Technology! pah!

Spent yesterday afternoon after my siesta and most of today failing to erase an old Dell Dimension and install Linux on it. In the end I just erased it. Formatting doesn’t do it properly, it just hides the data, and that’s not what you want when you’re Freecycling an old computer. I did have another go at installing Linux after I’d nuked the hard drive, but no luck.

Still, the people on Freecycle who come and collect old computers are very likely to have a stash of old computer parts including old hard drives, so it’ll all be fine. I certainly have boxes of bits. We have a desktop computer each, a tablet each, one Apple, one Android, two laptops (one running Windows 7 and the other Windows XP), and a variety of wires, plugs, mice (mouses?) and so on.

We’ve booked an appointment to go to the tip (recycling centre is the posh name for it) in a couple of weeks. You are allowed 15 minutes once a week, and must be a resident of the Borough. So if nobody wants this old Dell it’ll end up there.

The desperate houseplant I potted on is much happier now. Managed to get some potting compost delivered, and have bought a storage box thingamajig to store it in. It can live in the shed, but then needs schlepping up and down the garden each time it’s needed. The storage box sits just behind the house and is much more convenient. Hubby had to assemble it though. When I finally manage to get some horticultural grit (of which there seems to be a national dearth) that can live in there too.

The seeds I planted a week ago (M&S “little garden”, kindly given to me), have actually started to grow! Three radishes! They are the reason I needed the potting compost, because the time will come when they need to be potted on. It’s all very clever. The seeds are in a sort of tiny little “mat” thing – about six per mat. Then there’s a pellet of dried compost which expands magically upon addition of 50ml water, and the little pots seem to be made of coir, which I think means the roots will grow through them. So that should mean I don’t need to handle the seedlings at all. I’m not usually very good with seeds/seedlings. They usually just die on me. So I am going to be extra vigilant and see what happens.

I have added better labels – these are cardboard and a bit soggy. When a few more seeds start to show their little heads I’ll post better photos.

Mother’s Day here in the UK was Sunday 14th March. One daughter sent me beautiful flowers, the other fabulous chocolates. I’m so lucky! both are excellent. Flowers still in bloom, some chocolates still to be eaten.

Knitting and crochet are occasional things now, what with the pain in my hands. I need to think about talking to the doctor and getting a referral to a consultant. Hubby has requested a special teacosy to fit his special tea infuser. Just need to discuss with him the detailed requirements. Shouldn’t take too long. It’ll need to be knitted, rather than crocheted, and that takes longer, but it’s only a small item. Just had the discussion. He wants a tube with a closed top, no hole for the handle. Excellent. Probably do it in the round, so no seams. Found some Aran West Yorkshire Spinners yarn which should do the job. Yeah.

I think that’s about it for today. Cheers for stopping by!

Better.

Well, we watched The Interview, of course. Dynamite. Oprah was so good. I was surprised that Meghan didn’t do any research, despite what happened with Harry’s mother. I do get that our “Royals” are not such a big deal abroad, but the sad story of Lady Di I would have though was of global interest. Also surprised that Harry didn’t mention she’d need to curtsey 🙄 to his gran until approximately 2 minutes before she had to! For goodness’ sake. But oh, what a toxic “institution”. The press here are just so racist and spiteful. To wit, the wildly different ways in which Kate and Meghan were portrayed eating avocado toast (Kate praised to the skies for being healthy, Meghan destroyed for causing climate change). To be honest I wasn’t much surprised by most of it, except the press “parties”. Held at the palace! how blatant is that! Poor Meghan and poor Harry (though why he is miffed they stopped paying him is a mystery to me. If you leave a job, they don’t pay you any more!). But the suffering they both went through, without any support, is absolutely appalling. And don’t get me started on Piers Morgan. And I am no royalist. I would much rather we had a republic. Not that I’m a Republican in terms of the USA. Not at all.

I’m feeling better. Since, I’d say, last Sunday really. More energy – though I’ve had to sleep all morning, having tried to stay awake after breakfast and failed. The garden is lovely. The sun is not out today, but was for the last two days, so I went for a ten minute walk on Monday and Tuesday. That might account for the fatigue this morning. Yesterday I defrosted the small freezer, made a delicious chocolate cake (dairy free of course) and repotted a desperate house plant. Oh. Also might account for the fatigue this morning.

The yoghurt maker is going. It’s possible that my niece may have it, she’s pondering at the moment. If she doesn’t, I will Freecycle it.

Have started a crochet blanket in basic granny squares. I have a selection of double knitting cotton yarn in various colours (from Hobbii.de – love their stuff, even though the postage is expensive), so am doing squares, rather than all in one big square, to make it easier and more fun to sort out the colour scheme when it’s done. No rush. A square or two a day is fine. Even though it’s the most basic of crochet techniques, I still can’t watch TV and do it, like I can with some of my knitting. The finished squares (well, not blocked yet) are actually a lovely lilac, but you can’t tell from the photo. I’ve ordered some more yarn, enough to do two more squares and a border, in dark navy. It’ll make a blanket 4 x 5 squares of 6 3/4″ each, so small but useful in the winter evenings. Or even the summer ones, here in the UK.

Loving the Freecycle system. It’s called Freegle where I live. It shut down during lockdown, but started up again yesterday. I had four boxes of books and dvds to give away, which I advertised just before lockdown. The person who wanted them agreed to wait till now, and came last night to take them away! our study looks So Much Tidier. And she brought me several little tiny pots with a sort of dried pellet of compost and some seeds in. Parsley, carrots and peppers. Am going to investigate. Exciting.

To mask or not?

Had to go into Solihull today to the bank. Some things just can’t be done online, on the phone, or by post. Sigh.

But what struck me most is how many people are not wearing masks! I went to a knit and natter group on Saturday. Five of us all sat outside, but I was the only one wearing a mask. Am I paranoid?

In New Zealand, the advice was, when you’ve been out and about, change all your clothes and have a shower when you get home. So I did. It might be over the top, but New Zealand is in a much, much better state than the UK.

Hmph.

In the end my sister and I decided that digitising all the cine films was just too difficult and too expensive. Some had already been done, so we are assuming they were the only ones worth doing, and dumped the rest. Freecycled the Eumig projector,  the slide projector, and the screen. A lovely, lovely Polish lorry driver collected them on his way back to Poland, where he lives opposite a children’s home. He volunteers there and collects stuff just like this to help entertain them. He will fix the stuff and then donate it. The Paul Klee prints went to a lovely guy who was influenced by Klee at uni and everybody is delighted, including me.

Dressed in my “working clothes”, had a nice cup of tea after the shower, then used the “jet” setting on the hose to clean up the green wheelie bin (for garden refuse). And now it’s lunchtime.

Have been reading a lot. Had already read Fire & Fury, Siege, and Surviving Autocracy, just read Too Much and Never Enough. Now I’m back into the Boudica: Dreaming series of 4 books. It all seemed much cleaner, somehow, back then (I know it’s fictionalised), but really, honestly, I don’t think I can cope with  knowing too much more about Trump. We do have two programmes recorded which we will no doubt harrumph our way through. Also the Rupert Murdoch 3 part documentary. Oh. My. God. If you’ve watched Succession, know that it is scarily accurate.

Next up will be another book on the Trojan War from a woman’s point of view – Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon. Then hubby has a book called “Pew” which sounds great.

Have been able to knit a very small amount – half an hour about three times a week, if I’m not doing anything else. And only in the morning. Not today, too busy. And thank goodness for the gardeners. Although they haven’t turned up today . . .

Where to start!

Been back from New Zealand over a month now and life had pretty much settled back to normal. Until The Apocalypse (Covid-19) arrived. Bleugh.

I don’t understand why people would buy ALL the toilet rolls and ALL the pasta. What about everybody else, dickheads?? Huh?

Hubby and I are not self-isolating yet but we are “distancing” socially. It was my sister’s birthday yesterday, and we were actually in the same room! but didn’t hug. Hmm. It’s sensible, just a bit sad. So we bumped elbows instead. I won’t catch public transport or go anywhere too crowded (not that anywhere is at the moment!)

Although Hubby, bless him, went to a concert at Symphony Hall last night. On public transport. And bought a Big Issue (which I won’t touch and is now in the recycling. I usually do buy it, but not at the moment!) Sigh. He’s 74, with a heart condition. We did talk about it but he’s a grown up. Hmm.

But then I have a hair appointment tomorrow. Just hoping the hairdresser people all wear plastic gloves. I expect they will. They’d better not breathe on me either. Joking. (sort of).

Been catching up on “inside” jobs, although managed to do an hour’s gardening last week, which was lovely. I just cut back all the ugly dead stuff and did a very small bit of weeding. Now the daffodils are centre stage and look lovely. I’m absolutely knackered, of course, but happy.

And this morning I sorted out all the stuff from Mother’s house which is going to eBay/Freecycle/charity shop. A very small proportion has been bought on eBay, the rest is charity shop/Freecycle. So boxes have been reorganised and there are lots more boxes in the hall, far fewer in the study! Also went through two boxes of framed photos, sorted the frames into charity shop/tip (refuse centre), and kept all the photos.

Just to give you a small idea of a fraction of the stuff. There have been umpteen (probably 100) visits to charity shops. We have filled two medium size skips, and will probably fill another one. But Mother’s house is looking better now.  Bigger. She was a bit of an “accumulator” and there was stuff just everywhere.

Next up – sort ALL the photos (boxfuls) into some sort of order. I have the box, I have the photos, and an idea of how I’m going to do it. Just need to wait for the energy to do it . . . in the plan is also writing on the back who is who, if  it’s not already done. My sister and I are the last people on this side of this family who will have any chance of identifying people, and it’s just so useful when looking through old photos to know. Instead of gazing blankly at strangers,  there are”ohs” of recognition as realisation dawns. It’s history. Family history. Yeah. Dad was born in 1920, and there are photos of his parents, the (very) odd aunt, and so on. Just the clothes are interesting.

And then there are hundreds of transparencies to go through. Hundreds. There is a slide projector which of course I haven’t the faintest idea how to use, but that will be another little job. Learn to use the slide projector. Learn how to load the slides into the cartridges. Learn how to identify which slide is actually showing at any one time. I may need to set aside some time for that . . . .

Woke late this morning, unsurprisingly. Feeling ok though, but I am aware I’ve done enough.  Hence sitting blogging.