Wednesday, January 06, 2016

New Year 2016

Well, here we are, the first week of January 2016. It's has been a relatively stress-free Christmas and New Year. We were on our own, so nobody else to bother us. Carol had a hospital appointment on the Sunday after Christmas Day, so that was on her mind for most of the holiday period. It might seem odd to have appointments on a Weekend day, but it makes sense in some ways, when they are endeavouring to cut waiting times for appointments. We walked through from Eaglestone, but even then it was incredibly difficult to find the place where the appointment was. Nobody told us that you couldn't enter the hospital via the main, front' entrance, as it is closed off for building work. Where you would enter if you had parked your car in the carpark. So we had to walk back round to the side and go in through another entrance and then walk along a very long corridor until we found were we were supposed to be for the appointment. Not very well sign-posted anywhere, unfortunately. Up a few stairs to another floor. 

Today Carol had to go to Ashfield Medical Centre for a blood test. It was a little after 8 o'clock and we got there far too early. No queue at the door as you now have to ring to get a doctor to ring you back and then decide if you really need a proper appointment. (See my earlier post on this matter.)  The self-checkin system wasn't working. Now there's a surprise. It hasn't been working the last couple of times I've been to the surgery. A member of staff put a notice on the screen saying 'out of order.' No sooner had she put it there than it fell off. So she came back out and re-affixed it, but it fell off again. There was one other person waiting. Unusual, as the place is usually heaving with people waiting and attempting to get appointments. We were in and out relatively  quickly and easily but then we had to get back to the Academy and there was quite a queue of cars at the Standing Way roundabout. 

We have a house guest staying at present. She is from Canada and has begun as an English teacher at Milton Keynes Academy and is staying with us until she can find permanent accomodation. She flew in to Gatwick Airport of Saturday and was driven up to Milton Keynes by someone who is also a teacher at the academy. She is very self-sufficient and we have made her very welcome. Hopefully she will have sorted out a flat or somewhere to share within 4-6 weeks.

The weather has been exceptionally unseasonal over the last month or so. Certainly not cold and icy as it usually is at this time of the year. We went to Whipsnade on Boxing Day, which was great as it was a good excuse to get out of the house. The Fellowship membership of Z.S.L. makes it well worth visiting as we don't have to pay entrance to get in and we drove the car round which saves all the walking.

I mentioned that we'd set up a subscription to a magazine called PhotoPlus. I was surprised to get a delivery yesterday morning, the camera bag which is a gift for becoming a subscriber. A really fantastic Lowepro Urban Reporter, which is worth at least £80. It certainly makes being a subscriber worth while if it means you get this bag. We were looking for a camera bag when we bought the Canon digital camera before Christmas, so this makes a sort of late Christmas present. It also means I can keep not just the camera in it and carry around when we go out and about, but also if necessary, the Apple Macbook laptop (which, incidentally, I'm writing this blog on at the moment.) plus lenses and any additional equipment that goes with the camera. I was expecting the bag to arrive in a month or two, not so quickly as it did.

I haven't done any further serious writing over the holiday period, but I have been making notes for a piece of writing I have been working on recently and as a result I have since been doing more work on the actual writing  over the past couple of days and which is going surprisingly well,  so it's a really good start to 2016.


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