Woohoo! I slept well, waking at 7 a.m. and then falling back asleep for another four hours. Got up and made myself a cup of coffee and tested out the brain cells - cardbox cleared in just under an hour.
Henry arrived just gone two but no Howard. Henry went to park the car and two minutes later I saw Howard walking towards the hotel lobby. Back to the car and off to the bus station to organise tomorrow's journey. I hadn't realised that Henry was also going to come with us tomorrow - three tickets purchased for the 11.45 tomorrow morning.
Back to the hotel to dump bags and go eat. Then back to hotel where we chatted and then Howard beat Henry at a game while I continued studying.
I am now left to my own devices until we meet up here again tomorrow morning at 11 and then go and catch the coach to JB. I will wander out later to eat and pick up some provisions for the coach tomorrow.
I may splash out on a hotel breakfast tomorrow - and must remember to organise a wake up call just in case I try to sleep for as long as I did last night...
So a good night's sleep on Saturday on the whole. I awoke at 5 a.m. but quickly fell asleep again only to be awoken at 10.30 by the phone. Henry was setting off to take me to the Mattel publicity event. He wouldn't actually be arriving for another three quarters of an hour or so, so I had enough time to get myself together.
As it turned out it was a non-event for us. We got there just before midday but the event had been pushed back a couple of hours. I had a coffee, Henry a tea, and then we explored the shopping mall we were at. I had another coffee and we played a couple of games (away win again, 0-2). Philip had arrived when we finished the second game but by this time it was gone 3 so after saying hello we left.
When we got back into the city centre I changed my money into RM and then we went and ate. Back to the hotel and cardbox for me. I ventured out again about 8.30 pm for something to eat and then continued studying for the rest of the evening except for a quick video skype from Paul. I actually got to read a chapter of the book I had brought with me before turning in for the night.
And then I find my sleep pattern is still opgefok. Up again at 2 a.m. and cleared the cardbox. I would have got back up at 3 a.m. to put my earplugs in but they already were. Tossed and turned and don't think I actually really slept but just dozed until I was awoken by my doorbell at 9 a.m. Luckily I had put the latch across and the hotel man (looked like management rather than room service) couldn't actually get in but he kept ringing the bell. I dragged myself out of bed, wrapped myself up in the bath towel and looked at him extremely blearily through the crack in the door. 'Oh - you are still sleeping. I will come back this afternoon'. Well, duh! Door latch on, room still dark with curtains and no answering of doorbell could have been a hint.
S0 I decided I probably ought to stay up now else I won't stand a chance tonight. I thought I would have a nice relaxing bath - until I saw the colour of the water coming out of the taps :( I will stick with the shower from now on.
Howard W should have arrived last night. He has the hotel phone number so I will await his call.
The journey was what you would expect for a long haul flight other than it was not full and I managed to relocate to one of the empty back two-seat rows and attempt to get some sleep. The food on KLM is getting worse - I think they ran out of the chicken before they even got to our section and the veggie option was not a success. One plate of rubbery pasta, one small bowl of rice and a pudding. Actually, the pudding was fine but as I hadn't eaten all day I was still really hungry. The cabin steward brought me some more peanuts! The 'economy class purser' didn't put on any pretence at breakfast - 'There is no choice - omelette' was the announcement.
Exiting the airport was trouble free and I got an airport taxi to the hotel - it is worth paying a little more to avoid the hassle of train/taxi when you are really tired. When I got to the hotel my room wasn't ready but the girl gave me a voucher for a free soft drink and by the time I had finished so had room service.
The room is nice and a good size, the hotel well situated. I can see the KL tower and the Petronas Twin Towers from outside the lobby but not from my room. Although I have free internet access as part of my package it is not wifi in the rooms so I am having to sit at the desk rather than lounging about in the armchair with foot rest...
Henry phoned shortly after I gained access and came round a little later to take me to eat and a quick drink. I thought I would have no trouble sleeping as I could hardly keep my eyes open, but no. Really tired but I just could not get to sleep. Up at 2 and had a cigarette and cleared my cardbox. Up at 3 - earplugs in. I don't know when I actually did drop off but I woke around 9.30 and thought I had better get up.
Peter Kougi had arranged to come to the hotel at 11 for a few games. We had just started when Henry arrived. Scores on the doors: Peter v Helen score draw 1-1, Henry v Peter away win 0-1, Henry v Helen away win 0-1. We then went and ate, followed by a tour of the money exchanges comparing rates. It is certainly better changing your money in the city than at the airport and the hotel rate is atrocious.
Cleared the cardbox again after everyone left.
Around 8 pm decided to venture out on my own. Almost wimped out at a KFC but told myself I was being stupid. There are just so many places to eat that I had just walked past at a fraction of the cost if I was brave enough. So another plate of noodles - beef this time and a soft drink for under 10 RM and the money I saved has been invested in a small jar of Nescafe (more than my meal cost) and coffee mate. I also bought some fruit and some biscuits for breakfast.
We are off to some Mattel publicity event tomorrow. Apparently at a Starbucks somewhere in the suburbs. Woohoo. Even more coffee :)
5) revise high probability 7s and 8s, 500 of each a day
6) add any interesting hooks of the 8s into the hooks cardbox
7) clear anagrams cardbox
8) clear hooks cardbox
9) add in a random small set of bonus words to anagrams cardbox
10) clear anagrams cardbox
I lost a good couple of hours today. I thought I had it all under control and was congratulating myself that I had achieved 1 and 2, taken the dogs for their walk and fed them and it still wasn't quite 11 a.m. And then I remembered that I had a dental hygienist appointment at 11.20 and ran out of the house in a panic. Back on track in the afternoon. And then the concentration escaped totally when Margaret's dogs started their incessant barking. After three quarters of an hour I had had enough and went around to complain...
Still, I made it through to step 10, adding in all the 7 letter words that end [aeiou]g. And some quite nice ones in that bunch to boot, but not as interesting as yesterday's 8s with 2 Us only as vowels...
I had Kathryn (reporter) and Derek (cameraman) here yesterday for over an hour an a half. They were very nice but Kathryn's idea for the piece was to have us two playing a game while she interviewed me. Only problem was she didn't really know how to play...
We are guessing it will be aired on Lookaround either tonight or tomorrow night.
A big dint in my study time along with going shopping in the afternoon. So the rest of the day was spent at my laptop catching up on my cardboxes and quickly (ish) going back through the top 1000 8s.
I have given up on my coloured spreadsheets for the moment - it is too inefficient use of my remaining time. But I will finish them in the future...
Paul was overly keen to get the muck spreading done. Half past one and there he was in his wellies. I was still drinking my coffee and said I would be out when I finished. But life never works out like that when Paul and garden are involved. Wheelbarrow loaded and 'where do you want it?' called through the window. Okay - coffee abandoned and out I went.
It was certainly a lot quicker than when I had been struggling to push the wheelbarrow over the rough uphill ground, past the topsoil pile and on to the veggie patch on my own last week. About a dozen loads with me spreading it was enough to finish the job. Penny arrived when we had almost finished so there was no point in her getting dirty too. Strangely the muck heap doesn't look much smaller than when we started.
All the gardening tools have now been put away in my shed to try to deter me spending any more time out there this year.
I quick wander round with the camera was the last thing to do. It is amazing what is still flowering, despite a couple of frosts in the last few days.
So, I may have been a little late in planting the lily bulbs and they are now flowering despite the foliage dying off...
The fuchsia that I bought last year and kept indoors over the winter only to believe I had killed it when I took it outside in the spring has not only recovered but thrived once planted in the garden. The free gift ones that got planted out after I got back from Bangkok are also still flowering away. It is November, isn't it???
The lavender is still thriving despite the herb bed being flooded several times this year. The polemonium is putting on a second flush of flowers. Next year I will have more of these as it seems to seed itself quite freely. The geraniums that I divided last year and planted this have increased considerably in size and are not only flowering but are covered in more buds.
The astrantias are also in a second blooming for the year. Several of my roses are still looking good. The heucheras have also put on a lot of growth this year from their rather sad state when I divided and planted them in the spring.
Of the things that should be flowering at this time of the year the mahonia is looking particularly good.
So I have 12 days until I fly out to KL. I have started thinking about what to take - as little as possible. I do not need a light sweater or jacket. I do need one or two nice dresses for the receptions. One pair of jeans is enough... And I can utilise the hotel laundry services... And I must find my earplugs...
The Mattel publicity machine has started. Yesterday I had a phone call from the Berwickshire news. The girl sounded particularly uninterested in the scrabble, focusing more on where I may be doing some shopping and sightseeing. ITV Borders phoned later in the afternoon and have arranged to come here to do some filming on Tuesday. Could I have a board out and 'anything visual'. So I may hunt out some of my trophies...
I have stopped adding things into my anagrams cardbox like a madwoman. That is not to say nothing more is going in - just more like a slightly deranged woman. I am feeling a lot better for this reduction in cramming.
I am continuing on my anagrams and hooks for the 4 letter words.
And I am going back over the higher probability bonus words from the 6 and 7 letter stems. I am recreating my beautiful coloured spreadsheets that were never updated following the switch to Collins - maybe I can get a couple on show for the ITV crew. They are very visual :)
I have also found some time on the nicer days to get the veggie patch in order. All weeded now and paths made to create smaller beds. I am seconding Paul and Penny is coming to help this afternoon to get the muck on.