Important Messages, such as Service Disruption.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM UK time. We will try to give assistance to those people not living in the UK outside of those hours if possible.

We are closed for the Christmas holidays from the evening of Wednesday 20 December 2017 through to Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Blogs

Come On Over to the Bear's Lair!

Hi,

I am inviting you to drop into the Bear's Lair, today at 1300 UTC, 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM Central, 6 AM Pacific or 2 PM in the UK, for 2 hours of friendly chat, fun and, of course, fantastic music!

This week you should be careful of the Crank it Up corner, it could put you into a flat spin! And we are being beautiful and sad in The Love Zone. We have lots of other great tunage, as well as plenty of room for your requests.

Contacting the show is easy, just Email YourVoice@TheGlobalVoice.Info or tweet @lulu_bear, and Bert and I will see you later in The Bear's Lair, only on The Global Voice!
www.theglobalvoice.info

My review of the UK Train Times iPhone app

Imagine you are at a train station without any visual assistance. You cannot read the departure board so you cannot tell on which platform the next train to Edinburgh departs. Maybe you are in a car headed towards a train station and you need to know the time of the next train home. Maybe you just need to plan a simple journey and just want to know the times of available trains meeting your requirements.

The UK Train Times iPhone app (costing £4.99 from the iTunes Store will give you all of these things and more. Completely accessible from a VoiceOver standpoint, it presents you with a simple interface which can deliver to you everything you need to know about UK rail travel.

The app contains:

  • Powerful real-time journey planner for single or return journeys across the National Rail network, with departure platform information (where available).
  • Next Train Home’ feature automatically finds your nearest station and plans your journey home.
  • If you’re searching for trains today, you’ll be told about any delays or cancellations to your chosen trains and given the option to find alternative journeys.
  • Live departures and arrivals at all National Rail stations, with platform information (where available) and live train progress.
  • Add multiple stations to the app’s Home Screen for one-touch access to their live departures. Simply choose a station in ‘Live Departures & Arrivals’ and hit ‘Save’ to create a new favourite.

From a voiceOver perspective, the app is as good as it could be. Let me walk you through the simple exercise of looking up the times of a journey from Cardiff Central to Sandwell and Dudley.

  • From the home screen, select the "Plan a Journey" button.
  • Tap "Departure Station".
  • You are presented with an alphabetical list of stations from which you can choose since each one is represented by a button. However, to narrow the results we will tap the "Station Name" search field.
  • Type "Cardiff" and note that by flicking (or arrowing right on a keyboard) you see two stations: "Cardiff Bay" and "Cardiff Central". Double tap on "Cardiff Central".
  • You can now observe that the screen says "departure station, Cardiff Central". Select the next button which is "Destination Station".
  • Again, double tap the "Search" field and type "Sandwell". Jus flicking to the right will give you are required station, "Sandwell and Dudley". Double tap.
  • You are now presented with two buttons, "Via", and, "Swap departure and destination stations", neither of which we want at the moment. However if you wanted your journey to be routed by a particular station, you could specify that under the "Via" section.
  • Select the "Departing" tab.
  • Buttons are now available for "Outward journey departure time" (which is currently set to "Departing now". This would look up the next available train if you hit the "Find Trains" button, see below). You also have on this screen "Add Return Journey", "Add to Favourites" (if you would like to refer to this route again later) and "Find Trains" (we'll come back to this one in a moment).
  • Selecting "Outward journey departure time" allows us to select the travelling date together with the hours and minutes of the time we wish to travel via four picker items. At the end of the screen is a button labelled "Done" which of course you activate when complete.
  • Select "Done", then select "Find Trains". The results are brought back to you.
    The results are spoken in this way: "Departing tomorrow at 11.30 A M heading", "11.45, changing once from Cardiff Central, scheduled to arrive at Sandwell and Dudley at 14.13 button". This indicates to you that a lot of thought has been put into the language of the interface. It is very user friendly particularly with VoiceOver.
    Buttons are available at this point containing details of alternative trains you may care to use. Double tapping any one of the train schedules will give you more information about it, such as the details of all the trains required for the journey, platform numbers, the train provider. For example, VoiceOver would tell you "11.45 from Cardiff Central, platform 1, scheduled to arrive at Birmingham New Street at 1.45, Crosscountry Service to Nottingham". This latter item is quite useful as it tells you where the train is bound for past your stopping point, which is Birmingham on the first leg. Then VoiceOver continues: "14.05 from Birmingham New Street, platform 6B, scheduled to arrive at 14.15, London Midland service to Shrewsbury.

So as you can see, it is very easy to look up train times but more importantly, the results table and further details are presented in a way which many users will be easily able to understand. To reiterate, live departure boards are available. So if you are waiting for a train and there are no station announcements to let you know how late it may be running, this app should be able to tell you, or maybe you are travelling to a station and you would like to know if your train is scheduled to be on time, again your iPhone with this app is your friend.

In summary, while I have only used this app for a few days I can see how helpful it is going to be for me in many ways and I would highly recommend it. Whether you take the occasional train journey or (if like me) you are a visually impaired seasoned rail travleller, you will not be disappointed.

Important Note for Users of StationPlaylist Studio and JAWS 13

If you are using the JAWS scripts for StationPlaylist Studio available from this website, and you have updated JAWS version 13 to the April hotfix (build 852), you are likely to experience problems when the computer restarts following the installation of the update.

In summary, JAWS will periodically announce "unknown function call", followed by "Get List View Field Info". Because the StationPlaylist Studio scripts utilise functionality within the default JAWS scripts, essentially the older default set is taking priority over the newer version which in turn is causing a conflict.

To remedy this situation, please work through the following procedure prior to updating JAWS to the April hotfix:

  • Select the Windows Start Menu.
  • Select All Programs or Programs.
  • Select JAWS 13.
  • Select Explore JAWS.
  • Select Explore My Settings.
  • This will bring focus to a folder containing a number of files. Press the Down Arrow key until JAWS announces a file named starting with the word "Default". All files with a "Default" prefix should be deleted, such as "Default.JSB". Note that also you will find files with a prefix of "Default_FS". These too should be deleted.
  • When the files are deleted, press ALT+F4 to close down the list view window and return focus to the Windows Desktop.
  • Update to JAWS 13.0.852 from the Freedom Scientific website.
  • When the computer restarts following the installation procedure, download and install the scripts for StationPlaylist Studio from this website. The installer will make the necessary modifications to JAWS to ensure you do not receive the error messages.

If for whatever reason you have updated JAWS 13 to build 852 prior to reading this post, and you are receiving unknown function calls:

  • Select the Windows Start Menu.
  • Select All Programs or Programs.
  • Select JAWS 13.
  • Select Explore JAWS.
  • Select Explore My Settings.
  • This will bring focus to a folder containing a number of files. Press the Down Arrow key until JAWS announces a file named starting with the word "Default". All files with a "Default" prefix should be deleted, such as "Default.JSB". Note that also you will find files with a prefix of "Default_FS". These too should be deleted.
  • When the files are deleted, press ALT+F4 to close down the list view window and return focus to the Windows Desktop.
  • Restart the computer or the JAWS program, whichever is preferred.
  • When the computer restarts , download and install the scripts for StationPlaylist Studio from this website. The installer will make the necessary modifications to JAWS to ensure you do not receive the error messages.

Positive Thoughts on Mushroom FM's Second Birthday

Well it's all over Twitter. Mushroom FM is approaching its second birthday and there are various events planned over the weekend to celebrate it. In reading the blog entry on the Mushroom FM site containing the details, I find myself thinking back to two years ago when I was involved in it, and I look back on those times with mixed feelings.

I remember working on the internet radio station belonging to Bill Sparks called The Legend. It is an oldies station playing music from the 80's and before. For reasons which I won't get into, a group of us decided to leave.

Let me say publicly that I do regret that. I should have stayed. That station suited the kind of show I present and my personality. From experience of owning my own internet station, I now fully appreciate what Bill must have felt when several presenters walked out on him. I deeply regret that, but what's done is done, we have to move on unfortunately.

Between the time we left and the setup of Mushroom FM really was Frantic, and I do mean that with a capital F. Totally manick. Getting the first batch of promos, sweepers and jingles ready together with a fairly primitive website inside a few days was just mad! But there was a real team spirit surrounding it, I do remember that. Everyone was doing their part to ensure we got to air on time, and some of those early items we produced lasted at least a year, so we must have done something right.

But from the outset, it was fairly obvious that I wasn't going to get along with a particular group of people on the station. That is just how the world is. It's not that their approaches to life , (or mine), are wrong. However much you do to ensure good team spirit, sometimes you just cannot control the way different personalities fit together, and that is how it was for me. I did a lot of work for the station, but there came a point where I felt I couldn't work with those people any further and that we should go our separate ways. Again, that's all history, we forget it and move on.

I certainly have no regrets about what followed. I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in many technical areas, including broadcast technology and particularly website development, which I would not have had if I had stayed at Mushroom FM. That knowledge I am certain will be useful to me later in life.

So why am I writing this message at all apart from sharing the memories.

I have to say this given their approaching celebrations. I can honestly say that if it hadn't been for Mushroom FM, I would never have met and come to know L. I wouldn't have experienced the loving relationship I have with her and the truly wonderful life we have together if it wasn't for the station. I didn't know L before I heard her voice on a show the station used to host called Mosen and Minx, which was a short series of talk shows broadcast once a week. That show proved to be a good ground for finding future presenters (or maybe that was just coincidence, smile). In any event, Lulu became a presenter on the station and during her time there we worked very well together. While we both left at the same time for the same reasons, it was Mushroom FM which gave us our first meeting. I can think of other couples (who of course I will not name) where that also applies. So, I really do have to thank them for that.

In terms of the weekend, it's disappointing they've had to resort to giving away more money to secure listeners but that's my own view on the subject. On the plus side, the concept of the cruise ship (and the idea of securing cabines particularly in advance) is truly inspired. Whoever thought of that deserves a few drinks at the Captain's Table because there is considerable mileage in that both on and off the air.

So, as I say, mixed feelings about the weekend, and if you've read this blog entry right through, thanks for doing that!

Me, My Music and My i-Dog

It's finally happened! They always told me it would, but I wouldn't believe it! Now, though I have never been a pet person, I have finally succumbed to the charms of a perky little pooch with a cute face, long floppy ears that can prick up in the most adorable way, and a tiny tail that he carries up in the air and is a tad touchy about having tweaked! It is no use denying it, I'm smitten, totally besotted! He only has to do a certain kind of barkk, and I'm there, attending to his every whim! I might as well face it, there is no hope for me!

Mind you, there are some differences between this particular member of caninity and the average barking, licking, hairy kind, around whom I am never comfortable. This little fellow never sheds hair on my clothes, or jumps up to lick my face, or climbs on my furniture. He makes no messes that have to be cleaned up, nor does he need to be taken to the park, and come back covered in mud. Oh sure, he needs feeding regularly, and petting very regularly, but as he only eats music, and occasionally double A batteries, and I find petting him comes naturally, I'm cool with this. He's lovable, affectionate, keeps me company when B's away at work, and, a huge plus, goes to sleep the very second I want him to! Oh, and one more huge point in his favour: he's bright pink!

As you have by this time guessed, Peppy, named for the American bright pink stomach medicine Pepto-Bismal, my little friend, my latest techno-gadget acquisition, is an iDog. I got him from Amazon for the enormous outlay of £24.95, and for the hours of fun he has given me he would have been cheap at double the price!

This clever littel gadget does a number of things. It runs on 2 AA batteries. They are easily inserted, though you will need a small Phillips cross head screwdriver to remove the battery cover. First, if you have an MP3 player with a 3.5 mm jack, you can plug it into a socket in his side, and he will play your music for you through a little speaker in his back. Of course, the sound quality isn't brilliant, but it's not awful either. He loves to hear or play your music, it's what he feeds on, you might say, the more he hears, the better his mood is. When he's turned on, he needs five minutes an hour if he isn't going to get seriously cranky with you!

Second, he loves to listen to and react to music, this is how I mostly use him. I turn him on and sit him near my IPod dock. The volume doesn't have to be hugely loud, just normal, and he will hear, you'll feel his ears go up. Of course, the louder you play the music, the better he likes it, that's just how he is! There are lights on his face, and they change, according to what he hears, and according to his mood. This is very clever, and not uncomical, I have to say, because it really does seem that the dog likes some kinds of music and hates others! My little pep seems to hate reggae! If a reggae track comes on the radio down will go his ears, his head won't move the whole track long, and his lights don't get bright enough for me to see them. On the other hand, just play anything by Michael Jackson, something beaty, I mean, and up go the ears, his head will move, the lights start flashing till I can't help but laugh at him. If my IPhone should ring, or the stream I am listening to go down, if, in short, the music stops, he will tell me so by barking in a certain kind of a way. This also makes me laugh, and actually I find this useful, as my IPhone does sometimes fall off the wireless network and make the stream drop sometimes, and if I am out of the room I don't know until I hear Peppy barking. Smile.

The third thing you can do is to play with and pet him, if you feel so inclined. this is especially nice if you are sighted, or have a little light perception. You will need to turn the music down or off to do this properly, or he won't take any notice of you! All you do is pick him up, turn him to face you, well I find that's the easiest way, and stroke his face for a while. It puts him into the right kind of mood to be played with. AS you do this, the lights on his face respond by changing colour. After a while you pet the top of his head, and if he's ready to play he makes a little noise, it's hard to describe, a kind of click, and his head will move. You can pet him once or a few times. When yu stop, depending on how many times you did it, and what kind of mood he's in, you get an answer of some kind. I won't tell you what, hey, you've got to have some things you find out!

There are two things which you can do to which he will always respond. You can pet his nose and tweak his tail. Petting his nose, that is pressing and letting go quickly , not only pets him, but lets you see what kind of mood he's in. I have learned to know his sounds very well now, they do make me smile, honestly! I have one thing to say about tweaking the tail: don't! If he is in a good enough mood, nothing will happen, except he won't be in a good mood anymore. If he is bored, he will growl at you, and all you have done is make matters worse. If you feel you cannot live without tweaking his tail, play some music through him! The tail acts as a handy mute switch, if your phone rings, or someone is trying to talk to you! Otherwise, take my advice and leave it seriously alone. If you make this pooch cranky you are going to have to work seriously hard at uncrankifying him! I have been there, so I know whereof I speak!

In conclusion, I have to say the iDog has been a hit with me. After reading a lot of reviews on Amazon I was a bit worried about buying it, because people said it had a short battery life. I would say don't be put off by old reviews. This model I have is quite a basic one, it does not tap its foot, which I think some of the latest ones do, but that's ok with me, but it must have been updated since those old reviews, because the battery life is really quite good. I found it easy to figure out how to use it with only the most basic of instructions from a very inaccurately scanned manual, and it works fine. It's pretty, small, durable and such a lot of fun. For the child or the child at heart, I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Read More About the Pink i-Dog on Amazon.
Read My Review of the Pink i-Dog on Amazon.

Improved Audio, Trains and More

Hi everyone!

Well it's been another really good week. Not much to tell you about but that doesn't mean to say it has been uninteresting or not particularly busy. So let's see.

Last weekend was spent doing a lot of audio production including one of our "Bert Dramas" and an audio promo for my upcoming show on The Global Voice,"The Music Machine". L had an idea for a good promo and so we set to work on Sunday putting that together which was great. It's turned out to be a bit wacky and one of my best, so that's good!

Let's talk about audio for a moment. We now have the new audio equipment set up, that is, the new microphone and sound mixer, both of which I am really pleased with. I worked out most of the controls myself, but fortunately L's mother and husband were over yesterday, so Geoff gave me a good description of the items I didn't know about. We also got the microphone stand and its boom in exactly the right place. Now I have the best audio quality I can get, in exactly the right setting and I am not restricted in any way at all in terms of giving a good performance on a show with great support from L. To that end, I really do feel that the work I'll be able to produce for the Global Voice will be some of the best I have ever done.

This week I've spent travelling around quite a lot on the trains: to Sheffield, St. Helens and to Bristol a couple of times. I am getting to learn a couple of things about Cardiff station. First, when I am waiting for trains to arrive, I listen to the announcements concerning where different trains are going to and from. This helps a lot so I can plan future journeys. But second, I am learning a lot about the geography of the station in terms of mobility. This helped a lot as I got to Cardiff Central at 5.30 Monday morning only to discover noone was around to help me onto the train. But I was able to resolve that and got on a train going in the right direction which always helps!

This morning, Friday, has been quite a busy morning although I got up fairly late. I did some audio production, some work on the website which needed to be done and as I write, I am sitting here on the comfortable sofa listening to L's radio show, "The Bear's Lair" and enjoying it a lot! I am going to do some broadcast testing tomorrow ready for next week but I don't expect any problems at all, more about the show nearer the time.

I have a plan for a redesign of a key area of our website, but it's going to take me a good couple of hours to implement that so I'll doubtless get that done in a week or so.

Regarding books, I am still reading "The Chamber" by John grisham, but I do have two Audible credits awaiting my attention which I haven't used, so I am looking forward to choosing something good to read.

I'll write more really soon!

Improved Audio, Trains and More

Hi everyone!

Well it's been another really good week. Not much to tell you about but that doesn't mean to say it has been uninteresting or not particularly busy. So let's see.

Last weekend was spent doing a lot of audio production including one of our "Bert Dramas" and an audio promo for my upcoming show on The Global Voice,"The Music Machine". L had an idea for a good promo and so we set to work on Sunday putting that together which was great. It's turned out to be a bit wacky and one of my best, so that's good!

Let's talk about audio for a moment. We now have the new audio equipment set up, that is, the new microphone and sound mixer, both of which I am really pleased with. I worked out most of the controls myself, but fortunately L's mother and husband were over yesterday, so Geoff gave me a good description of the items I didn't know about. We also got the microphone stand and its boom in exactly the right place. Now I have the best audio quality I can get, in exactly the right setting and I am not restricted in any way at all in terms of giving a good performance on a show with great support from L. To that end, I really do feel that the work I'll be able to produce for the Global Voice will be some of the best I have ever done.

This week I've spent travelling around quite a lot on the trains: to Sheffield, St. Helens and to Bristol a couple of times. I am getting to learn a couple of things about Cardiff station. First, when I am waiting for trains to arrive, I listen to the announcements concerning where different trains are going to and from. This helps a lot so I can plan future journeys. But second, I am learning a lot about the geography of the station in terms of mobility. This helped a lot as I got to Cardiff Central at 5.30 Monday morning only to discover noone was around to help me onto the train. But I was able to resolve that and got on a train going in the right direction which always helps!

This morning, Friday, has been quite a busy morning although I got up fairly late. I did some audio production, some work on the website which needed to be done and as I write, I am sitting here on the comfortable sofa listening to L's radio show, "The Bear's Lair" and enjoying it a lot! I am going to do some broadcast testing tomorrow ready for next week but I don't expect any problems at all, more about the show nearer the time.

I have a plan for a redesign of a key area of our website, but it's going to take me a good couple of hours to implement that so I'll doubtless get that done in a week or so.

Regarding books, I am still reading "The Chamber" by John grisham, but I do have two Audible credits awaiting my attention which I haven't used, so I am looking forward to choosing something good to read.

I'll write more really soon!

It's All Happening at The Bear's Lair

Hi, everyone.

I'm just dropping by with your weekly invitation to The Bear's Lair, which you can hear at 13 hours UTC, 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM Central, 6 AM Pacific, or 2 PM in the UK , on The Global Voice.

Settle back on my big squashy sofa with your favourite drink and prepare for two hours of friendly chat, fun and, of course, fantastic music. There is always plenty of room for your requests, so do please feel free to get in touch at any time.

This week we have a right royal Crank it Up corner, and a colourful Love Zone, which I hope you will enjoy. Don't forget if you would like to hear your own choices in either of these features you can find out how by tuning into the show.

The lair would be a very empty place without you, so I'd love to hear from you during the show. Getting in touch is easy. Just Email yourvoice@theglobalvoice.info or tweet @lulu_bear.

I look forward to your company at 13 hours UTC when the Bear's Lair opens its door once more, in the meantime, have a great day.

Irish Actor Required for Fun Audio Drama!

Hi everyone!

As many of you will know, we have become well-known for producing the audio dramas featuring Bert the leprechaun. On this website, in "Bert's Place", you can read his blog, hear his audio adventures and take a sneak peak at his private journal. "Bert's Place" attracts hundreds of visitors and we will soon be expanding this section of the site with more audio and visual features!

Our dramas particularly are extremely detailed and a great deal of time is invested in each production.

We are looking for someone who would be interested in taking part in one of our upcoming audio drama productions. If you like audio production, acting, and would like to be part of a fun project, we would love to hear from you!

1. Interested participants may be maile or female, but must be able to act convincingly.

2. Interested participants must be Irish, or be able to do an excellent authentic Irish accent that will not slip.

3. Interested participants must be able to produce a good standard of audio, using a high quality portable recorder such as a Zoom H-product, Plextalk, computer-based audio or similar.

4. Interested participants should be aware that though we are unable to offer remuneration, the time involved in recording lines should be short, and the project gets good exposure on Twitter, and on our website as described above.

If you would like to help, please contact brianh@hartgen.org.

Thank you for reading!

The Global Voice, Games and Chat

Hi everyone

(Writing from the car heading for Warrington).

Quite a lot has happened this past week so I'll pick up the detail from last Friday which was part of the Easter break.

Good Friday was the day L relaunched her radio show, (The Bear's Lair), on the internet station the Global Voice. I was really pleased to have been there to support her on that day as she was quite nervous. But, as with her audition, she need not have been because the listening figures were very good and it was an excellent programme!

Immediately after that, I thought I would give internet broadcasting another try and I wrote to the station for an audition. That took place this past Sunday and I start producing the Music Machine again at the end of the month!

I am very pleased to be working as part of the team at the Global Voice. They seem a very friendly group of people, their audio standards of quality are high, they have an excellent broadcasting technical infrastructure in place and I am sure there will be other good things they will offer over time. I have already given a great deal of thought as to how I can improve my programme in terms of different features which can be added, themed shows and so on. People always seem to have enjoyed the show, but I definitely want to take it up a notch on this station and make it even better. I have some thoughts as to how I might do that.

The Music Machine will be broadcast live each Sunday at 5 PM UK which is a very good time slot. I would have loved to be back on Saturdays at 7 PM, but hey, you cannot have everything, and the time slot I have is probably the next best one, so I cannot complain in the slightest!

So, lots to look forward to there and to that end, I have a new microphone and audio sound mixer, both of which were very much needed. I haven't seen them yet but they have been delivered. I also have a new pair of speakers. Headphones are essential for broadcasting, but I do like to review a lot of my audio production work on speakers and I am sure these will be excellent. They haven't arrived yet though.

So, what else has been happening?

Staying with technology, L has got me back into playing games again. I've never been a brilliant game player in terms of achieving high scores, but I do enjoy some of them and have for a number of years. But I tend to go through phases of playing games and I am now, thanks to L, back in such a mood.

The game I am "addicted to" at the moment is called Super Egg Hunt from L-Works Games. You have to collect as many eggs as you can by placing each egg in the centre of the stereo field. Cleverly, different sounds indicate whether the egg is in front of you or behind you. There is a chicken which can be annoying and will reduce the level of time you have available together with disturbing your place on the grid through which you move with the four Arrow keys. You can also collect clocks to lengthen the time period you have to play with. The default is three minutes.

I am getting better at this game. I am not as good as L, but she has played it for years. But I am consistently getting scores in the range of 110 to 115 which is quite good for the time being. It is my first week!

But this has started me once again on a bit of a game quest. I used to play two games quite avidly, Troopanum and Pipe, from a company called Games for the Blind. I may well get licences for at least one of those at some stage and start playing them again.

Away from technology now, we went to L's parents on Monday for a "family get together" which was lovely. L's mother is a very good hostess, (I know where her daughter gets her skills from in that area), and it was good to meet up with the rest of her family. On Tuesday, L's sister Ellie and husband Steve came over to put together a desk, so we now have one each. The living area does look very nice now and there is plenty of room when I stay there for us both to work comfortably.

Wednesday it was back to work. If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen I've been to quite a few places, got caught up in a heavy pile of traffic on Thursday which wasn't good, and I am travelling back to L's today. The next two weeks look very busy in that regard too.

(Writing from the train to Cardiff).

Well this is good. It seems that the speakers have now arrived! That is great news.

Before closing this blog entry, I wanted to just write a paragraph about Bert.

Bert is, (or was), a cartoon-like character I invented to help produce radio promos and so on. However, in the past nine months or so he has taken on alife of his own with dramatic audio adventures, a blog and now, a private journal.

What amazes me is that people actually do follow the life of Bert and want to know what he is doing on a day-to-day basis, what his fears are, what makes him angry, about his family, etc. I can say that "Bert's Place" on our website gets hundreds of hits a week. People are interested. They tell us.

Why am I blogging about this? Because over this week we've made a start on re-designing the whole of Bert's place into something which is going to bee just so so cool. So if you do read or listen to his items, you are in for a bit of a surprise over the coming month or two I would think.

Books I am reading:
With L, I was reading one of the James Herriot books.
On my own, John Grisham's "The Chamber". I've read it a few times but it is one of my favourites by him.

Things I am looking forward to:
1. Right this second, I want a cup of tea and something to eat. Where is the trolley on the train when you need it! There's no shop on here as its one of these awful Welsh trains which stops at every conceivable place you can imagine.
2. The weekend. I am travelling to Wales as I write.
3. Seeing L.
4. Using the new audio equipment we have, I think that will make for a separate blog entry.

That's about all for now!

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