Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sundays are for......

There are times when your life seems to be a complete crock of... not very nice.
There are times when the weight of the world sits on your shoulders and as soon as you shift it the black dog of depression moves in and takes its place.

Good faces!

Then there are days when you wake up really early because you have to let the chickens out and the sun is shining. The mist is lifting from the river and you are having your hair cut at nine o'clock.
You just know that even though the sciatica has been really painful so that sitting, standing or lying down is impossible after a few minutes, that today is going to be a good day.
She really isn't disapproving
After the haircut we went to Monmouth for chicken food and then on up the A40 to Whitchurch where we stopped at Jo's place for lunch. I was very good and only picked up one book while I was waiting. They have bookshelves and you can have free books, you just have to give a donation in one of the charity boxes on the table.
We then changed direction slightly and headed for Hereford, until Mr M saw a road we haven't been on before so we meandered through the lanes for several miles. Quite a lot of miles really and eventually came out not far from Hampton Court Castle and Gardens - we are going there one day - and from there it was a matter of a couple of miles to the OK Diner for a refreshing cuppa and then home via Talgarth Tretower and Abergavenny.
Photograph keyring - fascinating
Today we did boring stuff like shopping in Costco and then Farm Foods and then rested to save ourselves for this evening when we went out with my son and his partner and their children and my daughter and her husband and their child. It sounds kind of cold when written that way but it's really not that way at all.
Chips are good, but only the soft ones
My youngest son was married to the WWC and then she divorced him because she had an affair - go figure. Now he has found a lovely lady, with all her own teeth (long story but it was an indicator of things to come) who is strong minded, doesn't smoke, likes to save money not spend it on ...........stuff. She is painfully shy but still strong enough to hold her own in our somewhat noisy family.  Her children are polite, well behaved and full of fun and a real pleasure to be with.
Cousins, so precious
My daughter is...............well she's my daughter and I have talked about her before. Being able to go out for a meal with them and to sit and eat and laugh and talk and not be afraid that something we say might offend is a real treat. So the whole weekend has been a really good family time. I just love it when that happens.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

This here intarwebby...

Something that someone said on UKS (UKScrappers forum) triggered a thought about when we first connected to the internet. We first joined up in 1995. It was just before Christmas and we didn't really get going until the January of the following year.
around 2002
At the time I was writing Freeform Roleplaying Games, both on my own and as part of a team. My freeforms were murder mystery ones while the team I wrote with did fantasy ones based on a roleplaying game called Ars Magica. It was just so amazing to be able to send a message to someone at two in the morning, without disturbing them, and have a reply when we connected again the following day.
Of course it was dial-up and the modem was the smallest and slowest available - the only one available when we first started. Within the year we had upgraded to a 56k modem and couldn't believe how fast it was.
The hard drive of the computer was 100Mb and we thought we would never fill it! Actually, we never did fill it. Mr M had his game of the moment and I would go online - for an hour at the most because otherwise it was very expensive - and look at websites and write and answer messages on Rootsweb. A fabulous genealogy and family history site where you could talk to other addicts  like minded people about your obsession hobby.
This was also when my innate ability to kill computers was first made manifest. I would press the button to fire up the computer and all sorts of unexpected things would happen, all ending in the same way with the puter "falling over". Mr M upgraded to a bigger better faster machine with - pause for effect - 128Mb of RAM. I was given sole charge of the older machine, together with a scanner, a printer and use of the modem. Heaven.
At this point, for a joke because the machine still fell over if I touched the ON button with my finger, I used a pencil to push the button. The machine started perfectly. Next time I used my finger, nothing happened. I used the pencil and the machine worked. I continued to use the pencil for the rest the life of the machine. OH and we had slots for the 5 and a quarter floppy disks as well as the 3 and a half inch ones. Actually my present machine has a slot for a floppy disk. I suspect that I should go through the disks and see if there is anything I want badly enough to transfer it to a stick shouldn't I?

It is nothing short of amazing just how far technology has come in those 16 years. We now take our mobile phones for granted and complain when we can't get a signal and yet they were the exeption rather than the rule back then - and it is only 16 years!!
Isn't life just full of wonderful stuff?

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Modern Technology and The New Girls

GLC at the back Koala at the front and Amber, the dirtiest
chicken ever, in the middle
This is just a quickie because I have been on a learning curve with my phone. I have a Blackberry Curve. It is, so the information leaflet tells me, an all singing, all dancing implement that will enhance my lifestyle... well, we'll see eh?
Mr M worked out that I was paying more with my pay-as-you-go phone that didn't have a camera than Virgin were offering with this all-whistles-and-bells thing on a monthly contract. It has a keyboard so I have said goodbye to predictive text - goodness me I hate that with a passion! It also gives me internet access - when it wants to.
It has been useful because I have taken a few pictures with it, including a picture of a birdhouse on the shelf in Morrisons when my daughter sent me a frantic message asking me to "Find something for Miss M because I haven't got anything for her to open in the morning" It was her birthday the following day and her 'proper' present would be collected after the event.
I have managed, eventually to connect to Facebook and what a palaver that was! More trouble than I want to go to that's for sure.
I wanted to transfer the pictures on my phone to the computer. Ah yes, I hear you say, You download the software and Bob's your uncle. Not with my computer. I loaded the Blackberry software onto my computer and it promptly had a hissy fit and refused to do all manner of things that had been second nature to it until that moment. Small unimportant things like open Microsoft Word, or Publisher or Photoshop. You get the picture?
It also made the startup time go from 4minutes 27 seconds (yes I did time it once) to 27 minutes and counting.
I uninstalled the darned stuff and immediately it was a happy puter again. My tame computer guru talked me through everything and with a sigh said "It shouldn't have done that, but this is your computer and as you say it hates you."
Anyhooo, I suddenly thought that if I could email the pictures to my hotmail account I could then email them back to my computer and it would never know the phone was involved would it? So I connected the phone to the email - that was fun and a BIG mistake but hey. I emailed the first picture to my hotmail account. Then spent twenty minutes trying to get into the hotmail account (It helps if you use the correct identity) and in the meantime a copy of the email went to my computer so I don't have to send it back I can simply email it to myself YAY!
All this just to transfer a picture from my phone to the computer. I love modern technology.
The new girls are called Koala and GLC (Goldie Lookin' Chicken) The reason why is a whole other story and I might just keep that for Storytelling Sunday.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

This is going in the notebook...

We have a notebook. It's one of those cheap red ones with the spiral binding that is just big enough to slide a pencil into. We use it to record the things that Miss M says. I put some of them into a previous post here and on Sunday she gave us another gem
come to school as a character from your favourite book
My daughter does my ironing for me. I know, believe me, I know just how lucky I am. On Sunday my lovely Son in law was about to bring the basket of ironed clothes back up to our house - it's only about a hundred yards from her house to mine - and he stopped and asked their daughter, the Divine Miss M, if she would like to come with him to Grandma's house. She paused in what she was doing, looked straigh at her father and said
"No thank you, I have had quite enough excitement for one day."
Well, she had been shopping with her mum in the morning and then had a Macdonald's as a special treat. Oh and get this she ate the fries, fed the burger to the cats and then spread jam on the bun and dipped it in the tomato sauce and ate it!!
She tends to be a bit like me about meat. I can't eat poultry as it makes me itch. like the occasional lamb or pork chop or a piece of gammon occasionally. I love a steak as long as it is tender and cooked. my favourite food is ...........chips. I like fish, in fact I would prefer fish to anything. I could live on fish. Poached, baked, in a pie or pickled and on toast and if it had chips with it then I would be blissfully happy - I digress.

So we have put this latest utterance into the notebook and when she is grown up enough to bring home potential suitors we will have sufficient ammunition to ensure that the one that reacts properly will be the keeper.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Deathbed confession

me age five
I might have said before that I am an only child from a large family. By this I mean that while my parents had just me I do have an awful lot of cousins and removed cousins on both sides of my family. This story is about an aunt. It doesn't matter if she is maternal or paternal or perhaps honorary she was my aunt ok?

She had several children older than me and a couple who were younger. She was born in the 1920s and her first child, a daughter, was born in the middle of WW2. OK, that's the background.
When Aunty got older, and her husband died, she decided to live in sheltered accommodation. This was great for a long time as she had a panic button to wear around her neck and pull switches in every room. Then she fell in her bathroom. She was rushed to the hospital and the prognosis was gloomy. A lot of internal injury was suspected and she was not expected to survive. Her children were called and gathered around her bed. The hospital priest arrived to give comfort. Into the silence Aunty says to her eldest daughter
"I have something to tell you"
Everyone else moves away from the bed to the chairs out in the waiting room. My cousin leans in towards her mother to listen.
"I know I am dying and I have to tell you, the man you thought was your father is not. Your father was an American soldier. His name was Bill." Aunty lapsed into silence, her eyes closed, her deathbed confession made, she was at peace.
My cousin was not, as you might think, horrified. She went out to the waiting room and said "See, I've always said that I was adopted, that he wasn't my father. Mam just said that Dad wasn't my real Dad. My Dad is an American soldier!" Her brothers and sisters had to agree, she had always maintained that she was adopted and her father wasn't really her father. Everytime she was told off or punished she would mutter "He's not my real father." Now she had been proved right. She contacted everyone and told them and asked for help on how to find her real father.

But Aunty didn't die.

She soon rallied, the results of the scan showed that she didn't have the internal injuries that had been suspected - (maintaining our faith in doctors and modern technology) were non existent. As soon as she could she called her eldest child to the bedside and told her that she must never say a word to anyone about what she was told, that she must swear it! My cousin swore that she would not speak of it to anyone who didn't already know and that satisfied her mother.
However, this left my cousin unable to find out the surname of her father or any other details. We, the other cousins, think that this was a cruel thing to do because telling just enough to ease your conscience but not enough to give your own child the chance to learn more is just ...........well, not fair.

So, quite a funny story but a bit sad too. This has been brought to you through Storytelling Sunday started by Sian fromhighinthesky why not pop over there and read all the other stories, but get a cuppa first because there are lots!