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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nearly time to turn over the calender!

I get really excited about this! The calander behind this PC is a US National Parks one - August has been Crater Lake NP (not been there) - no idea what September's will be (I really haven't looked! :))

So, almost September. Let's hope the weather will be better than August's was! And 1st September means that I get to post my SXG390 Mt Rainier project report - hooray, will really be glad to see it go tomorrow, as I keep finding things wrong!

It's really heavy. The Post Office now have a new way of charging - they charge by SIZE rather than by weight. However, this is both large and heavy, so they will charge a fortune, no doubt.

Also ready to go tomorrow, is S330 TMA04. So now, with SXG390 and all the S330 assignments out of the way, I can settle back to revise ... WHERE TO START!! A warning to anybody contemplating studying S330 - it's MOUNTAINS of VERY DIFFICULT material - and all for only 30 points!

4 and a half inches of books!!

Still trying to sort out the bathroom. The basin and stand arrived today - it's very nice indeed! But we've been agonising over whether to get a rectangular shower enclosure or an off-set quadrant. Finally, we decided on the rectangular, only to then discover that the flippin' shower tray is 6.5 inches high - WHY? That's no use, because we need a 4 inch plinth underneath, to take our pipes. Would need a stepladder!

Father is still very unwell. He doesn't eat. We buy him food - we cook him food - but he doesn't eat it. So, he doesn't exercise at all because he feels faint when he stands up. And he won't take his pills (the diuretics) because they make him pee and he's too weak to go upstairs. Otherwise, he is well .... I am angry at the NHS actually - they appear to have just dumped him. He's an 83 year old, frail man who's just had by-pass surgery, but NOBODY (other than the woman who comes in for half an hour each morning and writes down things like, "William was up and dressed" - but she's not medically trained), has been in to see him. A stand-in for his GP popped in the day after he came home from hospital, but that's been it! He was wheezy and had a cough on Monday night. He called for a doctor and they said to GO UP TO ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY!! So, my hub had to fetch him and take him up there! They were up there until gone midnight! We just don't ever know if what we try to do or suggest ("EAT" "EXERCISE" "TAKE YOU PILLS") are the right things to do. He needs reassurance - and not from us.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Coming up in the world!

We now have a couple of solar powered garden lights! They could do with being a little brighter though, as I just stepped on a slug and burst him ....

Took father home from hospital this morning (he had asked to go home). He is not too bad - but he is very weak and it would've been a good idea for him to have at least got beyond 'soft mash', before discharging himself. He lays down to sleep and then doesn't have the strength to get back up again.

I've finished my Mt Rainier project - oh frabjous day!! Need to do part 2 of the ECA yet - and also need to print out copies of the project and have them spiral bound. But then I shall sent it all off and forget about it (until December). I'm satisfied with it. Mostly.

I'm in the process of booking a short trip to Prague, for the end of November (when the Christmas markets are open). We're going to stay in a rather nice apartment, just off Wenceslas Square.

Everybody will be getting Kafka, wooden puppets and cabbage patties in their stockings this year!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Greetings from Devon!

Actually, it's not really that bad. There aren't that many of the things - and those that do exist, rarely turn!!

Father is much better. Still poorly, but at least back 'with us'. I wish somebody would make me better! :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

56 545 rockets in 5 seconds

Went off last night, over Plymouth Sound; a record, they hope.

I imagine that this did the atmosphere a whole heap of good!!

Meantime, my father continues not to improve. Physically he is fine and has been moved out of intensive care. But he is not 'with us'. Very worrying.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Witch's Coven II

After reading on Bill's blog that there was a new FC conference up and running for 2 weeks, to ask suggestions for the future running of OUSA conferences, I had a look. Why on Earth they didn't keep this particular conference in the (very exclusive) moderators' conference (aka Coven I), I do not know. It is swamped with moderators who just wish to tighten already tight rules, introduce more and ask for 'more protection'. If anybody suggests that less moderation and less rules might attract (or keep) more students, they are laughed out of court. It's bordering on a totalitarian state!!! Now then, I love OUSA FC conferences and have utilised them fully since I started with the OU - but why can't arguments be allowed to run their course? We are all grown-ups, for goodness sake! Over-zealous moderation stifles debate. When I was a moderator, I tried to keep out of the way - the reason I am no longer a moderator is because I didn't want to become like others in the 'coven', who see their role as moderator almost like a 'career' and a very high-flying one at that! They seem to love control and do not understand that the conferences are a place where students should feel relaxed and that they don't need big brother looking over them.

I would've written this (or something like it) onto the conference, but it would've been moderated and deleted! The conference is being run exactly as a conference shouldn't be run. In only 2 days, the number of "Urgent, moderator warning" type thingies is ridiculous!


Visited father this afternoon. Heck, he was barely coherent! I have since been told that the hospital should've prepared us for this first visit. But they didn't even ask who we were when we arrived! One young nurse did suggest that we could ask questions if we wished, but there was no privacy! She did nod in answer to my obviously concerned question, "is it the morphine?" Otherwise, we felt as though we were in the way and were ignored. We didn't even have anywhere to sit!! My youngest brother visited later and only lasted 10 minutes. Hopefully he (father) will be improved tomorrow, though I doubt that he will be ready yet for the fruit, lucozade, hobnob biccies and NEW SCIENTIST I took him in today! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What's a thrustle?

Is it a thrush?

No, I think that it's a river, here in the south-west (somewhere!), which Thrustle Ward is named after. That's the Cardiac Intensive Care unit, where my father, just in the last hour, has returned from surgery. They say he is fine.

Last night, I found myself counting grasshoppers! You know, you'd hear them making their grasshopper noises all over the garden and there'd be one here and one there and one behind the bird bath. I think there were 3, but there could've been 4.

I need a holiday! :) As it is, I'm deep into lahars at the moment - and things are actually getting written, much to my relief!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Emotions high; pressure lowered

It's been a highly emotionally charged week - one which has witnessed painful arguments and some inner searching. It is difficult to listen to your father saying that he will be on a mortuary slab next Tuesday.... GOT TO BE POSITIVE! Think of that trip to Oz, you promised yourself! I also visited my brother. The brother, who hasn't spoken to me for 8 years (for reasons only he is aware of). Whether the effort will turn out to have been worth it, only time will tell.

On the studying front, pressure has slightly lifted, due to my having worked my socks off last week, and managing to finish reading through the oceanography texts. I didn't understand most of what I read - but I did read it! I also received my TMA03 back from my tutor. 50%. Better than I'd hoped! Hardly a mark to be proud of - but, in all honesty, it fairly reflects my understanding of the plot!! So, if my calculator is right, that means that my average coursework now stands at 45.75%, which means I've PASSED THE OCEANOGRAPHY COURSEWORK - without need of completing the 4th assignment - hoorah - that's an achievement in itself! (I shall attempt the 4th assignment though, if time permits, as I've already done the first question and the rest of it *looks* a lot simpler than the previous assignments!)

So now I have put the S330 books away, and am concentrating on my project. I have bits in my head and bits all over the place. I have gathered poems and quotes and images and comments from various and helpful persons, over email. IF I put my mind to it, I could have it completed in a week or so - but I have other things to put my mind to right now.

I bought the rocking-chair. The bathroom plans are sort of undecided, I think. And I am horrified that there is no mention of allowing Nicorette inhalers onto aeroplanes.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back to normal?

I don't think so! I'm way behind on everything! I did finish TMA03 for S330 - but it's so bad, I'm embarrassed by it. I'm hoping that it'll get me 26%, so that I will have passed the coursework, without actual need to send in TMA04 (thus more time for REVISION!), but I don't even think it's worth that! So I despair of S330. SXG390 I'm similarly behind on. Well, not behind - but behind where I'd like to be. My tutor wrote yesterday (he'd been ill) to give me my mark for TMA03 - a very healthy 91%, so I can (and MUST!) get on with the project now.

My Dad has had his operation put back a week - so it'll now be 14th August. That extra week could make a difference to whether I finish either of these courses or not!

We're planning a new bathroom. Well, we're trying to plan a new bathroom. So far, we've planned to knock the wall down and have a bath and a shower (but too expensive) - we've planned in install a walk in shower (and no bath) - we've planned to install a shower bath (and no shower) - and the latest plan is to install a regular rectangular (smallish, out of necessity) shower (and no bath). But what colour do we paint the walls? And do we keep our electric shower, or do we have a shower mixer? Who will fit all this stuff? When do (can) we do the tiling? How long will our loo be out of action?

I have seen a rocking chair that I simply must have ....