Out of Focus - the diary of a student radiographer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Oh, bother

The to-do list has increased by one - postie has brought me a Criminal Records Bureau form to fill in for the Uni. The deadline to return it is in the middle of my hols so that's another thing to be done before I go away.

Looking up

Not feeling so bad now, have been busy whittling down my to-do list - amazing what a deadline (hols - Saturday - yay!) can do for your motivation.

Trouble with being busy is I have not given more than a cursory glance to most of the blogs mentioned to my left - this is annoying as, when I finally read what I missed, I am bound to have an insightful comment or two about a log that was written so long ago that my comment will never be noticed.

Adam and I had a nice restful weekend away from the to-do list, visiting his parents in Norwich. I have been noticing lately a tendancy in Kent for, no sooner do I have a good idea for somewhere to put a cache, then someone else beats me to it before I get a chance to do anything about it. Its now happening in, and near, Norfolk. Whilst we were there we kept an appointment with David aka 'globetrotter.uk' who had requested help finding a cache up a tree he was adopting. He had found it before but due to tree cover problems and the fact that several downed trees had changed the appearance of the area around the cache meant he couldn't find it when he went out to do a maintenance visit. No problems today - our GPSrs took us straight to the correct tree. It took us a little while to retreive the thing, the original owners had advised bringing a small child along for the purpose - an item we had been unable to provide at such short notice.

Task completed, Adam and I headed back to Norwich to spend the rest of the weekend eating, sitting in the sun and reading the Sunday papers. This week will hopefully see the completion of everything required for me to go on holiday with an untroubled mind.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Thought for the day

Just thought I'd share this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Uh-oh, my personal Black Cloud has crept up upon me again without me noticing. Well, I did notice but I didn't acknowledge because that is the nature of my Black Cloud. When this happens, I try and rationalise it by telling myself its just down to my seratonin levels going all wonky but that doesn't stop me feeling cr@p. At the moment, I hate myself at every level but mostly I hate my time management. On Adam's advice I've been keeping a list of things to do but the list is getting so long its making me feel worse. Adam is wonderful at times like this (actually he is wonderful nearly all the time) and gets on with the household tasks I really should be doing as I only work part time, without complaining or nagging me. Trouble is, him being so wonderful only makes me feel more guilty - maybe I need a bit of nagging!

At times like this I can understand why some people turn to drink. Myself, I turn to comfort food. Yesterday I was feeling particularly cr@p so, when I was at the supermarket, (Adam - do not read any further) I decided to treat myself to to a large bag of nachos and a large bar of chocolate, thinking I'll allow myself just a little, but as usual I was deluding myself as there isn't such thing as 'just a little' when I'm at home on my own with a large amount of ready-to-eat carbohydrate. I never learn.

Thank goodness we're going on holiday in less than two weeks. We're off to the Shetland Islands with its currently near all-day daylight which should get my seratonin levels de-wonkified, hopefully.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Drive by cache

Really, truly, the only thing I can think of to blog about right now about my life since Tuesday, is the cache we found today - its the most bizzare cache box we've found so far:

Yes, its a CD drive in a wooden box. Press the eject button and the drawer pops out with the log book in it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Sometimes I really hate computers II

Adam builds his own PCs and I get the hand-me-downs for mine, hence the reason I have 2 hard drives in my PC - a 3GB one and a 2GB one. The 3GB gets used for software, the 2GB for data. When Adam bought the 3GB drive it cost somewhere in the region of £170 and was almost the best hard drive you can buy. Nowadays I suspect 3GB drives usually end up in the bin.

The 3GB drive was more than adequate for the job when my PC ran Windows 98. Now its running Windows XP and a modest amount of other software and its creaking at the seams. It won't be long before I have to give up and get Adam to replace the hard drive with one of more adequate proportions but I'm resisting as installing Windows is officially the most boring thing in the world and its also very annoying and time consuming.

My Mum has recently joined the information age - my Dad bought her a laptop on account of her having recently celebrated her 60th birthday. This sounds like my Dad knows enough about computers to purchase a suitable laptop which couldn't be further from the truth - he can't even program the video. Adam did the actual acquiring of said laptop. The weekend after her birthday I gave her a basic lesson on using it - turning it on, dialing up, checking e-mail, using Google, that sort of thing - while she made notes. As couple of days later she phoned me, having failed to connect to the internet (turns out she had not written down a vital step) but now just wanted to turn the laptop off. The conversation went something like this:

Mum: "I can't click on 'disconnect' as its not there."
Me: "What does it say under 'Dial Up?" I said.
Mum: "Disconnected."
Me: "That's OK, you just need to select 'Turn off' now."
Mum: "But don't I need to click on 'disconnect'?"
Me: "Aaagh - you don't need to disconnect as you aren't connected!"
Mum: "Eh?"

I have had jobs on an IT helpdesk and as an IT trainer but this hadn't prepared me for teaching my Mum how to use a computer. I think my Mum is going to be the User From Hell. Actually, that isn't fair, as my Dad hasn't tried to use the laptop yet. If he does, I may well leave the country.

I went out and bought my Mum 'The Internet for the Older Generation' - I hope she won't be offended.

Friday, June 11, 2004


Although Wednesday was our anniversary we celebrated yesterday. We couldn't resist a quick defile of a virgin cache even though it was in the opposite direction to where we were planning to go.

We spent a good part of the day at Bedgebury Pinetum - somewhere I'd been as a young lass but not since. I was worried a load of conifers would be a bit dull but it wasn't. Adam & I spent a lot of time sitting on benches in various parts of the pinetum taking in the vistas and marveling at how many shades of green there are. We bought a Pinus Strobus 'Minima' (scroll down) for the garden.

We had a bit of time to spare so we trundled off across the border (the Kent/Sussex one that is) to somewhere I'd never been - Bewl Water. When we got there, we wondered why the cars ahead of us were turning round and coming back, then we found out why - admission charge £5 per car. No thanks, we pay Southern Water enough money as it is. So, we settled for a meandering drive back home though the country lanes.

In the evening, we ate an excellent meal at Mediterrano - quite possibly the best restaurant in town (which isn't difficult). Oh, and we managed to spare a couple of minutes yesterday to vote too.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Sometimes I really hate computers

Its our 3rd wedding anniversary today. I got Adam a hard cover for his new PDA and a leather cover for his new mobile phone (I'm trying not to feel too jealous of the new toys). Adam got me a copy of Fugawi - software intended to make our geocaching experience better as I wouldn't have to print off OS maps from streetmap.co.uk any more - and some flowers and chocolates.

I have spent the best part of today trying to make the damned software work properly. More precisely, make the interface between the damned application on the PC and the damned application on the Palm handheld work. I, in my naivety, thought it was going to be a simple matter to bung a nice large map, the size of Kent preferably, straight into the memory card in my Palm which has lots of nice, unused space, just waiting to receive a wonderfully detailed electronic OS map.

After a lot of head scratching, I turned to the geocaching.com forums for advice only to find my PC has killed the new USB hub Adam just bought to replace the one my PC killed last week. Cue scrabbling around on the floor to plug the wireless LAN card into the USB port on the back of the PC.

Anyway, I turned to the geocaching.com forums for advice. After some advice was forthcoming, I think the map needs to be bunged on the Palm's internal memory before being transferred to the memory card. Which isn't very handy as the internal memory doesn't have lots of nice, unused space, just waiting to receive a wonderfully detailed electronic OS map.

I'm giving up for the day as I think I'm getting a headache, the chocolates are disappearing faster than chocolates really ought to and I'm feeling tempted to chuck my Palm out of the window, even though it isn't my Palm's fault. A major strategy rethink is needed. And this was supposed to be easier than printing off paper maps!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

With two days to go, I am turning my attention to the matter of Thursday's elections. The other bloggers who wrote about this subject didn't seem to have as complicated a task ahead of them as Adam and I do.

Firstly we have to vote for a local councillor: choice of Con, Lab, Lib Dem and UKIP. Fine so far. Secondly we have the European Elections and we have the following parties standing (in alphabetical order):

British National Party
Christian Peoples Alliance
English Democrats Party
Green Party
Labour Party
Liberal Democrats
Peace Party
Respect - The Unity Coalition
Philip Rhodes (Independent)
Senior Citizens Party
UK Independance Party

On the council's website, each party has a list of candidates, not all of them have the same number of candidates, but we don't vote for the candidates, we vote for the party. Quote from the website: "You have one vote when you elect your MEPs. Each party puts forward a list of candidates and you must vote for one of these lists, or for an individual candidate standing as an independent".

Was this how European elections worked last time? I can't remember. I thought we were supposed to elect MEPs, not parties. Oh, well - looks like I might be writing "Simon Goodway - Donkey Party" on my ballot paper too.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The sweet smell of success money

Adam picked up a package from the sorting office for me today containing a Lush sample I had done a swap for. The sample weighed about 50g and the sender had stuck a 1st class stamp on the package. Unfortunately, the whole package had was a little over the weight limit for a 1st class stamp and we had to pay an excess charge of £1.07 for it. This consisted of 7p for the shortfall and £1 'handling charge'. Bloody skinflints (the Royal Mail, not my swapper).

Food shopping this evening and couldn't help wondering why some products are 'poshed up' for no good reason, and others aren't. The shoe polish manufacturers are quite happy with 'Black' and 'Brown' so why do the loo roll manufacturers have to have 'Lily White', 'Honey Blush' and 'China Blue'? Descaling liquid (so far) only comes in 'Original' fragrance, yet washing up liquid can be purchased in 'Orange and Tea Tree', 'Lime and Lemongrass' and 'Camomile and Marigold'.

You can even get embossed loo roll now. My prediction is that you will be able to get scented loo roll before long. Just you wait and see.

Friday, June 04, 2004


I was phoned up a little while ago by my boss asking me if I was able to work the late shift today rather than the night shift which I was supposed to be doing tonight. I thought about it for about a nanosecond before saying yes. That means I'll have Saturday free to spend doing something nice rather than spending it asleep - yay!

It also means I'll miss the Great Dressing Up Game tonight but I decided the sacrifice was worth it. Can someone save some screenshots? Ta.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

My bras are bust

Today I'm going to blog about one of the greatest torture devices ever invented by Man, for Woman. I'm talking about the dreaded Underwired Bra. Those ladies of small proportions amongst you may have not had to endure this most hideous of contraptions by getting away with non-wired bras, but us larger ladies usually find the scaffolding is essential. I don't know about anyone else but I have struggled all my adult life to find a bra that fits, is comfortable and performs its supporting role all at the same time. Get the wrong size and the wires either poke you under the arms or in the cleavage, or they ride up at the back or you get the dreaded 'four boob syndrome'.

Then there is the cost - a decent large size bra costs anything upwards of £20 and they just don't last long enough. Today at work I felt an odd stabbing pain in my chest and found the end of one of my bra wires had made a hole in my bra and was slowly working its way out of my bra in an upwards fashion, oddly. That's the second one this week.

Floral dance

I thought I'd give this 'ere photoblogging thingy offered by Blogger a try. After much headscratching and a 'd'oh!' moment I have succeeded and am now in a position to show off my latest geocaching signature items:

I'm quite pleased with myself.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


I'm going to be a bit of a snob here and mention something that I've noticed springing up around this little corner of England (and presumably the rest of England too) - namely the trend for attatching large England flags to either side of one's car roof. Don't get me wrong - I've nothing against the displaying of England's national flag, but it does tend to create a certain impression of the car owner being a Sun-reading beer-bellied lager-swigging football lout. I can't imagine why anyone would want to create that impression of themselves.

Well, I'd feel a idiot with those things stuck on my car. Obviously not a feeling shared by all.