Bho Bòrd na Gàidhlig air Facebook.
I was ill on Friday and didn’t make it to work, since I was not allowed to take my usual medication ahead of my colonoscopy on Monday. I also didn’t make it to the pharmacy to purchase the preparatory medicine. Saturday, I didn’t feel great but I knew I had to get out there to get the food I was allowed to eat, and have the prescription filled. I really should have done this earlier in the week, but I just wasn’t up to it having sleeping issues. The first pharmacy didn’t have the product in stock, the second noticed the prescription was undated and so informed me it was illegal for anyone to fulfill it. Then, I headed out to Boots at Bluewater because I knew they had some other products which would be handy. There the pharmacist took the script but then informed me it would be cheaper to buy over the counter, meaning the prescription was irrelevant. At least Boots had it in stock.
I came home for a pit stop, and then went and purchased some food that was allowable. Before my first outing, I noted the tv, and broadband weren’t working. I thought if I went out, it will be all fixed by the time I returned. I was wrong. I used up precious data allowances on my phone to find out there was a fault, and telephoned the “help line” as it had been over four hours, only to be informed it would be at least another four hours before it was fixed. Though it was hot and I was on a restrictive diet, I did some housework and listened to an audiobook. At 22:00, the tv and internet were still not working, so I telephoned Virgin only to be told they didn’t have a record of my earlier call and the system was showing there were no faults in the area, despite what I had showing on my phone browser, where Virgin said it would be 2:00 a.m. before it was fixed. The foreign lady informed me my TiVo box was not turned on – blatant lie, I could see the lights – and that she would get an engineer to me on Tuesday. No good, I said, I will be in hospital. Thursday ended up being the next appointment. All in all, that would mean five days without internet or tv, for which I pay a premium.
At 4:00 a.m., my phone browser showed Virgin as still having a fault, which was not expected to be repaired until 20:00 Sunday night. Fortunately, I’ve woken this afternoon to find myself back online, and the tv back MINUS my usual Saturday night recordings, including Wallander.
It’s all stress I could have done without, ahead of the worry of what the colonoscopy might reveal. The hot weather certainly doesn’t help.
I have now taken my first dose of the preparatory product, and am just waiting for the effects to take hold. In the meantime, it is still far too hot, so I won’t have any issue taking in the extra fluids required. I shall pack a bag later today to take with me to hospital. Though it is a day procedure, somehow my low blood pressure panics medical staff, and I usually end up staying the night; this time I aim to be prepared.
On a happier note, now that the internet is back I have found out how to change my Facebook language to Scottish Gaelic, and it works; sort of.
Sorry that’s it’s been a while since I posted, but with a new laptop there is a lot of setting-up to do and this has taken up a lot of time. I have also been ill, which has made it difficult to do anything at all.
So, I managed to get a mobile phone company to take me on their monthly contracts, allowing me to get home internet access. The speed is rather slow, but at least I can now do things from home. The main benefit is being able to join Facebook and can now keep up to date with all my family members, who had been searching for me there, not knowing my internet access was from work, which had banned all social networking sites. So, I have been spending some time at Facebook catching up with folks I know (and love). I am not so keen on the applications, games and so on, but at least I will know when birthdays, and other major events pop up.
The other major benefit is I now have access to Skype. I’ve had two video calls with my father, but it’s become obvious I need to buy a handset as the in-built microphone is rather pathetic and my father being deaf makes things difficult. I am also awaiting details from my mother on her account, so we can chat more regularly. I am thinking about subscribing to Skype in order to call all my family in Australia cheaply, but I want to see if the handset makes a difference, or if the mobile broadband speed is the real issue.
I was also very lucky in that my firm have a scheme with Microsoft which means I got a discount on the whole Office package. An added benefit is that Word now interacts with WordPress and Blogger, so I can type my blogs in Word, offline, and then upload them to the sites, fully formed. This is my first attempt, so I’m hoping it works. If so, I might actually be able to write more often.
The hardest part of setting-up my laptop was transferring my music files from my iPod and making the laptop my primary library. It ended up copying every single song twice! So far, I have only managed to delete duplicates down to the letter G in artist names. Not only that I had to go and find all my podcasts again and re-subscribe and download the episodes. Hours and hours it took and I’m sure I’ve outdone my surfing limit for the month on that alone.
Well, that’s what I’ve been up to this last week or so. I know it doesn’t seem much, but I was unwell for four days, and I’m sure no-one wants to hear about that.
If you’re a regular reader of this online journal, you would be aware that I have booked my holiday for next year already. I have done so with Neil at Megalithic Tours. I did this, because Neil provides an excellent services going to places that few others do at a very reasonable cost. Only, I did not realise just how reasonable until this week when I saw two separate tours advertised.
The first I encountered in a well-known pagan magazine. It was called Celtic Trails and it advertised a seven day tour taking in Highland Perthshire, the Isle of Iona and the West Coast. The prices ranged from £1,100 to £1,500 depending on itinerary and accommodation. As much as I want to get to Iona one day, that was way out of my price range.
The second tour company operates out of Australia, and calls itself Dragon’s Eye Tours. It runs two tours: one to the West Country of England and another to Ireland. Granted, the first is 11 days long and costs AUD$4,500, but the Irish tour is only 9 days long and comes in at AUD$3,000, but this is land cost only, flights not included.
Now I realise both of these companies provide specialised guides for the tours and, in some instances, secure private access to certain sites, and this may justify some of the cost, but it is often possible to arrange access to sites through special interest groups, and often volunteers from said groups will provide you with good, honest information.
I’m just glad Megalithic Tours follows these kind of itineraries, otherwise I would probably not visit the sites. As I travel alone which adds to the cost and the miles involved can make a fun trip tedious, so having a tour guide and fellow travellers makes more sense. Apparently, Megalithic Tours can now be found on facebook, too.
Still, if you want to go to these places, here’s a nice selection of what’s on offer:
Ireland and the Ancient Emerald Isle ~ 9 days
Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury ~ 4 days (private access to Stonehenge included)
Do have a search around and see if you can’t find better. I lived in the UK for over a decade and I’ve yet to find a better touring company than Megalithic Tours for visiting historic or mystical sites.