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


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


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

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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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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.

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Got the course results for the study earlier in the year - M150 pass, but T175 is a "Fail - Entitled to resubmit" to which I will await further instructions in the next few weeks. We shall see how that goes before I make any more decisions.
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1. Forgot to say it's been a couple of weeks since I wound down the Amitriptyline (pills), and I've noticed an improvement, not so tired all the time!

2. As I wind down study for now, best of luck to [ profile] thermalsatsuma, who has been for his M150 induction today!


Sep. 22nd, 2009 03:16 pm
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That’s my work completed on OU modules M150 and T175. While I can’t say too much about the study, I think it would be fair to say that M150 was the better presented of the two – but don’t let that put you off!

Now working on plans for Sunday (at Showbus, for at least part of the day) and working on prepping tonight’s dinner, at the same time!
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I have completed the last two assesements for OU course M150, with one due on Tuesday, and another in a few weeks time. Now to have a break before continuing with the last for T175, which is due in midweek. By contrast, Caroline is partially rearranging the lounge!
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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.
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It’s a Sunday, and the flat here is a hive of activity. I’ve caught up with everything, even gone ahead a couple of days to do CMA43 (Computer Marked Assessment) for T175 (due in Thursday), meaning I’m actually ahead.

Why, you may ask? Well, we’re on holiday tomorrow for most of a week.

We were looking at a number of local coach operators for a holiday this year, in contrast to what we’ve both done before. The price differential was actually rather surprising. However, I came across Woottens 2009 online brochure, which had a rather nice five days/four nights in a hotel in Irvine. In just 16 days from today, Caroline has her 50th birthday, and she was born at the Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine (the one off the main road bus routes), and her parents stayed in Stevenston, although moving to Dundee soon after. So, Caroline agreed to book that for the both of us some time ago, and I’ve not said much about it here, but have done so elsewhere.

After going out on Friday for work (it was brighter than I expected, otherwise I might have done a little more), and shopping on Saturday (including a huge saving made in the Lush store in the Lion Yard's current summer promo, well over £50!), we’re now preparing for tomorrow. (Some of my random pics from Friday and Saturday can be seen via those links).

Anyway, we like, and it’s all good. Aside from getting up at 0400 on Monday to get the 787 coach to Hemel Hempstead for the coach pick-up!
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OK, so I’ve been running around a little this week, but I was exceptionally tired on Friday and Saturday. I had feelings before of hoping and getting out of the slump, but unfortunately not.

Highlights of the week…
* Getting 82% on TMA02 on Open Uni course M150. This was especially good, as the evening of the deadline saw a number of problems, including me inadvertently destroying the USB drive with the work on it, after I raised my knee into the edge of Caroline’s Mac PowerBook. Then, losing the pictures and formatting from within the document… anyway, as can be seen, a good recovery was made!
* Some good and bad moments. Lack of energy and pain is affecting my mood, as well as other issues. I’ve been trying not to get too badly upset.
* Appointment confirmed with the GIC in west London in little over four weeks time. It did look like it was going to be in the same week as my next genetics appointment, but the latter has been brought forward at my request (she said that they would if they had a cancellation). Thankfully not the same week, but also, it’s the same week at Caroline’s two appointments in the same morning at Addenbrooke’s, the cut-off date for the second CMA for T175, the BABUS AGM, as well as Fathers Day, which I have a gift to parcel up and send off in due course.
* Friday, oh dear. After getting the letter re the GIC appointment, was about ready to go out for the train to Cambridge. No, someone was on the track at London Kings Cross, so everything on the way out was at a standstill. So, I went for the bus… had to get cash, did so, managed to make it around, and it was a unexpected surprise, Stagecoach Trident 17078 on the 26! Took that into Cambridge, then onto work. After work, on the way home, my shoes managed to split at the top (canvas summer type that C somehow didn’t like after all…) and as a result, it came off my foot in the middle of Cambridge Emmanuel Street, with just a few minutes to go before the bus back to Royston. So, limped around to Drummer Street with one shoe on…
* Saturday, almost equal fun. After getting a forwarded election communication that Scottish Labour sent to my old address, asking locals not to vote SNP (not long after they’ve taken control of the City Council), I wondered what chance a Scottish Nationalist would stand if up for election in North Hertfordshire… not me, but just the chances of… anyway, we went out to Cambridge to the Lucky Star buffet followed by the cinema next door, C wanted to watch Angels And Demons, which she had also been reading. More shoe problems… mind you, following the previous day’s incident, purchase of a book on the history of footwear was an inspired purchase (perhaps) at the booksale earlier – along with a large Spanish dictionary, with attached USB drive. We’ll see.
* About to make lunch for the both of us – it is our 26 month anniversary today.
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It’s been a busy last few days, largely as I’ve had a TMA (Tutor Marked Assessment) TMA02 for my M150 OU course. Firstly, I got confused in my last post – T175 scores resulted in CMA41 (Computer Marked Assessment - multiple choice) getting 92%, whereas TMA02 for T175 pulled a 62% score.

On Sunday night, and then again on Monday night, I had real problems in sleeping – unable to remain still and calm. The Sunday was the worst I’d had it for quite a while – Caroline seemed to be upset over it, but I discussed it with her later - it’s something I’d kind of expect to start kicking off with the other HD symptoms around now. I’m getting a variety of symptoms in different things, at different times. Hopefully the sleep problems are not the start of something – indeed, last night I was fine. Given last night’s study on TMA02 for M150, not surprising. Half-done on Monday, so I was hopeful. Three-quarters done on Tuesday lunchtime, and finished by Tuesday evening – or so I thought – but the second JavaScript didn’t work. Lots of hair-tearing, but then, I managed to crack my knee off the sticking-out USB drive that held the work I’d done so far! Salvaging what I could via Caroline’s machine then meant losing the screenshots, formatting, headers and more. Never mind, got it in with a couple of hours to spare before the deadline!

After all that, another busy day, with various deliveries coming throughout the day. Having converted to a Sky package (a bit more for not a lot more), we now have an offer from o2 for broadband, which C is mulling over. It’s less than half the price of what we pay now for the back-up line, and it will mean we’ve just upped both lines in speed, and brought in a new digital HD satellite recorder, at little over the old price for two separate 8mb ADSL broadband access and phone lines. C was talking about you have to keep changing to get the best deal, and I guess it’s true in any part of the world.

Following various problems with the doctor, a complaint/access request has gone in. We’ve had the request to arrange a time to meet for the notes access request, and the complaint will be dealt with. I’d rather not have had to do it, but when you end up waiting 60-90 minutes after the time just to get in – that’s worth a whinge in it’s own right, isn’t it? Then there is everything else… as part of the complaint, I asked them to ensure that the referral request was sent to the CORRECT people, as an urgent request. Exactly what happens now is yet to be found out.
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Looking back on the last seven days, it’s been a busy week. OK, so I lost my phone, and that added a little bit more work to it.

To add to the items since my last diary post, I made my 1000th post on my LiveJournal, got the first draft of my new book arrived for proofing, been out to Cambridge and work a few times, done CMA41 (Computer Marked Assessment 41 – the 1st one) for T175, and I’ve got TMA02 (Tutor Marked Assessment) to have a look through in the next few days.

Further to last Saturday’s developments, I’ve got the plans in place now for the new look BABUS website – an initial one-page design seemed favourable, so it will be a few pages similar to the previous one, plus a Bulletin Board to add once it goes live. (I’m hoping the domain transfers in the coming week). We’ve had the Sky engineer turn up, and they managed to fit it all first time (unlike when they had to get Special Heights Team in for my flat in Dundee). I’ve been keeping busy, having good times. As well as doing a copy of my book, I did Caroline and myself a printed copy of the first two years, and it’s been interesting to see how far I’ve came – and we’ve came – in that time.

Now, plans for the next week and a bit mean I might be quiet, but I will be around. Somewhere. Like today, and I went out briefly to catch up with the new bus in town – but came back soon after dropping off at the post office. You see, it’s been a busy week, and it’s been just nice to relax with Caroline.
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74% for my first TMA (01) for M150...

"This is a solid pass for your first TMA. You have demonstrated a good understanding of much of the material covered.  You have a clear writing style and your work is well presented."

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It’s been a week of swings and roundabouts – ups and downs. The main bit of the week has been keeping exceptionally busy, with OU work, book projects, and other things besides.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We’ve just had a weekend to Kings Lynn, for the first time in a while – to celebrate our two year anniversary, almost! Plans to go further up the coast were put off by wet and windy weather, and C felt a little unwell so we stayed around the town. Had a look around the Lynn Museum (adjacent to the bus station) before returning to the Globe Hotel via the shops. Oh yeah, and another bear from Tchibo, which C has dubbed Bertie!

We got home on Sunday, unpacked, and I’ve since been working on my first complete TMA (assessment) for M150. I’ve now finished this, so I can upload it later. (Cut off tomorrow, so not quite last minute... yet!)

So now, relax and catch up with things in the next hour, before making dinner for C in a couple of hours. You can see a handful of pics from the Lynn Museum here.
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It's been a busy little while, and I'm trying to catch up, certainly showing off all my hats that I wear this week!

Yesterday, myself and seven of my colleagues attended a wonderful meeting/training day (whatever you want to call it) organised by Action for Prisoners Families at Peterborough Cathedral. Wonderful venue, interesting talks, and some interesting facts and discussions came out of it. Interestingly, in addition to providing us with the Benedict Rooms, the Cathedral provided each of us with a 15% Discount card for the adjoining Gift Shop - so, a little bear in a Friar's black robe came home with me, with a couple of other items! (Caroline has already named him Rasputin...)

Anyway, today, I was hoping to see the doc, but he's the only one in, and it is emergencies only. Never mind, I shall have a "quiet" day! We are going away for a couple of days tomoorrow to celebrate our forthcoming 2 year anniversary, it's not long till my 5 years of transition anniversary, plus, I've got a TMA to put in by the 31st. So, the latter is taking priority later today and tomorrow, but I am catching up with other things today, as much as I can. Additionally, my eBay purchase from [ profile] shullie  has not long turned up!
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Forgot to mention – I got the TMA01 back for T175, and 78% - better than I thought I'd do. Most of the struggling with the format didn’t help, but we’ll see how things go with the next one, TMA01 for M150, due in the next week and a bit.
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Busy this week, with my first TMA (tutor marked assesement) for T175, which went in a little ahead of time. Spent the next few days doing some work on the next book.

Was planning to go out earlier this week, except for the planned bad weather, that did not materialise in the end! Never mind, probably out tomorrow.
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No excuse to be lazy... but it's been okay. Time allowed has been fine, and may well balance up later. Had enough time to update the other Forms and stuff today too. As well as lunch, I made a lasgane for dinner, borrowing a few tips from a post from [ profile] lips_of_tragedy - added some spice to it too, which I thought would have weakened a little. Maybe just a little.

Tonight was the first online tutorial - one of the double booking on Saturday past was postponed to online tonight (the other wasn't), and after everyone was settled, it went well enough.
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Cut, as… Meh, you know the rest )


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September 2010



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