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YouGov Surveys

Posted on August 19, 2009 at 4:21 PM Comments comments (0)

This company will pay you for taking surveys. They pay from 50p per survey taken, and when your total reaches £50, they send you a cheque. Not bad for hust a few minutes a day.

If you don't belive me, click here and go to their site to see. Money for nothing really, apart from having an opinion, and we've all got one of those.

Today in the News..

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 9:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Feeling better, but still off work, so I had a look at MSN for some interesting news:-

THE ACTOR FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S SWINE FLU ADVERT HAS SWINE FLU. Not really very exciting, as by government statistics we will al have had it by the end of the year anyway.

GREEK GIRL SETS FIRE TO BRITISH TOURIST. A 26 year old poured her drink over an amorous Brit and set him alight. If he was acting like many of the yobs going abroad he probably deserved it.

WOMAN SET TO MARRY A FAIRGROUND RIDE. A 33 year old church warden in America (where else?) has fallen for an 80 foot gondola ride plans to marry it. She's been in love with the ride for the last 20 years, and has ridden it 3000 times. She even carries it nuts around with her. I know some women who'd like to do that to their husbands.


Life is so exciting.

Wedding - 4 weeks to go

Posted on August 2, 2009 at 5:43 PM Comments comments (0)

The Positives:

  • We now have most of the decorations for the reception - 8 banners, 2 helium cylinders, 1 balloon arch, 30 ballon table decorations, a six foot inflatable champagne bottle, more ballons, and a 5 foot by 3 foot banner.
  • Hen night seems to be all set for 2 weeks time. Becks even picked up some cheap t-shirts
  • Stag Run also seems to be coming along nicely. 4 confirmed runners. And we picked up some cheaper t shirts.
  • After run bowling has been replaced with after run BBQ. If anyone else would like to join us for that, let us know (August 16th about 2pm)
  • Most things now all paid for - we're on the home stretch now.

The negatives:

  • Bex's recent car accident means we may not have transport to the airport for the honeymoon. Thank God for HAnnah, who may step in if needed.
  • The lady who is to alter Bex's and Amy's dresses has fallen and broken her wrist. Luckily there is a replacement on standby if needed.

To do:

  • looking for some medals for the stag run as an extra memento for all who take part
  • Need shoes
  • Billy needs a haircut


Strange Ebay Item

Posted on July 24, 2009 at 1:12 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you know you can get fine tooth combs on Ebay? Apparently, they're very good for when you want to look for something. Personally, I can't see the point in them, as I've never seen anyone with hairy teeth.

Swine Flu? Chicken Pox?

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 7:14 PM Comments comments (0)

Becks' had a bit of a scare this week. She had a lesson with a student on Monday morning, who later that day came down with flu-like symptons. This student was later diagnosed as suspected swine flu, given tamiflu, and told to stay in isolation at home.

With her underlying health problems (a common phrase from the news this week), Becks was worried. She tried ringing NHS DIrect, who could only offer advice, so tried the out of hours surgery. They told her 2 weeks ago she would have been given Tamiflu as a precaution, but now poilcy has changed she'll have to wait to see if she gets any symptoms.

In the meantime, in order to relive some of the panic, Billy and me have decided to rename Swine Flu. In our house, it's now known as Piggy SNiffles.

I also have to go to the Docs on Monday. I had flu symptoms 2 weeks ago, had 2 days off work, and then returned. SInce then I have developed a rash on my arms and legs, lots of extremely itchy spots. The nurse at work says they look like Chicken Pox, so it's possible I may have had this, again. I know there's nothing the doc can do about Chicken Pox now, but maybe she can suggest something for the itching before I scratch myself to death.

Wedding - 6 weeks to go

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 6:52 PM Comments comments (0)

We went to check out the venue for the reception this week, Dereham Football Club. It's big enough for the job, has all the facilities we need (i.e. a bar and electric sockets, but we were told last year they were licensed for 200. It now seems they can only hold 150. Oops - it might be a tight squeeze. The baloons have arrived from Ebay, so it'll be my job on the wedding afternoon to blow the buggers up. I'm sure Billy will help if I let him inhale the helium as well. Still no speech prepared, though.

The Facebook page has been very successful, with 21 confirmed, some of which we didn't know about, 8 maybes, and 3 no thankyous. All we've got to do now is make a list with all the other names and see how many we have. Hopefully we'll come in under the limit.

For the ceremony, Billy has been given the important job of looking after the rings. Firstly because we wanted to give him an important role at the wedding, and secondly because he looks most like Gollum. Becks' friend Hannah has also been allocated a task, but it's to be a surprise.

Gor the wedding night, the newlywed couple will be spending it at the Phoenix Hotel in Dereha. This will give us a bit of peace and quiet, as our house is going to be overflowing (we think there's around 8 people spending the night there, so there's no room for us at home anyway!)

Honeymoon-wise, the insurance company are saying that because Becks went into hospital lasy year that the holiday insurance might not cover her. We've read the small print and think that it does, as it clearly says she is covered for any medical conditions she had prior to her buying it. We'll find out for definite on Monday. In the meantime, we've got the cases down from the attic, and most of the stuff we need is already packed.

And that is the current state of play....

The Happening

Posted on July 17, 2009 at 6:36 PM Comments comments (0)

This evening I watched this effort from director M Night Shyamalan, Starring Mark Walberg, it's about a strange "attack" on New York and the surrounding areas, which makes all the people commit suicide. As the film progresses, Mark and his wife (Zooey Descanel) run away from the unknown cause of this Happening as more and more people end their own lives in sometimes silly ways. (Jumping off buildings - okay. Gunshots - okay. Hangings - okay, but running yourself over with a lawn mower???). They eventually deduce the plants are releasing toxins to protect themselves from large groups of humans (although small ones are acceptable for a while). Just when you think it's coming to a sad end for Mark and Zooey, the Happening ends and everyone is safe.. until it starts again in France.

The first film I saw by direct M was The SIxth Sense, which was an excellent movie, even if I did guess the end. I';ve since seen Unbreakable (which was okay, but again guessed the end), The Village (which was crap and I guessed the ending in 20 minutes) and Signs (which was okay). He seems to be able to come up with really good ideas for stories, and then spoil them with stupid endings. Perhaps he should work on that part.

Other projects this man could have been involved in were the 4th Indiana Jones film (which like most of M's films had a silly finish), and he was interested in directing Harry Potter. Thank God he didn't. His next film will be based on Avatar from the Cartoon Network. So that's another film to avoid.

Back In Training

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 4:23 AM Comments comments (0)

Today is the day when I return to training. I think I've shaken off the virus and it's after effects, hay fever seems to be sort of controlled, and marathon recovery should be well and trult complete. So it's off to the gym tonight for a gentle work out on the cardio machines to see how much fitness I've lost.

I sat down over the weekend and worked out a plan. Gym twice a week and running twice a week, with intermittent extras. I'm also going to try to stick to the 100 push up routine, the 200 sit up routine, and the 200 squats routine, which should strengthen my upper, abs, and lower body, helping ot improve my running.

As for races, I've entered the Reepham Summer Sunday Run in August, and The Great Eastern Run Half Marathon in Peterborough in October. The former is meant to me a "Stag Run" with lots of friends joining me, except I bet they'll all be cowards and pull out. The latter I'm running as part of the World Wide Festival of Races. You can run a 5K , 10K, or Half Marathon, and you log your time on the website. You even get a virtual goody bag (which I imagine will be virtually useless, but you never know).

Anyway, that's the plan. Now I just have to wait for injury and illness to wreck it.

Wedding - 7 weeks to go

Posted on July 12, 2009 at 4:31 PM Comments comments (0)

Plans for the Big Day on August 29th are almost complete. Dresses, cake, photos, honeymoon, rings, all paid for. Venue and Registrar still need to be finished. We just need the last few bits and pieces.


For example, we had no decorations for hall,so Becks picked up 2 cheap helium canisters, and I've found a pack of gold and ivory balloons on Ebay. Problem solved. I'm also considering saving the helium for the speech. It might make it a little more interesting. Suppose I'd better start thinking of something to say.


We're still trying to figure out what the final numbers will be. We'd had lots of replies to the invites, but some people seemed to have forgotten. So, using the wonder of the Internet, we set up an events page on facebook and invited everyone again. It seems to be working, as lots who'd already replied have confirmed again, and lots who haven't replied yet have also confirmed.


This week we go and check out the venue properly on Tuesday, so we'll get a better idea of final numbers we can invite and how to decorate the place. 49 days to go....


Getting Old? Happy Birthday

Posted on July 9, 2009 at 9:18 AM Comments comments (0)

When a member of staff came to me wanting help, I was all too willing to assist. Her children wanted to send a letter to her ex-husband, as he was about to turn 40. The letter was to offer him a place in a nursing home because of his rapidly advancing years. Preferring not to use the name Sanford House, where I work, I put together a letter which they were more than happy to send.

If you have any relatives who are reaching milestones, and wish to wind them up. Please feel free to use this letter. It can be downloaded here.


Just make sure you don't send it to me!

Head-on Crash on Brooks Drive

Posted on July 8, 2009 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I've just been told that on Sunday, there was a head-on crash on nearby Brooks Drive. Two cars refusing to give way near a parked vehicle smacked into each other. No serious injuries, but both cars looked like write-offs.

Why is this not a surprise? A group of neighbours are forming a group to see if they can get anything done about this speeding problem.

Mad Drivers on Brooks Drive

Posted on July 6, 2009 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

It's no wonder cats are getting run over near where I live. The road which leads to our house. Brooks Drive, is just about wide enough for 2 cars. However, being residential, there's always cars parked on the roadside, so you have to zig zag your way through them. Being a timid driver, I do this at about 20mph. Others bomb through well over the 30mph limit.

However, in the last couple of days, I have witnessed 2 occasions which can only be described as ridiculously stupid. On the first, I was driving slowly with a car parked on the right hand side. Another car was coming, but as I had right of way, I continued, assuming the other driver would be sensible and pull over, especially as I was in a learner car. She didn't, and kept coming quickly. I got over as far as I could, and somehow the the two cars passed without touching, and without hitting the parked one. How I'll never know.

The next occassion was similar. I was walking down the road, when two cars again reached the point where the road was narrowed by a parked car. The one which was meant to give way didn't, continuing on and pushing the other car further to it's left. However, the driver went so far left that he was driving on the path, and he still continued at quite a speed. Not only that, but he stayed on the pavement for at least 20 feet afterwards.

I know of 2 cats killed in this area. With idiotic drivers like these, how lomng before a child joins them.

Bye Bye Simba

Posted on July 3, 2009 at 3:37 PM Comments comments (0)

Two days ago we lost another pet, as Simba was run over on the nearby main road. This fluffy caramel coloured cat was Amy's, and had been one of her present for her 12th birthday. He was so soft and soppy, although he had a tough side as he was accused of breaking and entering by our neighbours when he made a hole through their back door. I'm also sure he helped Amy when her Mum left - he would have been there for cuddles, but not expect answers to ant awkward questions. The last time I saw him was the evening before when he was cuddled up with our other cat, Nipper, enjoying the sun.

I went to collect him yesterday afternoon when another neighbour told us he'd been left on their driveway that morning. He's now buried in the garden right next to Tammy. AMy was a little concerned at this. "Won't they fight?" she asked, as these two never seemed to get on. I'm sure wherever they are, they've got better things to do than make silly noises at each other, which is the worst they managed..

So that 10 cats in total now - some ran away when the lure of farmland was better than our house, some were rehomed, and three have now met their fate under wheels. It's strange that the first cat, Nipper, a stately 14 year old now, will also now be our last cat.

Rabournisms Updated

Posted on July 1, 2009 at 10:01 AM Comments comments (0)

As I'm still off with the cold, I've spent a little while updating the site,


  • I've changed the template, as webs.com's new page editor wasn't compatible with the old one. Hope you like the new look. If not, TOUGH!!
  • I've tidied yp a couple of pages, and changed some that needed to be altered to fit the new template.
  • I've added a few retrospective blog entries. Some of these I'd saved in a file for when I had a few moments to add them, others are just memories of recent events. All can be found in my online diary page, radblogisms.
  • I've added the sidebar, giving myself more space to fill with utter rubbish
  • A link has been added to my brother's "British Eccentric" blog.

With all that done, I'm now going to wipe my nose, cough a lot, and watch Andy Murray fail to make to semi finals at Wimbledon.

A Day with a Cold

Posted on June 30, 2009 at 3:14 PM Comments comments (0)

Another bloody virus. Started on Sunday (felt like crap), continued on Monday (went to work, and not quite sure how I got through the day), and totally knocked me for 6 today. It's also moved to my chest, reducing my peak flow to just 300 after using an inhaler (should be at least 550).


So they day has been sleep, watch Doctor Who DVD (The Impossible Planet), sleep, watch Star Wars Clone Wars DVD (which led to more sleep), watch another Doctor Who DVD (The Satan Pit), cook tea (shove things in oven more like, too knackered to cook properly) watch Saving Private Ryan (forgot how bloody good it is), and that's about all I had energy for.



Must go back to work tomorrow.


Posted on June 27, 2009 at 9:12 AM Comments comments (0)

I started this course about 3 months ago. (NVQ Level 2 in Business and Administration, for those who don't understand the title) Today was my fourth visit from my assessor, Vera. Everything is going exceptionally well, and she told me that in two visits we will submit one of the best ever BA NVQs she's seen.

Although in my time in care homes I've seen many people take and complete NVQs, when I started I had no idea what these entailed, especially for business and administration. I have to say I've found it very easy. I had 5 units to complete. One is already signed off, with all the others close behind. All I have to do is write a few statements, get a few other people to write a couple of statement, write down the answers to a few questions, and let her observe me working half a dozen times. Then, hey presto, I've got an NVQ. Piss easy really.

If anyone out there is thinking about starting an NVQ at any level, go for it. As long as you apply yourself, you'll easily complete it. But start quickly, as the qualification is being replaced soon.

Michael Jackson: Coroner's Report

Posted on June 27, 2009 at 5:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Secret sources have revealed the outcome of Michael Jackson's autopsy. The coroner has ruled out skin cancer from UV light, or the use of alcohol and recreational drugs as causes of his death. They laughed at one claim that, as in his classic video Thriller, he was a werewolf. The cause of death was strain of rehearsing dance routines for his upcoming tour.


Full Coroner's Statement:


"Don't blame it on the sunshine,

Don't blame it on the moonlight

Don't blame it on the good times

Blame it on the boogie"

Marathon Comparison

Posted on June 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM Comments comments (0)


With two weeks gone since the Edinburgh Scamathon (as it's become known on some forums, and with my recovery complete, now seems a good time to compare my London and Edinburgh runs. That way I can see how things have improved, and what I need to do to improve further. Both races took chip timings at 10K, half marathon, 30K and finishing distances.


In London, I ran the first 10K in 1:10:32, my slowest time for 10K ever, but I was pacing myself. In Edinburgh, I clocked this mark in 1:05:12, over 5 minutes faster, and 3 minutes outside my best time in a 10K race, so this is exactly where I would have wanted to be.


At the halfway mark in London, my time was 2:41:49. In Edinburgh, I got halfway in 2:26:11. That made me 15 minutes faster second time around, and that for the second 11K I gained 10 minutes over my preious time. Again, that's exactly where I wanted to be.


At the halfway mark in London, my knee went. I still shouted "f**king bridge" at the TV every time I see Tower Bridge on TV. The next 9K would be where I would expect to make another big gain on my London time. However, I only gained 7 minutes. This is the area where the water shortage was the worst. Son in London y 30K time was4:05:44, while in Edinburgh it was 3:42:49.


The final 12K were hampered in both runs. In London I had the injured knee to contend with, in Edinburgh it was dehydration and heat. So my time over this section of the race in Ediburgh was only a minute and a half faster than in London. Still, by this stage I'd already done enough to guarantee a personal best.


So where next? Just sit back and wait to hear if I'm in next year's London Marathon. I know they won't have water problems there. If I don't get in, I'll have to find another run, and just in case I've bought a hydration backpack so I know I;ll have enough water next time.


In the meantime, I've set myself running targets, 2 for each fo the distances I run:-


For 10Ks, I want to break the hour mark, and then the 50 minute mark.


For Half Marathons I would to run under 2 hours 15, then break the 2 hour mark.


And for Marathons, I want to break firstly 5 hours, then 4 hours 30.


The first targets for each level are achievable within a year. The other will need a lot more work.


Edinburgh Marathon

Posted on June 1, 2009 at 3:33 PM Comments comments (0)

Having failed to get into London this year, I'd entered the run in the Scottish capital instead. Sunday was the day when I would try to conquer the distance for the second time. I chose it because it's meant to be a fast, flat course, and being a big city run I expected the organisation to be perfect, as in London. However, I'd also read that every marathon experience was different.

We got to the start early, and as usual I'd drunk plenty, especially today as the forecast was for heat. In fact, I';d drunk a little too much. The queue for the toilets was long, as with all races, but with just 4 portable urinals, the queue seemed to last forever. So after a twenty minutes wait, I joined the runners in the starting pen, with 30 minutes to go till the start. However, this was too early. By the time the race started again, I had to dart back to the toilets again. I rejoined right at the back, and was one of the last runners to cross the start line. Crowds lined the street to cheer us on, and someone even tried the Oggy Oggy Oggy chant so popular at the Great North Run.

As we approached the first water station, I knew the heat was going to be a problem, as the temperature was already creeping up towards 23degrees. What did shock me was that the water station was empty. Just three people shouting there would be plenty more at the next station 3 miles down the road. There were a few angry runners amongst us. A nearly empty bottle was passed to me, and I drank the last mouthful. I vowed that if the next station was empty, I would drop out - it just wouldn't be worth the risk.

In the meantime, the crowds cheered us on, and I kept up a good pace, aiming for the 5 hour mark. By the time the second station came along at 5.5 miles, I was still on course - and there was water. I well earned drink kept me going, and I was fully confident that, despite the heat, I would get the time I wanted.The course moved onto the seafront, and it was just like running along the prom at Cromer with a gentle sea breeze to cool me, just a little.

At the eight mile mark came the changeover point for those doing the marathon as part of a relay team. While I and thousands other plodded on, a couple fo thousand people pulled in to pass the timing chip on to the next team member. At first, you hardly realise, but then there comes a point where there seems to be loads of runners suddenly rushing past you. I was getting rather annoyed, and frustrated as I couldn't keep up with them. Once I realised they we relayers, I just smiled to myself and ignored them. After all, if they can't do a full marathon why should I worry about them.

The nine mile mark is particularly cruel. At this point you pass the finish line at Musselborough. Although this is the aim, at this point you have to keep running. Just 17 miles to go. The course then heads out into the countryside. The crowds dwindle at times, but it was still scenic enough to be wort the run.

And that's how it went. Water stations were all fine. However, with temperatures rising, as I approached mile 15, I could feel the heat was getting to me. I was nearing another water station, and had a mouthfull of water left in the bottle, so I tipped it over myself to cool off. It felt great. Then I got to the station, only to find it was empty, I was gutted. It was at this point, with me still on course for 5 hours, that it started to go wrong. I had to start taking walking breaks, and these got longer and longer as I began to dehydrate. When the next water station was empty as well, that was it. I decided to walk. I could have dropped out, but after doing 17 miles and reaching the furthest point from the finish, Gosford House, I wanted that medal. So I plodded in. I popped into one of the few toilets on the course, mainly to get out of the sun for a couple of minutes, and  produced a small trickle which matched the colour of the Lucosade Sport I'd been drinking, Not a good sign. I returned to the course and joined all the other entrants in our walk. It felt like a line of refugess. We were so desperate for water that we were checking the bottles discarded by those ahead of us in the hope that they would have left some water.

Other runners I spoke to along the way were going through exactly the same. I met a lady who had run London 5 weeks earlier. She said it was much hotter than it had been in London, and she had resigned herself to a gentle SUnday stroll to her worst every marathon finishing time. Another lad I met seemed a bit dejected as this was his first Marathon and the lack of water had ruined his experience, but he was still determined to finish,

No luck at the next water station, so the plodding continued. However, the organisers did manage to make available some Lucosade Sport. It was liquid, so I took it, but it didn't last long. The water situation, or rather Lucosade, did improve, as for the last 6 miles there was enough available, but by then it was too late. I developed a technique by which I ran 200 paces, then walked 200 more, in a bid to keep my pace up, but I was dehydrated and worn out, and I little fed up as my target time was no longer achievable. However, I still wanted to beat London. It was in these last miles that the people of Edinburgh really came together for us. People with hosepipes and sprayers came out to cool us off, and everyone was welcomed. Without them, I don't know if I would have kept going.

So at last the finish line appeared, and I decided to put in my final effort. I turned onto the racecourse, and put all the energy I had left into running.Problem now as they had covered the grass with some strange boucy mats, which were fine to run on except where the ground underneath wasn't even. I felt like I was going down pot holes at times. But I'd made it, and with fist clenched in triumph I crossed the line. % hours 25 minutes, 14 seconds. I was 25 minutes slower than I wanted to be, but still 25 minutes faster that last year.

The bad organisation then continued. People in the finishing pen didn't seem to know what they were doing. One even asked me if I wanted the chip taken off my shoe, which they were meant to do automatically. I waddled out and tried to make my way to the reunion area to meet up with Becks. Except there were no signposts. I followed the direction of the flowing crowds, and eventuallt found it. However, there were no A-Z signs as promised. I onyl found her because she was with the Asthma UK rep, who was waving frantically to get my attention. She'd had a bad time too, as the car park wasn't signposted, so she'd taken nearly as long to get there from the start as I had.. I needed food and a drink - I'd already drunk the 500ml bottle I'd got at the finish. Iried eating, but was so dehydrated I couldn't produce enough saliva.





And that was Edinburgh. A totally different experience to London. But despite the crap organisation, I'd still really enjoyed it. Has this put me off running Marathons, To Becks' dismay, no. Just marathons in Edinburgh.



Dereham 10 Mile Road Race

Posted on May 19, 2009 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

This is my local race, so local I could walk to it. However, what made it a little weary of it was that it's also the Norfolk County Champiopnship race for this distance. So I psyched myself up for a bottom 5 finish, pulled on my running shoes, and left. As I could walk there, none of the family came along to support me. That felt a bit strange in itself, as Becks has been with me at every other run. Oh well.

Having left my changing kit at the race base in Neatherd High School's cafeteria, I joined the other couple of hundred runners at the start. The pub at the side of the road was tempting, but I resisted.  Off we set, and as this was a shorter distance, I tried to pace myself at 6mph. I would like to finish in 1hr 40, but expected 1 hr 50. I was living up to expectations, as I was very near the back as quickly all the other runners began to disappear in the distance. Becks, who was teaching, got her student to drive past the race, and spotted me at the 2 mile mark when I was still just about hanging on to the tail end of the. I raised 2 fingers to her as she hooted, to show how many miles I'd completed. (and to tell her to sod off). But I was keeping my planned pace.

As the reace progressed, I quickly lost touch with  the big group in front, and pulled away from the small group ahead. I found myself with 2 other runners, a man about my age, and a much younger girl, but I was struggling to keep up with them. The man was obviously racing, as he kept glancing over his shoulder. The girl was behind me, and seemed content to stay there. I kept going, and wouldn't let them get away. Just before the six mile mark, the girl overtook, leaving me in third out of the three of us, but she looked worn out. We came to a gentle declining slope, so I decided to letgravity help me, and allowed it to carry me down the hill at a faster than normal pace. I overtook the girl, the man, and had no one else to catch. When I got to the bottom of the hill, I felt well enough to keep the pace going, 6.3mph accoridng to my Garmin. About a mile later, I looked around and could see no-one. Being unable to see no-one ahead either, it began to feel like a training run.

By the 8 mile mark,  I was surpised that I was still keeping up my elevated pace. I decided that I should slow down so I didn't wear myself out. After all, Edinburgh is just two weeks away. However, I couldn't slow down. I don't know why, but my legs must have hot a comfortable rhythm or something, because I looked at my watch after I'd tried to slow, and it still said 6.3.  I gave up trying to slow, deciding my legs would do that when they were ready, and just kept on going. The legs didn't stop. They carried me over the last 2 miles at tthis constant speed, and I crossed the line in 1hrs 39 minutes, 10 seconds. Not only did I finish 10 minutes faster than expected, but I beat 13 others too, including the man and girl I'd been with up to mile 6. The results suggested they were about 3 minutes behind me. 

My first 10 mile run was completed, as was my warm ups for the Edinburgh Marathon. Nothing else I can do now to prepare. Scotland here we come.