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Thursday, November 30, 2006

An appeal

Annie at Annie and the Spice Rack and the Alternative Anna has had a disaster. In her own words......

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Anna, and I'm a member of the University of Sheffield Singers' Society (SingSoc).

Basically we have three choirs open to staff and students and also members of the public - we focus on singing to a high standard and having fun at the same time. Usually this time of year we're busy singing Christmas carols to raise money for charity.

But this year is different.

Our choir director's car was stolen on Friday night, and along with it the 160 copies of Carols for Choirs that we'd borrowed from the University's Music Department. Neither the director's car insurance or the Music Department's insurance will pay out for the books, which will cost almost £2000 to replace. That's about 2 year's budget.

So we're on hands and knees, grovelling. We already have around £300 which we collected at our last concert, but obviously there's still a way to go yet. Please please donate something to help us, even if it's only a pound or a dollar or whatever you can spare - if enough people contribute we might even get to buy some replacement books before our carol concert!

If we don't raise enough money we won't be able to afford to hire music and concert venues, or pay orchestras. We have an outreach project planned for next year, where we will create a large choir of local kids - we'd have to cancel that. If we can't put on concerts, the Society will go bankrupt. So please help us - I really don't want to lose my choirs.

We've set up a PayPal account for donations, which you can access as follows.

1. Go to
2. Sign up for a personal PayPal account - if you've used eBay you probably already have one so you can just use that, if not it's pretty easy to set one up. Just click Sign Up at the top of the page .
3. Log In to your account.
4. Click Send Money at the top of the page.
5. In the Recipient's email box, enter
6. Fill in the amount you want to donate.
7. In the Category of purchase box, select service.
8. Click Continue.
9. Check all the details are correct. You don't need to add your postal address.
10. Click Send Money.

Thank you so much for your help. :)
On behalf of all at SingSoc.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

If you're this thick

A man has been fined $140 in South Africa for taking a week off sick ....... telling his employers he was pregnant!

The bloke stole the form during his girlfriends pregnancy checkup.

The chap was unaware that only women consult a gynaecologist.

For some reason his employer became suspicious.....


The highlight of my journey to work from a Fox scampering across the road near to Chigwell Row. He made it.

I've just discovered that year-end is totally different this year. Not certain whether this is good or bad but one of the weekends I normally work I won't need to. It's good as I won't be in bad as I won't get time in lieu towards a break......

May I direct your attention to my wildlife blog. I'm interested to know what RSPB members think of the RSPB's decision to buy land in Poland.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yet Another Trip to the Doctors

As my cough and voice continue to give grief (both improving but at glacial pace) i had another doctors appointment this afternoon.

On my way home I stopped in Comet to get a new mouse as my freebie from a conference broke. I eventually picked one up for £14.99.

Checkout Girl - £4.99 ooh that's a bargain me
Me - not bad is it.

£4.99!! Result.

Anyway I saw my fourth different Doctor !! She examined me and reckons the Bronchytis is just slow to go but as a precaution I got sent for a chest x-ray results in 2-3 weeks.

Monday, November 27, 2006

White Rabbit Update

I left the office to football rattles or if you prefer a pair of Mistle Thrushes!

I was pleased to see the White Rabbit sitting in its field today. Haven't seen him in a while.

Some blog admin

I've been receiving a few "anonymous" comments lately. All of these have been constructive and appreciated BUT one poster has not left their name so I have no idea who they are. So please please leave a name, so much less impersonal don't you think.

If your comments don't appear blogger has lost them. I have never not published something and always will unless I find the comment insulting (or you're an Aussie gloating over the cricket ;) ).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Joys of New Technology

I did battle with a video this morning. I was trying to fit my parents old video to there new telly. The instructions made no sense and I almost gave up. I eventually stuck the video to playing a cassette and auto re-tuned every station and luckily it found the video - woo hoo!!

My USB mouse has broken. Ok it was a freebie and a conference but it is a right pain. I'm have to use the mouse pad :(

Diddums reports that bloglines has not been reporting updates to the blog. Not sure why. I've noticed that bloglines is missing certain blogs and all seem to be blogger.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nostalgia Again

I awoke to wind and rain oh and England being crushed by the Aussies.

When eventually I dragged myself out of bed I went to London Colney. No I wasn't visiting the In-focus branch there to look at optics, I went to Borders bookshop.

As I was browsing I came across the graphic novel section. I was surprised by the number of reprints of comics from when I was a lad. There were reprints of Batmans and Supermans, I was never a big fan of DC comics (who published those two comics) Superman who was virtually all powerful was never up against opponents who believeably could beat him. They also had reprints of Marvel comics, Spiderman, Thor, the Avengers, X-Men all of whom I fondly remember and had real opponents. They had a volume of the Fantastic Four which featured the classic battle between the Thing and the Hulk. I remember this vividly as I was about 8 when it was eventually published in the UK and I was ill and my Dad went and bought it for me before going to work. It's odd the things you remember but I can remember many of the old comics i used to read and the characters and the stories.

They also had collections of a comic called Commando which was war stories. I don't remember commando but I do remember War Picture Libraries and Battle Picture Libraries which were similar. Harlow market used to have a stall where you could buy back issues of these cheaply.

Sea side holidays used to see a different type of comics. They had titles called Uncanny and Astonishing (and others) which had vaguely supernatural stories all of which were American. Curiously you never saw these titles inland. Of course this variation doesn't happen now.

I know all my old comics are in the parents attic, they've probably rotted I guess but i bet if I took them down and they were readable I'd spend many a happy hour reminiscing.

Friday, November 24, 2006

So would you commit perjury?

Laura Campbell is going to prison for 4 years. Her crime? She gave her brother a false alibi for the night he committed murder. Not only did she give a false alibi she later repeated this under oath in court.

Of course lying under oath for a loved one is not that unusal. Maxine Carr did it in the Soham case.

Loyalty to ones family and friends is seen as a admirable quality these days. You don't stitch up your mates you stand by them. Loyalty is one thing but lying is another.

I am not certain what I would do? Do any of us? I suspect I am a) too much of a coward and b) too honest. I think I probably would say no but who knows until you are in that situation.

So what would you do if a family member or friend asked you to lie on oath to give them an alibi in such a situation?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I have booked an appointment with the Doctor for Tuesday. My voice is coming back sssoooo slowly and I have had enough. Hopefully the voice will now come back so I can cancel the appointment!!

It's nostalgia central time folk. The "stars" of The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop are reuniting for a one off "special". Obviously Noel Edmunds is "box office" after the sucess of Deal or No Deal.

Not to be out done Chris Tarrant is doing a similar "special" for TISWAS.

It's all very exciting isn't it. TISWAS was supposedly "anarchic" although I'm sure most people watched it for Sally James. Swap Shop involved kids offering to swap one toy for another.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


My alarm is set for the ridiculous time of 5:40, I know its always hard getting up this time of year, its dark!, but after two weeks off its harder than normal.

My body has decided it really really doesn't want to get up! The alarm goes and I really have to struggle to get up and then get moving. Last night I even went to bed 20 minutes early just so I could have some "quality" time snuggled up under the duvet.

The weather forecast looks poor for Satruday so I expect I won't be picking the bins up and flying off. More likely just pulling the duvet up and snuggling down.

Ye gods is that sad.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Robert Goddard

I've been struggling to read recently. I'm not quite certain why this should be, ok I haven't been at my best but still I should have been reading more.

Of course yahoo chat and blogs eat into time but given how little time I spend watching telly I'd have thought I would have made more progress.

Anyway Sunday afternoon I FINALLY finished the Dark Room by Minette Walters which was ok but not one of her best. I immediately reached over to pick up the latest by Robert Goddard - Never Go Back.

For a group of ex-comrades, it is to be the reunion to end all reunions: a weekend in the Scottish castle where they were guinea pigs in a psychological experiment many years before. They haven't seen each other since. But the convivial atmosphere on the journey north is quickly shattered by the apparent suicide of one of their party. When a second death occurs, a sense of forboding descends on the group. It appears that the past is coming back to haunt them, a past that none of them have ever spoken about. Their recollections are all frighteningly different. So what really happened? Then when one of them uncovers an extraordinary secret, he becomes convinced that they will never leave the castle alive...

I read the first page and the protagonists name rang a bell.... Harry Barnett..... Oh he was in Into the Blue (one of Goddard's very best) and Out of the Sun.

Anyway I read 149 pages of this Sunday and I didn't spend my lunch hour perusing the net but read another 80 pages and finished it last night. There is something about Goddard, he has that ability to make you read on to find out what happens.

Never Go Back is only average Goddard but still eminently readable, I ought to add that even at his worst he is readable at his best addictive. For anyone new to him I'd recommend Into the Blue, Caught in the Light or Past Caring (his first and the first I read, read on one Sunday afternoon if memory serves).

I'm now reading Book 11 of the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I HOPE there is only one more. Don't think this will zip along quite as quickly. But after so long I want to see how it ends.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A good motorway service station!

If you are anything like me you hate motorway service stations. Petrol is expensive but that is nothing compared to the price of a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Refrains of "£3.50 for a pre packed cheese sandwich" are known to utter my lips.

So for me they are places to eat the sarnie I bought from Tesco, drink my flask, buy a paper and have a "comfort break".

So I was intrigued to read about Tebay service station at Junction 38 on the M6. Tebay is family owned it has homemade food, with beef and lamb from the farm. The sandwiches are fresh daily. The farm shop offers local produce - meat, cheeses, fruit and veg. Sandwiches are still expensive but if they are tasty and fresh that is an improvement on the normal prepacked rubbish. There are views over Howgill Fell, while outside picnic areas are made of sympathetic stone. There is even a pond. With ducks!!

A pity I didn't know this last summer, sounds like it was worth a detour.


Well I'm in the office working away! Not too many emails to get through. Voice still awful but it'll come back in the next few weeks or so.

I have to admit that its sort of ok to be here but getting up was a pain in the neck. I got used to the lay ins!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


One of the trees had its trim the other week. Look what we found.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

There is an outside

Well after it chucked it down yesterday it was bright and sunny today so I decided I had enough of four walls.

I first went to Bishops Stortford as I wanted to get hold of the 2007 editions of Hudson's Historic Houses and the Daily Telgraph Good Gardens Guide. Hudson's is the bible for the visitor to historic houses, it contains all the open houses with opening dates and times and facilities. The Telegraph book does something similar for gardens and has some ratings - with which I don't always agree. Will have to try Epping next week.

Went on to Rye Meads. Very quiet but when you've seen nothing for weeks common ducks, moorhens and coots have an appeal. Makes you appreciate how attracitve Blue Tits are. A few Common Gulls about and the Fox was about.

I've decided that i want to visit Hay-On-Wye next year and will amalgamate with a trip to Buckinghamshire. This will be in May, annoyingly West Wycombe Park doesn't open until June but there are loads of places in Bucks to visit.

I won't see as many birds next year as my holidays will be less bird orientated as I'll be avoiding the coast, with the exception of two long weekends in Norfolk.

Did some changes to my fantasy footy team and guess what two players I dropped scored. Kicks floor.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Me - An update

Well I feel fine. My appetite is returning. That said I never really feel hungry. This is a very rare situation for yours truly. I have a packet of biscuits and I've eaten .... 2. Shakes head in shock.

The voice is still naff BUT very slowly getting better. I reckon another week before its back to normal.

I'm not moaning my Mum now has got a bad cough - not from me, I've kept out of her way - does she need this on top of her other problems? No!! So of course I know I'm not badly off.

The last week has been interesting I've pottered about and not been too bored. You would think if I had any sense I'd have read my camera manual!! You would think I'd have read quite a lot but i have read very little. I don't really know where the time has gone. I know for the first week I was VERY lethargic.

Whats curious is the book I'm reading is by the very readable Minette Walters (The Dark Room) and the next the new Robert Goddard (equally readable).

Oh well two days and then back to work. Unless of course I win the Euro Millions tonight. So back to work Monday ;)


For all you Terry Pratchett fans out there......

It seems that Hogfather has been turned into a film. It'll be shown on Sky at Christmas

Thursday, November 16, 2006


In a fit of boredom yesterday I took my paperback copy of England's 1000 Best Parish Churches yesterday (the one that sits in the car) and ticked off all the churches I have visited. The idea being that I could then see where i need to go to give the list a boost.

Given I can discount Greater London I was left with the following destinations.

North Devon & Somerset. Nice area. I specifically need to go South of Bristol and North of Wells which is ok by me as I'd like to visit Tyntesfield.

The midlands. Notts, Northants, Leicesershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire. I want to go to Northants as it has some lovely houses (and villages) as well as churches I haven't visited. I just wish the houses didn't ALL have the same restrictive opening hours!! But trips to Staff/Shrops and Northants/Leics look likely.

South/West Yorkshire - shudder it has to be done but the area around Sheffield and Doncaster is not the same as the North Yorks Moors. Might get put off for a year.

Durham - I have driven through it and indeed stopped to look around Durham cathedral but somewhere else I ought to go to.

Still I reckon trips to Staffs/Shrops, Northants/Leics, and Devon North Somerset are on the cards for the next year.

I need to do Cornwall but that will have to wait. Comments like why didn't you this year come to mind.

Going back to London not only are there some churches I need there are some lovely buildings. Syon, Kensington Palace, Chiswick, Ham and Osterley are all places I'd like to visit. One day...............

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The State Opening of Parliament

I got to watch the State Opening of Parliament today.

Its a strange event. The Crown is delivered separately by the Master of the Queens Closet (or some other implausible title), the chap from the BBC made big play of how important it was that it was transferred to the right cushion.

We got to watch lots of soldiers wander around in strange costumes from the 16th century.

Then black rod marches to the commons who slam the door in his face. He raps the door 3 times they let him. He tells them the Queen commands their presence in the House of peers and off they trapse. Tony and Dave having a nice chin wag. Oh and Dennis Skinner asked if "Helen Mirren was doing the gig".

I do wonder what those overseas think of it. I appreciate that many of the jobs once had real purpose but now they are purely ceremonial. It does seem a bit anachronistic to see Beefeaters wandering around.

Then again there is alot that is anachronistic about our democracy. 26 Bishops can sit in the House of Lords, they are CofE Bishops I might add. God forbid any nasty catholics get to sit there (there are good historical reasons for this). You also get the Law Lords. Then again they aren't there by donating money to political parties so you could argue they are better than all the cronies.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Watching DVD's

well I've had enough of day time TV so for the past two days I've been watching Battlestar Galactica Series 1.

The basic premise is the same as the "classic" series of the eighties. The Cylons destroy the 12 Colonies and a rag tag armada of civilian craft led by the lone surviving Battlestar (the Galactica) search for the mythical 13th colony.... Earth.

Annoyingly I haven't seen the mini-series which sets the scene and shows the colonies destruction.

A big difference to the original is that some Cylons have evolved and look and feel like us. Our friend maybe a Cylon.

Is it Science Fiction? well it has a space setting but like most SF it reflects the times it was made. Its dark and edgy. Lots of dark pyschology. Lots of origina characters are there if different. Balthar for example is not quite the dark traitor of the first series. He has a female cylon some how infecting his mind like a virus. And may I say this Cylon is ever so HOT!!!

Enjoyable? Watchable? Well I want to get hold of the mini-series and the series 2. I don't think its as good as Babylon 5 but its a damn sight better than 99% of most TV SF.

Monday, November 13, 2006

in out shake it all about.

So the alarm goes off and I can't decide if the rash was better.

Still off to work. answer emails etc. My head of department questioned whether I should be in, "I feel fine" but she was nice enough to say I've lost weight - woo hoo.

Anyway phone doctors up about rash and was told had to see Triage Nurse. At 11 saw Nurse who said "oh my word I haven't got a clue". She stuck me in a side room (in case I was "infectious") and made an immediate appointment.

The doctor says it looks like an allergic reaction and has changed my drug. Oh I'm signed off til Wednesday. I've had 7 days off and in my previous 24 years had 6.5 days off.

I can't take day time TV luckily Tesco had the first series of Battlestar Galactica (doesn't include mini-series but stuff it) so excuse me.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back to Work

Well I think I am back tomorrow. Still lost voice so lots of communications by email. I have a rash now but I think its due to the drugs so unless its worse tomorrow morning....

I don't think I could take another week of daytime telly.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Is there a Spielberg Western on BBC2?

One of the "joys" of being off work is day time TV. I have at least managed to avoid the trashy programs like Trisha.

There seem to be loads of shows where members of the public try and sell there antiques. One such is Cash in the Attic. The idea is that an "expert" goes around your house finding stuff you can take to auction to raise the money you NEED for that special purchase.

On Monday an elderly Mother was raising money to send her daughter and best friend to a Health and Beauty Spa. She needed to raise a £1000 ooh the tension!! Well there was none, for a start the Mother and Daughter often visited the Spa so they obviously had a bob or two. The daughter was that type of woman who thinks she is twenty years younger, undeniably "good looking" for her age but dressed like she was 25 not 50. The fact that they easiy "found" £2500 stuff just went to show they were well off. Struck me as an exercise is self grandisement.

David "perma tan" Dickinson has a new show where members of the public there goods to experts who make them an offer or they can go for Auction. I did chuckly at the expert who offered £25 for two Moorcroft vases "well they've got some damage" which subsequently went for a lot more. Should have stuck to Bargain Hunt Dave.

There is the odd good film and program and its not really any worse than the rubbish fed to us at night.

The other thing is for some reason I think BBC 2 have a Spielberg Western on tonight. I mention it because if the BBC do yet ANOTHER advert for it I'm writing a disgusted of Tonbridge Wells!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Poppy

John Snow, presenter of Channel 4 news, is refusing to wear a Poppy on air.

Mr Snow says he wears a poppy off-air but refused to wear any symbols on on-air.

The day before a Christian lobby group urged people people to exchange the traditional red remembrance poppy for the "more Christian" white poppy.

Firstly I've never seen a white poppy and anyway red was selected as that is what found on flanders field.

On the wearing of a Poppy? Well I seldom do. I rarely wear a suit jacket (I wear a collar and tie to work but a casual jacket) for a start. I haven't bought one this year but if there is a box in the office on Monday I'll throw some change in but I still doubt I'll wear one it'll sit on the desk.

Its not disrespect its personal choice. Remember in your own way.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Interest Rates

Well my god the Bank of England have raised interest rates to a massive 5%!!!!

I bet you are all gnashing your teeth over this huge amount.

Now it makes me laugh because when I took the mortgage out on my flat back in 1986 I started off paying 11%! I bet that would get a few people windy. I remember the day Norman Lamont went mad and interest rates hit 15%.

I remember the day when the Investment Bank I worked for gave us a package when they'd pay us anything above 8%. I was in heaven as I was promoted that day.

In all the years I had a mortgage I never paid less than 7%. My father in all the year he had a mortgage never paid less than about 9%.

I do wonder what would happen if we ever had a return to high inflation and high interest rates.

Of course nowadays you can stick your money in a savings account and get 5% which for a basic rate tax payer is a 4% return given inflation is "officially 2.5% you are getting a real return on your money. In the past we got high rates BUT we never got more than inflation.

So folks don't panic 5% is nothing. It can get much much worse.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What you find out

As I write this I am listening to the Radio. They happened to mention how West Virginia became split from Virginia (North West Virginia refused to secede and so split from the rest of the State during the American Civil War).

Anyway it had lots of info on the state and so I thought I do a search on my home county and then town.

On my home town I discovered that Old Harlow used to be simply Harlow. The new town was started in 1947 and is an amalgam of "Old Harlow" and the villages of Great Parndon, Latton, Little Parndon and Netteswell. My gran for instance always addressed cards with Great Pardon in the address line.

Anyway i started looking at Election results and the Harlow Constituency only goes back to the Feb 1974 election and I wondered what happened before. Well apparently we were lumped with Epping (in 1974 Epping Forest and Harlow were created as separate constituencies).

Now the MP in 1974 was a fellow called Stan Newens. So what happened before?

Imagine my horror to discover that in 1970 Newens lost the Epping Seat (he had been MP since 64) and that for 4 years my MP was .... Norman Tebbit.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An Update

Well I've been off the past few days and this afternoon I decided I was not getting better. I drove to the surgery explained that I had seen a doctor and that it seemed to be making no impact. The receptionists in the flesh are human ("he's obviously not well") and fitted me in and so I am now signed off to Monday (first time EVER!!!) and on a stronger drug.

I still have no energy, can barely talk and have no appetite. Flu and Bronchytis.

So I have a diet of day time TV to look forward to for a few days.

Lock Them Up or Let Them Out?

Did anyone else watch this on BBC 2 9pm? It was the first of three programmes showing the deliberations of the Parole Board. It was interesting listening to the different panels and how they reacted to the individual cases.

It was pretty easy to guess who was going to be released. Well it was if you had read the Radio Times because their reviewer admitted to coming to different conclusions on all 3 cases. The Parole Board have to determine if they are likely to reoffend whilst on parole, not likely to reoffend ever.

Last nights cases were
Mukhtar brutally murdered his brother's wife in 1987, three months after he arrived illegally into Britain. Since his conviction he spent time at a secure hospital believing he was God. Now, back in a high security prison, he says he's safe to release. His brother believes he is still evil and should die in prison.

Barry led a gang of armed robbers, the proceeds of his violent robberies were used to feed his £600 a day crack cocaine habit. Sentenced to twelve years he wants to get out after serving just six years and claims he is no longer a danger.

Michael settled a personal vendetta with the police by firebombing his local police station with Molotov cocktails. Diagnosed with a personality disorder he says his score is settled and will not re-offend.

The only one not to get out was Barry. The Panel weren't convinced that his "business plan" was viable if his relationship broke up (he met the women whilst in prison) and that it could drive him back to drugs, oh and a Canabis admission last year didn't help. I felt a degree of sympathy for him since he seemed sincere and had obviously put alot of effort in trying to get something "out" of prision.

Mukhtar looked lossed. He didn't speak English, he apparently showed some remorse. He was deported and he was deported. His brother, whose wife he and his sister murdered, was devastated.

Michael was a bit scary. But the panel thought he was unlikely to reoffend in the brief period of time he was getting parole and that is the thing they consider.

Strangely the panel only get to meet the parolee if he's a lifer, for Michael and Barry its a totally paper exercise.

I found it a compelling hour.

Monday, November 06, 2006

US Mid Term Elections

Our Cousins across the pond have a big election tomorrow. Its always fun to see what the big issues are.

You have the odd sex scandal, Iraq, Tax etc but I'm always puzzled to see that for many people its gay weddings and abortion. In America these are BIG issues in the UK I suspect they don't even register..... yet!

Over here the leader of the Conservatives David Cameron is positively embracing the idea of gay weddings. Wonder how our Dave would get on with Dubya and the Religious right?

I've no idea who will win, but I do believe Bush needs some checks. That said it would be sad to see the one Republican, Senator Lincoln Chafee, who had the guts to vote against Bush over key issues get kicked out because he's a Republican.

To few politicians have conviction these days.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


For the first time in over 4 years I spent a Saturday confined to the house. Got out of bed at 10 lazied around, drove to Tesco to get papers and then spent spent the afternoon watching Star Trek repeats and doing suduko's.

I still have little appetite. Food yesterday was soup and cereal. I think I can afford to lose the "odd" pound ;) Its odd I've not felt this rough since the xmas I moved into the house (1994).

Watched Strictly Come Dancing and lazed around again.

I got cat naps last night but did get some sleep just fitful.

I went around Mum's for lunch it was like being a kid I had my old standby Tomato Soup and Mashed Spuds ;) But I felt awful, I kept nodding off but it was the effing heat as soon as I got home I was much better. No wonder mum is always nodding off.

What to do this afternoon? I've stuck Fellowship of the Ring on. Peter Jackson has done a super job.

I think i'll be off tomorrow I need a bit more rest. My first sicky in 4 years.....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A bit Gross - you've been warned.

I awoke at 3am Friday hacking away.

I at first thought this was good as I was bringing "stuff" up. I never got back to sleep and went into work.

The thing is at home you can sit and hack and at work you can't. Annoyingly I had two meetings Friday afternoon one at 3:30 luckily this was cancelled (the ograniser Sick!!) and good old Denis told me we could do the first next week.

So I thought stuff this I'll head off (when I talk I cough). I was feeling like there was a vice around my throat so I went in the Doctors.

R - is it an emergency
Me - well I'm not going to die. COUGH COUGH YEURGH
R - ok 6:10

At about 6:20 I saw a doctor. I fully expected to me told it would go of its own accord. But he examined said I had had a touch of flu and minor Bronchytis was mentioned I think!!!! And no I wasn't infectious.

He gave me Penicillin and some syrup to open me up so that when I coughed.....

I shot to a chemist and took the first dose.

John arrived at 9:30 to pick the tripod up and I coughed away.

I took another dose at 11 and told Nic and Jan I'd have to dip the lunch we had planned..... :(

I awoke at 3 and continued bringing stuff up but I got back to sleep.

I felt lethargic this morning, eaten very little but I'm starting to pick up a bit. Stuff STILL coming but I'm feeling a bit more human.

I'm gutted over the meet and the ratbags won't send me photos. But I haven't had man flu!!

Friday, November 03, 2006


76. Did you think/hope/wish/worry i'd forgotten about this????

77. What's the best thing you've done this week?

78. Recall the last time you were frightened.

79. What makes your skin crawl?

80. Which film/book has scared you the most?

81. Maybe hypothetical, but what would be your costume for Halloween?

82. Do you derive much pleasure from frightening people?

83. Seen a ghost? Any interaction?

84. Have you ever used a Oueeja board? And?

85. Got E.S.P? Did you 'feel' i was going to ask this question?

86. What's this question about then.....Huh cleverclogs?

87. Trick or Treat?

88. What did you give the kids who 'come a knockin' on Halloween night?

89. What do you do (which could be seen by others) that's kinda autistic?

90. There are no more questions. (but are there really?)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cough Hack Cough

I treated my colleagues to the 1812 overture this morning. I'm not entirely certain they were impressed.

I decided no enough was enough I'd make an appointment to see a Doctor.

Ring Ring Press Button.
Receptionist - Hello
Me - Can I make an appointment to see a doctor
R - Is it an emergency?
Me - Well uh no.
R - Well its emergencies only today (I later learned it was townwide training this afternoon)
Me - ok tomorrow?
R - No you'll have to phone at 8:30 for a morning appointment and at 14:00 for an afternoon one.
Me - next week?!?
R - 14:20 Monday ?
Me - SIGH ok

I later spoke to the pharmacist who said that it was probably a viral infection and could take 3 weeks. no treatment keep taking the cough medicine to ease it!!

So I am sitting here sucking a Halls soother.

If I feel better Monday I'll cancel the appointment.

Now I do understand what the doctor is doing. By restricting appointments he can claim he is actually seeing people within the deadlines improving his BVPI. Its called working the system. I work in Local Government, been there mate. To be fair that isn't what the Government intended but if a doctor doesn't do it his BVPI is low and questions are asked..........

Of course you and I are partly to blame, we moan about taxes so the government introduces some stat to ensure your money is well spent. I seem to be spending most of my time on these jolly whizz wheezes

Luckily I work in IT and don't have to deal with the public. But next time you moan about lazy council officers I suggest you get a job on the front line. There is a lot wrong with Local Government but it employs some hard working people who of course get no thanks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday 1st November

Note to self when you make a flask you put the stopper in!! Doh!! Still I managed some breaky today.

It was freezing and started raining so I headed straight home.

BUT I decided to visit West Walton Church. Its one of the few on the area on my list I've not done. So 607 (I had miscounted by -1 a while back!! only 393!!)

It was open. It has no stained glass so is so bright!!

The bell tower is separate and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Rather fine I think.

Not my top holiday of the year as I haven't been 100%. Still nice to meet up with some great people.

Tuesday 31st October

Ok this is serious!! Breakfast was toast!!!! I stopped of at the land of the Chelsea Tractor (Burnham Market) to get a bottle of cough medicine.

I went to Holkham to try and find the Black Guillemot but no joy, I later found I had to walk further. Still Red Throated Diver, various auks and a nice Slav Grebe.

Dinner comprised a Jam doughnut!!

The weather was getting rather nasty so I parked up and read.

Managed a main course ( I sound a total wimp!!) then finished my book and watched the footy!

Monday 30th October

After an even lighter breakfast!!

Malcolm had asked if that really was a spire on Titchwell church. Its called a Hertfordshire spike.

Off to Salthouse for some seawatching. I won't bore you as I saw much that I had already seen.

My appetite was fast diminishing, lunch was a pack of biscuits.

I've always meant to pop in to Burnham Thorpe church. Its not on my list but its fame is that Admiral Horation Nelson's father was rector there and the young Nelson worshipped there.

Really struggled with dinner!! Still doing well on the book reading front!!

Sunday 29th October

So after a light breakfast!! Off ot Cley. 8 of us met up and went to find the White Rumped Sandpiper which seemed to have flew for a while. Still loads of Ringed Plovers and it was nice to find two Little Stint so Tricia had a size comparison with Dunlin. One Pipit that Diane, Keith and I failed to id before it flew.

Perhaps the stars for me though were some very showy Little Grebe and Stonechat.

So down the famous East Bank.

Off coast John put us on to Little Auk and there was also Gannets, Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill and Red Throated Divers.

We broke up at lunchtime. I was feeling tired so thought I'd go to Felbrigg for lunch and a stroll but I really struggled to eat my sarnie and couldn't face a walk. So dear readers I went to Binham Priory to take some photos for you! Binham is a lovely church it was a priory but was dissolved at the reformation. 7 of the 9 bays of thee old nave are still in use as the Parish Church.

You can see how much of the church and priory was demolished!!

The rest of the priory is in ruins and is in the care of English Heritage.

Whilst taking the above photos I had a Barn Owl fly through!!

Had a very nice evening with EB and Malcolm.

Saturday 28th October

So off to Norfolk to meet up with a few folk and then a few days on my own.

I had a cold (no not Man flu Nic!!) which had turned into a hacking cough but hey.

Anyway at 9:30 a group of us met up. I didn't take photos of everyone but.....

So we have Cherrypie

Corinna writing up her list.

John preparing for the off.

Diane showing how alert the birder needs to be.

CP again - I need to get hold of Corinna's photo eh CP ;)


John smiling away.

So down to the beach to join the throng searching for the Surf Scoter, well I never actually found it but Scott had and so I saw it in his scope.

Quite a few Velvet's which were nice to see amongst the hundreds of Common Scoter. Also a close in Red Throated Diver. On the beach were Turnstone, Bartail Godwit and Sanderling.

We headed back for brunch. I ordered a bacon bap and a sausage bap BUT I couldn't face the sausage !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily CP helped me out. Whoosh! it was gone!

So back down the hides for: Dunlin, Redshank, Spotshank, Avocet, Brent Geese, Black Tail Godwit, loads of different ducks, Grey Plover, Knot, Ruff, Ringed Plover and Marsh Harrier.

It was feed the birds day and the RSPB had the world's biggest birdfeeder.

I've probably missed stuff but that gives a flavour.

Some of us met for dinner that night and enjoyable though it was I wasn't 100% I struggled to eat AND I had to go to my room at 8:40 and the next thing I knew it was 10:30!