mbernardi: (Default)
So this month I took over the duty of putting the rubbish bins out for collection, which means getting up 5 minutes earlier on Tuesdays!
On the first Saturday I went in to London to the Science Museum, as this was my last chance to see the exhibition “Robots - The 500-year quest to make machines human”, well worth the time and money, the exhit book was also good value reduced from £25 to £15 (same price as ticket).
Dance classes on Tuesday continue with a completely new cha cha routine, which is cool - but makes my brain and body hurt! Dance practice on 1st & 3rd Friday of the month and Social dance on the last Saturday.
I’ve been watching Who do you think you are? and Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? Both provide a self learning experience for the participants - in different ways. Also watching Midnight Texas - and listened to the audio edition of the original book and it’s fairly unlike the TV show - the big bad is totally different. Strictly Come Dancing has started - meaning that autumn is definitely here.
The SF Book Club book this month was “The Peripheral” which again I didn’t finish, there was a lively discussion though.
Managed to post my Worldcon report (in addition to my monthly blog!)
Took a day off to help D with packing, also was able to see “Dunkirk” at the Orion Cinema - Golden Years only £2.50 inc tea and biscuit!
Renewed season ticket using 13 delay repay voucher (£33.50 refunded).
Managed to chip one of my teeth, and got an “emergency” appointment right after being fitted with a 24 hour blood pressure monitor (my dentist and doctor are about 100m apart).
My physio appointment at the Princess Royal Hospital finally came through, must exercise ham strings, which are then affecting my back, no yoga this month - 2+ months without classes.
Went to visit parents & sister and had a very busy weekend. Arrived on Friday to discover Dad may be suffering from Alzheimer's. Mum wanted to close her Force 9 account, so had to copy her website to an archive location on my site, and redirect all email and web pages to new locations. In the evening my sister took Mum and I to an Americana evening with line dancing (though floor area was not large!) First time mum went out in the evening for months if not years. the following afternoon went into Horsham where the town celebrated an American day - weather was lovely and tw one hour line dance demos were given by Flying High Line Dancers (inc my sister) I did stand up and dance in the “audience participation” part of the performance.
My iPhone stop syncing my diary with dropbox (after an iOS update) on the last Thursday of the month. When I tried to force a sync the app crashed so I lost all the written records for a week. I have been able to recreate some details but others have been lost.
mbernardi: (Default)
On Wednesday morning I caught the train to Pasila - Bole; single ticket was 2,90€, got to Messukeskus - exhibition centre by 9:43.
Went through registration in minutes.
Had a wander and chats. Read new Bujold Novella in food court. The iOS app program guide uses WCON75, and there is free wi-fi in the centre. I'll make some general comments then a daily breakdown, list of programme items I attended can be found here.
There were a few things that weren't up to snuff, the most important that the number of attendees was higher than expected (over 6000) and many program items were over subscribed. (Despite queuing and 3 additional large rooms, I didn't get in to any of the NASA program items!)
This was probably due to the high number of first time attendees. Long time con attendees frequently only attend a couple of program items (not including ones they are on). I, however enjoy programming and try to get to as many as I can, in addition to viewing the art show and trawling the dealers room and fan areas. (Details of the programs I actually attended are in a separate post).
The newsletter was not reprinted, so if you missed its original publication you didn't get a copy (there is a PDF version on website though), the app program guide was awesome & regularly updated. The on site food was better than the usual fast food, though there was little nearby, (the train to the city centre ran regularly and only took 5 minutes - so all restaurants there were easily accessible).
Also kudos to the con organisation, as they had arranged for free public transport during the convention (saving me about 20-30€). Generally prices in Helsinki were high, partly due to the country, but also that it is the capital. So rather than spend 5-15€ for each meal I went shopping in Lidl's and bought milk & cereal for bfast and bagels & cream cheese + apples for lunch for the whole stay, for less than the price of 2 meals. As my hotel had a shared kitchen, with free tea and coffee, and a fridge for storage, I was well situated. I only had to buy a single meal per day at the food court.
This con had 49 program items uploaded to YouTube so you could have a more programmed Worldcon than I did (sadly the Hugo Award's appear to have been lost). I can just be glimpsed at the end of Pre-Potter Wizarding School.
Apart from the video recording, and the Hugo for series work (won by Lois McMaster Bujold) the most unique appearances were the blacksmith setup out side and the number of local choirs that performed in the program, and as flash mobs around the con.
I met a number of listies around the con, excluding the James B curry meet on Thursday. Discovered on Saturday that one of the other people staying in the hotel also going to Worldcon so we had a chat before bed. On Saturday I got my first experience of 3D VR - circus acrobat, got really close up without fear of getting hit by a flying limb! Upgraded my Dublin 2019 membership to attending after they won the bid. Went to both the Hugo's & the Masquerade (started queuing early for the latter) in the big auditorium - fairly packed.
And then it ended on Saturday afternoon, and back to my hotel room for the last time (from the station).
For the rest of my trip see the August entry.
mbernardi: (Default)
My Shedule of Events at Worldcon 75


Summary: Opening Ceremonies [https://youtu.be/Y90nK0t5PN0]
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Opening ceremony is the official start to Worldcon 75. It will take you to a journey through the Finnish seasons with dance and music and introduce our Guests.
Start: 2017-08-09 15:00
End: 2017-08-09 16:00

Summary: Fandom as Collaborative Culture!
206 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
SF fandom has always been based on collaboration: filking, fanzines, conventions, book circles - you name it! One might argue that without collaborative culture, fandom isn't fandom anymore! The panelists discuss the old and new ways of keeping our fandom collaborative!
Start: 2017-08-09 18:00
End: 2017-08-09 19:00

Summary: Infamous Bad Book Cover Show
209 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Come see the worst covers of novels - ever!
Start: 2017-08-09 20:00
End: 2017-08-09 21:00


Summary: Tove Jansson's Illustrations for The Hobbit
203a - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Tove Jansson famously illustrated the second Swedish translation (1962) of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, and the illustrations were also used in the first Finnish translation of the novel (1973). Some were also seen in the Tolkien Calendar 2016. The talk examines the illustrations and their background, reception in Sweden and Finland, how Jansson's illustration style changes, and the comparisons between The Hobbit art and her other work (Moomins, Lewis Carroll) from around the same time. This is an updated version of the talk given at Finncon 2014 and Oxonmoot 2014.
Start: 2017-08-10 10:00
End: 2017-08-10 11:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Interview: Nalo Hopkinson
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Guest of Honour Nalo Hopkinson interviewed by Juha Tupasela.
Start: 2017-08-10 11:00
End: 2017-08-10 12:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Presentation: Walter Jon Williams
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-10 12:00
End: 2017-08-10 13:00

Summary: Moomins!
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The panel discusses the Moomintroll books of Tove Jansson - what was their impact on them as children, or as adults?
Start: 2017-08-10 15:00
End: 2017-08-10 16:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Interview: Johanna Sinisalo
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Guest of Honour Johanna Sinisalo interviewed by Jeff Vandermeer
Start: 2017-08-10 16:00
End: 2017-08-10 17:00

Summary: Perils Of Book Collecting (James Bryant)
215 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Discussing the pitfalls and challenges of collecting books: how to store and sort them, getting back books from people who borrowed them, checking the structural integrity of the floor, and finding places to store them.
Start: 2017-08-10 18:00
End: 2017-08-10 19:00


Summary: Audiobooks: What's the Deal?
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Audiobook Markets are increasing year over year as busy people rely more on their earbuds than their eyes to consume fiction. What does this mean for authors, producers, narrators, and reader/listeners?
Start: 2017-08-11 10:00
End: 2017-08-11 11:00

Summary: Caribbean Science Fiction
101c - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Three writers from varying Caribbean islands, creative backgrounds, and personal experiences discuss: What does Caribbean science fiction even mean? How do the faces, voices, experiences, and landscapes of the islands shape readers' perceptions of the future? What do those landscapes have to teach through the lens of science fiction? 
Start: 2017-08-11 11:00
End: 2017-08-11 12:00

Summary: Guest of Honor Presentation: Nalo Hopkinson [https://youtu.be/GgQ2I7Yleaw]
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-11 13:00
End: 2017-08-11 14:00

Summary: Two's Company: Collaborative Genre Writing
Hall 3 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Collaborative writing: How does it work and what are the benefits?
Start: 2017-08-11 16:00
End: 2017-08-11 17:00

Summary: Concert: Unreality
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Unreality's concert collects some of our choir's best songs and you can hear the most amazing extended program in all our history!
Come with us and listen to the music of far planets and unknown dimensions. We'll be travelling both in time and space, battling invaders side by side with giant robots, rebels and kind hearted braves. Step into the unknown with us and experience one unbelievable adventure after the other!
Start: 2017-08-11 17:00
End: 2017-08-11 18:30

Summary: Hugo Awards Ceremonies
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Hugo Awards Ceremony is the absolutely unmissable event at Worldcon 75! Come join Toastmistress Karen Lord and presenters from around the world to be the first to hear who has won the mostprestigious awards in science fiction!
Doors open at 19.00, the Hugo Awards Ceremony will begin at 19.30.
Start: 2017-08-11 19:30
End: 2017-08-11 22:30


Summary: Girl power! Cool comics written by women
216 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Women have written comics for a long time, but what are some recent examples of cool comics written by women? Our panel discusses female comic writers and recommends their favourites.
Start: 2017-08-12 10:00
End: 2017-08-12 11:00

Summary: My First Novel - How to get Started
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Many people dream about writing a novel, but never actually get started. The panel discusses the various ways one may find the inspiration and drive to actually put the pen to paper (or characters on the screen).
Start: 2017-08-12 11:00
End: 2017-08-12 12:00

Summary: Concert: Pixel Sisters
102 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Acapella concert by the Pixel Sisters!
Start: 2017-08-12 12:00
End: 2017-08-12 13:00

Summary: Science Fiction Gone Wrong
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Sometimes science fiction is a prophetic vision of the future. However, science fiction often turns out to be wrong. This can happen either through the actual dates of science fiction arriving on the calendar or scientific discoveries. We celebrat science fiction's triumphs, but what about its failures? What can we learn from science fiction gone wrong? What does it show us about the state of collective consciousness at the time it was written?
Start: 2017-08-12 13:00
End: 2017-08-12 14:00

Summary: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
101c - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Paranormal romance exploded into the SF scene a few years back, but urban fantasy goes a lot further. Very often these two get mixed up, but are there any similarities between the two? The panelists also recommend their favorite books!
Start: 2017-08-12 14:00
End: 2017-08-12 15:00

Summary: Pre-Potter Wizarding Schools [https://youtu.be/V5TcbSpeJPI]
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Harry Potter wasn't the first piece of fiction with wizarding schools, although it did make them hugely popular. The panel discusses some of the older examples of wizarding schools and why does this type of boarding school -genre still remain popular.
Start: 2017-08-12 15:00
End: 2017-08-12 16:00

Summary: Masquerade
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Come see our costumers and cosplayers cross the main stage to show off their creativity and skill.  Color, cut, construction, all combined to create a spectacle for all ages!  Who will be your favorite?  Who will the judges select?  Stay for the Halftime entertainment, provided by Sassafrass, while waiting for the judging results.
Doors open at 19.00, Masquerade will begin at 19.30
Start: 2017-08-12 19:30
End: 2017-08-12 22:30

Summary: Masquerade Half-time [https://youtu.be/xcBmOo3-tpc]
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
While the judges deliberate, enjoy the music of Sassafrass.  This a cappella group has been performing for almost 20 years.  Their repertoire is predominantly original works with fantasy, mythology and science fiction themes.  They will be performing works from their Norse Mythology song cycle.  More information can be found at www.sassafrassmusic.com
Start: 2017-08-12 20:00
End: 2017-08-12 21:00


Summary: Book Blogs
207 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Blogging/vlogging about books has caused some recent controversy. Some authors have claimed bad reviews in book blogs have resulted in poor sales. Book bloggers and authors discuss the importance and power of book bloggers/vloggers.
Start: 2017-08-13 10:00
End: 2017-08-13 11:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Presentation: John-Henri Holmberg
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-13 11:00
End: 2017-08-13 12:00

Summary: Concert: Worldcon 75 Choir
102 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Worldcon 75 Choir will perform a selection of songs.
Start: 2017-08-13 12:00
End: 2017-08-13 13:00

Summary: Oral Storytelling on Audio
215 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Audio as a format of storytelling is not a new thing, but it is very big right now through podcasts. Are there differences in telling your story in writing versus on audio?
Start: 2017-08-13 13:00
End: 2017-08-13 14:00

Summary: WorldCon: Who We Are and Who We Think We Might Be
Hall 3 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Starting at Worldcon 71 and continuing through Worldcon 73, we have collected data on the demographic variables represented by those attending our conventions. As popular culture conventions continue to grow in popularity and as we strive to be a diverse and inclusive community of fans, it is important to rely on objective and empirically-based information to both understand who we are and what purposes Worldcon fulfills for its attendees.
Start: 2017-08-13 15:00
End: 2017-08-13 16:00

Summary: Closing Ceremonies
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The final big event of the convention. Come along to relive the best memories of the past five days and say goodbye to Worldcon 75 as we pass the torch to the Worldcon 76 team from San Jose.
Start: 2017-08-13 17:00
End: 2017-08-13 18:00
mbernardi: (Default)
Maya (D's cat) has finally, after a year of being stopped by a "gate" at the top of the stairs, has discovered she can leap over the bannisters and I find her at the bottom of the stairs when I go down for breakfast.
As part of D's plan to relocate, drove over with S. intending to try to find living quarters and other requirements, not very successful (S didn't really pull his weight as part of the reconnaissance.
Only 3 days dancing this month due to teacher taking 2 weeks off and I went to Helsinki for Worldcon (see separate post for details) Two classes and last Saturday social. Line dancing has finished for the moment ;-(
I caught a Norwegian Airlines flight from Gatwick to Helsinki (take of was about a half hour late, caught the train to the city center, after much wandering finally found hotel on fifth floor of the building.
Took me over an hour from getting off the train to getting to my room!
Using the same train daily to get the the con the walk normally took less than 20 minutes! On Tuesday I spent the day walking around the city, including
On Wednesday Worldcon 75 started with the Opening Ceremony at 3:00pm
On Thursday evening James B invited over a dozen fans, most fans of Lois Mcmaster Bujold, out for a delightful curry at a restaurant in the main city center. A wonderful time was had by all both gastronomically and conversationally.
Friday Evening was the Hugos and Saturday was the Masquerade, the Closing Ceremony was Sunday afternoon.
Monday I tried to remotely renew my library books, but had run out of renewals (had to physically return the boks to the library on my return).
Read a little then went to the information centre, where I bought a 48 hour pass for 39€, this gave access to one of the hop on & off bus services (with commentary) and to various bus tours. It did not however give access to public transport.
First thing I did in the afternoon (as my feet hurt), was a boat cruise around the islands of Helsinki, nice sunny day so very enjoyable. On return to mainland caught Hop on and off bus and stayed on for the complete circuit of the city; took over an hour with "free" earbuds allowing access to the commentary (available in multiple languages).
On Tuesday visited the Island of Suomenlina, and went to the Ehrensvärd Museum; on the island (all included in the price), went back to my room and slept for a couple of hours!
Went on the Imperial evening cruise starting at 7:00 with commentry on the Imperial Russian connection to Finland 200 years ago.
Wednesday I was due to fly out in the late afternoon, but caught the train to the airport just after noon. Had 3 hours to wait between arrival and boarding. Was on the same plane and in the same seat as on my journey out! (plane was named after Jean Sibelius)
Got back to Gatwick airport and caught 7:05 train home, after renewing my season ticket. Luckly I had booked Thursday off work, since I had to buy som food, and return my overdue library books, which entailed a journey to Brighton.
Back to work on Friday, and had to change all my passwords, as they had all expired while I was away. Heard Sir Bruce Forsyth had died on getting home.
Saw the US total eclipse on CNN, watch for an hour or so. Booked ticket to London, as want to see the robot exhibition at the Science Museum. Also booked appointment to see a Physiotherapist
Got the most recent collected editon of The Rivers of London: Black Mould (Graphic Novel). Also started watching the coolest reality show "Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?"

July 2017

Aug. 7th, 2017 08:22 am
mbernardi: (Default)
Ballroom Danced every Tue with J and also on last Saturday in the month for social,
Continued with Yoga (teacher very pregnant!) also line dancing but last two weeks canceled. Practice line dancing on patio
Visited parents (the w/e before their 59th wedding anniversary) and sister - line danced together.
Installed 1Mobile Market on Fire Tablet, allowing me to install many Android apps from Google Play Store on Amazon fire
Went to the cinema to see saw Spider-Man: Homecoming. Also had my annual asthma review - but have to revisit as I was ill at the time. Also got to get a chest x-ray at PRH.
Book club discussed Childhood's End which I had only partially read. Then confirmed group visit to London on the last saturday of the month.
Got a ticket for Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction - an exhibition at the Barbican, and spent most of the day there with 6 other members of the book group.
Discovered that I'd lost the emails with flight and hotel details, (to Finland) fortunately was able to find the correct website to login and download details again.
D gave me his iPhone 6 (with fingerprint scanner). He has a new twin SIMM droid phone
Started watching Midnight Texas

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!


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!

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