Sunday, 29 May 2011


Here I am.
In a very.Quiet. House.

Just me.
And the chirpy birds outside.

Mr H and Spot just left to go North.

I'm not too sad though, I just need to adjust to not having the 4-legged, waggy, hungry, spotty thing around, and I'll see them in the middle of June, if all goes to plan.

In the meantime, on with revision and determination to not just pass, but do the best I damn well can..16 days to Exam Day and then I'm on holiday for the summer!!

Oh, I'll still have the day job, but that's no sweat.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Exam dilemma

I have realised that the hardest part of my exam is going to be finding the right pen to take!   Thankfully being a letter writer I am more used than most to handwriting, but not for 3 hours solid...  So I am trying out pens. I borrowed some from work which are gel pens. Great I thought, these will flow nicely and not need much pressure, but they are rubbish.

The one that looks posher is horrible and scratchy and leaves gaps in letters.  The other one is better.  But the problem with gel pens is the smudging.  Now I know that I am going to want to leave a gap while I jot down something for the next paragraph while I think of it, and then go back to fill in the gap.  I did it while doing a practice answer and ended up with a black hand and an unreadable paragraph.

I could take my favourite ink pen which I use for letter writing, but again the same problem. I could use a bit of paper to cover up the paragraph while I lean on it, but we're not allowed to take paper extra paper into the exam and our answers are written in a booklet.

I could use my posh ballpoint pen that the office bought me when I'd been there 25 years, but I have to press too hard so I'll have cramp within 10 minutes.

I have 2 1/2 weeks to sort this out!  So now I'll try out some of the other ballpoints I have, but not too much otherwise they'll run out of ink after the first paragraph....

Other than that, it's the simple (?) task of learning the essay contents.

Just now I'm working on Attention and Perception, which is interesting. It has also gone some way to explaining how I managed to walk past a pile of wood on the drive and not notice it, something that Mr H has always taken great pleasure in reminding me!

Spot's Spot: the hills are calling

It's my last week here in the South for a while - on Sunday dad is collecting me and I'm going up to Scotland for the summer.  I'll miss mum but I'll still see her on visits!

I don't think she'll miss my summer moult...

But I'm sure she'll miss our little chats.

bye for now,
Django x

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Listening to the evidence

This evening I listened to the audio recording of the inquest. I had asked My Nice Policeman if I could get a copy expecting a written report, but it came through on a CD with a friendly note from the Coroner, and it was audio.

I thought at first there had been a mistake because it came up in iPlayer titled as some Latin music by a bloke called Les... albeit 46 minutes long!  blimey, that would almost be worse than one of the self-indulgent guitar widdlers that I hate!

So, it was the recording from the court, complete with scuffles and sniffs. The most interesting part was the report by the road investigation team about the vehicles and the marks on the road, and what they could ascertain from them.

What I have discovered, that I didn't know and had no recollection of, is that the evidence points to me being tucked right into the nearside and using my brakes at the time of impact, though there was no evidence of emergency braking on either side.  The being tucked in is no surprise as that would be a natural avoidance reaction.   But they asked me in my statement whether I'd braked and I had no idea, but apparently they can tell because the brake light bulbs were blown.  So that made me feel better, as if I had actually reacted in some way instead of just sitting there like a lemon.

I still feel no emotion about the other driver dying, even after listening to the inquest.  It just seems very factual and cold to me, which is odd because normally I am a very emotional person.

It's hard to believe that it is now almost a year ago, I can't decide whether it seems longer or shorter, or neither.  I do keep coming across things at work that I would normally do, but can tell that someone else did it - when I check I find they were done in the period when I wasn't in the office, which feels a bit strange.

My solicitor wants me to see a psychologist for an assessment, to do with my driving anxiety and just general negativity about recovery that hits me sometimes.   Her suggesting that has made me feel the opposite, ie. incredibly normal, but it will be an interesting experience. And who knows maybe it will even help.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Discombobulation and muscles

Hey hey, sorry about the lack of posts....  I had a busy weekend with Mr H, and I'm kind of still discombobulated as I try and get back into revision mode.

So here is a picture of my vegetable patch at the weekend, getting the strimmer treatment. I can't wait to nosh on new potatoes and beans.

Charging off on a different tangent:   today I took some photos of my leg for the solicitor, and when I compared them with the ones I took in January I realised that my right leg isn't as weak looking as it was. The cycling and walking etc. is paying off - I have more muscles - hurrah!

Now, back to the books.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

And... relax

Hey, well you'll be pleased to hear I'm feeling better since my last post.

Mr H reminded me that the only thing I have to do is Be Here.. which I knew already, but.   I will make the effort to clear a chair in the kitchen and another space on the table though ie. sort out the piles of paperwork which I just shuffle around to make room for a plate.

Gratuitous photograph: A little friend reading a letter

On Tuesday night I had a walk around the field with Django and decided I'd set myself too full a timetable for revising. Even walking the dog helps revision, as I go over things in my head and imagine trying to explain things to people.  So, I'll chill out a bit and also reduce the number of 'just in case' subjects I revise to a cursory read through later.  I'll concentrate on three and hopefully get to know them well enough that it doesn't matter what questions they hit us with on them.

Last night I went over to a friend's for tea of home-made lasagne, and not-so-home-made pavlova supplied by me. I was so tired when I got home from work that I fell asleep and only just woke up in time to go out!  But had a nice relaxing evening just chatting and was home at 10.30pm.

And at 10.30pm tonight I'll be waiting to pick up Mr H at the station - hurrah!  Django doesn't know yet, he will be so excited.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


I should be excited about Mr H coming home for the weekend, and I am of course, but I'm also feeling pretty stressed.

The house needs cleaning, the bed needs changing, have I got enough food? the right food? we've only got 3 nights and one of those we're going out - so I feel annoyed that Mum and Dad want to see us but of course they do and I can't get out of that one.

Three and a half days.. it just isn't long enough.

Django is doing my head in and I wish Mr H was driving down so he could take him back this weekend instead of me having him another two weeks.  I've got revision to do and a stupid pension form and PMS, and the dog whinging for attention constantly is REALLY not helping.

*Sigh* I know I will feel better once Mr H is here, but I'll feel even better when he's taken the whiny little brat to Scotland!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The countdown begins...

I have just submitted my last coursework assignment hurrah! and there is a feeling of being on the home straight.   I now have 5 weeks until the exam on June 14th.  

One of the good things about the Open University is that they give you a huge amount of support not only throughout the year but in preparation for the exam. It's different from being in college or uni and having day to day interaction with tutors and other students, and many of us haven't sat an exam for a good many years!  So, they don't just say "OK you're exam date is 14th June, you have revision time allocated in the schedule".  Oh no.

We have a whole booklet about preparing for the exam, the structure of it and on which chapters the questions will be based. They tell us what the markers will be looking for and all sorts of other useful tips including "make sure you can write for 3 hours with the pen you have chosen, without your arm seizing up" or words to that effect. We have specimen exam papers and can get past papers off the website. We have a 6 hour revision day school in two weeks time.

It makes it feel much less daunting, and my tutor said yesterday that it is a lot harder to fail the exam than pass it!

So, I have made myself a revision timetable for the next 5 weeks, starting today with preparation ie. reading the OU information and thinking about how I'm going to set out my notes.  I have decided on the chapters I am going to concentrate on - sorry Freud but your psychoanalytic stuff got ditched!

I've decided (after reading the chapter on memory!) to do a bit of each subject each week, rather than a week on Learning, a week on Perception or whatever. That way I keep topping up the information.

In some kind of masochistic way I'm almost looking forward to the challenge!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Six word Saturday

Garden soaking up the welcome rain

We've had a very dry month, very unusual for April in England!   I've been watering the vegetable patch almost every night, as promised rain has not materialised. It was therefore a very welcome thunderstorm we had last night, and it's going to rain all day today.   

Normally on a Saturday I'd be wishing for dry weather, but today I'm revelling in the wet and the plants almost smiling at me.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Bumbling along

I've lost interest this evening. In everything.

I could be washing up, proof reading my essay, having a shower, walking Django, writing my blog.... oh.  Well.

After cycling home I did some comprehensive weeding in the vegetable patch. That was enough for me, can I curl up with my book now?

The best part of today was standing under the Laburnum, listening to the constant hum of lots of bumblebees collecting pollen in their trousers...

I could have stood there all day but unfortunately 'stuff' required my attention.  Like work.

My mind's not really on stuff at the moment.

It's thinking about the fact that I'm picking Mr H up from the station next Thursday night for a long weekend.  He hasn't been home since March and everything in the garden looks so different now, I can't wait to share it with him.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Getting my hands dirty

I'm working today, it's not as busy as last Monday as we worked hard last week before the bank holiday.  I was a bit late because when I went to start the Golf it beeped and then said "Nah".  Oh.  Nothing on the ignition, nothing when I pressed the lock/unlock on the key fob.  Oh ok - battery then.  Checked that I hadn't left the lights on, and recalled that a couple of days ago it had hesitated uncharacteristically when starting.   

Thankfully, with a few years of driving classic cars behind me, I'm not the sort to shout 'help' before I need to.

Up bonnet, the connector on the negative battery terminal was loose - then I remembered that I think it has happened before on this car.   Next, search in the workshop/garage for a suitable spanner or socket. I really wanted Mr H's nice Snap-On set but he must have it in Scotland, I found a) a metric set of sockets b) a handle c) a converter because the socket was a different size to the handle.  Banged the terminal on with the end of the handle, tightened it as far as it would go and hey presto, she worked.  

It's still not as tight as it should be, and I think the problem is that the battery is too short so the outer box gets in the way of the cable and the connector won't push all the way on to the terminal.  If I'd had more time I probably would have ended up whipping out the battery and sticking a bit of wood under it to jack it up so that it fitted better!  In the meantime, the socket is now in the door pocket, in case I or Mr H are out in the middle of nowhere next time it happens.

I actually felt very good because it's a long time since a car has broken down on me, and with modern cars it's often useless even looking under the bonnet.  It made me enthusiastic to have a classic on the road again, when you carry a toolbox in the boot and the AA is a last resort.

I even enjoyed getting my hands dirty.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Spot's Spot

Today we found a hollow in the ground and I ate fir cones 'til my teeth hurt...

But I was still hungry for my breakfast when we got home!