Archive for June, 2008

Hello dear ones,

If you are in doubt that I might have your address or know your birthday, please email me!  I’m trying to update my address book and wish you happy birthdays in a timely fashion.



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I’m sorry I haven’t been posting more; I know that many of you are anxious to hear how I’m doing.  It surprises me how difficult it is to make the time to sit down and write, what with me wanting to be in touch with all you lovely people!  I hope no one has felt left in the dark.

I have tons of little things to write about, but to sum up: I’m doing well.

Everything has been a little harder than I thought it would be, though, and most of my energy has been taken up just doing day-to-day things and getting accustomed to an unfamiliar country.  Francis and I are getting along wonderfully, no worries there, but my stress levels have been through the roof.  He’s being extremely patient and caring with me, and is very tolerant of me tearing apart the flat and rearranging his life.

I’ve been sleeping a lot, about 9-10 hours a night, and I really seem to need it.  I’m prone to bouts of serious grumpiness, when nothing seems soothing and I can’t think of anything that would make me feel better.  But I think that as I begin to feel more at home and settle in more, those things will go away, and my stress levels will come down.  I’m glad that I didn’t have a job lined up; there’s no way I would have been ready to start working.  Soon I’ll get my portfolio all spiffed up and hit the pavement, but for the next week or so I’ll be visiting with friends and relaxing a bit.

My dear friend Matt is arriving tomorrow, and will be staying until Sunday.  (I know him from Portland, but he’s recently relocated to Germany.)  Francis and he and I will be taking a trip to the seaside town of Brighton, where we’ll meet up with Jan, an online friend of mine who I’ll be meeting in person for the first time.

For now, though, I’m off to Bob’s DIY shop where I’ll get the wood and hardware I need in order to convert an alcove into a closet with clothes hanging abilities.  It will be so nice to finally hang up some things, although I know Francis will mourn the loss of his “floordrobe”.

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I now have a Skype-compatible phone which means that when you make a call via Skype, it’s just like you’re calling me on my computer, and it’s FREE.  Ah, the wonders of modern technology.

If you don’t have Skype on your computer, here’s what you need to do:

First, you’ll need a headset you can plug into your computer, like one of these.  You can get a suitable pair for less than $20.  If you want to make video calls, you’ll need a webcam (unless your computer has one built in), like these. (The webcam will come with an installation disk, and Skype will automatically test it for you.)

Next, go to http://www.skype.com and click “download”, and choose the version suitable for your computer.  The site will give you step-by-step instructions from there and will download the program onto your machine.  Find the Skype icon (I imagine it will end up on your desktop) and open the program.  Click “Don’t have a Skype name?” and it’ll walk you through creating a new account, then give you a guide on getting started.

You can add me as a contact by clicking “Add”, then typing in my full name, email address, or “specklet”.  My contact name should pop up, just click on it.  Then it’ll ask you to send me a message so I can approve you as a contact.  Now we can chat from your computer to my phone!  For free!

To call my cell phone (which you would only need to do if Skype isn’t working and you need to get in touch with me urgently) click “Select country or region” and click on the United Kingdom.  (That will make it so the country code is automatically added when you dial.) Then put in my number, which if you don’t have, email me and I will give it to you!  (I’m trying to avoid putting it here, which just seems like a bad idea.)

All this info can be found on the Skype website’s help page.

The quality won’t always be perfect, and in the past I’ve had some dropped calls, but it should be relatively good.

I don’t think I’ve left anything out, but if you have questions/problems, just let me know.

And if you can’t download Skype, don’t worry!  I can still call you on your phone via Skype for a minimal charge.

P.S. England is eight hours ahead of the west coast.

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