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Saturday 31 January 2009

following trains of thought

itsmee wanted to know about visiting to Iceland.

Studying geosciences led me to membership of OUGS Open University Geology Society. Ever since I first studied geology at school, the place I wanted to visit was Iceland. It became my trip of a lifetime, my must do, I had to find some way to get there.

Reading a fiction book [insert details here] which described Iceland's scenery and a journey across it's wild interior, fuelled my intention to visit 'sometime'.

The opportunity arose when OUGS organised a field trip and I hastened to claim a place.
So, I flew from Manchester to Glasgow, met up with the rest of the group and had the happy experience of flying (Icelandair) to Reykjavik.

We had expert tuition from a retired prof of Geology who, having spent years in Iceland, had a network of Icelandic friends and contacts. Travelled by coach with Jan (driver) and a cook.
It was a great set-up. The idea being to make an economical journey visiting the sights without overspending. We split into teams of four, each taking a turn to help the cook with the catering.

Travelling the Golden route in the reverse direction to the usual tourist trips and staying in a series of varied accommodation ranging from guest house to community halls.

Friday 30 January 2009


Ievan Polkka Lyrics

has fallen for the latest Ready Brek ad music

Fun Monday - The Lurchers

So for Fun Monday on 2nd February, firstly tell me what book you are reading now. What's it about? Are you enjoying it and why? If not, why not?

And secondly, if you were to be stranded on a desert island, what one book would you take with you.

Now this is a meme I can truly relate to

Memories are made of this?
Thinking back many moons to when I was in the lower sixth and thoroughly enjoying learning.

The desert island topic was set by English lit teacher
I was given A- and although 'happy' with the A could not understand the minus attached to it. Still to this day I do not know why it was A-
Scoured the prose and couldn't find anywhere a place that lost marks.

Typically, happiness marred by *what if?*

The set of books that inspired me now and still do?
Lord of the Rings

First read about the age of 12 and still returned to often.

Another memory surfaces

Being at a Grammar school there were competitions that we were expected to take part in
One of which was
*Spoken English*
A total 'no-no' for the likes of me with a then broad Lancashire accent
However, the first class reading (individual) was chosen by Miss Kippax
Anita and I grinned broadly when we saw it...
Because it was none other then the opening paragraphs from 'The Fellowship of the Ring' by J R R Tolkien
Words we both knew by heart having already become so familiar with them.

Fast forward in time to the release of the first of the LOTR films, and Nita n I watching in the cinema, unable to control ourselves from quoting word for word as the film unfolded the story.

Am reading two books, not one.

Barack Obama (President)

Terry Pratchett (Disc world)

Thursday 29 January 2009

another idea

Name a book you own that you don’t think any of your friends own.

“Because you died” poetry and prose from the First World War and after by Vera Brittain

I read A Testament of Youth ages ago, and Jo Brand did a TV programme about Vera Brittain; from which I learnt about this book of poems. This led to me purchasing the book. Started reading, but still only done the first few pages as it is such a thought provoking work.

2. Name a movie you own that you don’t think any of your friends own.

Here, I’m guessing cos I think am the only one that really goes for Will Smith. But I might be wrong.

“Hancock” bought for Christmas, but I still have not yet viewed.

3. Name a CD you own that you don’t think any of your friends own

This is where I cheat a little, and opt for a music CD I have just ordered.
Breakfast on BBC 1 introduced me to a harpist, Catrin Finch and her new recording of Bach, arranged for the harp

4. Name a place that you have visited that you don’t think any of your friends have visited.

This is the only easy one to answer; Iceland is the place and although I was supposed to be planning another trip there for 2009 with Nita, events have overtaken us all.

5. Name a piece of technology or any sort of tool you own that you don’t think any of your friends own.

Another tough question seeing as we are all pretty much similar in our ownership of tech devices.

I think I'm the only one with a DSLR camera as opposed to ‘point and shoot’. No, wrong again – Helen has a DSLR Nikon with which she took some fabulous images on her African photo safaris.

This needs thinking about...

It would be better to reword the meme to Name a piece of technology or tool that your friend owns and you would like to own.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

pot pourri

Looking at various blogs, I came across one with an award system and thought I might *borrow* that idea.

Saturday 24 January 2009


Recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, I took the prescribed meds Calcium-channel blockers for three months and noted side effects.

They included

  • headaches
  • swollen ankles
  • and dizziness
Latest appointment with GP went less than smoothly.

*arriving for 9 am I was told the appointment was with another GP, one I'd never met!
*asked if I'd asked for a particular GP; I told them the name of the GP I had been seeing regularly
*finally another appointment was made for 10.40 with the correct GP

Kept the appointment and after taking BP and discussing side-effects GP decided to change meds again.

Once I reached home again I checked the docket to find listed side-effects.

Latest meds can have an adverse impact on

  • kidneys
  • digestive tract
  • respiratory system
  • skin and other tissues
and many more...

Then I read that these meds affect Raynauds! I already have Raynauds!
so, I dread to think what the next month of taking the meds will bring...

Wednesday 14 January 2009


The 1911 census has appeared online and this led me down memory lane. The 1980s were traumatic, never having had the luxury of a big or even close family, that decade robbed me of the few relations I once knew.
Singly, but with persistent finality, death claimed the remaining members of my family.

A long-lasting effect of that decade has been loss of memory. The brain can only cope with a certain amount of stress; so, when the level is high enough it goes into shut down, a kind of fugue state blacking memories out willy-nilly. (nolens, volens)


Birthday present from my god-daughter
"signs for senior moments"

  • No-one is ever old enough to know better
  • I'm not "over the hill"; I don't remember being on top of it
  • Despite the high remains popular
  • Youth passes...but...with luck, immaturity can last a lifetime
  • Age is a high price to pay for maturity
  • It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything
  • I've forgotten more than I've ever learned!

Saturday 10 January 2009


It's been over a month and another year since my last posting (slapped wrist). But when everything seems to be problem and technology decides to become uncooperative there's not much to be done.
Add onto that the being a tad unwell situation and most things go by the board. Have no idea which winter 'plague' decided to lay me low nearly a week ago; but I wish it would leave me alone.
Now adding insult to injury, my lower back has decided to add itself to my list of aches and pains.
Back to the pain meds (scuse the pun)