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December 31, 2003

The End of Another Year

...and I think I've got the lurgy :-(

A good friend from Uni days, Jane, popped up to see Jules with me today, and it was a great chance to catch up on over 2 years stuff :-D She originally though Jules must be in hospital having a baby (seems to be what everyone else is doing ATM ;-)) so it was a little bit of a shock when she realised what we've been through in the last year.

Jules seemed a little quiet and not all with it today, sleepy and tired, I guess from the intensive physio, aspecially given the Christmas break from it. She has managed to start writing a shopping list, the result of which will no doubt have me running around ASDA one night ;-)

Couple of pics in the extended bit...

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We popped down the cafe for a cool drink, and chance to catch up with what Jane's been upto since we'd last seen her 2 years ago.

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Jules seemed a little more tired than yesterday, but still had the energy to slap me and listen in on all the goings-on :-D

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December 30, 2003

Futhermore

Continuing from the earlier entry, 2 more things highlighting that she's still, "Compus-mentus". It's her brother's birthday today, Stu, so we went to get a card from the hospital shop.


  1. She insisted on buying a card with boobs on it :-O

  2. She signed the card, Julie & Alan Bell. I questioned this and she gave me that look of, "Yeah, and have you got a problem with it" ;-)

Posted by alan at 4:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Latest

Jules has had an assessment from the local hospice, Letchworth Garden, and they'll be giving their answer next week. It look's likely that she'll be moving there soon, since the level of care at Lister isn't as high as that at the hospice.

As for Jules herself, things are still progressing slowly, although some things are taking a back step. Her energy levels seem to go up and down each day, with some days full strength, and others no strength. She's still able to communicate, read, and give as good as she gets. It's now more of a case of picking a good day to chat. On the bad days she's simply too tired to try, and needs lots of encouragement to try.

Physio and occupational therapy continues, but struggles with her energy levels. She's now taking days out when things are too much, so it isn't a daily routine as before.

A friend mentioned the other day, "Has she lost her marbles?", which I could understand as she's not anything like she used to be, the chatterbox of old. But I soon put them to rights, explaining she's still got an eye for detail, reading anything she has to sign (student loans being one), and writing down lists of things to be done, bought, etc...

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December 29, 2003

Busted Bed!

Got there today to find Jules bed in bits on the landing by the lifts. It would appear that it's busted :-O

Got some pics of her reaction once the bed was back and she was safely tucked in once more...

Busted Bed!

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"Oh dear" ;-)

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When I pointed out it couldn't have been me, despite her pointing, as my dainty frame wouldn't have caused strain to the bed mechanism, she laughed
;-)

Posted by alan at 7:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 28, 2003

Big Day In Bed!

Last night was a party to end all party's, or at least that was Tez's opinion of the night out in Stevenage :-D Early start for him and Ian as the Hull City game against Doncaster is on and they're off to it. Me? I'm off back to bed to catch up on me sleep, and then wave off Nige and Mum.

Pics in the extended bit...

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Nige and Tez, ready for a night out, even if the divine light is only shining on one of them ;-)

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Ian just sits in awe of it all.

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Soon time to move onto Hogshead, so drink up boys...

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Nige needs a little encouragement, although headbutting wasn't what we had in mind.

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No sooner are we in Hogshead than Tez is already playing the prank, Ian finding more than a cushion to sit on :-O

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Chris turns up, better late than never ;-)

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Ian's well into the party mood now, his hands a blur of dance moves ;-)

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It was then a move onto Chicago's and time to settle into the party groove. Ian grabbed a drink and began sharking ;-)

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GET 'ERE :-D

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Soon the cracks were starting to show, Nige looking a lot worse for wear...

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...and me not far behind ;-)

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December 27, 2003

Big Night Out

Ian's mate, Tez, is coming down today so we're going out and showing him the sights and sounds of Stevenage

Popped in to see Jules after he'd turned up, some of Jules ' college mates are popping in (UPDATE: Only Chris was healthy enough, Dan and Adriano were full of cold). Jules brother Stuart just won't let an opportunity go when it comes to making his sister suffer in the food fights. Many instances in London ensued, which never got caught on camera, with cream flying in the ward. And then there was that time that Jules thought I needed a hairwash with one of her custard puddings :-O

So, to see the latest escapade click on the extended bit...

Oh, I took the water pistol in too, and that went down a storm :-D

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Jules , in a rather energetic mood, probably brought on by the waterpistol she'd got for Christmas.

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"Take cover!", as Jules starts using the pistol. Her Uncle Laurie got a full soaking.

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So, in return, Stu got her pudding and stuck the spoon on her chin :-D

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December 26, 2003

Boxing Day Sales

Thought we'd pop into town for the sales, only to find that everywhere's shut :-(

Did manage to get my bluetooth adaptor, so will hopefully have it set up and ready for downloading pics soon :-D

Off out for a drink with Nige and Ian, a quiet one down the Old Town since they're saving themselves for tomorrow night and Ian's mate, Tez, coming down.

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December 25, 2003

Christmas Day

We descended on the hospital en-mass and gave Jules a Christmas to remember. Lots of pressies, some drinks, and plenty of happy times. Need to crack on and get dinner ready now, as we're starvin'

Pics in the extended bit...

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Jules was looking very cheerful and awake when we got there. And soon everyone had arrived, and the presents could be opened.

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First up was the alcohol, permission given, so a large bottle of Smirnoff was cracked open, and her cheeks were soon a rosey red :-D

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Jules , drink in hand, and me with my special Christmas bear, celebrating a cracking day :-D

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A lovely cross pendant from her Aunt Jenny and Uncle Tony. Also notice her cheeks, by now the drink's taking effect, and she can't stop smiling :-D :-D :-D

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More presents, a giraffe no less :-D

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And lots of smellies, including probably most of Bodyshop and Boots :-D

All in all a grand day, with lots to open, and lots to be happy about. I'd just like to thank everyone for all the gifts and cards, which are arranged all over her room now :-D

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Christmas Eve Pt2

I know it's Christmas Day, and it's late too, but last night was not a quiet one (thanks Chris :-() I have the hangover to kill all hangovers, and no recollection AT ALL of what happened when we left Chicago's :-( :-O

Pics of what happened in the extended bit...

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Chris, jugs in hand, setting himself up for the night ;-)

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...and before you know it, he's got some "friends" to share his drinks with ;-)

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Soon the bar is but a blur...

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Old friends, Nathan and Naomi, out for drinks with friends - haven't seen either of 'em in over a year :-O

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A friend of Chris and Stuart, who's name completely slips my mind ;-)

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December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve Pt1

Popped in to see Jules .

Chris is on about going out for a drink, but I feel shattered. Might just pop out for one or two, but really need to be home early to catch up on some sleep and get things ready for the family arriving.

A few piccies in the extended bit...

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The happy couple settling in for the night. Well, I'd have stayed, but was told "No" and "Hurt" by Jules . I also got the look ;-)

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Jules face says it all, "Oh no, not again" ;-)


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"Gis a kiss" :-D

She seemed really cheery tonight, but still really tired, being off to sleep shortly after we left. Can't wait 'til tomorrow and bringing in all the pressies. Would've been nice her being home for it, but someone up high decided not.

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December 23, 2003

Video Night

Tonight we watched Legally Blonde 2, very funny. And with Strawberry Cheesecake, a selection of indian snacks, Coke and a smile :-D

Oh, and whilst I remember, there's some more pics dotted around the December weekend in Hull, so have a look thro' the December archive.

Chrismas Eve tomorrow, soon be Christmas Day ;-)

Posted by alan at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shaking!

Awoke this morning to the news of an earthquake out in California :-O


Earthquake rocks California coast

Fortunately it didn't affect the guys in SF, and we didn't experience one when out there. But the pics are bad enough :-(

Posted by alan at 1:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 22, 2003

What U Lookin' At?

Jules was a little tired tonight, so I didn't stay long after dinner. Gave me chance to go and get those last minute Christmas gifts ;-)

Of course, once home my attention was required by someone feeling a little left out of it all...

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New "Cat-in-a-bag" :-D It can't be comfortable in there, can it?

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"What you lookin' at Buster?"

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December 21, 2003

Lots of Visitors!

Jules had a load of visitors today :-D

Geoff (aka Leonard), Ruby and Ruth (friends from Cambridge), Sy (work mate), and Jules Aunt Lyn and Uncle Laurie amongst others.

Tiring day, but she was able to throw a smile when it counted...

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I really wish she'd put her finger away once and a while.

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Hooray, a picture of a smile and no finger :-D

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December 20, 2003

Long Time No See

Jules friend from College days, Lee, popped in to see her today. And she seemed a lot more chirpy than Friday. I guess after the partying excess of Friday she'd had chance to recharge those batteries.

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Don't think that grin could get any bigger :-D

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December 19, 2003

Tired

Jules was really tired tonight. Had a heavy day in physio apparently, and some of dinner went down the wrong way, so a coughing session really took the wind out of her sails.

So I left her snoozing. Not that I managed to creep out before being told, "Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream". Won't be allowed to forget that for tomorrow's video night :-D

Pic in the extended bit...

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Fast asleep, well, almost ;-)

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December 18, 2003

Party!

Jules had a christmas party down with the Physio team today we think. We can't be too sure as her memory's not all that good now, but the clues were in her attire...

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Fast asleep, but still with her hat on :-D

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It's Christmas!

Woke this morning to find we've had one heck of a frost over night. Winter is definately upon us, and Christmas now feels like it's round the corner. Forecast snow at the weekend too, so it'll be getting all festive by next week.

Pic in the extended bit...

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The fleet, all cold and frosty :-(

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December 17, 2003

Pissed Off!

That's all we could get out of Jules tonight. She's pissed off with something, but can't work out or explain what. It might've been dinner, as the smell on the ward was smoked/boiled fish, which would've gone down well - NOT

Not as chirpy as normal, but quite chatty.

Pics in the extended bit...

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Whatever it was pissing her off was soon forgotten, and she was smiling again once more :-D

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December 16, 2003

You're Back Then

Jules was happy to see me and Chris back from Hull tonight. Quite chatty and full of beans, we watched some TV and she drank a fair amount too.

Pics in the extended bit...

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"You're back then" and she looked happy to see us :-D

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...but it wasn't long before she had her tongue out, spoilig the photo :-D

Posted by alan at 11:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bits of News

2 stories of interest in the news:


BBC NEWS Health Chilling theory on bowel disease

Interesting, as it seems to go against the theory that the food and diet is the cause, and not the way we store it. And I've always wondered whether more medical issues are down to the environment we eat in, rather than the food we eat.

The other, more close to home, was on the PR stunt in Italy:


Eurofighter Typhoon On Top of the World

Not a surprise that the car won over the short distances, but once it was in the sky...

Posted by alan at 1:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2003

Full Of It

As mentioned, spent the weekend with Jules bruv Chris up North visiting the family. And feel like crap today :-( Aches, shakes, sore throat, yeap, not good :-(

Popped up to see Jules quickly, didn't stay too long in case I'm coming down with something. She's all smiles and laughter, which cheered me up no end. It's been a while since she's been like this, so something's obviously working :-D

Early night and lots of Lemsips me thinks ;-)

Posted by alan at 9:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 14, 2003

Owh Urgh!

What a night last night :-(

Went out with Nige and Ian, Tez, Mum, Geoff, Pete, Lyn, and a few others. Chris ( Jules Bruv) had the whole Bev Road experience before going into Town and popping by the office.

Not sure what time we got home, but we're all feeling worse for wear. Doesn't help that it feels like I've a cold coming on too :-(

Pics in the extended bit...

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Nigel and Tez, one of Ian's mates, having a little disagreement before we got in the pub...;-)

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...which was understandable when we realised just what Nigel had come out in...:-O

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...and so the pair of them just wouldn't let it lie ALL night ;-)

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"Get It Out!"
A quiet family shouting match, just the thing on a night out
;-)

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Once in Mainbrace, it was jugs of Vodka Redbull, and Chris was, naturally, first to the bar ;-)


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"Get It Out!"
And by the end of the night, Chris was out cold on the floor :-O

Posted by alan at 3:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 13, 2003

Whiskey Anyone?

Managed to get up to my brothers place in the country around 8pm last night. A couple of his friends, Glennnnnnnn and Cheryl were there too.

Good to catch up and fill them in on what's been happening in life recently.

And then there was the happy hour whiskeys ;-)

Pics up in the extended bit shortly...

Posted by alan at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2003

Fact Not Fiction?

Nicking this link from Jonathan's weblog, not because of the frightening way TV is bending science into drama, but more to do with those involved:

Guardian Unlimited Life Never mind the facts

What's a little disturbing is discovering the guy who originally kicked off all this hysteria was from the Royal Free. These people have been giving us advice and treatment. Hopefully with a little more thought than this.

Bugger, it's on next Monday and I've just realised I'm out. Wonder if I can work out how the video works?

Posted by alan at 2:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Updates

I've finally added all the pics from the US and days prior to me flying over. Best thing to do is click on the monthly archives for November and December to see them all.

More pics from the US will be appearing in the December posts once Phil's downloaded them off his camera, oh, and gotten over the flu bug he picked up off my old boss during our first training session this week ;-)

Posted by alan at 1:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2003

New Cinema Opens!


Yeap, thanks to Jules close friend Maria and her better half Carl, we had an evening watching Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. And what a funny film it was too.

No snogging on the back seats tonight, and the popcorn was a bit lacking. But a good nights entertainment. We'll wait and see what's showing on screen 1 next week ;-)

Posted by alan at 10:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Muscle Treatment Starts

As Jules has high muscle tone, a common thing post-stroke, it's becoming more and more difficult to do physio without causing her discomfort. Part of my chat with the doc from Northwick Park on Tuesday included an explaination on trying a treatment using Botulinum Toxin.

Jules had her first injection today, with her mum around just to see what's what. And Jules seemed quite comfortable tonight, but more of why in my next post. I'm just hunting around for some pics, you'll understand when you see ;-)

Posted by alan at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thanks!

All the emails of support, it's nice to know some people are grateful of what I'm doing here, and are reading it. More so that the info I'm posting is plenty enough to keep you all in touch with what's happening.

Thanks again :-D :-D :-D :-D

Posted by alan at 1:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 10, 2003

Sussed!

Having explained to Jules where I went over in the US, including the more adult style of burger bar (Hooters), I got the usual treatment from her tonight.

Pics in the extended bit!

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I know what you were up to ;-)

Posted by alan at 10:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And Another Thing

Some people STILL seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick over the purpose of this weblog.

It's a place for me to post the news as and when so I DON'T have to sit late at night calling and emailing everyone. And also a place I can post up happy times, as well as sad.

So, for those still moaning about the lack of information, sorry, but when there's nothing to post, there's nothing to post. And, again, for the benefit of all, thank you for the info, support, and help, and apologies for not replying to each and every individual note. I've assumed posting here would be sufficient, since I've not got the time to thank everyone individually. What can I say? Sorry.

Posted by alan at 1:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 9, 2003

Change of Plan

Having now had a chat with the doctor from Northwick Park the picture is now a little clearer. Jules will not be coming home after all, the concern being that space in our house isn't sufficient for all the equipment. And the other news also means things are getting a little more serious a little more quicker than we had planned.

Given the current prognosis and the rapid deterioration in her condition the doctor's now think it will be lucky if she sees the other side of the summer next year.

You can only imagine how I feel right now, I thought we had 296 days, it turns out we might only have 204.

Our house has suddenly fallen quieter than ever before tonight :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

Posted by alan at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 8, 2003

That'll Be The Bed Then...

...or at least that's what I would've been saying tonight if I'd not explained to Community Equipment that they'd have a job trying to fit a hospital bed, hoist, commode, and wheelchair in our living room :-O More so if they're not going to move all the furniture out first.

Looks like our little chat with the Occupational Therapist tomorrow's going to be fun :-X

Posted by alan at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 7, 2003

Back!

I'm back in the good ol' UK, and once I've worked out what time it is, and don't feel knackered I'll start posting up some of the pics.

Posted by alan at 2:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 6, 2003

Upper Class!

In the Upper Class lounge at SF airport, and lovin' it ;-)

Internet access, free food, free drinks, it's heaven :-D

Better get off now and go and have a bite to eat as it's lunchtime here.

Posted by alan at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 5, 2003

Homeward Bound!

Signing off now, as the course has ended and we're off for an afternoon and evening catching the tourist thing before we jet off tomorrow morning back to Blighty :-D

Gonna miss the place, as it's been a great week, loads to do, and a chance to see things I wouldn't otherwise get the chance.

Posted by alan at 9:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Good Vibes!

Reading Ivan Noble's diary on the BBC, he's filling us all with hope:


BBC NEWS Health Tumour diary Interesting times

Oh, and it's still raining here, and forecasts more to come :-(

Posted by alan at 5:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Passed Test - 100%!!

Go funky banana!
Just done my second test of the week, this time on P100 Primavera for Enterprise: Methodology ManagerPrimavera, and passed with full marks.

So, I'm now a qualified Methodologist, something to put on the ol' CV eh :-D

Posted by alan at 12:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 4, 2003

Virus Attack!

Looks like the world's under attack once more, work email seems to be locked down again.

Symantec Security Response

Oh, and it's raining again :-(

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December 3, 2003

Passed Test!

Go funky banana!
Just done my first test of the week, P106 Primavera Project Manager for Enterprise: Advanced Course, and passed with flying colours (well, 95%!)

So, it's off to the bar for a drink, and chance to relax before tomorrow's test :-D

Posted by alan at 11:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

FIRE!!

San Francisco Fire EngineJust had a false alarm fire in the office. Fire engines, firemen, sirens, everything. And they don't hang around either :-O

Pics in the extended bit...

San Francisco Fire Engine
The fire brigade arrive :-O


San Francisco Fire Engine
And drive the wrong way up the street, against the flow of the trams :-O

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Cable Cars


Getting around town is different, and with all the steep streets it's a great laugh going around on these things :-D

The cable cars don't go real fast, that's the electric trams. And they go along like silver and green bullets, a real fast way of travelling around the place.

Hopefully I'll have some real pics to pop up when we get back. But until then, have a look at the San Francisco Cable Car website.

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What A Diner!

Hooters Girls posing for a Birthday photo

Went here for dinner last night (remember it's 9am here, not 5pm as the posting date suggests):

Hooters Diner, San Francisco

Bit of an "eye-opener", not exactly your typical McDonalds ;-)

But the food and beer was excellent :-D :-D :-D

Posted by alan at 5:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 2, 2003

Some More News

Surfing over lunch I found a few more stories on the BBC website. It's the only way to keep in touch with what's happening the other side of the pond ;-)

BBC NEWS England Emlyn Hughes fights tumour

BBC NEWS Health Tumour Diary Tying the knot

BBC NEWS Health Tumour diary Things are looking up

Posted by alan at 11:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Day 2!

Well, the second day of the course has started, and despite assurances, it's STILL pouring with rain, an unseasonal thing I'm told :-(

Strange things I've noticed:


Bathroom's
The light switch is a switch. IN THE BATHROOM :-O

Weather
California is the sunshine state, but as the link shows, it ain't at the mo' :-(
National Weather Service Radar Image - Short Range Base Reflectivity - San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Crossing The Road
The car's wait for you, rather than beep the horn and force you outta the way :-D

Clothes
Cheap, cheap, cheap :-D 2 pr of Gap jeans, and 2 t-shirts, all for 64 :-D And DVD's aren't too badly priced either.

Posted by alan at 4:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 1, 2003

Hello from the US!

I'm here! Been raining for over 2 days now, just like back home.

Went over the Golden Gate, so I've now done the 2 longest suspension bridges in the world, assuming that the Humber Bridge is STILL the longest ;-)

Beer - expensive
Clothes - well cheap, I've got a whole new wardrobe, although I've needed it given the weather ;-)
Hotel - cool, big room, big bed, although no breakfast :-(

Time difference - it's 10am, even tho the posting is 6pm. Jet lag's weird, you feel hungry at the wrong times, and regardless of the daylight you feel knackered at the wrong times.

Course is going well, and the people on it seem cool too.

Posted by alan at 5:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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