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Wednesday 29 October 2014

Catching up

No Tai Chi for me last Saturday, but an OU day school instead.

Manchester Uni Roscoe building

D took me to a quieter railway station, one with a large car park and a station I know well.
Anxiety is my constant companion, but if I'm lucky, slumbers in the background. Hence, not going to the nearest station which is near a very busy road junction and where car parking is awkward at best.

The train arrived on time and travel was uneventful apart from 'Tickets please!'.

Last time I was at a day school the venue was only a short walk from the station. I had a map with me, but no proper idea of how far to walk. It took half an hour as I had to keep checking street names.

All the events were on the first floor, but the number took some working out.
01 for First floor, followed by 10.10 turned out to be room 10 or 01.10.

Some presentation were better than others, the one on Stalin and Shostakovitch was particularly memorable.

One of my pet hates stems from having studied desktop publishing. The last speaker had some pages to make up a worksheet. Granted, I did not expect her to have stapled them together, but she had not even bothered to number the pages. Add on to that her use of Times New Roman, a font dating from 1929, and I was 'not a happy bunny'. Her choice of font and size mde the document challenging to read. Then, I noticed she was working her way word by word thro' the notes.

Once of a day, I would have suffered in silence, but not these days.

I made my apologies and left to catch my train. Boarding the 3.45 instead of the 4.15, I was home early and pleased with myself for catching the earlier train.

Thursday 16 October 2014

In the local news

From the online version of the Echo.

It's a sign of the times, that folk got themselves into a lather and thought some simple actions were a threat.

In comparison with larger nearby airports, John Lennon airport is less busy. Hence flight training know as 'Circuits and bumps'.  A number of pilots doing training in take-offs and landings. Hence the colloquial term for them flying round in 'circles' and then landing (bumps), only to take off again immediately.

Add on to the repeated 'circling' an appearance by a Hawk jet trainer aircraft and some of the local populace took to social media in distress.

Thursday threes...

Whilst it is often said that bad luck comes in threes, I wonder whether good luck might work that way too.

This week, I have successfully ordered two new pairs of glasses. Today, I went to my postponed GP appt. The new GP seems to have been getting to know his patients by asking them to return after two weeks, four weeks and 8 weeks. Today was my 8th week appt. 

The doctor went thro' my blood results thoroughly, I've never come across a GP who mentioned all the results, usually they focus on anything wrong. The good news, with the exception of cholesterol levels everything is fine. Although a little raised, he noted an improvement since 2012. Therefore his instruction 'more of the same' and he noted I appeared well aware of how to look after myself. Then instead of 'see you in six months' he changed his recommendation to 'see you in a year!'.

The chemists has been running a collection scheme and when your card is filled up you get £3 off your nest purchase. Today, the card was filled and I got my £3 discount.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

What? Two posts?

Late last night an email arrived from the OU.

Another email arrived just now

"Thank you very much for volunteering. I will be in contact again by the end of the week with more information."

What's going on?

At the end of U214 the Art of English, I wrote a glowing report on the experience, heartily recommending that course, and full of praise for Course Team and Tutor.

The OU have folk developing new modules and it seems they'd like to involve some students. Hence my invite to take part in working thro' and assessing a preliminary version of part of a new module that's in the process of being written.


as in prescriptions...

Tis a sign of aging when you find yourself on repeat prescriptions. Sounds easy at first - contact chemist who then dispenses prescription according to the list (6 monthly) received from the surgery.

Things went wrong for D when our local chemist was unable to fill part of the script. National shortage of a certain med. However, another local chemist still had some, cue replacement script and trip to other local chemist.

Scroll on another prescription list is minus one item. Computer 'knew' item dispensed on different script, therefore had deleted it from repeats.

Similarly for me, surgery issued set of scripts to chemist, but they had not been updated. Therefore, when my prescription was collected, it came without one necessary item.

I have GP appt this Thursday, so hopefully GP will update his records.

Saturday 11 October 2014

Sorting Saturday

No Tai Chi, but time for an OU tutorial instead. The local venue has been a good place, all the time I've been there. Trust today to be the opposite.

Stuck away in the back of beyond on the top floor. Access via the kind of metal staircase that gives me the collywobbles. Stairs where there are treads but no risers, so perception problems have a field day. Give me a proper staircase where you cannot stare into empty space between each step. Followed by a walk the length of the corridor with several sets of fire doors to negociate. The room when I found it was pleasant, it was getting there that posed the problems.

Access was even more difficult for the tutor and a couple of other students, one in a large wheelchair and the other struggling to walk using a typical hospital supplied walking stick. She told us she'd asked for help, told the Centre of her problems but to no avail. The tutor also has mobility problems. Chatting beforehand, he told me he had problems with walking because of damage to one knee and other problems with the leg he broke whilst cycling in Finland 3 years ago. 

Hopefully, the tutor will do his best to ensure a ground floor room in future. 

Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. students carried on arriving in dribs and drabs for the next half hour. Hence, the tutorial ran on for half an hour after the scheduled noon finish. 

Friday 10 October 2014

Friday unusually

no Tai Chi, my excuse being I woke up too late. At least that's what I told B when she phoned up later to ask if everyone was okay here. In one sense it was true, if I'd pushed myself I could have squeaked in, but my get and go had got up and went. Also, as I told myself, the routines they do there, I can do by myself if need be.

Hence, the day progressed slowly, I even let D go to the chemist without me to pick up a delayed prescription.

Computers have a lot to answer for, if as happened the other month, the chemist could not get one item, and a new script has to be provided, everything from then on goes pear-shaped. It's going to take a couple of months and a meds review before D can have his list of items put back to normal. 

On a different tack, there's someone who has taken to social media to witter on solely about obscure 'folk' groups North of the border. When an open to interpretation statement is made asking about 'Idlewild' yours truly has an ancient memory-bank which obviously connects Idlewild + NY + airport and responds accordingly. 

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday





Friday 3 October 2014

Fridays n Saturdays

have become Tai Chi mornings with the Happy Healthy Hearts Group. It makes a useful preparation for the more 'advanced' Saturday morning classes. The ladies of HHH are a lovely bunch, but do not take themselves seriously where Tai Chi is concerned. For them it is more about a social gathering with time to chat before, and afterwards over tea or coffee.

Saturday's group is far more serious and sometimes includes folk with Tai Chi qualifications at various levels. There's always a lot more to learn on a Saturday.

This Friday afternoon was lovely and sunny, and there was a phonecall from a neighbour with an invite to coffee and a chat. 

I've recently begun to carry on with my OU studies. Now I have a tutor who uses a local venue for tutorials and his email was most welcoming. He included info about what would be covered by the first tutorial. It's going to be a bit of a wrench, but once a month a tutorial will replace Saturday Tai Chi.

At Tai chi earlier (Sat. morning) I found out there's no session next Saturday. All the advanced practitioners are going to a seminar.

Advanced students do 'weapons' training, I'm happy just to learn the Old Form. Perhaps, but I've no idea when, I might some day join them. 

Thursday 2 October 2014

Those Places Thursday

The start of October is an odd time to think about Christmas, or it is for me. I know some folk get involved in buying stuff all year round 'ready' for December. So why am I?

Tis a very simple answer. Two close friends arrived en route to the airport, bringing with them a pack of Christmas cards and a 2015 calendar. They belong to Funraisers, note the 'd' is missed out on purpose. Along with other friends they raise funds, usually in a fun way for the East Lancs. Hospice. Recently, they'd held an event ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ to raise funds for East Lancashire Hospice, and Christmas cards had been ready and available. 

For 30 years East Lancashire Hospice has continuously provided a special way of caring to people suffering from life limiting illnesses throughout Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Clitheroe.

John Chapman is the artist who creates lovely scenes like this.

Other scenes can be found and if need be, purchased from ELH via the website.