, the light was starting to fade.


Upon arrival in Lynn, we went out to dinner at Pizza Express, this is Caroline...

and me!

 We had a good rest, and returned back to Royston on Sunday. We'd like to go back at some stage of the summer. Since then, we've mostly been working on the computers – the Mac I was using is on it's last legs, so now using the bigger of the two laptops as a desktop replacement computer.

It was a lovely weekend, and
you can see the pictures taken here, as well as those taken on Tuesday too.


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Hello all, well it's true, I've woken up another year older! We are off for two nights at The Globe in Kings Lynn, and are currently having a brunch.
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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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It's been an interesting weekend. I'd planned to go out yesterday to Stevenage, and we stopped for lunch first at Harvester once more. After this, we stopped at Hobbycraft. This time I was interested in a paper cutter, and it is a replacement for the one I've got that is now going blunt, and does not have cutting grids on it, so I felt good about buying a replacement – even at half price! Also bought some other bits and pieces, before getting back in the car.

From there, proceeded via Knebworth and Woolmer Green before going back onto the A1(M) for a junction or so, and coming off at the top end of Hatfield. From there, onto Hatfield Railway Station, where a semi-intentional stop resulted in the snapping of a uno Solo on the 608 (see the snowy pictures here). From there, on via Hatfield Business Park and Parkhouse to The Galleria. Nothing purchased in the relocated Paper Mill Shop (having spent a bit in Hobbycraft!) but we did stop at Julian Graves (more beans for the Jelly Bean machine) before stopping at The Body Shop, to pick up a little something. The last time I was there, I purchased an annual Love Your Body discount card (already saved the cost of it back!), which also entitles a £5 gift in the month of your birthday. So, got a nice body butter, shower cream, body scrub and lily gift set, in Moringa. Originally £12, down to £7. 10% off with card, £6.30. Deduct £5 for birthday gift, pay £1.30. ;-)


Today, we went to The Temeraire, the Wetherspoon's pub in Saffron Walden. We both had a nice meal/brunch. As we left, I spotted that they are doing a special Burns Week menu in a few weeks time – I think Caroline would like to return then!

The snow is largely melted, and the roads are mostly clear. The snow is now coming down again, but it is very light, and not lying.

On an aside, I was upset again last night. Maybe tiredness, maybe wearing off the amitriptyline (I did not have any for a few nights). For something relativity little, I'm confused as to why my mind is doing this. Never mind, weather permitting I've got three days/nights out this week, at least two next. Just two, but that will be made up by the special plans we have for this weekend!

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We had intended to go out on Saturday 2nd January, as C's cold had started to shift... but then I came down with it, and spent most of the day in bed!

Today has been better though! We drove via the A505 and A1(M) to Stevenage, for our first visit to a Harvester, which I was impressed with! Unusual that I managed to eat more from the salad cart than C, but I did make a selection of pasta with carrots, peppers, the various cripsy bits of onions bacon and croutons, finished with sweet chilli sauce!

After this, a quick stop at Hobbycraft - also for the first time, before back to Royston via the A602 and A10.
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We had a quiet one last night, watching the new year fireworks from London's Embankment on the telly. Caroline is slightly under the weather, but feeling a little better today than yesterday!

As for new year stuff, well, we are going to watch our weight this week, and make possible changes accordingly. Other things that I said I'd do, or consider, are still to go ahead. Intending also to get out and about more, and will try and meet everyone at some stage!

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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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We’ve been out three times in two days. Firstly, yesterday, we went out to see St Trinian’s 2, and today, Alvin & The Chipmunks – The Squeakquel. Both movies were fun, and with The Chipmunks, the UK gets a release before the US for a change! Anyway, this evening we’ve been out to the final yogic breathing class of the year, before the snow comes down!
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I got the paperwork from the Open University this morning re the resubmission of T175. In brief, I’ve to tell them by mid-January, but I am fairly certain that I will go for it. When combined with the award for M150, this will then be enough for a Certificate in IT & Computing, which means there is some more immediate reward for the study. While the study was certainly eye opening, I think now that two courses at once – the equivalent of full-time study – was too much to do at once.

We were out last night and today shopping. Originally I’d intended to take C out this evening, but the snow has frozen to ice, and we wanted to have a quiet one instead. The snow has not melted that much here – there are still large areas of undisturbed snow since Thursday night. Anyway, one thing that I’d been considering for some time is a DAB digital radio, which is now plugged in (to the mains) behind the monitor. After the first few attempts at aerial positioning resulted in variable sound, I think I’ve got it sussed – certainly easier than it’s predecessor.

We’ve just been discussing the environmental traps of wrapping paper. You wouldn’t think that I feel about such (with all the paperwork in the study), but I digress.


Dec. 18th, 2009 11:53 am
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It's rather white today, as it came down rapidly last night. Today was meant to be C's last day at work before the holidays, but she's working from home instead.
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I placed an order with Next some time ago, which was delayed, although it was in the midst of the catalogue going out, so I was a little forgiving. I tried again, ordering two coats on Monday, amongst other things, and they were delivered on Tuesday! See – it can work for me sometimes! C’s taken a liking to the one that was going to be going back otherwise, but the rest is all fine. Also yesterday, delivery and (re)assembly of a wardrobe (see previous posts), in "completely knocked down' form.

Otherwise, keeping very busy with lots of stuff at this end, and preparing to be out several times in the next few days.
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Now Caroline is starting to feel better, and she's on about the same level as I am. How come she loses the lurgy quicker than me? I've still got a bruise on my arm from the bloods on Thursday - never used to get that...anyway, we are just taking it easy today.


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September 2010



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