Missed Me?

Aug. 2nd, 2013 09:50 pm
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This past week or so has been a little stressful - we've been replacing our elderly and very slow computer system, with new servers, hardware, and moving from having separate servers in every office, to having everything in one place.




And of course, things have not got entirely to plan, some stuff took longer than expected, and getting the various bits of software we use to play nice with each other has caused a few problems, so even through the main upgrade happened over the weekend, the IT guys have been in all week to get everything set up (and to try to work out why one (and only one) of the new computers is not playing nicely with the dictation system, and to make it behave itself)

My laptop has been to visit the IT guys to check out whether it was about to die (answer: probably not - it's running a bit hot but did well in its stress test, so for now I'm buying it nice cooling stand and am going to try not to spill any more drinks into it. I've heard they don't like that)

We're still having very hot weather, which I don't appreciate - I think we've had the hottest day in 7 years, and also one of the longest unbroken periods of sunshine.

On Monday, things changed a little - well, a lot.
We had torrential downpours, thunder, lightening, the lot. I popped out of the office at, lunch time for about 5 minutes, I got so wet that my shoes took 2 days to dry out, and I had to wring my hair out when I got back to the office..

It was still raining when I got home, and while I didn't dance naked in the rain (the neighbours are too close, and not understanding!) I did go out to enjoy the rain.
I wasn't the only one. There was a beautiful frog, and hundreds of lovely little snails. Mostly they were the stripey kind, but there were also dark brown ones, and yellow ones. They really are fascinating little creatures, and so beautifully shiny, in the rain.



(I admit I'm prejudiced. I can't feel quite so friendly towards the slugs. I'm sure they are just as fascinating, but they are rather less attractive)

Since Monday it has got hot again - I'm hoping it will be cool enough to do a little gardening tomorrow.

I'm also trying to get the house a bit less cluttered - last weekend I managed to completely fill the wheelie bin, and have taken 2 big bags of books to charity shops, and to tidy up the cupboard under the stairs so that I shall be able to fit several boxes of  my less-favourite books into it. There's a way to go yet, but I shall get there.
So, that's what I have been doing for the last week or so. How about you?

Catch Up

Jun. 8th, 2013 06:02 pm
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I've not blogged for the past couple of weeks partly as nothing very exciting has happened, and partly as my laptop has been poorly, and life is too short to try to blog from a phone!

My backspace key came off, and the tab key became extremely stiff and unreliable, so I decided that replacing the keyboard, rather than just the one key, was the way to go.

and then as I waited for the local repair shop to get the new keyboard in, I managed to spill a glass of G'n'T, and while I didn't, at the time, think any of it had gone onto the laptop, other than (literally) a drop or two on the casing, the laptop then intermittently  refused to start up which seems a bit of a coincidence.

Anyway, I took the battery out, and left everything in the airing cupboard for a few days. I thought it was completely dead, and was comforting myself with the reflection that I'd just backed everything up, so wouldn't lose anything.

However, (touch wood) it seems to be behaving again now, so it looks as though I have a reprieve, if not a cure.

I also now have a new keyboard.



And today I learned I won a book in a competition on The History Girls blog, which is a very nice surprise (it's a very interesting blog, I heartily recommend it, quite apart from the chance to win books) and I found that the unexpected parcel I had to collect from the post office this morning was a couple a books which I had forgotten I'd ordered, which is also happy-making.

And less than a week from today I get to see Nathalie, and Anabel, and Ian, and Brian, and of course Cheryl, and we all get to see Neil and get our copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

And I have booked a day off work so I will have a short week, although we have a partners meeting this week so there will be at least one very long day!

Meanwhile, it a a beautifully sunny day, and I have been pottering around, repotting tomato plants, and ..er doing laundry (so nice to be able to dry things outside).




marjorie73: (Default)

It's less exciting than theatre trips and museums and conventions, but the other thing which I've been doing recently, is to try to de-clutter a bit, and to try to bring myself to get rid of all at least some of the things that I don't use, but have been keeping 'in case they come in handy' or because they still work.

I managed to make a bit of progress this weekend - I was spurred into action by the fact that I'd said I'd take some books for the BristolCon free books table, which was an incentive to sort through my 'books I have very nearly decided to pass on to new homes. any time now, honest' pile, and took one big carrier bag full of SF&F books on Saturday (I looked at the table about an hour before I left, and they seemed to have all been taken, which is good. I like to think they'll all have found loving new homes!).

Sorting through to decide which books were suitable for a Con also gave me the chance to check the status of the other books in the heap, and to sort out 2 further bags full, one of which went to the Oxfam bookshop in Bath this morning, and the other (mostly hardbacks, and some 'as new' YA paperbacks) which is going to go to the library next time I can catch it being open.

I also spent some time on Sunday going through my bathroom cupboard and have binned all the old, part used stuff which I haven't used in the past 12 months, and have sorted the things I'm keeping so that the cupboard is better organised, and, hopefully,I shall be inspired to keep it that way. (Monday was dustbin day, so it's too late for me to change my mind!)

I need to go through my wardrobe and get rid of the things I never wear (or most of them), and free up some space for the things I actually do wear, and then I think the next thing is probably the Cupboard under The Stairs, which has depths I haven't plumbed for years. I should have installed shelving when I first moved in, before I started putting stuff in it. I suspect that if it were properly organised, it'd would probably only be about half full.

I still need to do a lot more work. And this will, I think, include further thinning of the books, but I feel like I have made a good start.

marjorie73: (Default)
It has not been the best week. Lots of stress at work, I've been sleeping badly (which makes me feel ill) and it seems to have been pouring with rain without cease since last weekend. I think someone ought to tell the Rain Gods that the "Showers" part of "April Showers" does imply that there should be gaps between the periods of rain.


However, as is often the case, even the most miserable week is not all bad.

On Wednesday, I received a package in the mail, from the lovely Kitty, of Neverwear, containing my print of Neil's wonderful Poem, illustrated by Olivia Beradinis. It really is utterly gorgeous, and as it is printed on thick, rag-paper it feels nice, too.

Yesterday I took it to my local framer, (although I was a little reluctant to part with it, even temporarily) He recommends giving it a wide, black frame, with the inside edge of the frame lined with gold, so that when seen from an angle the gold will be visible.

He recommended it on the basis that the print needs a dramatic presentation, to reflect the dramatic nature of the print. I think he is correct. I shall look forward to seeing it when it is done, and shall occupy myself in the meantime, in deciding where to hang it.

I also went into Bristol, to run some errands, one of which involved going to a branch of my bank. I don't go often, as I usually deal with them by phone or online, but needed to drop some documents off, and Bristol is my closest branch. I got there to find a member of staff on the door denying everyone entry.

After a confused moment wondering when the bank started to employ bouncers, and how I ought to dress or act to get past them, I asked him what was up, and he explained that unfortunately they had had to shut, as their roof had just collapsed! As excuses for being unavailable to assist their customers go, I guess it is quite a good one.

I suppose I should be glad I didn't get rained on too badly - it absolutely poured while I was on the train, but only drizzled while I was actually out of doors. Small mercies...
marjorie73: (Default)
I've been young. I've been drunk. Often both together.

I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the scenario which involves wandering a little unsteadily along the street in stocking feet, clutching impossibly high heels in one hand, and occasionally hugging a lamp post. Admittedly, I've usually been the slightly-more-sober-friend (query: is this likely to be a cause, or an effect, of being unable to walk in really high heels to start with?)

BUT: I'm sure that when I was young and foolish (and occasionally drunk) I'm sure that that stage in the evening didn't happen until very late. In fact, I'm pretty sure it didn't happen until the following morning, around 2 a.m. Usually in time to miss the last bus home and end up sleeping on a friend's floor. Or, if one is fortunate in one's friends, spending the night sleeping at a friend's home, and only realising when you get up the next day later the same day that the friend has given you the beds and has spent the night in the sofa.

Anyway, I was out at the theatre last night, and it struck me, as I was walking back to my car,and having to manoeuvre around several young women in that condition that 10.15 p.m. was awfully early to be in that state.

Am I getting old?
marjorie73: (Default)
Last week was a very long, stressful one.

The weekend mainly involved my heaving a huge sigh of relief that I'd got as far as Friday without total disaster. I was looking forward to a nice, long, lazy lie-in, so of course I woke at 5.30 and couldn't get back to sleep! On the plus side, this did mean getting a lot done - housework, mainly, but also a little baking, writing a few letters, and a trip to the Post Office (as you can tell, it was a fascinating weekend!)

So, nothing very exciting or unusual, but it allowed me to decompress and unwind a little, ready to face the new week.

It's been very cold (for UK values of cold!) - there was even a little snow, on Monday, but it didn't settle, so we didn't have to contend with people trying (and often failing) to drive in unfamiliar. Still bloody cold, however.

Meanwhile, I'm de-stressing by re-reading old, comforting favourites - Elizabeth Goudge, for instance. So it goes.

Autumn

Sep. 9th, 2011 07:37 pm
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It feels as though autumn has truly arrived, in the past few days. We've been rained on, and rained on some more, and my tomato plants seem to have gone, overnight, from green and vigourous to yellow and fading (although still with a fair number of totmatos)

The rainy weather has suited my mood, as after the fun and excitement of the long weekend, full of treats, I have been back at
work, and very busy.

Now, however, it's Friday again, and my last day at work for two weeks! The disadvantage of having uphevals at work requiring my presence, and lots of coillegues who want to book time off is school holidays is that you get very tired waiting for the point where you can have a holiday.


The advantage is that suddenly it's mid-September, autumn is coming, and you get to go off and play!

I have a theatre ticket for Saturday night, then on Monday I am off to Italy for a week, then I shall have a few days either at home, or in Devon, depending on the weather.

Hopefully I shall be able to relax, unwind, and return to work invigorated!

Plus, the Bath Kids' Lit. Fest starts at the end of  the month so there is something to look forward to on my return. Guests this year include Judith Kerr, Eoin Colfer and Philip Reeve, to name but a few.

And not long after that my birthday will come round again, with friends here for the weekend, and another theatre trip.

So, despite rain and wind, life has its charms!

Autumn

Sep. 9th, 2011 10:58 am
marjorie73: (Default)
It feels as though autumn has truly arrived, in the past few days. We've been rained on, and rained on some more, and my tomato plants seem to have gone, overnight, from green and vigorous to yellow and fading (although still with a fair number of tomatoes)

The rainy weather has suited my mood, as after the fun and excitement of the long weekend, full of treats, I have been back at work, and very busy.

Now, however, it's Friday again, and my last day at work for two weeks! The disadvantage of having upheavals at work requiring my presence, and lots of colleagues who want to book time off is school holidays is that you get very tired waiting for the point where you can have a holiday.

The advantage is that suddenly it's mid-September, autumn is coming, and you get to go off and play!

I have a theatre ticket for Saturday night, then on Monday I am off to Italy for a week, then I shall have a few days either at home, or in Devon, depending on the weather.

Hopefully I shall be able to relax, unwind, and return to work invigorated!

Plus, the Bath Kids' Lit. Fest starts at the end of  the month so there is something to look forward to on my return. Guests this year include Judith Kerr, Eoin Colfer and Philip Reeve, to name but a few.

And not long after that my birthday will come round again, with friends here for the weekend, and another theatre trip.

So, despite rain and wind, life has its charms!
marjorie73: (Default)

Today should be interesting. I will shortly be heading off to Bristol, to the Bristol Comics Expo - I had vaguely thought of going last year, but left it too late, and all the tickets were sold out, so this year I booked early, and then (as no updates are sent) forgot all about it until people in my timeline started tweeting about it...

I know that a few people I have heard of / seen before such as Paul Cornell , Tony Lee and Bryan Talbot are all going to be there, as is my friend Cheryl, but other than that I am not sure what to expect.

I suspect that around 6.30 this evening there might be a sudden exodus to the bar, or wherever else a large TV can be found... I don't suppose that the BBC deliberately scheduled Neil Gaiman's episode of Doctor Who to coincide with the Con, but you have to admit, it's good timing...
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I'm back home again, back to work on Tuesday, so I've a day at home to straighten things out, then a short week at work.

The social side of things started to quieten down a little after Tuesday, as family members had to leave. On wednsday I did some experimenatal cooking - I thought it might be nice to make a pie from some of the left over ham & turkey - and was a little surprised, on checking my mum's supply of cookbooks to find no recipes for ham and turkey (or even ham and chicken) pie. So I made one up. And also made a pie with a hot-water patry crust, which I've never made before. it turned out very well, to my pleasure and surprise! I may have to try a real pork-pie soon, to see whether I can do that.


By Friday I was the only one of the 'children' still at my parent's house. On New Year's Eve we went to the sea side around mid-day; first to a little bay where one can sometimes find cowrie shells. We weren't expecting to find many, as the tide was coming up, but to our surprise there were 100s. - and not just in the rock-pools and the nooks and crannies att the bottom of the cliffs, where they usually are, but right at the water line. Between us, my mum and I found over 200, in less than half an hour. This made me happy. The shells are, of course, completely useless, but they are pretty, and they remind me of my grandmother, who liked them.

We then went for a short walk along Woolacombe beach, which was bleak and breezy, with lots of dog-walkers and one or two hopeful surfers, despite the total lack of surf!

Later, we used up the last of the christmas turkey in a rather tasty curry, and, havung no parties to go to declared Midnight and the new year at 11 p.m. and shared a bottle of (rather nice) prosecco to celebrate the past year and toast the new one. Not the most exciting New Year's Eve ever, but nice, in it's own quiet way

I spent most of New Year's day curled up with cramps and a selections of books-of-my-childhood. I hope that this is not sn Omen for the year ahead. I'm chosing to belive it isn't. (and I suppose that if one has to put up with such things, doing so at a time and place where you don't actually have to do anything, and where other people bring you occasional cups of tea, and make meals, is not a bad plan...)

I decided not to make any New Year resolutions, as it is just depressing when they get broken, and this time of year, and cold weather, are not conducive to new stuff, at least for me. I could perhaps stick to a resolution to snooze more, or something similar, but that doesn't seem very worth while!

I was a little jumpy this morning, preparing to drive home, seeing it start to snow again, but fortunately none of it settled, and the drive home was uneventful. And waiting for me were two parvcels - one containing my copy of Rigor Amortis (direct from one of the authors!) and the other containing Vol 1 of The Absolute Sandman (which was totally anonymous, but which I suspect is part II of my Christmas present from my brother, much as the idea of a secret admirer may appeal, don't think that's a likely explanation....)

I like parcels containing books. They make coming home after Christmas much less dreary! So does finding a box of chocolates that I apparently didn't send to anyone for christmas, and will now tragically be forced to eat, myself :-)

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