23 September 2011

Wednesday Paul couldn't go with me to the dentist so I had to ride up on the bus alone.

We had it planned that I would travel back by taxi. I was not looking forward to the travel or the dentist appointment as the previous visit had been so very difficult. On that return journey I was reeling with pain and nausea, and bleeding badly-the ride back on the bus was a nightmare and the walk home wasn't any better. The wind howled louder than I did, and it was so cold it took me three days to warm up!

So Wednesday afternoon, trembling and faintly nauseous already, I managed to get myself onto the correct bus and purchase a ticket for the next village up. I arrived in time, bought some paper towels and persuaded the clerk to give me an extra bag (to spit blood out into, I just knew I was going to be in rough shape). I got into the dentist office and waited to be called, by which time I was shaking so badly I worried I would throw off the dentist aim!

Suffice it to say this appointment was considerably nicer than the last one. I rode the bus home, no trouble; walked home, no trouble. Sat up in bed the rest of the evening, and only needed aspirin to cope with the pain. Yesterday I didn't need anything and had to remind myself I'd had two teeth pulled.

I was so sick the time before that for the first time in my life I was afraid to go to the dentist. However I only lost two teeth instead of the four the dentist had planned on taking. Oh yes, I am happy!

Re the mass transit in our little corner of the Kingdom: it's very nicely done. Quite unlike the chicken buses in Central America, the only animals allowed on the bus are domestic ones with vax tags and they must be restrained by either cage or leash. Music may be enjoyed only via headphones, people say please and thank-you, and even the school children try to behave. This was my first bus journey alone and it went so well that I am sure I could get myself to Dundee if I wanted to go alone (a distinct possibility, they have fabric shoppes in Dundee!) I felt strange, though, this was the first time ever that I have taken public transportation in a foreign country, it was a bit scary. Because even though we have a somewhat common language, there are differences and I worried I would do or say the wrong thing. But I got there and back, and am feeling able to wander a bit on my own now. It's a really wonderful feeling. I don't feel up to trying to drive-it really is confusing, this driving on the left, and the roundabouts are very intimidating!

Paul couldn't go with me to the dentist Wednesday because he had to be home to accept two different shipments. One was my e-cigarette, something my son tried to get me to try while I was visiting in the States this past spring. I was so sick then I couldn't get the research done (heh, I was so sick I could barely move, my grandson must think I'm a real lump) but I've been doing the research and have found the right brand. We ordered it Tuesday afternoon and it was delivered Wednesday while I was at the dentist. As soon as the wounds heal I will be able to try it-REALLY looking forward to not being a smoker. I plan to cut down on strengths to the zero nicotine atomiser-yippee, all the things I enjoy about smoking with none of the nicotine. I feel like a winner already because all of the chemicals have been eliminated with the atomisers from the e-cigarette company, though. But I am really looking forward to being a total quitter and I think the e-cigarette is the way to go for me.


And we have a working, licensed TV in our house. A 22" colour TV was scheduled for delivery while I was at the dentist and Paul had to be here to sign for it. The license was paid for Wednesday night, the aerial installer arrived yesterday afternoon, and we were watching FreeView by 1530hrs.

British television is different than in America. First of all, when a television is purchased new or used the seller is required by law to communicate said purchase to the licensing ministry (seriously), as are aerial installers-who ask to see the license when they arrive to install the aerial without which there is no TV reception. It is highly illegal to watch live television (as it is broadcast on the airwaves) without a license, and they DO have monitoring vans that go through the street searching for unlicensed TV viewing. Officially the license fee is paid to the BBC, and it covers television, online, and radio use. There are tiers of the fees, we unfortunately do not qualify for another twenty years to have the senior citizen advantage of the free license, lol!

Most of the BBC programmes are very highbrow, lol, but actually very good and interesting, and then of course there is Dr Who on Saturday evenings. And there is the very distinct plus of no commercials-the licensing fee of £146 ($225) per year gives us four BBC channels commercial (called adverts in the UK) free, and the right to watch several other channels (very advert heavy).

So far as I can tell from channel surfing yesterday afternoon and evening, telly in the UK consists of the BBC channels, and several channels of other stuff. Like in the US, there are scrambled channels, and one can pay for premium a' la cart (dratted spell check!) choices that are loaded onto a card inserted into a slot on the telly, or one can (like in the US) order from a cable company.

The commercials are not like the ones in the US, but are charming for the most part although some of the adverts seem to be trying for the US style and are awful. It is a little funny to hear the American accents in the some of the adverts (not well done, I'm afraid, hmmm, I wonder if I could get a job doing voice overs?)

The programming on the BBC is excellent. Last night I watched a fantastic programme on art history that focussed on Charles the First's official portrait painter. We also get several other channels and a couple of those feature programming from the US! Last night I was able to catch up on The Big Bang Theory OMGsh, Penny and Leonard are going to be getting back together? WOOHOO!! Now, if I could just catch up on House I would be content, LOL. It does run here, so I just need to figure out when it is on. It did feel odd to be watching TV, and American TV at that, whilst sitting in my little Scottish bedroom, lol!

I am also now hooked on Downton Abbey, oh wow, what a spectacular programme! And I got to watch Midsomer Murders, that was splendid! I've been hooked on that programme since the first time I saw it on PBS years ago, and followed it as best as I could through they years-now I can keep up with it:)

It's strange though, to have TV in the UK, in this house. Paul always said he hated TV and we wouldn't have one, it was theone thing he insisted on and I decided it wasn't that big a deal, I could always keep up with the news online and use the iPlayers for things like Dr Who, Midsomer Murders, etc. But he came home from a walk a week ago and said we were getting a TV-I think to compensate for dropping the forum (he hasn't been posting, and I don't even think logging in except to answer PMs). And then it turns out he missed watching Formula1 racing. ROFLOL!

He went out yesterday afternoon to pick up a few things from the grocery and came home with a What's On, a UK television viewing guide. LOL, he said he looked around to make sure no-one saw him buying it. My husband is very well known in this small town, and everyone knows (even the children) that he is vehemently anti-TV. (Insert laughing smiley with rolling eyes)

People stop me in the street to chat-they are all curious about the woman who married Paul, the town misanthrope, lol, and now our house sports a TV aerial! I'm sure they're all thinking that on Halloween we'll have a Jack 'O Lantern and give out treats, lol, and have a holiday wreath on the door this Christmas.

Well, yes, actually, we will:)

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