Hello and welcome to my Blog, my name is Chris, a bus driver for First Mendip based in Wells, Somerset. Married to Fiona, we live in Midsomer Norton near Bath, with Harvey the dog and Boots the cat. My main hobby is Amateur Radio and I hold the call sign G4KVI. I am the repeater keeper for GB3UB and MB7UB. I have a fascination for the weather and all things to do with nature and science. I am a biker and currently ride a Honda CBfF600. As a Christian I worship, when shifts allow at St. Nicolas Church in Radstock. These are my observations on my life, both at work and at home.

26 Jan 2012

Dogs

Had a couple of incidents with dogs over the last few days both of which could have ended in a very serious accident simply due to a lack of common senses on the dog owners behalf.
The first was on our way to see the in-laws. We had not gone far when a lady crossed the road some distance in front with two dogs neither on leads (no problem) as we got closer I noticed a man on a bicycle with a dog on a lead. Just as we got level with him the dog took off after the two other dogs across the road. The man was pulled from his bike and lost his grip of the lead. The dog then ran straight in front of us. I do not know how we missed the dog as the road was wet, good job I had replaced the worn front tyre. The man was OK and apologised, but this goes to show how dangerous this practice is.
The second was just up the road when I was driving the 178. A lady was walking a couple of little dogs as I started to pass one took a dislike to the bus, as some dogs do, and ran in to the road. At this poit the lead should have stopped it, however, it was one of those extending leads and it appeared that the owner had no idea how to lock it. It was a good job nothing was coming the other way as I was able to make a nifty move out the way and avoid the dog. I never got on with these leads and seeing this I don't think I will ever use one.
So, if you walk your dog make sure you have the dog on the inside and not on the kerb edge and make sure you are in proper control.

21 Jan 2012

This and That

First week back at work over and done with. Went very well, it was really good to be back. Still have some headaches and what I can only describe as befuddlement. However, this may be just being so ill rather than the after effects of the Meningitis. Once again I seem to have been incredible lucky to have recovered this well and this fast. On a four day weekend and took advantage to put the bike through the MOT. I had a few concerns the main one being the chain, which is on it's last legs. Anyway amazingly it passed! It did have a couple of advisories on front disc and the chain. Will have these done when our financial situation has stabilised a bit. Also this weekend off to see the in-laws who we should have seen the weekend I was ill.

12 Jan 2012

Note from above?

Back to work tomorrow and getting a little nervous. Not sure why as I was off for nearly three months when I broke my ankle and had no 'back to work nerves'. Whatever the reason, given the nature of the illness I will have to take thinks easy. One thing that has helped me is my Faith. I firmly believe that there is a God and that he protects me. Throughout my illness I have continued to pray and ask God for help and guidance. Sometimes it is only some time after an event I can see God's plan. However, today was a 'straight to the point' moment. I prayed that I would not be so worried about work. When I checked my email this morning my UCB Word For Today was, Don't Be Afraid!  so perhaps this was a 'note from above'

8 Jan 2012

Busy Day

It is my Mothers Birthday this week so we decided to go and see the family. As I get discounted rail travel we went by train. We caught the 0813 train from Bath all was going well until we were just outside Tylhurst. The train was slowing for Reading when a nice smell of 'brakes' drifted through the train. We came to a stop and a few moments of nothing and then the announcement that there was a 'technical problem with the train' about 20 minutes passed and it was then announced that an axle had become faulty and we would have to limp to Tylhurst station and change trains. This we did and in fact was very handy for us as the train went straight through to Slough. We were met by my Sister and spent a very pleasant day with the family including a very nice meal at the Fox and Pheasant.  Coming back was interesting as well. We came back much latter than planned so did not have the train times to hand. In the end to say it was tight was an understatement. We were OK from Slough to Reading as we got the fast train. However, when we arrived at Reading we asked the next train to Bath '2059 platform 7' we were on Platform 1 and the time was 2059! We just made it. We then had to get the bus at Bath. The train stopped at Didcot and we got that sinking feeling as the time went pass. Turned out it was early and 'waiting his time'. Arrived in Bath 2208 and a brisk walk meant we caught the 2215 bus and got home at 2300 The end of a very pleasant day.

5 Jan 2012

Time to reflect

Looking back on some of my recent posts I can see how confused I have been. So now the hospital has confirmed the image shown on the CT scan is only left over's from the ear infection it now seems a good time to look back on what has happened to me over the last couple of months, and how I got here.This will not only help me but I hope will help one of you spot a case of meningitis as mine was.
The whole thing started back in November when I started with two colds back to back. They came and went very quickly. I was then left with blocked ears, this got progressively worse and eventually resulted in a trip to the doctor. They diagnosed an ear infection and I left with a course of antibiotics.
Things then went down hill fast. We had planned to go and visit our parents and as our car is a bit old had treated ourselves to a hire car. We picked it up on the Friday and had a couple of things to do in Bristol. I was still feeling a little rough but but it down to the infection and the effect of the antibiotics.
Saturday came and we set off to see my parents. We went out for lunch and I began to feel very ill. My vision was poor and I had a severe headache. We put this down to a possible migraine and after having some pain killers I was feeling OK again. We travelled home again without any problems. It is at this point that things get fussy and I have to rely on Fiona's account of events. Sunday arrived and we were supposed to go to Wales to see the in laws.I felt most unwell and Fiona ended up ringing the out of hours doctor and taking me to our local hospital. I had a full check up and left with very strong pain killers. Also the doctor said I was extremely dehydrated and I could either go in to hospital then and there or go home and try and drink plenty. I elected to go home. Perhaps I should have taken the first option.Most of Sunday was spent in bed trying to drink,which meant the visit to Wales was off.
Monday morning came and I felt very ill. Fiona rang our doctor at about 0900 and they said they would visit after morning surgery, about 1230. At about 1030 Fiona was extremely cornered as I was becoming delirious. She contacted the doctor who could hear me in the background. She then arranged for paramedics to attend and within an hour I was admitted to the RUH. At this point I was extremely ill and the next two days are a blur, but I had various tests which showed I had Viral Meningitis. I was filled with antibiotics and left hospital after a week, much to the relief of my family.
I have been incredibly lucky. For those that don't know  Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord.It therefore has the potential to kill or at worst leave you with live changing effects. During the first few weeks I had some problems with my speech and hand eye coordination and severe tiredness. Fortunately it seems I am just left with the tiredness and some problems getting words out. These hopefully will pass in time.
I am back to work next week which will make it a month since I went in to hospital I can only thank Fiona and the doctor for being on the ball. All the medical staff from the paramedics and helicopter crew to the hospital staff.
To all the people who prayed for me and  who sent good wishes in so many ways,you do not how much it meant to me. And ultimately to God for getting me through this, I have to say any doubt I had about the power of prayer has gone out the window.
Please have a look at the links on the blog, I hope I show that it is not just children that can get this frightening condition.



My weather data