Been very busy. Organised and ran a conference in Malta last week. Went very well but very nerve wracking since it’s the first time I’ve been wholly in charge. Still went well. The back to the UK for two days of meeting at base, and now back to trying to finish the EPSRC bid that bereavement and illness have delayed so well this year. I owe it to my colleagues to get this sorted..
Just come back from a great boys weekend in Amsterdam with Steve, Reg, David, Brian and Merv. We had a great time, did lots of oriental food, some shows, a lap dancing club and had a very chilled time.
Quite perky today. Working on the forthcoming Malta conference. Going to redraft a bid to EPSRC this afternoon. Installed and setup a neighbour’s PC last night, they kindly gave me their old Freeview box to play with. I am such a technology junkie! Need to get a lot of bark and use it to suppress the weeds we have just dug up in the back flower bed. My friend has some rasberry plants for me, but I am still resolutely non-gardening stock. We might get a fitted bedroom, we need to repair the drainms out front, and I think we have squirrels in the loft again!
Ah well, following my trip to the hospital I came down with a virus that had a rash, sollen lymph nodes, a low fever, headaches, and the most painful joints ever. I recovered just in time for Ann to come down with it three days ago. Hey ho!
We’re all gearing up to finalise and launch a project conference in Malta mid-late May. Ann is helping me with it and I hope it goes well. I am not chairing this one I am sitting at the back panicking.
I started playing in a game of the WARS rpg Monday night. Seemed fun, rather like Space Above and Beyond, the system is d20 which I am not a big fan of but it’ll hopefully fade away and allow the game to shine through.
Not done any photography this year yet, the weather’s been so crap..
I had a terrible pain in my back Tuesday back, along with nausea and gut ache. I mean terrible, 9/10 pain levels, and my worst migraines are at 10/10, most lower. My doctor’s primary care service was useless, unhelpful and rude. Whilst we waited for them to ‘refer it to a manager’ I asked Ann to get an ambulance.
Now, when you’re my age and size, medics are all geared up to making sure you’re not having a cardiac problem, and given that the pain was transferring through to the front, that was all good and proper. A paramedic was with me in minutes, an ambulance not long after, and I was A&E in 30 minutes tops (which when you know where I live plus the care on site, is good).
A&E were great, and although the pain was terrible, my veins kept collapsing (5 attempts) and I am so needlephobic I was sick (or was that part of the wider problem?) I was on morphine by 12, a mere 4 hours after it all started.
My prognosis got better as they ruled things out, but the standard of medical organisation detoriated until I had to stay in for an extra 24 hours because a doctor filled in an X ray form wrongly. The care assistants and the domestic staff were great, I met some nice people, I saw some very sad sights, a lady died in the bed oppposite me and Ann must have been so traumatised and worried, this coming so soon after Leesa’s death.
Of course, given the variable quality of many doctors (and last time I was in the consultant was great) I have come home with almost no idea of what was wrong with me, what the ongoing treatment should be, why they took my drugs off me and only returned half of them. I shall go to my GP today and ask them to try and find out and explain it all to me, then I think I might make a complaint or two about the cockups. I had a similarly bad time in the same unit when I had pneumonia last March, I didn’t complain then, maybe if I do this time they’ll try and make things better.
What do I think? A kidney stone. But don’t quote me, I’m not a doctor, thank god.
I had another and more considered look at the Robin Laws gamer quiz and came up with a different answer..
| You scored as Storyteller. You’re more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You’re quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it’s orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director.
I am pleased to say we have won a research contract with a UK development agency and I am very pleased. It’s good enjoyable work and my colleague Roberto will enjoy doing it well, it brings in a nice sum of money to keep us viable and it builds on old and develops new relationships. I am looking forward to a big four year integrated project starting in May and in getting ready to resubmit a big proposal to one of the research councils. There’s a lot of knockbacks in this game so it’s nice when something goes well.
I took the Laws gamer quiz:
| You scored as Method Actor. You think that gaming is a form of creative expression. You may view rules as, at best, a necessary evil, preferring sessions where the dice never come out of the bag. You enjoy situations that test or deepen your character’s personality traits.
I think this is about right as a player, I am more rule oriented as a ref, something I need to drop!
I completed a tender for a development agency yesterday. Shouldn’t have said I would do it, wasn’t really up to it. However with the help of my Dutch partners we got it sorted and I got some satisfaction from a job well done. Hope we get the job.
Got some films I’d shot over the Nov-Dec months back yesterday. Urgh, they’re grim. Remind me not to take indoor portraits in winter. They’re a few good ones but the rest will be a work of miracles for Photoshop to recover. I like to use the Ilford d&p service but they don’t offer scanning as well so I tried another service, and they’re obviously just not so good. Back to Ilford and scan the negs myself I think.
Not been able to play GuildWars all week. Matt has and is umpteen level, but I am going to treat myself to a few hours later today. Off to Malta next week to plan the BESTUFS conference, weather looks to be pretty poor there, but what the hell, it’s a break..
Did all my expenses, wow. I really mustn’t let them pile up, that’s my money I am lending to the EU, I really must get my claims in promptly.
Ann finishes work on the 17th Feb 2006. She is employed until the 7th April but they don’t need anyone anymore so they’re all allowed home. She’s starting to find time to look at what she wants for a career, but we all still have days when the physical and mental stress of Leesa’s death are too much. Today isn’t one fortunately.
I went out and bought Guild Wars on Thursday, which was a bad day for me, just to try and immerse myself in another world. It worked and I have discovered so many of my friends also play it, so we have been able to play it online together. However it didn’t stop me going utterly numb on Thursday night, neither happy no sad, utterly null. Ann pulled me out of it and I started to improve. I completely tidied up and cleaned my study on Friday, which was good. Saturday night some old friends came round and kept us fed and distracted all night. They did good.
On Sunday we went and buried Leesa’s ashes at the church she was married at. I didn’t want to have all the grief back but it was a fitting spot and I suspect I’ll feel good when I visit her there. Monday, today, I started working again. I was going to be in Newcastle today but my offside wheel bearing has gone so my car is in the garage.