June 2017

Jul. 5th, 2017 04:46 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
Started Cold / Flu / Allergies at the beginning of the month which continued through to the end of the month. Did see a Doctor, and prescribed medication.
J Returned from S America, so was able to dance with a partner once again. Went to 2 Saturday dances, one in BH one in Crawley, the latter being the Summer tea dance with Tea and Dance Demo
Continued line dancing, 10 weeks to last class in the month. Yoga had a 2 week hiatus at end of the month due to low numbers
Saw Wonder Woman at the cinema, best DC movie since the original Superman!
I had to transfer domain dendarii.co.uk from Just the Name to 1&1 (JTN stopped trading), transition went without a hitch.
Completed all Mandatory online training at work. Had problems with the IP phone system (made difficulties for a service desk!)
D has decided to move back to Holland, and intends to be gone in August (hopefully after I get back from Worldcon)
Continued to listen to audio books, finished Sorcerer to the Crown, Winter Tide, Mira's Last Dance, & Storm Front: The Dresden Files.
Summer finally arrived with record temperatures, of course this only lasted for about a week!

May

Jun. 5th, 2017 08:31 am
mbernardi: (Default)
This month my dance partner J went to South America on holiday, so I've been dancing with myself (mostly, sometimes with B one of the dance teachers). I therefore didn't go to the social dance at the end of the month (that I had a pain between my back and right shoulder didn't help either)
I've also ordered a new pair of dance shoes (at D's instigation!), they have arrived but I haven't got around to trying them on yet!
Started re-watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries from the beginning. Went to Daves Comix in Brighton for Free Comic Book Day (and collected a few free comics)
Had an occupational therapy evaluation at work, discovered that the best posture us to lean back onto your chair rather than sitting upright.
Continued line dancing (six weeks so far) and have learned (or at least danced 15 dances), also restarted yoga class. Since both these occur on Wednesday by the time I get home I'm knackered!
I have just discovered that Audible now has an annual subscription of £69.99 for 12 credits, rather than £7.99 per month for a single credit (a saving of £2.16 a month!) it also means I can pre-order tiles without worrying if I will have a credit available when the tile is published.
This month the SF book club met in a new location (The Lord Nelson) as the earth and stars was being renovated. We discussed Heart of a Comet which I again didn't finish. We also enjoyed the new location and decided to return next month.
Went to see Guardians of the Galaxy - Vol 2 at the dome, in Worthing and appeared to have been sold a senior seat, first time this has happened (apart from the over 55 showing at the Orion in BH) fun movie.
My little sister came over (from somerset) to visit the aged parent - and brought her dog Fraizer - so I caught the train and bus to join them for the week end. My Aunt and Uncle also came to visit on Sunday which made it even more special.
Had to visit the dentist to get a filling in a tooth on the lower right, not too expensive a repair. The Hugo Finalist voter pack has been released and I have started reading / listening to theses.
I had an appointment to see a podiatrist and booked the morning off so that I wouldn't have any problems with arrival times. Got in to work early and queried by my manager why I was in work as I had the morning off! So I caught the train back and managed to get to my appointment with 5 minutes to spare!
It was a lovely sunny day so after walking back to the station, I had a delightful ice cream sundae before returning to work!
The last Saturday in the month was my Mum's birthday, so I caught the early train and bus to their location and arrived 9:30 (as mum was finishing breakfast!). My sister got back from walking 3 dogs and then we practised line dancing together. went out for lunch at my niece's new house, then got a lift home. Front door was dead bolted so I couldn't get in!
Had to wait for D to get back from Brighton, which was only 15 minutes. On the last bank holiday of the month I made my annual visit to the circus at Preston Park. This year was Gerry Cottle's WOW circus, there was a fine selection including some excellent jugging and a number of impressive magical trick cutting people in half in three different ways.

April 2017

May. 5th, 2017 01:03 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Yoga class has still been reduced to 4 students and last week there was no class. Decided to add an additional workout and have now started line dancing on Wednesday evening.
Watched 3 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
At work the merger between SE CSU and NEL CSU was completed first week of the month, (IT merged last year). IT Team has new installed Skype for business (IM Service from NHS Mail).
In ballroom dancing learned new sequence in Waltz, and new sequence dance the Veleta, social dance on last Saturday of the month and 2 additional practices on 2nd & 3rd Fridays.
Got some sad news too. Dance partner J's Dad died, after some weeks of ill health. Had a DNR authorisation.
Stared final migration from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth, including all my posts and as many contacts and feeds as I can. I started posting to LJ on 11 April 2007 and it seems appropriate to finish 10 years later. This will be my last post at LiveJournal, my next post will only appear at Dreamwidth.
On the 8th I treated myself to a day at the Theatre Royal in Brighton (as previously noted) Walking back stage (and on stage), getting to see all the props for the afternoon performance was really cool. It's also really small, I've also been backstage at the Hawth (a much more modern theatre) which has much wider passageways and rooms. But then the Theatre Royal was built 210 years ago.
In the afternoon I attended a matinee performance of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" based on the movie (which I saw many years ago) with a delightful performance by Joanne Clifton as Millie.
The following Monday the SF Book club discussed Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson, which I hadn't finished on the night, but did complete the book a few days later.
Took my birthday off work and spent the day with my family (it is my sister's birthday the day after mine so we usually celebrate together), walked the dog together! Chinese meal for lunch.
Eastercon was in Birmingham NEC - stayed at Arden Hotel And Leisure Club about 20min walk from the con hotel (but cheaper!) used its Leisure club facilities a number of times
Registered for Innominate and collected program pack and badge, used app to select program items of interest (the one do not miss was ""Vorkosigan's Law: Legal Concepts from an Imagined Universe - this compared and contrasted the fictional universe with example in the British Legal system - SB was in the military and has since become a barrister!)
The program opened with a bang as Dr Emma J King, educator from The Royal Institution explored the history of the institute with added explosions!
The trek to and from my hotel was a bit of a pain, but the room cost were almost half that of the con hotel so.... (and it was good exercise).
The other program items that I didn't was to miss was the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who, which was one of the best attended and started with free jellybabies! And the Easter Morning Service, which was non-denominations with a CoE backbone.
I did attend a least one program item with each GoH (Pat Cadigan, Colin Harris & Judith Clute. I also supported the Dublin worldcon bid.
My journey home was also somewhat fraught, as I caught what I thought was the Virgin - London train, but which I discovered, at Winchester, was going to Bournemouth! I did get off at the next stop of Southampton Central, then had to take a train along the south coast from the Isle of Wight to Brighton, before getting home some hours latter than expected (I still managed to got some shopping before going ballroom dancing!)
I finally topped up my iPhone, with £10 credit (may have been a year since my last £10) got one month addition £20 credit for free. BUT I have to use it before 24 May
Had my bi-annual dental checkup and will have to return for another filling, but generally speaking my teeth are OK!
D & I did a major spring clean of the kitchen (may be the most comprehensive clean since it was re-built!) Floor was bushed and mopped and scrubbed, all the counters were cleared and cleaned, the bins emptied, the sink and cooker tops cleaned and the freezer was defrosted!
I will have to buy replacement dish racks now though.
And this is the end of my posting to LiveJournal, all future material will appear at Dreamwidth anyone who wants to follow me there feel free, please comment there rather than on LJ. All my previous LJ material and comments have been imported into Dreamwidth.

March 2017

Apr. 7th, 2017 09:08 am
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Yoga class has been reduced to 4 students and last 3 weeks there was no class;-(
On the first Saturday I was busy as in the morning I went to HH Library for a history walk around town by railway.
Then in the evening went to The Drill Hall in Horsham with my sister & J for a dance with the Milestone Big Band, with a basic cha cha class taught by Christopher & Diana Crowhurst
and then demo from same. Danced a number of cha chas with J & C. Went home with C to visit the family.
Two weeks later we all returned to the same location for an afternoon tea dance, which had a better selection of dance styles, and tea and sandwiches, for less than the previous offering. The 3 of us had a better time.
Saw Logan (15) at the cinema after work (met J from work there - unplanned).
Other sister H came to visit, from Somerset, and we went to visit my niece at her new house. Gave my sister my spare copy of "A Natural History of Dragons".
On second Monday went to book club to discuss The Peace War / Marooned in Realtime (had finished the first book but not all the second)
Had a bad cold, such that I lost most of my voice, and fortunately was assigned admin at work (rather than having to answer phone calls). Had more interrupted sleep due to coughing!
Ballroom Dancing classes continued every Tuesday, revised technique on the ballroom style dances.
Restarted regularly listening to audio books, via Audible (after a dip in February). Started listening to the Lady Trent's Memoirs which are perfect audio material.
Got diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, pain in my feet and fingers.
used up my last leave by taking last 2 days of the month off! On Thursday went down to Brighton and bought tickets to see "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the Theatre Royal preceded by a tour of the back stage area. Something to look forward too.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So the first week end of this month I was in Marks Tey for Quoi de Neuf - The 29th British Filk Convention. I arrived Friday afternoon and left Monday morning (taking 2 days leave.)
GoHs were Jackie Mitchell and Cecilia Eng. Second time I'd been to the Best Western in Marks Tey. Bungalow Diner had been refurbished - but still had very good value meals.
The program followed the normal pattern with concerts, one shots and a musical + nMC (http://www.contabile.org.uk/quoideneuf/)
Ballroom classes on Tuesday, revised Foxtrot, Samba, Waltz, Tango & Quickstep (working on technique)
Got a hair cut! Went to PicoCon 34, but had to leave early as J & I were going to Strictly Dance Magic in BH.
After over 3 decades the villa in Spain was finally sold, C&L flew out to finalise. How the money will get back to UK with Brexit etc we aren't sure!
Yoga class down to 4 students, but still ongoing
Visited family for my Dad birthday, day off the day before (as the actual birthday my niece & her husband started moving into their brand new house).
Last Saturday of the month was Social Dance with J. Finished 5 minutes early!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Saw Rogue One (A Star Wars story) on Bank Holiday. Rather dark, but much better that the earlier trilogy.
Renewed my season ticked and got a 26% discount, and used a lot of delay repay vouchers.
Yoga class has had reduced numbers, down to 2 of us at the lowest numbers, but regularly 4 students.
D paying for Amazon Prime as he wants to watch The Grand Tour - so we are sharing the account.
Had first Personal Development Review, since becoming full time. Need to complete additional training, (before upgrading to Band 4)
Have also been trying to complete some online training - for work, but have had significant issues, not least test scres not being saved.
Due to the rail strike, I had to take the bus to work, this took over an hour longer than by train! and fortunately i only had to resort to this once.
I've been able to take all the other days when trains were not running as Leave, but this time too many others had booked the day off!
On one of these days off saw Passengers (12A) at the Orion Cinema Golden years showing (for over 55 years) for only £2.50 inc tea and biscuits!
Had to move desks at work second time in 2 months!) now well practised in moving!
Booked ticket to Marks Tey (for this year's filkcon - Quoi de Neuf) using Delay Repay eVouchers.
Continued with Ballroom Dance class with J each week. New Samba steps! End of month social dance didn't manage to use the new steps though
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Went dancing most Tuesdays (though missed the Friday practice as J was ill). Went to a Sunday Christmas Dance with J in addition to normal classes.
Train Strike caused further delays, and cancellations, so had to take some time off work. Also got a number of delay repay refunds.
SF Book Club meeting, in Brighton, included a earlier start and a Christmas meal (I had cod and chips!) and then a slightly lest rigorous discussion of The Stainless Steel Rat.
Got my garden patio replace and an additions fence installed, this took over 2 days and has made a significant difference to the garden.
I had to make an excursion to a clinic I hadn't visited before to get my hands ultrasound scanned, weird feeling with warm blue jelly dotted over the skin. (I have had contact with this location before as part of my job (IT support))
Continued with yoga class, when there wasn't a strike, (or over the Christmas holiday).
Over the long Christmas weekend, stayed with my family (Mum & Dad, Sister & BiL, Neice & NiL) got a nice scarf and a few other bits an pieces.
Helped my sister with meal prep on Saturday & Sunday, which was quite fun.
Booked hotel for Eastercon & Worldcon 75, and flight to Helsinki
Went shopping with D on last Wednesday of the month and then on Thursday D fixed a Christmas dinner for us both, I prepped the veg!
On Friday I went to The Dome in Brighton to see Flip FabriQue in Catch Me (Attrape Moi) in the afternoon.
Big New Year's Eve social dance with buffet meal, followed by cheesecake and coffee. Demo by Matt Duffin & Kayleigh Andrews, and then at midnight we cheered the New Year in!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Used over £50 worth of Delay Repay Vouchers, to pay for 25% of my season ticket! Strikes and other delays and cancellations are still ongoing.
Most important thing to happen is that I have transferred to a new NHS Organisational Unit NEL Commissioning Support Unit as a Junior Service Desk Analyst (This is apparently a permanent role!)
The second most important thing was that I caught a could which converted into Laryngitis, which mean I was off work for 2 weeks! Saw 2 different GPs and got signed off work. I also saw a consultant re the aches and pains in my joints/back.
I have still been going to Yoga (strikes and illness permitting) and to ball room dancing too. Had an extra "Strictly Snowflake" Saturday Dance, which I went to even without voice! (I could still dance).
Other major news, in collaboration with my next door neighbour, our semi-detached garage has been re-roofed. This was instigated by the neighbour but given the state of the roof it was about time.
I was able to pay for this and the final instalment for the work on the main house room last month due to having to option to remove some money from my AVC pension top up plan.
D went to Holland for a weekend visit, relating to his status after brexit!, and I had to look after his kitten Maya, she was a sweetie.
After returning to work went to see "Fabulous Beasts & Where to Find Them" at the cinema, a slight story but with wonderful sets and special effects.
By the end of the month Winter came with a vengeance with temperatures of -3°C.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So my replacement Amazon Fire Tablet (replacing the one I left on the train) arrived and was restored from cloud backup.
A few weeks later I got notified that my original tablet was available for collection at Victoria lost property!
Dance class continues every Tuesday and Practice night every other Friday (1st & 3rd week) Social dance on the last Saturday. started to learn new steps in the Tango.
Due to strike action by Southern Rail I missed two weeks of yoga, but was allowed to just pay for the two weeks that I could go to.
SF Book Club discussion was deferred as we learn that the Paul (the organiser) had dies the previous day ;-(
The Delay Repay scheme - allowing refunds for delayed trains has been revised to allow payment in eVoucher & via PayPal! as well as the prior paper versions.
Replaced my Brighton & Hove library card, to allow access out of hours! Historical records for my Overdrive ebooks weren't copied, so logged a query and got a result in minutes!
After three years in one place at work, I have relocated closer to the the window and with colleagues closer.
My backup copy of all my ebooks (kept on a USB stick) is managed using Calibre. and currently has 1973 items saved, mostly ePub (or converted to ePub).
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Went to Specsavers for Eye test, paid for by work and got glasses for VDU work (also paid for by work). Also got my hearing tested, all OK. Also got hair cut.
Southern Rail are still striking, decided to take day off as roofing contractor came to see about quote. Also got a quote for new fencing and install of new patio £11,000+! (decided not to use this contractor)
The SF Book Club meeting discussed Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon - and unfortunately our normal upstairs room was full so had to gather in the main bar downstairs. Also our Fearless leader had only just got out of hospital so was unable to come ;-(
Next door neighbour is getting his garage re-roofed, since my garage shared the wall a combined re-roofing is cheaper, so another expense (too look forward too).
Managed to find a roofing contractor and had the roof de-mossed, all tiles checked for cracks, the ridge tiles were re-cemented, and one tile needed replacing.
Broke a tooth and discovered my 6 month appointment was in a couple of days! A couple of weeks later lost another filing and had to return to the dentist for a second temp patch.
My sister came to visit our parents and I was able to join the 3 of them for a weekend visit. On Sunday my Aunt, Uncle and cousin came over with baby cousin one removed!
Dance class every Tuesday, focused on waltz - new steps - practice on 3rd Friday and Social Dance on last Saturday.
Yoga classes continue every Wednesday after work, numbers fluctuate, but still persevering.
Strictly Come Dancing started on BBC1
Managed to leave my Amazon Fire on the train, didn't get it back, so had to order a replacement
Saw "Escape from the Planet of the Day that Time Forgot" at the Hawth theatre in Crawley, a wonderful three hander performance with minimal scenery.

August 2016

Sep. 1st, 2016 12:29 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
So with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I thought I'd re-read the whole series first. I managed to borrow 6 out of the 7 books from the library as ebooks (pottermore.com editions) so they were the current version. It also meant that (especially for the later tomes) I didn't break my wrists! I read tPoA as my Paper edition over a w/e (the book was on loan when I wanted to read it.)
It was quite interesting to re-read the books for the first time, especially after having watched the films a number of time so the visuals were usually taken from the films. However there were a few occasions when there were differences. In the book Aunt Petunia is blonde (and in the movies is brunette)
As a result of the casting choices for HP&tCC I did specifically check for any referenced to if Hermione was black or not. The only evidence that she was not back is that Malfoy and the others in Slytherin (or anyone one else) never made any comment on her skin colour. Shacklebolt is described as black.
It was also interesting to read them one after the other, rather than with a year gap between each one.
I finally got around to ordering a new pair of dance shoes, these were Latin style and not patent leather.
Once again I got a significant refund on my train season ticket due to delays & cancellations. Over £120 over the last 4 months!
Went to Continental Circus Berlin, which had some good jugglers and an awesome laser light show - where light was bent and used a light sabre!
I also went to the Crawley Circus Festival - unfortunately the weather wasn't as good as it had been the previous week end. However I did managed to do some juggling and did a Poi workshop and learnt a new sequence!
I have been saving towards my retirement for about 20 years, and with recent changes in the rules I could have taken early retirement on my 55 birthday. I have decided not to do so while my current employment continues, but once it ends I'll retire rather than go on the dole!
It does mean that I can take some money as a lump sum and since I have a number of upgrades to the house and garden I will have to do so.
And the final event of the month to recount was that last Wednesday Mark Oshiro (of markreads.net) was in Brighton, and I was one of 4 people who turned up, Mark read from his own new novel (not yet finished) and discussion occurred. He was feeling peckish so i suggested Fish and Chips (traditional at the seaside) and we decided to visit the pier and eat there!

July 2016

Aug. 8th, 2016 12:29 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Delay Repay - due to rail delays and strike action meant my season ticket cost 3/4 it's usual price.
At work we are now using soft VOIP phone, sound quality is poor so getting a better headset helped (a bit)
This month's SF Book Club was on the first Monday this month and the set read was Embassytown by China Miéville - which again I didn't complete. good discussion. P gave directions to his house for party next weekend.
Used GPS on my iphone to find P's house - celebrating his birthday later this month and the summer solstice! food, drink and conversation all very good stayed 2:20-7:20
Went to see doctor about aches and pains and had to go for a fasting blood test (meaning no food for 12 hours before blood taken)
Ballroom Dance classes on Tue, we revised jive (though no new steps). The Saturday Social (last saturday of the month) practiced all the dances as usual (danced rumba one as lady!)
J's birthday on 8th, so I took the day off and we went up to London for the day. First went to Forbidden Planet, just to have a look around - I did buy 1 book! Then we walked to the Prince of Wales Theatre where we had tickets booked to see The Book of Mormon (at a matinee) before this we had lunch at Eds diner. The play was a comic musical, which was fairly respectful of the source material (Life of Brian being similar). After the theatre we walked along the embankment, then to All Bar One opposite Canon Street station where we had a light supper before walking to The Shard (above London Bridge station), After going through airport style security took to lifts up to 68th floor
Stayed until sunset and the lights came on over all London. Magical day.
Mid month my fridge expired and had to order a replacement, this arrived fairly quickly, but had to use ice block to keep the temperature inside cool until it could e replaced.
The new fridge did arrive in a timely manner and all perishable were transferred successfully - though some stuff was binned!
iPhone bricked itself, would not turn back on. Had to reset to factory defaults and restore from cloud backup. worked fine only one app didn't restore. Must remember to sync to iTunes regularly.
Had ben able to use my Fire tablet to keep my diary up to date.
Continuing with Yoga even tough number have been as low as 3 students.
Mum had been in hospital for three weeks after an operation, and once she was home I went to visit.
Last Monday of the month there was a fatality on the line. This delayed trains so much I didn't get home til 9:00 4 hours later than usual!
On the last Wednesday went to the Hawth to see Arrival - The Hits of ABBA , started at 7:30 and finished just before 10:00, with an interval - showing adverts from the 70's. The show used 6 people on stage - but also showed video above the stage - either news reel footage, cover art & music videos reshot with the 4 principle stage characters. Also a lot of audience participation.
And on the last Friday we had a work team building exercise with most of the team enjoying BBQ and cup cakes near the beach of Goring Gap
Last day of the month was the deadline for Hugo award voting - sent my votes in even if I hadn't read all that I should.
Looking back over the month it seems that more happened than usual, from train delays to concerts, faulty phone and fridge, and two birthday adventures

June 2016

Jul. 5th, 2016 08:09 am
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Ballroom Dance classes every Tuesday revised cha cha, tango & rumba. Finally started on learning a new jive sequence
This month train travel was severely disrupted due to "staff illness" & strike action. This was also the case with the previous month. I got a £24.20 refund!
Ordered an Amazon Fire Tablet for my younger sister & brother in law as an anniversary (and birthday) present.
Yoga is continuing though the numbers have been down often only 3-4 students. At least I didn't miss any classes due to rail strikes this month.
Took a day off work so I could go to a Library talk "Discovering family history resources ancestry"
Brighton SF Book discussed "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" this time I didn't re-read the book!
I posted my EU Referendum voting papers, in advance of the deadline. Which meant that I could discount all the noise & fury leading up to the Day.
Sad that "the people" decided to leave the EU, hopefully we will survive the experience, even if the the government doesn't!
The people next door have decided to extend the lower floor of their house into their garden, it a bit of an eyesore and caused some damage to my fence!
All the downstairs lights went off mid month, when the external light (which had been on for 3 years) stopped working!
I was notified of my annual asthma review in May but finally got around to it at the end of this month. all is under control!
I made a backup of my Calibre ebook library on to a USB stick, over a thousand books in that collection.
The end of the month social dance, was not very near the end of the month, it was also more lightly attended then normal, but then it is "summer".

May 2016

Jun. 1st, 2016 03:00 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Ballroom Dance classes every Tuesday revised quicksep and learnt new section in Foxtrot, and also in Rumba, and Tango
Two Saturday Socials Dances this month, the last Saturday one included Tea ans scones with a demo of six dances.
There is now a kitten in the house, after much searching D managed to find a delightful queen we have decided to call Maya, she has her own room, and I have to keep all my doors closed!
Went to Dave's Comics in Brighton for Free Comic Book Day, also bought the first Asterix book (in English)
Went for a walk along the seafront, first time in months if not years!
On the second Monday the Brighton SF reading group, discussed Foreigner, which I originally read in 1994; 22 years ago. Given that the series is still going 18 books later, not one I would pick, as a book club read. I did actually finish reading it though.
I've been using my Amazon Fire to view TV programs off line. The picture is a reasonable size and the sound (through ear buds) is reasonable. I've also installed a number of ebook reading programs, OverDrive is the best as it syncs across platforms.
As a result of having a fire tablet I also transfered my digital content from amazon.com to amazon.co.uk AND have merged my 2 audible accounts to use my amazon login (I've also changed the password for the first time in years!)
I finally got around to mowing both the front and back lawns (the latter for the first time this year - hard work)
Yoga class continues after work, on Wednesday - the numbers have been a little erratic but there were 6 of us last week.
The rail strike have impacted on my yoga class as 2 of the three day were on Wednesday, and the last train left at 5:29! It has also meant that I have got Delay Repay voucher of £20+ (which I used to buy next month's season ticket!
I made my annual pilgrimage to the Circus as part of the Brighton Festival, this year it was the Moscow State Circus, and it was as amazing as ever.
Spent the last Bank Holiday of the month at my sister's place, in part to celebrate my Mum's 81st birthday on Friday. My sister has been discovering the joy of dance and taught me 3 line dances, which were fun. My Brother in Law was re-roofing the shed (with help from my nephew in law!)

April 2016

May. 4th, 2016 05:00 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
With Barnes & Noble / Nook leaving the UK market (only one book I bought has been transfered to Sainsburys), I decided to root my Nook - It was out of warranty anyway.
It was relatively straight forward; using NookManager, allowed me to finally browse the net on the Nook tablet, I've been unable to run the kindle app on it but the Kobo app seems to work. and generic epubs can be easily read.
Went to see Zootropolis which was a sci-fi, cop buddy, animated feature. well worth a watch
Dance classes continued every Tuesday, and this month we had an extra Saturday dance mid month. Finally started to learn some new Latin steps (in Cha Cha)
It was my 55 birthday this year, so I can technically take early retirement - I decided not to. But the family got together for a meal the Saturday before.
The second Monday is SF Book Club and as this was on my actual birthday I ate at the pub (rather than the cheaper Burger King / Subway) drinks were also purchased for my fellow readers.
Also for a change I had just completed reading " "Station Eleven" by Emily St John Mandel, this month book to read. Once it got going it was an interesting example of Literary SF (it won the Clarke Award last year)
The following day went to lunch with J before we went dancing, extra long weekend!
Started listening to Audible; audio books; again (after not listening at all during March). Especially the Noctis Magicae series by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - looking forward to the 3rd in the series.
I have a belt bag that I keep all the stuff I need every day (keys, wallet, pen etc) it was hand made a number of years ago. While the leather is still in good shape the seams have been coming apart. I returned to the shop (Clever with Leather in Brighton) and they repaired all the seams and replaced the belt attachments for £5!
As a belated birthday present I decided to buy myself an Amazon Fire Tablet for £49, it arrived only a few days later and was a delight, nearly the size of a paperback (though thinner) and with the ability to read kindle books aloud, download and read epubs (inc library books) watch video and of course browse the net and check email, it even has a pair of cameras (though not the greatest quality).
Finally uploaded my Eastercon report to LJ!
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Thursday morning caught the train to London, walked from St Pancras to Euston and caught Virgin train to Manchester. Met RR at the station and we decided to catch the train to Deansgate (as it was raining and out tickets were valid to this station)
Arrived at the Hilton Deansgate at 2:30, had a quick look around then off the the YHA Manchester, 10 minutes walk away, in a four bed room and got the bottom bunk.
Spent over an hour at MOSI, (Museum of Science & Industry) looking at tech, old engines, planes and trains. Went to bed really early (8:00!!!)

Good Friday
The hostel served a full english breakfast for £5.25 including cereal, juice, tea and toast. fry up included sausage, bacon, beans, scrambled eggs, tomato and "hash browns", equivalent at the con hotel was over £15!
Went into the city centre to do some shopping, and to see how it had changed since my university days!
Met I & C once back at the con hotel, attended the opening ceremony, checked out the art show and attended a number of program items. One of the most memorable was the Meganovel new Hugo category - discussion pro and con.
Art show -party with wine and OJ. went to the filking for a short while but left early 10:15 and then to bed.

Saturday
Full english breakfast angain at hostel, walked to con hetel by 9:30 for GoH talk how space science happens by Dave Clement, this was follwed later in the morning with my favourite program item The SF Foundation Lecture "The Mathematics of Juggling" by Colin Wright
GoH interview with Sarah Pinborough, was followed by the BSFA awards. GoH Aliette de Bodard won in both Best Novel and Best Short Fiction! The first time the same author has won both awards in the same year.
Last thing was "An adventure in time and space: 53 years in 53 rels." a performance compressing all the Doctor Who stories into just over an hour.
With the clocks going forward I was in bed by midnight (11pm)

Easter Sunday
First in for breakfast, walked to con in time for 9:00 Easter service, well attended. went to the New Orleans in 2018 brunch, tea coffee cakes and sandwiches. Talked new orleans and Bujold!
Joined both next year's Eastercon (Innominate "The Con with No Name" 14th to 17th April 2017), and the year after (Follycon 30th March to 2 April 2018)
Went out for fast food chicken dinner (much cheaper and hotter than hotel offering) but had to brave wind and rain!
Met up with K (from LMB List) before 8:00 and chatted to 9:40 discussed Bujold, Ebooks, tatting & other stitch related hobbies, juggling, ballroom dancing, MOSI, standards, family.
Back to hostel and early to bed!

Easter Monday
A bit later for breakfast, confirmed the other early eater was also at Eastercon! Went to Worldcon 75 Q&A with questions about next year in Finland (everyone should get a free bus/tram pass!)
Interesting presentation about the appearance of the nearby Jodrell Bank radio observatory in various Science Fiction films and TV
Chatted to I & L (also via LMB list) then to closing ceremony. Went back to MOSI for half an hour (before it closed) then read in con hotel for a bit.
Saw I & L again and chatted & hugged! Left con hotel for last time and returned to YHA Hostel.

Tuesday
Caught train home!

March 2016

Apr. 8th, 2016 01:40 pm
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Ballroom Dancing with J all month (on Tuesday evening) practicing Foxtrot with some Tango revision. J's mum in hospital
Visited parents and sisters family, setup iPad for my Mum. Gave gad his belated birthday card. J's mum died.
Updated The Bujold Nexus a bit. Ordered some books from amazon, collected then from the Amazon locker in town
Yoga class every Wednesday after work, now paid for by the students at £6 per week
Bought short book for £1 for World Book Day. The SF Reading group met to discuss Anima by Brett Davidson a book that has not yet been officially published by our fearless leader!
Barnes and Noble are to stop supporting the Nook ereader in the UK, uk Nook users can automatically transfer their library to Sainsbury's Entertainment On demand. I tried and only one book was copied.
As it stands my Nook Wifi is not longer of any use so I will have to "root" it to turn it into an android 2.1 tablet and be able to use wifi again.
Decided to re-read all Diane Duane's Young Wizards as part of Mark Reads
Printed my 2015 Diary via Doxdirect, it appears to be slightly longer than the previous volumes.
Cut the front lawn for the first time this year, exhausted me, now I have to mow the back lawn!
Social dance was a week early due to Easter using that week end.
For the first time since I started at work I was on the very early shift 7:30-3:30 (I did say that I was available for this time slot) Unfortunately due to train time I actually gt to the station 7:28 so I have 2 minutes to get to the office and get setup (with a cup of tea), this work out OK. - no late trains.
Did some overtime - setting up new account to allow GPs to use WiFi. iPhone iOS updated to ver 9.3
Remembers to nominate in the Hugos this year!
Eastercon 2016 - Mancunicon
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)
After the New Year's Eve Dance, I stayed over with J, and finally started watching Game of Thrones! Actually finished watching series 1 and started series 2.
I ordered two print on demand books, one collecting all my LJ posts and comments, the other all the books I've read since March 2007 (when I started using LibraryThing to catalog books owned and read.
The LJ material actually generated something the size of a normal novel! I've also finished editing my 2015 diary but I am waiting for a discount code before sending it to print.
Finally bought my membership for Eastercon in Manchester this year.
Dance classes continue on Tuesday with J. Learned new steps in Tango. Started working on technique.
D finally fitted new shower, much improved over the previous unit. Bought new digital blood pressure monitor and scales - bluetooth enabled. Now I can measure both my Blood Pressure and my weight accurately
Yoga class restarted. Funding for this ends the first week in February, but we intend to continue classes self funded.
Discussed "The Androids Dream" by John Scalzi at the SF Reading Group. Once again I fail to finish the book before the meeting. Still enjoyable though.
Saw Stargazing Live (recorded ;-)) with first British space walk - Tim Peake born in Sussex!
Used my new scales and BP monitor to record weight and BP every hour on one Sunday, quite surprising the fluctuations and consistencies.
Temperature finally dropped below 0°C for the first time, we even got a light dusting of snow!
Decided I need to go to the theatre more often (especially as I currently can get there for free) so booked 3 performances at The Theatre Royal - Brighton. Saw the first one "The Mousetrap - 60th Anniversary Tour" on the last Saturday as a matinee.
Got a copy of Gentleman Jole & the Red Queen from Lois McMaster Bujold personally signed.
On the last Wednesday in the month went to London. Saw the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the British Library. Then to the Science Museum to see the Ada Lovelace exhibit. Returned to the Science Museum for SMLates. Main reason wa to see the "Cosmonaut" exhibit which was excellent.
Ordered the Audio version of LMB's GJ&tRQ - I have all the others, though I haven't listened to all of them.
mbernardi: (WeeMee)
Suffered cold and had to take time off work. Ballroom dancing classes every Tuesday, but not for the last two weeks
Yoga classes also continued except for the last two weeks of the month.
Bought an amazon fire TV stick, not quite as useful as it seemed in reviews and TV adverts!
Christmas Dance in Steyning Alice & Bradley demo and End of Year Dance in Crawley, demo Sam & Shannon
Brighton SF Book Club had a Christmas party with is short discussion of Bill the Galactic Hero
Visited the Chiropractor, had an issue with my right shoulder.
Finally sent out Christmas cards, and got amazon voucher for xmas presents
Completed Fire Safety training online to complete all mandatory work training - still need face to face fire safety training
Got train and bus to my parents and sister's family home on xmas eve, took 2 hours 30 min (car takes 20 min)
Spent Christmas with my family, came home to discover my shower had failed, had to buy replacement.
Last Tuesday in the month went to the Rocky Horror Show with J, at the Theatre Royal in Brighton.

July 2017

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