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Music

Much of my spare time is spent listening to the radio or Cds.  I was also lucky enough to get to several pop concerts in 2002.  I've explained in more detail on my music page - it seemed best to dedicate a page as it was totally taking over the interests page!  My interest in pop music has had a profound effect on my life, leading to many new friendships as well as being my favourite way to spend my spare time.


Film and TV

I love to go to the cinema to see a good movie. At the time of writing, I've just seen Brokeback Mountain - a very touching film, I thought...mind you, I've thought Jake Gyllenhaal is a terrific actor ever since I saw him in Donnie Darko, so I'm probably biased! I mostly enjoy thrillers though - or mild horror. Of course, my daughter and I see animated films or other suitable fare for children on our regular cinema trips!

On tv I particularly like programmes such as CSI, in all it's forms, and Law & Order (ditto!); ER and The West Wing are also high on my 'must see' list. However, my absolute favourite programme now has to be - and I never thought I'd say this - Doctor Who! I bow before the mighty Russell T Davies for bringing The Doctor back to us in a form which has revived family viewing and ended the days of the show being a joke to most people. Christopher Eccleston was fantastic in the title role in 2005, and I was thrilled to find my favourite actor, David Tennant, was to become the 10th Doctor.

Another viewing highlight so far in 2006 has been 'Life On Mars'. A great idea, carried out perfectly. The always excellent John Simm was as good as I'd expect him to be, but the whole cast were great - special mention going to Philip Glenister for his completely believable portrayal of a 70's DCI, dubious methods and all - but with humour and his heart in the right place!

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Open University

I have been a student with the OU for a few years now. In 2000 I studied a revolutionary new online course called T171 You, Your Computer and the Net. This is a level one course about the history of the Internet and the PC, and also teaches useful Internet skills - such as how to search effectively and most importantly, Netiquette! It was a nice gentle start for me as I hadn't studied seriously since my nursing finals in 1988, and never anything to do with computers. Also I had been using the Internet for a couple of years, so I had a head start, lol!  We dabbled in HTML too; some people went into it in more depth than others....I was one of the "others" as you can see!

In 2001  I studied MT262 Putting Computer Systems to Work. This was about designing simple programs in C++ then using software to code and test the programs. It was very interesting, but I found it hard to apply myself and make time for my studies, so I was not optimistic that I'd passed this one. It's an excellent course - the problem was with me!

STOP PRESS! Friday December 14th 2001. I have just received my result, and it seems by some miracle I have passed MT262....and with a decent mark too, given I only completed 2/3 of the course! So I am feeling pleased and extremely relieved!!!

I didn't complete courses over the next few years owing to health problems and computer 'issues', but in 2005 completed M150 Data, Computing and Information. Combined with T171, this earned me a 'Certificate in Information Technology and Computing', which is rather nice! I may even see evidence of the certificate in due course, hehe!

In 2006 I am studying M255 Object-Oriented Programming With Java. It's early days but so far I'm enjoying the course.

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Gingerbread

I am a lone parent, divorced in 2002 for the second time, and I have no idea how I would have coped without the support of other lone parents in my local Gingerbread groups. I also belong to a couple of associated mailing lists, which keep me pretty much out of trouble!

Gingerbread offers friendship and support at local, regional and national level, including a telephone helpline and occasional subsidised family outings. The children and I have been actively involved with 2 local groups and have friends at both, and I recently spent a year as a committee member at regional level.

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Holidays and trips

For the past few years the children and I have gone for our summer holidays to a place in Shaldon, near Teignmouth in Devon. The place we stay is called Devon Valley Holiday Village, and we all love it there. It's in a good spot for getting to the local attractions eg Paignton Zoo, Crealy Park and Babbacombe Model Village. There is also plenty to do on site, and the entertainment is second to none. In between visits, you can often find me hanging around on the Devon Valley/Landscove/Riviera Bay message board! This can be found via the main park website here.

 

In 2002, for a change, the children and I went with my mum to Mullion in Cornwall.   It's a great place and we loved it there, too!  Similar facilities to Devon Valley - a little more to do if anything - but to be honest we'd find it hard to choose an absolute favourite between them.  The holiday park we went to is owned by Weststar holidays.  Again, the entertainment provided in the evenings was first rate. 

We hope to return there in October, along with my mum...who is also coming with us to Devon Valley in May!

Mullion Cove Copyrightę2000Charles Winpenny
Mullion Cove
Photo Copyrightę2000Charles Winpenny

 

Whilst at Mullion, we visited a couple of local attractions, including the National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, and Goonhilly Earth Station - I'd never been to Goonhilly before but it was well worth a visit.  There is also a shop at the Lizard selling the most amazing pasties you could imagine - as recommended by Rick Stein no less!  Check out Ann's Pasty Shop if you are curious!  

When I find time between emailing certain DJs (you know who you are!) and other hobbies, I shall scan my holiday photos!  A-hem!  Could be a long, long wait....

In 2005 we ventured back to Devon, to a sister park of Devon Valley: Riviera Bay. This park overlooks the cliffs at Brixham and has stunning views over the water. My daughter and I can't wait to get back there!

 

When we are at home, we do like to visit theme parks when we can. The ones we regularly visit are Legoland Windsor and Paulton's Park. We always have a great day out when we go to these places, and we are lucky in being able to get there so often.   We've also been to Thorpe Park, Chessington and Drayton Manor.

 

On occasion I have managed to get to visit family in Stockport, and then we combine the trip with a shopping expedition to the Trafford Centre, and of course the museum and tour of the Theatre Of Dreams itself - Old Trafford!

Going To The Match One time we managed to go to the Lowry art gallery, and I was thrilled to see many Lowry paintings up close, including my all time favourite, "Going To The Match".
We try and get across to Guernsey every so often too, visiting family. It is a really beautiful place, and it's always a pleasure to go back again. sunset at Rocquaine

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