Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Is Just So Complicated...

I can get into my blog on this computer but though I can read it on the tablet and laptop I cannot access it there so unless I am given help or this computer fails, this blog may be lost.

I don't understand why...just keeping you in the picture. If any of you want to stay in touch whilst I can send me your e-mail addy's they will not be published. I will make a note of them.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Its A Thunderplump Sort Of Day...

(that's an old 19th century word for a heavy storm or shower of rain)

I'm dressed for the weather, I'm rested and almost ready for the theatre tonight of Big Band Music. I may remember to use and take an umbrella with me too.

Not very healthy but I am taking some egg and bacon sandwich spread sandwiches, crisps, some pork pie, a banana, sweets and water in case I become hungry before the show or in the interval.

For the journey there and back I have the radio on the cheap mobile phone and a tablet for some internet access on the bus.

After all more than anything I have to stay in touch with the radio serial/soap The Archers :2funny:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Gave Up And Gave In...

around 3pm I decided to get out. I hoped on a bus to a neighbouring town for the ride as much as anything. During the journey the weather turned and the bus was getting covered in wet snow. I had a reasonably good all weather coat on plus scarf and hat(no gloves)but by the time I arrived it had stopped.

I popped into the supermarket(treating myself to some cakes)some buns that I like, tomatoes, potato wedges, corned beef, prepared vegetables and spring onions. So I am happy with what I have...it will make stews/casseroles/salads and sandwiches.

If the weather was better during much of the Summer months I can survive on salads/fruit and sandwiches and am not that bothered about cooked meals. Its simple and easy.

It takes me around ten minutes to walk there and the same back to the bus stop. So if I don't want to kill an hour waiting for another bus home I only have twenty to do an actual shop. I managed to do so.

You guessed it..on the way home it started snowing again after alighting from the bus. And yet once again it has not settled and it looks quite nice and sunny outdoors and there are blue skies.

I had everything done within two hours which isn't bad.

Tomorrow, I will stay in for most of the day and leave in the late afternoon for Durham and the concert I booked some time ago. Nothing is planned after that. Its more a case of if something comes around and I am free(have the money)I'll consider if I want to go but as I said I may think more about some excursions during the Summer either under my own steam or via a local coach company.

I've had another Panini salad roll and will have a coffee now...and though only coming around to 8pm I think I will get cosy in bed and listen to the radio, do some surfing around the internet perhaps on the tablet. It will soon be 10pm.

I am thinking of contacting the coach companies tomorrow and possibly if up early enough and I can find out the details and where to buy tickets from perhaps I'll make that my task for the day and then continue to the concert. As I said if I leave it too long I may not have any choice in the matter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday Was Good...If Tiring...

I did not buy at the Food Festival...I did not want to buy and take food to the theatre, it was expensive and really I did not need any cheese or meat. I did get a look around Auckland Castle, if honest it was smaller than I expected(or is that just because some is not open to the public)Impressive, certainly but unless you are going to spend hours looking at portraits of past Bishops who lived there, you can do the tour very quickly.

I was on my way to Durham by 4pm. Somehow I killed almost three hours. Which with all shops closed and many cafés too takes some doing.

So I was struggling to find a connection to the internet via my tablet, my best two hopes wanted me to allow my details to be shared with other companies and be inundated with promotional information so I did not sign up.

The theatre does not appear to offer free public Wi-Fi but I'll ask next time I am there.

It was a great night of Big Band Music with The Syd Lawrence Band fronted by Chris Dean...it was a slightly smaller band this time with only 15 members(if you include Chris)but it sounded as good as ever and on this occasion any songs were sung solely by him. Sometimes we have a guest vocalist(usually female)

I had someone sitting next to me, he may've been enjoying himself, difficult to say because he sat with his arms folded the whole time, never applauded, his expression never changed and you never saw a foot tapping to the music.

The performance finished just a little late to get to the bus station for the 10.15pm bus home and even a taxi there would still have missed it. The usual bus stop on a bridge near the theatre because of Sunday service was no help either, Mon-Sat its great so I took it really slow back to the station...and was home for Midnight.

Plans on Monday were called off because I was tired and the weather was bad. I wanted to blame myself for not having a day out but in the end it was the right decision. If honest its not great today either. Its been so wet, gardening is out again as I'll have to wait for it to dry out again.

Its the music Club again tonight...perhaps I'll try and have a trip tomorrow.

I have found a company doing coach trips nearer to here, I still have to travel 7 miles to reach a pick up point and some trips are out because I will miss the pick up by 20-30 minutes. But most I can connect to.

So two trips appeal...and I think I will have to be quick to book  a seat before they all go. One is the Sunderland Airshow. I can go by public transport but coming home is a nightmare. They put loads of buses on to get there but not for coming back. A coach would be better. The other is the Tall Ships event in Blyth Northumberland(that's 2-3 hour journey on public transport)but again a coach would be better. So you pay but its more comfortable, takes less time and almost gets you door to door and is about the same price as a taxi one way for a distance of 7 miles and you've travelled much further.

And all being well if it gets back in decent time I can catch a bus home for the last 7 miles. I may try and go on some other trips during Summer. Especially as the theatre near me is closed for around 18 months and at present there isn't much I want to see at the other venues. I'll look into booking trips in the next day or two and contact the company.

I do have another show on Thursday which was booked ages ago. At present its all Big Band stuff. But some genres are difficult in that on Saturday the Big Band was playing as part of the Jazz Festival. Is it jazz? The same thing happens when the term Folk is used. It encompasses so much.

I think I'll make up a kind of Panini Roll with tomato, ham and green stuff to have at the club tonight and take some crisps. I share bags of crisps with others on my table.

Having spent a little lately, I am thinking I may treat myself to some of the new dinky hard drives that are smaller than the ones I have which look like big black books. They still work but the new ones store much more data, take up less room and look nicer.

Does anyone have any experience of those wearable fitness gadgets for checking your health? Are they any good or just another un-necessary gadget we think we need and are told that we do? I guess I keep thinking I may as well have one and be quite up to date. At present I can have one that is half price and a well known brand.

Update:I called in on the way home for some Strawberries, milk, Clover spread, stew vegetables so I can avoid going out on Wednesday, more of the same I fear on the weather front. The media is enjoying spinning the story of rain, sleet and snow but its nothing that unusual to be honest. As I came home late from the supermarket I was being hit by freezing rain. Luckily I was almost home.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Could've Gone Later And Not Missed Much...

I left home half an hour later than planned yesterday. I found that the first visit I had on my itinerary was not happening for at least an hour bringing planned day of music too close to midday where I hoped to be in the town centre to see the Town Crier and perhaps raise a toast to England's Patron Saint, St. George. We all were given a small glass of Port. Ladies were given roses too. I'll admit I have never done that before.

A little crowd did congregate at the appropriate time but I'll be honest, it was hard work getting anyone interested...a mixture of apathy or some probably still unaware that it was St. George's Day. The Welsh, The Scots and Irish would be far more ready to embrace their nationality. Yet we are often told how patriotic "we" English are.

It was said that there were performers playing jazz around various parts of the town centre but I had difficulty finding them.

Eventually there was a music event found but that started at 12.30pm and I was scared that if I did not head for the afternoon of music I knew to be happening in a pub nearby I would not find a seat or it would be too crowded. So I only saw them perform one tune.

The pub was really tiny and I was lucky to collar a stool and stay put all afternoon. No one was watching so I probably could've survived on one drink but I did spring for a second. As the afternoon went on it became quite packed. And the shape of the room means that some probably were unable to see the acts as they performed. We had a set by the Ruth Lambert Trio, the duo Dean Stockdale and Noel Dennis and Lyndsay Hannon with her band(She later sang two songs with one of the big bands at the evening concert)

It was fun though. That took care of my entertainment until 5pm. I managed to kill approx two hours between then and the evening concert at the leisure centre in town so did not come home. I went to the theatre and purchased a ticket for the final show before it closes for refurbishment. That show happens the day after my birthday and is hosted by Christopher Biggins and celebrates the history of the theatre and is a mixture of acts, a sort of variety show.

The concert was great but unknown to me as I sat downstairs in the foyer waiting for the doors to open, a queue at started on the stairs and many seats were already taken and again unknown(nothing was said on the tickets)that a lot of the room had been reserved for some attending.

Being St George's Day some pubs were celebrating the day and the old St Cuthbert's Church was flying the English flag around the spire. 

Both bands were great...there was the Durham County Youth Big Band who played for approx 30 minutes. 

Then another the Durham Alumni Big Band played from 8pm until 10pm performing many classics by Baisie, May, Kenton, Heath and others. The term Jazz incorporates so much music and can give a misunderstanding of a large body of music. The same thing happens with Folk music.

I managed  to get to the bus stop in time for a bus home at 10.15pm. I had free wi-fi access in the leisure centre which was great. I was able to stay connected to the internet before and inbetween the acts at the concert and also on the bus home. For as long as the tablet's battery lasted. It helped fill in some of the time.

I also had some access at the pub in the afternoon.

Hopefully I'll  add some images later this evening so this post may change a little.

If I had not been doing other things today I may've returned today as there are some other events taking place.

I was heading out early today to the food festival, to look around an historic landmark and then go to to tonight's concert but I think I'll be OK if I get their by lunchtime. And I will leave directly from there to Durham rather than come back to my town first. Waiting to see how the weather is too. So I may get another couple of hours in bed.

I said I felt a little down on Friday...well of course Friday was the fourth anniversary of Mum's passing so that probably played its part. In reality four years ago this happened on a Sunday Morning just as the London marathon takes place so I kind've associate the two events with each other. That happens today but I won't be watching. I never have. Actually I felt pretty OK on Friday and it went quite well.

Update:Scrub the earlier estimate when I would be at the Food Festival...more likely to be 1pm now and we'll have to see what is left, I should still get a look around the castle though.

Friday, April 22, 2016

That Was Fun...

Things went a little wrong in Wednesday.

I found I missed the bus I planned to use for Durham to see the play. The next would be too late :sad: I came up with another plan and at a push I now have another option in the future because of what I did.

I caught a bus to the neighbouring town of Bishop Auckland. The bus I thought I would board to Durham was not leaving for 45 minutes so that was the end of that. Or so I thought. Then I found an express bus to Newcastle Upon Tyne was leaving in 10 minutes which calls at Durham and the route gets me virtually next to the two theatres in the city. :smiley: If it runs to time I can be in Durham and at the theatre with 25 mins to spare.

Its an alternative. I also had access to Wi-Fi on the bus too.

Coming home...I was in time for an early bus but standing alone on the main road bridge, two buses flew past and did not stop when I flagged them down. :angry: Then an unexpected one did but it meant I had to hang around in the bus station for the last bus. I filled the time accessing Wi-Fi in the bus station until they turned the signal off. At least I think they did or perhaps it was me.

I was home around Midnight.

The play was a light comedy about a newly bereaved widower and called "Over My Dead Body" Funnily enough as I waited in the bus station I was joined by someone and I thought "I know that voice!" I eventually looked around and though he was not in the present production, I have seen him a few times and he is a regular cast member. So we got talking whilst he waited for his bus. And shook hands. I've always been good with voices.

Its an Am Dram production. They do well. Occasionally they get a prompt off stage but sometimes they don't need it and the prompter is a bit quick off the mark. :2funny: The only little glitch this time was they sometimes got the names of characters mixed up but we knew who they were talking about and it was warmly received.

I could go out tonight and see a music show but it doesn't start until late(ish)I'd have to leave early or book a taxi to get home so I'll pass. The same is true late tomorrow night but again I will pass.

I have a day of mainly free(ish)music. I may have to buy a coffee or a few drinks as the music happens in a licensed venue. However, as I won almost all my money back last night at the bingo and I am not buying the buffet for Sunday, also missing Sunday's usual get together and no bingo on Monday afternoon nor next Thursday night,

I can either save some money which I would've spent or divert it to my other plans. I still may not win but we have a last number called after the first house(50p a number)I usually take two. Seeing I am missing, I am risking four numbers that's cost me £2 but the prize is standing at £60 so its worth a go. Also, they were going to have fish and chips before the bingo this week but as a few of us are missing, we're having that the week after. So I haven't missed it.

If the weather is kind and I am feeling OK, with no bingo on Monday I may have a day out and perhaps travel to the coast. Its all about pacing myself.

Should the tablet's battery last, I may try and tweet whilst I am on my travels at the weekend and Monday. Also perhaps get some images and videos up online.

I have remembered another site I may have to try and rejoin after my recent issues on here...I sometimes take part in surveys but that site is also linked to my previous e-mail account so they are probably sending invites for me to take part and I cannot see them.

I feel a little down but knowing I have a busy weekend ahead I am luckier than most and can accept I'll be mentally entertained quite soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I Have My DAB Adaptor...

so my radio is working again :smiley:  I have new software installed too and thanks to the helpful people on the ISP's forum and someone in the technical dept my internet speed has increased(and no I don't know what it all means)by 6mpbs so I now have a speed of nearer 14mpbs rather than 8mpbs as it has been these past days and drop outs on the line seem to have ceased.

There is a possibility I may gain a little more speed in the days to come but I will happily accept any extra I can get.

Interestingly enough(and they computer experts don't always get it right)the suggestion is that my repairman is wrong to suggest the reasons he did for the slow speeds I am getting. So you do wonder if some of what I have purchased in recent days were necessary. But now I have them they will not harm my use of the internet and eventually I will absorb the costs. They may even enhance the experience.

So on top of the expense of my laptop and tablet...I spent an extra £87 on a router, power line adaptors, an internal power pack and a tower to plug all the computers and drives into. For his time(and many visits and installing of software)he's charged around £99.

And I added an extra £114 on extra's myself. By buying some cordless phones(I can remove the old handsets now if I so wish)a laptop case, a wallet for my tablet, a wireless mouse of an old desktop, a wireless keyboard and mouse for this desktop, a wireless mouse for the laptop.

As I may've said the line phone rental is due soon but luckily I had money originally meant to pay last year's TV license sitting on the credit card so this year I'll use it to pay the phone and I only have to find another £25. I'm still paying but its almost like getting it for free.

I did not need the virus software the shop sold me when I purchased the laptop and tablet so the money I spent on that paid for some of the above and that cancelled some of the expense.

I guess overall I have done OK. And in reality all the internet is costing me is around 51p per day. Its just the initial cost. What can you do for such a small amount of money?

I've already paid my TV license for the year too.

Hopefully I will stop going on and on about technical issues now and get back to the blog(maybe get some images up on it again)tell you about any trips I have out and save the site so I don't have to start it all off again.

I am debating whether to go and see a play tonight in Durham. I usually go on opening night(you get a discount on the ticket price)but I was at the Bingo on Sunday, Music Clubs Monday and Tuesday, tomorrow its Bingo again, Weekend Big Bands, Jazz and Food Festival possibly music on Friday so I only have tonight to see it.

I'm A Little Tuckered Out With The Internet...

I probably could use it 24/7 and yet I'm surfing for no particular reason at present. That does mean I am getting sleep though.

The repairman is here again in the morning with my DAB radio adaptor that he ordered  for me and to put some software on the computer(s)

As yet I still have not used the laptop. I am working between the desktop and the tablet.

Laptop is useful if I am downstairs in the lounge but if I am honest if I am tweeting whilst watching the TV the tablet is fine and its portable, even more so than the laptop.  It can also be used in bed...If I am up I may as well be on the desktop. They'll all be used though.

It was another music night...the band is well known around my part of the North East The John Wrightson Band(I know some of their material is on line)and we also had four songs between sets by Flossie Malavialle(she's French)but lives not many miles from my town and she appears across the UK and the world. Again she has a website and also you can access her music too. :cool:

I did not do much but may start to pick up in the coming days as the weather improves(?)and this weekend its the busy one with jazz, big bands, food and possibly looking around the Bishop of Durham's official residence in County Durham. If I can get my little legs to behave :smiley: I need to allow plenty of time.

What is crazy is...a bus to Bishop Auckland on a Sunday runs only hourly then stops around 6pm from my town(approx 7 miles)The same going to Durham but they run until 23.15. However, if I get to Bishop before the last bus from my town there is a bus to Durham every 30 minutes via this alternative route. And on a Sunday all my town has after 6pm is one bus that runs between Darlington and Durham.

I guess therefore I better stay in and around Bishop Auckland to make everything work easily for me because I can do the Food Festival, the visit to the Bishop's Residence and then get to the Big Band Concert in Durham.

The last bus that does come through my town terminates here so if anyone lives in Darlington they cannot get home and until perhaps a year ago it did not arrive here. So you if you want to complete the journey you need to hire a taxi. For now that last bus stops near my home. May it always do so.

Does that make any sense? :huh: