Summer Speak


Summer has arrived in my neck of the woods! And so has the nasty pollen that invades my nostrils and makes my eyes all puffy. So, out with the antihistamines. After all, my pale skin needs the vitamin D and who could miss a sight like this.

I haven’t been out much due to a hefty writing schedule but today I had no excuse. I had a doctor’s appointment in the city. So Cindy the navigation system was set up and off I went for an hour’s drive to Cologne.

The sun was shining and early morning drivers seemed to be in good spirits, until I hit the city traffic. Madness. Doubly crazy when I took the wrong lane and had to use facial and wild hand expressions to ask to podge in. I waved frantically at a man in cool dude shades in his super-sized BMW next to me, to gain his attention and ask if I could pull in front of him so that I wouldn’t end up on the wrong side of the Rhine. But he was obviously late for work and gave me some kind of rude signal, which I translated as, ‘No way!’. But a kind lady in a Corsa behind him obviously understood my dilemma (the number plate tells them I’m not a city girl) and she let me through. Mission accomplished, arrived on time and managed to park.

After my routine examination, the doctor said goodbye and told me to take my time getting redressed. She turned away and started talking her notes. Being my nosey self (or should I say an inquisitive writer) I watched her use a dictation, speech recognition program, which typed up her notes into an already formatted letter template.  I was impressed at the small amount of time needed for her to complete the task. I have had the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program for a few years but lost patience with it quite quickly – thinking at the time that it’s much quicker to type (I can touch type). But maybe after seeing it work so efficiently, I should blow the dust off the disk and try it again.

Do you use such a program for your work? Do you suffer with hayfever? Has summer arrived where you are or is winter setting in?


Comments

  1. It's getting toward summer here in the swamps, and the pollen has been around for a couple of months. No speech recognition apparatus here, i guess it wouldn't understand the accent anyway.

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    1. Maybe that's why mine wouldn't work the way I wanted it to. My accent is to strong and not Queen's English enough :)

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  2. You have such a lovely view! I had thought spring was here already but then lately we have had nothing but cold weather filled with rain and fog.

    Thank you for being such a loyal reader of mine, It has been a pleasure getting to know you through the A-Z challenge!

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    1. Oh no. I'll send you some of our sunshine...
      Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy visiting your blog and reading your posts. They always make me reflect my past - things I wouldn't normally think about. Thank you!

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  3. My dad was also a doctor and used Dragon Speaking Naturally. Another author recommended using it too, but I need the time it takes to get information from my brain to my fingers. There's a process there. A magic. I think dictation would do wonders for my hubby though who has a story he really wants to write.

    From one pollen sufferer to another, I wish you a survivable spring!

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    1. Thank you, Crystal. Getting through heaps of tissues :) When I'm in the patient mood, I might give it another go but I know what you mean about the magical process :)

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  4. Folks can be quite rude on the highway. I like to type and I have a hard enough time with just my laptop to do those dictation programs!

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    1. I think that's why I gave up in the first place. It was so time consuming. You have to train the program to recognise your own voice. Hmmm I was not impressed first time round.

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  5. Beautiful picture! Allergies are bad for me right now. I've got a stuffy nose and sneeze constantly.

    I'm glad the lady let you in through traffic. I know road rage is a problem around here. I think my state made some national list for the rudest drivers.

    I can't dictate my writing, though my phone is getting better about recognizing my made up names like MaTisha. I can't articulate verbally so for me, it's better just to type. :)

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    1. Thanks for popping by to share your thoughts, Loni. Hope your allergies ease up soon!

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  6. At least the lady was nice enough to let you in.
    Never used a voice to text program. I'm a slow typist, so maybe that would work better for me.
    We had our yellow pollen a month ago and yes, I sneezed a lot.

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    1. The yellow pollen is every where!! My car is black so you can imagine how that looks at the moment. Need to get it washed.

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  7. You were kind enough to comment on my blog post about gardening so you already know summer is approaching where I am in southwest Ohio, USA. ~grin~ I hope you feel well; I'm on a few medications to control allergies and asthma, myself. As for voice recognition technology, I don't trust it either after seeing others struggle. But improvements are made every day, aren't they? Best wishes!

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    1. Yes, it would be great just to plug something in and it works exactly as you need it to work, but that just doesn't happen :) Thank you for popping by, Darla. Lovely to see you here.

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    1. Bless you. Bless me. Bless all the sneezing allergy sufferers :)

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  9. Lovely pic, Nic. No, I've never used voice-activated software. I guess if I couldn't type, I'd try it.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I'm glad you're happy writing again :)

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  10. We had summer, a week's worth, then it was back to spring. I'm freezing. And my toes hurt. So does my computer. He's not impressed with how cool it's become. But enough of my problems, heavy as they are, I'm glad your doctor found you in good health and sent you on your way. That's reason to celebrate with wine and chocolates and maybe thick ribs with globs of sauce... Sorry, my imagination got away from me. Lovely pic, Nicola. Love your name!

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    1. Thank you Joylene. I hope the weather cheers up again soon where you are :)

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  11. I used to get hay fever really bad when I lived in the US. Now I live in Egypt and dust is the problem. I've found I don't talk as well as I write, so typing's better for me. Have a nice rest of the week! :)

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  12. We had our pollen back in March and it was horrible. Gosh, the cars were covered with it. Now the pollen is down. Thankfully. I hope the pollen goes down where you live so you don't have to suffer anymore.

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  13. I don't suffer from it, but both my wife and son do.

    I don't think I'd do well with dictation software. I usually change my mind halfway through a sentence, which is easy to fix on a computer, but would give the software fits.

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    1. I hadn't thought of that problem. I also change my mind a lot. Hmmm.

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  14. I'm so glad warm weather is finally here. I'm also glad I don't have to worry about allergies :)

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    1. It does feel good to drink my morning coffee in the garden rather than staring out of the window at dismal weather. Does the soul good :)

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  15. I do have a little bit of allergies...I usually take Claritin for a month or so in the spring, but then it causes dry eye syndrome. Always something, right?! I tried Dragon Dictation but it wasn't accurate...I think you have to get the paid version for it to really work.

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    1. My version was an expensive gift and it does need training - the program as well as the operator :)

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  16. Allergies are no fun, I just try to stay indoors when it hits:)

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    1. Thanks for popping by Mark. I hope all is well with you.

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  17. I have no voice activated software but sounds cool. Gone are the days when a secretary needed to know shorthand. My ex has horrible hay fever but one thing that calmed it down so the antihistamines worked better is honeycomb. Go to the local market and buy honeycomb as you need to have it from the area you live in. Each day cut a small piece of honeycomb and eat the whole thing. This is natural antihistamine which will help quite a bit, helped my ex and made it easier for him at this time of the year.

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    1. I've not heard of that. I'll give it a try. Does it still work if covered with chocolate? :):) Thanks for the tip Birgit and thank you for popping over. Lovely to see you, as always :)

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  18. beautiful picture and rudeness is in our genes

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    1. Thank you! I thought rudeness was a learned behavioiur. That's interesting...

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  19. That sounds like a nerve wracking drive! Lovely photo. We have fields of rape near us - they are so bright in the sunshine. I've never tried anything like Dragon, but I am tempted. It will be interesting to know how you get on if you try it again xx

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    1. Thank you for popping by to comment, Teresa. I really try hard not to let the nerves overtake when I'm driving (but it is difficult).

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  20. What a lovely post and beautiful picture, Nicola. Huge sympathies from me - I'm suffering badly from itchy eyes too. I use eye-drops to relieve them and find they are worse early in the mornings before I put my contact lenses in. It's almost as if the contacts give them a bit of protection from the pollen.
    I used to use Dragon when I first started writing and although I did get a little bit annoyed when it failed to understand me, sometimes the gobbledegook it came up with was really funny! I haven't used it for a long time now, but sometimes think it would be fun to have another go.
    Really well done for coping with the city traffic. I would have crumpled to pieces after the nasty BMW man's gesture! Good for you! xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for popping by, Joanna. It's always lovely to 'see' you. When I first tried out Dragon, my brother and daughter were both hanging over my shoulders laughing. It just didn't understand my normal 'West Midlands' speak and so I had to put on my teacher's voice. Hilarious!
      I've crumpled at nasty drivers before. Now, I just convince myself they're having the bad day, not me :)

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  21. What a great view! It must have felt like stepping right into a painting, for you.:) At our side of the world, we are heading to the end of our summer (was terribly hot this time) and awaiting the arrival of the rain gods. The monsoons should last a good month and half if not more. Dust mites are what get me. Anything that's been in the wardrobe for too long can really break me into pieces. And I cannot boast of a soft lady like a-tishoo. :D Very curious about the dictation program. My father in law is a doctor and my husband has been researching to into any kind of gadgets that can help speed up the process. Sounds like it might help writers too. :)

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    1. I hope the monsoons bring only goodness with them, Seena. Thank you so much for popping over to comment. You have a very talented family :)

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  22. Gorgeous picture! It's almost summer here, and some days already feel like it. I mowed the front lawn yesterday and my nose and eyes were a mess. I've never tried one of those programs, but I have a few friends that swear by Dragon.

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    1. Thank you, Christine. I'm glad you are enjoying the weather, despite the allergies. Have a great week!

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  23. Those allergies can be rough! Spring arrived back in February where I live. You should have seen all the green cars covered with pollen!

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    1. :) We're promised storms and rain over the weekend so I'll wait before I wash my car :)

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  24. Yes, I do have allergies (grass seed, dust, some animals and flowering shrubs or trees). I take an antihistamine too. . . I admire you driving for an hour to get to a doctor. I only need to drive about 20 mins. . .

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    1. I hope the allergies ease up a bit. Mine are raging! :) Thank you for popping by and have a lovely weekend.

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  25. On a country drive this past weekend, I saw lots of fields of buttercups with cows grazing; your photo reminds me of that broad expanse of yellow. I used to suffer with hay fever but for whatever reason, that has gone away and I'm grateful for the miracle bestowed upon me because pollen is still my husband's #1 enemy.

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    1. I'm so pleased your hayfever has gone. I live in hope. I didn't start to get hayfever until after having my daughter. So 24 years of suffering but I still love to go out and admire the scenery :)Have a lovely weekend, Wendy and thank you for popping by to comment.

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  26. I didn't have the patience for Dragon to learn my voice. Plus it picked up other sounds in the room better. I think I'm too quiet a talker. Maybe it's improved but I found it tedious. I'm a faster typist. My doctor does that too but he talked so loud I swear the folks in the waiting room heard him. Thank goodness he's a foot doc. :)
    It's supposed to go down to the 30's this weekend. We've had clouds and or rain for two weeks straight. The garden is so beautifully green and the plants are loving it, but I miss the sun!

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    1. The sun will shine again soon :) I did laugh at your tale about the doctor. Thanks so much for commenting, Yolanda.

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  27. I haven't used such programs, but now I'm curious. Other drivers can be so rude and hasty. I'm in Miami, so we've had summer weather for a while.

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    1. The sun has now stopped and the rain has set in - supposedly all week - YUK!

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  28. Hi Nicola,

    The image is beyond beautiful! So serene, and hopeful. altogether heartwarming.

    I have issues with allergies, but that is pretty much a year round affair. Live with it as best as I can. Summer has arrived where I am, and it is formidable, yikes! a time to stay indoors and cower :)

    Here also to request you to stop by at mine and pick up what belongs to you if you should want it :)

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    1. Hope the allergies don't give you too much trouble. Thank you for the lovely comment.

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    2. Thank you for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

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  29. I have great sympathy for you with the hay fever as my husband suffers dreadfully with it. I had it for three years running several years back and then never again, thankfully. No idea why.

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    1. I'm glad it's gone, Wendy. Great interview with Elaine today. Thanks for that and for popping over to see me :)

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  30. Oh no! I don't really like driving. Glad you got to the doctor safely, though. I never suffered from hay-fever, but since last year, yep, it is quite vicious to me:) Winter is approaching, but the weather is weird here. Just yesterday we had hot summer weather and today it's cold again:) Hope you had a good weekend and that you are feeling better.

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    1. Thanks for popping by Murees. Hope the weather finds a happy constant :)

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  31. I haven't tried the Dragon program, but I've heard of others who like it. As to the hay fever, I just about have it all spring. It's the acacia and the redwood trees that throw out mega doses of pollen. Hope yours improves.

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    1. Thank you, Lee. Best of luck with your new release :)

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  32. Summer is a wonderful time here in Pune, India. Its the season for Alphonso mangoes - an all time favourite. They somehow mitigate the heat- if that is possible!! We dont have too much of a pollen issue. I have not used any software for writing, and I prefer to type - I enjoy typing. Maybe I am behind the tech times, but so what!! Thanks for visiting my blog Nicola. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you, Archana. Lovely to 'meet' you! I like the traditional writing tools too :)

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