mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Renewed my season ticket for the month £212.80, Contract at work has been extended again!
Used up all the eVouchers I had accrued due to train Delay Repay to pay for my ticket to Marks Tey, for this year's Filkcon
Took half day off so that I could go to the Matinee of Private Lives at The Theatre Royal in Brighton
Next day off to Con2bil8 (The 28th UK Filk Convention), 5th – 7th February, 2016 at The Marks Tey Best Western Hotel
With UK Guest of Honour: Piers Cawley and Overseas Guests of Honour: Stone Dragons (Tom & Sue Jeffers)
Discovered the Bungalow Diner just a few minutes down the road. Ate most of my meals there, an English version of an American diner.
Went to Earth & Stars pup on second Monday for SF reading club where we discussed The Diamond Age.
Went to The Hawth to see The Last Tango with Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace, no dancing this week.
Learning new steps in Foxtrot, an revised this every week, Social dance was a week early as the school was using the space for a play.
Forgot my yoga gear one week so missed that class. The funding by NHS stopped this month so we decided to continue funding the class personally at around £6 per week.
One of the irritations of the yoga class was that when we moved the tables in the conference room many off the legs fell off! I finally found an Allen key which allowed me to tighten the appropriate screws and now none of the legs detach!
Listened to audible books almost every day usually for over an hour, due to having the St Mary's Chronicles by Jodi Taylor, to listen to.
Updated The Bujold Nexus - (Bibliography). Need to update more regularly as it is coming up to the 20th Anniversary!
Saw Deadpool at the Dome cinema in Worthing. One of the best moves I seen in the last year. Rather more adult in nature than the usual super hero fare but funnier too.
Used paper Delay Repay vouchers to get ticket to London for Picocon 33 on 20th. Guests of Honour: Paul Cornell, Carrie Hope Fletcher & Michelle Paver. Had to leave early as the social dance was this evening.
Booked bed at YHA in Manchester for this years Eastercon. I've also got membership of Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, Finland.
Got two hardback books from amazon at enough discount that it was paper back price. Amazon locker in town is really handy.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
OK so this was a very busy and important month. The first thing being the wedding of my niece L to her fiance S
This was at least 2 years in the planning and went off without a hitch, to the very great happiness of my sister.
The wedding was in an old barn! and the reception was in another building on the same site.
The sun was shining all afternoon and we had perfect weather, I was even social with friends and relatives.
After eating pizza later in the afternoon - J (dance partner) arrived for the evening and we danced and conversed until she took me home.

There are some perks to working for the NHS and one of them occurred this month. A 8 week class for beginners in yoga was to be held after work - for free!
I signed up, as yoga is something I have been wanting to try for a while, as it has a beneficial effect on back issues, and it might allow me to be able to touch my toes!
We are now halfway through and it is much more exhausting than expected, given you don't move from your mat during the hour class.
I was asked if I might be interested in a permanent position if one came up. I then got a number of forms to fill out, but no one actually told me about the job in question, so I been waiting to find out what next!

I had my eyes checked a couple of months back - as this was a work related requirement I got a voucher from the agency for free test and free standard lenses
(I normally have varifocals) I decided to get a pair of glasses with a focal length at arms length - free VDU glasses.
I've been wearing them 2 months now and it's much easier to view the screens, but long distance is fuzzy (still clearer than no glasses)
I'm still using varifocals for normal use though.

Been dancing on my own as J is on a 6 week trip across Canada. Meant I only got a few dances at the social, and dancing with the teacher in class
I have also started reading the LMB mailing list again (after a hiatus of a number of years) on my iPhone during my train commute

I got Terry Pratchett's, last books and it was a perfect swan song, not his best book ever but perfect for a last remembrance.
I've also started back listening to audible books, not least because of the low priced Deal of the Day! Got and listed to The Martian" sad wasn't nominated for the Hugo, looking forward to the movie.
Have now listened to all of Pat Wrede's Frontier Magic series, well worth the time needed to listen (even though I have read them all)

I also went to Earth & Stars on first Monday expecting the SF Reading Group meeting only realise that the meets had moved to the 2nd Monday of the month! (My diary had the correct date!)
However three of us turned up to chat generally about SF and had a pleasant evening.
The following Monday I returned after finishing "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel", a number of new readers turned up and a lively discussion occurred.

Discovered that it is now impossible to download the epub files for the Nook, the Windows readers are no longer supported (in the UK) so there is no way of downloading the files.
Now only readable on my hardware Nook or phone apps. Will be buying from kobo, google or amazon in future (as all allow download to PC).
Also on the Amazon front discovered that amazon has installed a locker in The Martlets in town, near the library, next to Lidl - which is more convenient than trying to get deliveries to my house while I'm working.
The first book I collected from "Dimple" was a Modesty Blaise Graphic novel.

Watched the Hugo Awards (after the fact - I didn't want to stay up past 3am) and bought membership to Worldcon75 in Helsinki. I've been to all the European worldcons since 1979 and don't want to miss this milestone.

I reinstalled the current version of Ubuntu LTS to my multi boot USB drive (boot loader corrupted) which meant the creation of a bootable ubuntu USB drive. This doesn't work on my Windows 8 laptop!

Bought a small portable drive to backup my videos and ebooks, needed 2 usb sockets so will try a pen drive for my ebooks and install Calibre portable to manage them.

Visited the dentist for a checkup and x-ray, haven't heard anything so all should be well. Also visited chiropractor, who agreed that yoga was a very good thing (TM) for back issues!

Marvel's Agent Carter did finally get broadcast on Sky (in UK) hurrah!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
The Brighton SF Reading Group discussed Stamping Butterflies (which I didn't read) train home cancelled and had to wait half an hour for next train.
Dancing every Tuesday, and for this month only also danced on three Saturdays.
Light switch in bathroom broke, leaving it permanently on. D repaired it, but I had to find a new string.
Started listening to audible books again. Listened to Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking"
Upgraded firmware of my Toshiba TV but now it won't remember it's settings!
Got my filling replaced in top left tooth.
Started learning new steps in ballroom. Jive is still very limited!
Appeared to have malware installed on P, took forever to dislodge it.
Went to Picocon 32 at Imperial College in London (only on Saturday)
Then straight to 1st of the 3 Saturday dances, at new venue.
Got last years diary printed by doxdirect.
J made me pancakes for after dancing on Shrove Tuesday
D & I finally installed new shower blind, and was able to take first proper shower at home in months.
Renewed my season ticket, possible finally for last time?
Last dance of the month at a new venue in BH
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So my final LJ entry of the year. I've just started editing my diary notes so I can get a printed diary, using print on demand. Doing so last year got me a book of over twenty five thousand words, and I want to do so again.
First on the agenda is the Brighton SF Reading group, the book was "The Clockwork Rocket" by Greg Egan and once again i didn't finish it!
I did have a half of stout after initially arriving at The Earth & Stars
D finally finished fitting the downstairs toilet, a thing of beauty. And the roller blind style shower curtain finally arrived. Also new toilet to replace old one in bathroom arrived.
Final two ballroom dance classes before the Christmas break, were revision of dances especially the new jive (now if I could only remember the jive we learnt 2 years ago..). The final class was more of a party with food, drinks and dancing, with all the classes mixed.
Had to prune my mailbox as ISP told me it was getting too large.
Got a new ear ring, slightly smaller than the one I'd been wearing for the last few years.
Strictly Come Dancing Final, one of the closest ever. Also the Christmas Special was nice too.
Went dancing with J on the second Sunday evening, raining and dark but still arrived on time. Danced all evening, had unexpected competitor demo and snacks.
Saw "Paddington" at the Cinema and saw a doctor regarding pain in my left foot.
Determined it was cheaper to buy fish and chips at the local Wetherspoon pub (on Friday) than from the chip shop.
Lost filling or chipped tooth in upper left of my mouth, booked an appointment in the new year.
Took exam for "LFS101x Introduction to Linux" (online learning - didn't finish all the coursework) got 30/30! though a few questions did require 2 attempts (as allowed in the rules)
J learned that Salsa Julia was offering a Salsa Taster at Wivelsfield Hall, so J & I went and it was fun, stayed to see the freestyling for 20 min then went home. If it didn't clash with Book Club I'd go back!
Discovered how to install personal screensavers on the Nook ereader and added some quotes and XKCD ones.
Xmas eve got train to Horsham via Barnham the the bus to see my parent and the rest of the family.
Christmas was particularly festive with a Christmas service, an open fire, dinner and Doctor Who & Frozen
Home for the weekend, and caught up with recorded TV. back to work on Monday but a half day off for New Years eve, so I could get reading and to Crawley early in time for:-
The New Years Eve Dinner / Dance which was awesome - buffet dinner, professional demonstration (Latin & Ballroom) and danced a lot (restricted to 50% or less) by table numbers due to lots of people being there.
Helped tidy up after and left 12:40. Stayed at J's over night and listened to dance music and watched Galaxy Quest on tv before I went home! (New Years Day!)
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Saw last of series of Doctor Who, mowed lawns for the last time this year. Also managed to move 4 bags of earth from where it had been dumped.
Able to use bath for the first time (even though showering is a bit iffy as no curtain as yet installed - though ordered).
The Brighton SF Reading group met in the Earth & Stars pub and discussed a P K Dick collection
Went dancing every Tuesday evening with social dancing on the last Saturday and Practice eight days prior to this.
Backed C E Murphy's new kickstarter (which has been successfully funded)
Got "new" monitors at work, a pair with a longer stand, providing a higher screen, which gives a better sight line.
Had my first one to one / supervision! I was on track and hitting all targets!
Went to see doctor re pain in my left foot instep, got pain meds over a 2 week course.
Ordered a new shower curtain, which works like a roller blind! very cool and should keep the floor dry too.
Use Calibre to transfer some ebooks to my new Nook
Finally defrosted my freezer (over a year since last done).
Strictly Come Dancing continued on Saturday and Sunday getting too close to call the result. Anyone's game.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Unfortunately my bathroom has been out of action all month (or at least the bath part). Fortunately I have been able to use a shower after work. I haven't been able to trim my beard and it has grown very bushy! I'm not sure how much I will trim it down one the bath is installe (it arrived at the end of the month).
My printed A5 diary also arrived and I was most impress at how cool it looked.
My new Nook Simple Touch arrived, unfortunately after the fist day I was unable to use it and I have been trying to return it for replacement / refund.
New cleaning crew have cleaned the house so that it tidier than it's been since I moved in!
First week end was the mini maker faire at the Brighton Dome. Large number of children and more crafty making including (knitting and felting)
Finally got to watch Dr Who live at home, and the Extra broadcast on iplayer.
Strictly Come Dancing started with a new crop of 15 celebrities and 3 new professional dancers.
Discussed "The Dispossessed" at the monthly Brighton SF Discussion group on the first Monday of the month.
Dancing every Tue for class, with the normal end of the month social dance on the last Saturday. However J & I also went to the "Strictly dance magic" evening at the Martlets in Burgess Hill the week before. (they are usually held on the same night but this month the BH event had to move)
On Thursday 11th J & I went to the WB Studio to enjoy the Harry Potter Experience! J drove up up arriving at eleven
We checked out the shop which was awesome, the variety of stuff - and the prices!
We then had lunch (sausages and mash) before starting the tour at one o'clock (a bit earlier than scheduled, but as not very busy it was OK)
I took dozens of photos, until the battery died and have to say that it was one of the most interesting and fun day I've had in quite a while. It was a sort of cross between a museum and a theme park - but in a good way.
If anyone has a chance to go, do take it it's well worth it (and now with a new Death Eater section arriving after our visit). Everyone I have talked to, who have been have enjoyed it, if a HP or not.
Also I have been playing on pottermore.com, I was sorted into Ravenclaw (not surprisingly) and have progressed to the end of the chamber of secrets.
D has made som major improvements to the garden, including a lean to for his bike and additional paving slab to provide space to walk around it.
I planted and additional pear tree, to add to the apple tree and grape vine.
D also painted his room walls, so had to finally say goodby to purple paint, it did make the room more cheerful!
Brighton & Hove libraries have started improving their ebook collections and I have borrowed my fist ebook using OverDrive.
Went to visit family to celebrate my nieces birthday on Sun 20th (birthday was Sat) her fiance took me nearly to work on Monday morning (but the wait for a train for over half an hour was not fun in my shirt sleeves!)
At the end of the month I finally got to the dentist to discover I had a loose filling (which he removed with little effort) ball bearing sized. Got a temporary filling to last until the whole thing can be replaced.
Purchased my season ticket for October, which will be the start of my second year at NHS Sussex.
On the last sunday of the month a select group of 20 people from Crawley Dance Academy were invited to " West End Heroes" at the Dominion Theatre in London.
Train's to Three Bridges were replaced by busses so took longer to get there. Group train tickets meant the price was half the normal cost and we shared taxis and dined at Garfunkel's
The tickets had a nominal price of £175 each! But the total cost for the night out was only £31.45 to me.
Got back to Three Bridges at 00:00 and replacement busses not running to reliably so J gave me a lift home.
Also paid the remaining amount for the New Years Eve dance, and collected the ticket.

September 2017

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