Thursday…The sun was shining

GardenAlthough it has been raining quite a lot since the photo was taken at the weekend! I took the plunge and ordered some garden furniture so I can take advantage of the patio! (If you look closely, you will see the obligatory glass of beer!) It also came in useful for a surprise visit from an old University course mate, Anne and her family. Although we have Skyped occasionally, this was the first time we had met up since just after leaving Leeds University, many moons ago! Yvoire1It was very pleasant sitting out in the garden, catching up!
My parents came down for a visit three weeks ago, over the jubilee weekend. We watched most of the celebrations on television, but there wasn’t much going on in the immediate neighbourhood. I had a quick trip to Switzerland which was very enjoyable, although the weather there wasn’t particularly good. One really good day though with a boat trip to Yvoire Yvoire2on the French side of Lac Leman (otherwise known as Lake Geneva). A very pretty and picturesque mediaeval village, as you can see from the photograph. The trip back was on a restored steam driven paddleboat, one of a fleet of eight that were built in the early part of the last century. This one was built in 1914. The picture shows part of the engine!

Yvoire3Unfortunately, I seem to have brought a summer
cold back with me, but I hope that will go soon.

The bad weather has also affected diving. I was supposed to be diving both last weekend, and two weeks before that, but on both occasions, strong winds in the Solent prevented us from launching the boat, so both were cancelled.
However, colds apart,

I am feeling well, as you can see from this photo, also taken at Yvoire!

So… Onwards and upwards! 🙂

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Friday… Mending Road (with apologies to Robert Frost)

Repairs 1It has been a few days since I updated this – perhaps the most notable occurrence was waking up one morning to find this outside the house! The road was in need of some major repair work, various roadworks and the effects of last winter’s cold weather had taken its toll, and I was pleased to see that rather than just spray and chip, the road surface was taken off and a new surface laid. It has certainly made it a lot smoother!Repairs 2I just hope it will be a long time before the road has to be dug u0p again!
No sign of another major contract yet, but I have been quite busy with things around the house and a couple of little projects. On thhe home computing front, both the web server and my own computer have been upgraded to Fedora Core 13 and the various applications also updated to include the latest security patches. I have also spent some time tidying up the gallery, tidying it up a little. I have removed some of the older photos and added a few more.

On the health front, I had my ultrasound scan this week. The radiographer said that she couldn’t see anything obvious, so I will have to wait for the doctor’s report to see what that says. If there is nothing obvious and the enzyme levels are still high, I may have to have a CT scan. There wasn’t any blood taken on this visit – the next lot will be when I have the next ECP session in three weeks time.

But before that, I have another trip to France with Mark to his house. I did make a little mix up with the dates 🙁 as I thought I was going today, but it is Monday – and having looked at the weather, I’m quite glad that we aren’t doing a channel crossing today – really wet and miserable – unlike the weather at our destination which is reported to be sunny. Not sure if it will be swimming pool weather though!

Will be on line while I am out there, so

Onwards and Upwards!


Monday… that was BoB!

In this case being a dinner in the mess at Corsham to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain and to remember the sacrifice made by “The Few”.

BoBI had travelled up to Corsham the day before to finish emptying my flat and then clean it out in preparation for handing back to the letting agency, and also taking the opportunity to go out for a curry. Cleaning and clearing continued on Thursday until it was time to go up to the mess for the dinner.
This picture shows the entrance to the dining marquee decorated to give the impression of a wartime air raid shelter.
It was an excellent evening, with a guest speaker who had been one of “The Few” and whose memory and vivid recollections brought those days back to life. Prior to the dinner we had a fly past by a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with two views shown here. The noise of the Rolls Royce Merlin engines was incredible as what was once a familiar sight was re-created for us. A truly memorable night, and one in which I met up with my colleagues from when I was a contractor, and also meet up with old friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen for some time.
Spitfire I completed the cleaning on the Friday morning (it was an effort getting up early!) but all was completed on time and the keys returned after the inventorty check. I am sorry to be leaving the area – it has been an enjoyable period and I hope the opportunity to work with the team again may turn up in the near future.

But before all this excitement I had been up to London for a check-up at Guy’s. All OK apart from a strange result from thne ECP blood test that showed an enzyme to be significantly higher that normal. This enzyme is associated with either bone or liver damage. As (as far as I know!) I haven’t suffered any fractures, it points to the liver. While I was in Corsham, the results of a second test showed that the level had dropped but is still abnormally high. The likely cause (given that everything else is normal) is a gall stone, so I will be going for an ultrsound scan just to find out. I will also be going for a lung function test – again routine, but quite welcome for reassurance if I am going to go diving again.

So generally… onwards and upwards.

(And Happy Birthday Lisa)


Tuesday… Fang Farrier beckons!

It was another good weekend, starting off with a chilli evening with Sue and Mark, and having a little play with Mark’s Ipad! Saturday was a bit of a DIY day, starting to put up some shelves for Katie, who having finished her finals is moving back home and starting a job in Basingstoke next week. It was also Katy’s birthday yesterday, but we celebrated it on Sunday with a beach hut party on the sands at Bournemouth. A bit breezy, but very sunny, as my sunburned knees showed when I got back to Corsham! Strange weather too – bright sunshine one moment, and torrential rain the next, and clearly an area of high pressure as French radio station burst through loud an clear at one point on the journey!

My contract ends in just over two weeks, and while there is the possibility of an extension, it isn’t certain, I hope I’ll know by the end of the week.

My tooth is starting to be troublesome, in that the edges are rough, but I have found a Dental Access Clinic in Chippenham, for those that either need emergency treatment or don’t have a dentist, so I hope they will fix the problem, and spur me into getting a more permanent arrangement.

But that apart, all seems to be well, so…Onwards and Upwards!


Thursday… Chilly June!

Pity about the weather – too good to last! ECP went well, although the early Sunday morning start meant that I had to travel up on Saturday evening for two nights in Gassiot Hpouse at St Thomas’s. Not too bad although the street noise on a Saturday is pretty bad, and of couirse I lost an evening at home! But we did clean up BBQ for a bit of al fresco cooking! The ECP itself was uneventful, and on completion I nipped downstairs to the eye clinic.

The considered opinion is that I don’t have conjunctivitis in the infectious sense, but I am suffereing from mechanical abrasion caused by the dry eyes, another GvHd symptom. I have upped the artificial tear regime, and I also got a prescription for another artificial tear – eyelube which, I’m told, “stings a bit”. I’ll find out tomorrow when I collect the prescription from my GP, but the more frequent use of the artificial ears has helped. I have another appointment with my optician tomorro, so we’ll find out if there has been an improvement.

I was at a trade exhibition yesterday looking at shiny web applications – which was interesting, and back in the office today, and back home again tomorrow afternoon.

And I need to find a dentist. I seem to have lost a filling – but finding one is not easy :(.

Still – Onwards and upwards!


Friday… Flaming June!

Just realised that another ten days have passed – although I have enjoyed reading the comments on the last post – congratulations to Gilian!

The bank holiday weekend was a bit chilly – however I took Rachael into Southampton to book a six week adventure trip to Australia to round off her gap year, before she starts at Cardiff University in October. Sunday was a little damp, but the weather was a bit better on Monday when I took a quick trip up to Yorkshire with friend Faith to see Jane – our friend from University who is unwell. We had a good afternoon with her in Huddersfield, before nipping over to Harrogate to see other friends from that era, Dina and Chris. I finally dropped Faith off in Oxford at just before midnight, and got back to Corsham just under an hour later. A long but very good day.

This week has seen the weather improve – always uplifting! I am taking Rachael backpack buying this afternoon when I get home, and then I am off to London tomorrow evening for an ECP session on Sunday morning, with the second on Monday morning – before going to the opthalmic clinic on Monday afternoon.

I’m pleased that the conjunctivitis seems a lot better, but it will be something I want to discuss at the clinic. I hope I’ll be able to start wearing the contact lenses again soon!

So all ticking along quite nicely… onwards and upwards!


Thursday… Polling day!

I started this entry on Tuesday with a tag line of “So that was the Bank Holiday weekend!”, but I didn’t quite get round to finishing it, and I was away in London yesterday.

It was a good Bank holiday though. On Saturday we nipped up the road to Odiham for a friend’s Birthday Party – great to see Sheila and Philip – friends from our Plymouth days – along with other mutual friends from that era.

Sunday was a bit damp and was spent at home, trying to do my tax online – which wasn’t a success! Monday was a bit brighter, but I spent some time configuring a client’s fileserver (part of an ongoing project. I also had a minor accident with a cup of coffee and an open filing cabinet! Fortunately not too much paperwork was affected and of that, a lot was fairly old and needed a sift through anyway.

I returned to Corsham on Tuesday morning, and went back home on Tuesday evening, ready for an appointment at Guys on Wednesday.

I also had some end of year paperwork to return to HMRCS, so I made a start on that on Tuesday evening, although not helped by a bit of ‘flaky’ software (supplied by HMRCS!) that prevented me from completing the return, although on Wednesday morning I discovered a ‘patch’ for it, and manged to complete it. One job completed, before it was time to nip down to the station and get the train.

This appointment was for for one of the minor check-ups by a specialist looking at specific GvHd areas. No problems – a 90 minute journey up to Guy’s, a 30 minute wait for a 15 minute appointment, and a 90 minute trip back – next appointment in six months! It was also an confirm my next haematology appointment – which is next Tuesday.

I had a bit of time at home before driving back to Corsham, so I completed another little job, a Companies House return, then it was back to Corsham for another couple of days before going back home tomorrow for an eye check and a weekend in Cornwall for a family wedding (a cousin).

So a busyish week, but generally onwards and upwards!


Monday… doesn’t time fly when you are busy!!

I was just looking at the blog and realised it is ten days since I last posted!

The cold seemed to stay stable for the rest of that week, and at the weekend, I went up with University friend Faith to Harrogate, where we stayed with Dina (Faith’s flatmate) and had dinner with the other girls from her flat (Barbara and Barbara, and their other halves, John and Rod. A really good evening, fantastic food (thank you Dina and Chris) and once again I was struck by how fortunate I am to have such enduring and deep friendships. I was reflecting on that in the sense that we went off to University to get a degree and to ‘grow up’ a bit – no-one really explained that it would be a time when such long-lasting friendships would be formed. We talked about it and we all hoped that our children will be as fortunate in their University experience.

On Sunday we went over to visit Jane (and dental student from those far off days, who is suffering from a bit of ill-health. Another group of remembered faces, reminiscences and relaxing company – and a superb tea prepared by Jane’s husband, Paul. Faith and I drove back late Sunday evening, feeling decidedly stuffed, and then I went back to Corsham!

I was at Shrivenham last Monday for a ‘project day’ when we were discussing the final year project for the MSc. I am still undecided about a project so I might defer for a year while I think about it. It also partially depends on my contract – it expires in March, and if it isn’t renewed I will have more spare time, if it is, then I think the dissertation might be difficult to fit in. Then it was back to Chippenham where I met a crowd from the office for a Chinese.

The rest of the week was busy. A silly o’clock start on Tuesday for a day trip up to the wilds of Lincolnshire – not much fun as we had sleet and then sun glare off the roads on the way back, with roadworks throwing up muddy spray.

Wednesday was in office, as was Thursday morning, but then it was another trip down to Feltham for more meetings. I arrived back in time to nip out for a curry with another group from work! I think I might have slightly overdone things though as the cold seemed to come back and I felt quite rough on Friday morning.

But the weekend was good. I cooked on Saturday evening (pre-valentines day!), and after a couple of days relaxing, I felt better for my return trip. So I hope that the cold is on its way out!

I have been having problems with e mail. My e mail provider for my main e mail name has had a few short sharp ‘phone calls from me. It still isn’t resolved, caused by their installation of a ‘new, improved’ server which I think is severely mis-configured.. I’m still reviewing my options – self hosting is one of them, but I need to investigate spam filtering first.

So on that note… Onwards and upwards! 🙂

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Friday… January 1st 2010

And a very Happy New Year to you all!

We have had a relaxing day today (well, this afternoon) after a party last night. We had a small gathering (about 26) to see in 2010, finishing at about 1:30, and had a little clearing up to do this morning – returning sound systems (Thank you Mark, sorry, neighbours (well, those that didn’t attend!)), taking down tentage (a small gazebo with a large space heater – thank you Katie, Chris and others) and disposing of the debris!

It has been a good week. After the festivities of Christmas, we had various cousins visiting on the 30th, and then into preparations for last night.

I still have a couple of days of holiday left, but I will be in London for check ups on Monday, and then driving up to Corsham on Monday evening.

So as we enter 2010 – onwards and upwards!


Merry Christmas!

A little late, I know, but better late than never!

I travelled back home on Wednesday, after most of the snow and ice had melted, and launched into the festivities. The last minute Christmas presents had arrived, and were wrapped, and there was a final flurry of shopping on Thursday morning.

Unfortunately I seemed to come down with some bug on Christmas Evening, but after an early night, I felt much better on Friday. This year we had Christmas lunch in the evening, to accommodate all the family, with ten sitting down for the traditional dinner. However, as always, I think the best meal is Boxing day with the cold cuts.

Guests are leaving today, but we have visits from various cousins this week, and a ‘bit of a bash’ on Thursday night!

So… Onwards and Upwards!


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