Had a bit of a day so far .

The first thing was that my computer monitor didn’t work. I changed the cable. No joy. Luckily, because I’m such a nerdy type, I do actually have a spare monitor (old, second hand, cheap but works) for when I fix other people’s computers. That works fine. Excellent. New monitor arriving tomorrow.

Then discovered that both the wildlife cameras are telling me there’s either no sd card, or that the sd card is full. Hmph. Unlikely that both the cameras (different makes) would be playing up, so ordered some new sd cards. Yesterday in the garden hubby managed to film our local friendly woodpecker, so I really hoped the camera traps would have caught it. Nope. Nor the pair of beautiful goldfinches who were clearly househunting. That’s what made me check the cameras. Sigh.

Still awaiting the gardener. Should be here within the next hour or so. I hope so, the lawn is more like a meadow now, only without the pretty flowers. The cat is loving it. She caught, but then lost, a mouse yesterday. Only doing her cat thing, but it’s not nice to see.

Managed to actually shower AND wash my hair this morning, which is always a bit of a mission because of the stupid wonky hands, so drying it is a bit fraught.

Also ordered new vest tops. Not sure what size I’ll need so ordered both sizes and will send back the ones that don’t fit right. One is coral, one is bright blue. Sort of cobalt blue. Yeah.

what a morning

Well. The printer, once again, decided it hates me. I bought the postage for a birthday card to New Zealand online, and it wouldn’t print it. But before that, I went to weigh the card and the battery in the scales had run out of juice. Changing the battery requires a very particular screwdriver and a very particular sort of battery. Luckily I did have both of those, so changing the battery wasn’t too bad.

However I have spent almost all morning trying to get the blasted printer to work. Apart from removing the printer from the computer, reinstalling, switching everything off and back on again countless times, I’ve rolled back the last Windows update, growled and harrumphed a lot (because that always helps with recalcitrant hardware and software), and eventually the printer spat out eight copies of something else, and one copy of the postage labels. I think that last thing was by accident. But anyway, it means the birthday card can actually be posted.

Success of a sort I guess, but it’s only a truce. I have no idea what caused, or solved, the problem. It could be any or all of the things I tried. We hardly use the wretched thing now but when we need it to work it’s such a damn nuisance when it doesn’t.

Ever since I started working with IT, which is well over 30 years ago now, printers have been the bane of my life. Their peculiar ways have always been a mystery to me. How can the computer say “can’t find printer” when it’s THERE?!

Other than that, a new POTUS has been sworn in, and calm seems to have been restored, along with sensible health and financial measures to help deal with Covid . The lying, bullying, rude, spoilt loser is off to Florida but is threatening to be back somehow or other. Ok. I thought Florida was where people his age go to retire. One can but hope. I would just love to know what his letter to the new POTUS said!

The birds in our garden are going bonkers today. It’s sunny and beautiful, but very cold, so I’m guessing they need their peanuts and seeds. One particular blue-tit is repeatedly picking up a dry leaf, flying across the garden with it, then dropping it. On to the ground. I’m thinking that Mrs Blue-tit is saying “Not dry leaves, you idiot, I said not dry leaves!” We also get flocks of long-tailed tits. They are just so pretty!

The jumper I finished for LCS is on its way back to me for mending. He loves it, and wears it a lot, and apparently he has been seen picking at it. Hey ho. Luckily I kept the bits of yarn left over for just such an eventuality.

Knitting is going slowly, but ok. Received some lovely 4ply cotton craft yarn – might crochet a dishcloth or two. Another day though. Today has been too fraught.

Hubby decided that we don’t need almost 1,000 cds in the lounge, we need the room for books. Which is true, as he prefers his books printed. I prefer mine on Kindle as books are difficult to manage with my stupid hands. However, we don’t actually play the cds, they’re all copied on to the music streamer. We have to keep them, though, it’s illegal to have the music without the original media.

So. After some discussion, I managed to persuade him that shelves on the ends of our desks would look awful, and that they would look much better next to the matching shelves in one of the spare bedrooms. It’s taken a good week or so, partly because getting the shelves and brackets etc isn’t that easy in lock-down, and partly because it’s quite a big job. Anyway, despite the fact that we both prefer to get a job done, we did it between us gradually, and now we have more space for books yet to be bought (sigh), the cds are in the house but not too obtrusive, and the re-organisation is done. Pictures would be a bit boring I think.

Things are happening . . . . .

Finally had to give up gardening. But it’s all fine, because after some major research we have found a gardener. He gets excellent reviews. Young, wispy beard, skinny ripped jeans and big old Doc Martin style boots. Liked him instantly. They’re coming next Tuesday.

And the garden currently looks ok. A bit shaggy, but there you are.

Also managed to get some shots of the jays. I can’t post videos on this site because I use the free version, but have captured a couple of stills. That’s our washing line in the middle of the picture. The picture with two jays in is a nano-second before the bully pigeon flies in to frighten them off. It works. Hate pigeons.

No news on the steroid injections for my hands. I need to speak to the doctor next week anyway so will mention it then.

The plumber is coming today to sort out the leak in our small bathroom. Hey ho.

Also have invested in speakers and a microphone for the Zoom meetings so that hubby can join in on the same login – on a desktop screen you can see a lot more people than on a tablet screen, which has a maximum of 4. Am going to test it out today.

 

Not Knitting

Not knitting, not at all, but managing to get things done in the garden. Took three heathers out of their pots and planted them in the ground. Briza Media (perennial quaking oat grass) arrived and is now in its own pot. Hubby cut down intrusive tamarisk tree and we cleared the ground ready for the new bird-feeder, and put down a concrete slab so hopefully this one won’t rot.

Reading a lot. A lot. Currently three quarters of the way through Beth McColl’s book about mental health. Oh. My. Days. She’s in her twenties, but so wise. As a sufferer from mental health issues she really knows what it can be like.  And the writing style is very engaging and friendly. I’m finding it so reassuring, because the things she recommends are the things I do. But then I’m 65 and have had mental health problems all my life, even in childhood. So I would expect to have learned how to manage it, and mostly I do.

Ordered another wildlife camera – we have one, but keep missing the woodpeckers and the jay for one reason or another. A second one, I thought, would give us more chances to capture pictures of interesting things. Still awaiting delivery. Just realised I only ordered one memory card for it. Two would be much more sensible. Hm.

We are “doing” the next fam-a-lam quiz, so are busily setting up questions. It’s good fun, and we are bouncing questions off each other to see if they’re appropriate (too hard/easy), because it all depends on your knowledge and experience. Hubby seemed to think I would easily recognise something (can’t say what), but I assured him I definitely wouldn’t!

Still in lockdown, by choice, because I do believe that capitalism has become more important than human life in whatever meetings are being held. But thanks to Zoom, and the telephone, and WhatsApp, we are keeping in touch. Missing family and friends though. Mm. And now they’ve found this dexamethasone helps a lot, that’s encouraging.

Feelings

Really not sure where to start here.

Horrified, angry and sad about the poisonous racist culture which has finally, with the murder of George Floyd, burst, across the world, into huge protests. The protests are vital.

Reading Akala’s book Natives. He’s so articulate and incisive, I really rate this guy. Even Piers Morgan is careful when talking to him. Good.

Recently read Queenie (Candice Carty-Williams), which describes the casual racism nobody white seems to notice or acknowledge and The Night Women (Marlon James) which is written in the voice of a slave.

All excellent, if difficult. But it needs to be difficult. We need things to change. Radically.

Very up and down mood-wise, not so good pain-wise, no knitting possible.

Baking’s possible though, thanks to the Thermomix. (Dairy free berry muffins – yummy)

However, did manage to do some gardening yesterday. I guess because I don’t use my hands in the same way as I do when knitting. It leaves my hand painful and swollen for a few days, but it’s such a good feeling to be outside and doing stuff.

Moved one rosemary plant, dumped the old woody one, planted a new one in a better place. Split the thyme, dumped the woody bits, replanted. Cut back the hellebores, replanted all the daffodil bulbs I’d accidentally dug up, ripped out the dead forget-me-nots and dead-headed the poppies. Very satisfying. (None of the above pictures are from what I did yesterday!)

Disappointed that the wildlife camera missed two woodpeckers (TWO!) because the disc was full, and one jay because the angle was wrong. Grr. But there are plenty of clips of the robin, who was extremely interested in what I was doing yesterday, and came so close!

Even when I wake up feeling dreadful, I improve after breakfast and chatting to hubby. And a square of chocolate. Hubby is currently making me a cup of tea. Excellent.

 

Still working . . .

Well, the printer fell off the network once, but I think that’s sorted. It hasn’t fallen off again. I had to re-pair the HomePlugs it’s using. I guess its little electronic brain recognised that it was connecting to a “new” network, or at least a new router. Anyway, it’s all still working. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile I’ve again changed my painkiller routine as I wasn’t coping with the pain. Two Co-codamol (30/500) in the morning, two at about 5 pm, and then two Paracetamol at bedtime. Seems to help.

I was even able to do a bit of knitting last night, until the cable fell off the end of the needle, then all the stitches fell off. So I have picked them all up, fixed a new cable, and ordered some new interchangeable bamboo needles (Hiya Hiya instead of Knit Pro). I didn’t order a set, just sizes 4mm, 4.5mm and 5mm, with four different lengths of cable.

Planning to do a bit of clearing up in the garden tomorrow. The hardy geraniums in the front have gone over, so I’ll cut them back to the ground. Some bluebell detritus gone yellow. And probably cut the poppies which have dead blooms on them back to the ground. Sometimes you get a second flush of blooms if you do that, rather than just take off the heads.

Managed to save one baby bluetit from certain death (by our stupid cat), but not the other one. They do seem to fledge from the ground, which doesn’t make that much sense really. Chased the cat away, lured her back into the house with the treats in the crackly bag, and wouldn’t let her out. So she sulked. Well, to be fair, she slept in her little cat bed. Which is fine.

Fam-a-lam Bingo tonight. Auckland NZ, Dublin, Brighton, Malvern and us (Solihull, West Midlands). We have the technology. We have the bingo cards via email. Can’t wait . . .

Zoomed this morning with some of the knitting guys. We drink tea/coffee, talk over each other, laugh a lot, and do show and tell with our projects. Or in my case, the broken cable.

Finished Succession Season 1.Have even gone off Marcia. But it’s still exciting. Just paid for Season 2.