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.

Brain Fog

Well, that’s how it feels to me. There is quite a lot going on in there, but I can’t access it. It seems that there are things I need to remember, or remember to do, but there’s so much I can’t sort it out. A bit like my brain is scrambled. If I were to draw a picture of it right now, it would just be a big old scribble.

There is currently a guy “doing things” in the garden. He has replaced the disintegrated back gate, the broken man hole cover, flattened the trip-hazard flagstones in the back garden, and is currently mending a sort of fence panel at the other side of the house from the back gate.

Also digging up a huge, ugly, aggressive phormium. This nearly died a few years ago when we had a dreadful winter but has recovered. It pokes people in the eye when they come to the door though. Not nice.

I have already ordered a lovely soft pretty Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus because I’m so excited about having the space for a nice plant. I think it’s the same as this one, in the back garden. I hope so. It’s very similar anyway. The one we have looks gold or silver depending on the light. I cut it right down to the ground in spring and look how it grows!

So between making this guy endless cups of tea – well it is quite cold outside and it’s hard physical work – I have wrapped and got ready to post the Christmas and (January) birthday presents for the New Zealand granddaughter. Harder than it sounds, because part of that involved a jigsaw. Well, the jigsaw box was too big and heavy to include, because size as well as weight is restricted when you’re posting so far away. So I ordered a smaller gift box to put the jigsaw in, which worked, but then I found a piece of the jigsaw on the floor. Luckily (!) before I’d wrapped everything up. That meant I needed to actually do the jigsaw to make sure all the pieces were there. The recipient is going to be 5 years old and boy did I struggle with it. I expect she’s better than me at such things though. Hopefully.

Anyway, all the pieces are there, it’s all fitted in the box all wrapped up with a separate envelope with the jigsaw picture printed on an A4 piece of card, and the whole thing weighed less than 1.5kg. Excellent.

This sort of thing leaves me absolutely wrecked though. It’s such a simple job but it really takes it out of me. It’s done now. But no ironing today! the shopping was delivered and that’s me done for today.

Frustrating few days

First of all, Happy International Women’s Day!

The Procion dye arrived, and I dyed three tops, and it worked really, really well. No mess, no blotchiness, no dye everywhere. One top has a small hole in it so it’s going to the charity shop. I put another one on today and within five minutes managed to get a black smudge on it, so it’s in the wash. Hey ho.

Had an email from Royal Mail to say a parcel would arrive on Wednesday. No parcel. Still. Went round the very frustrating loop on the internet, clicking on links they’d sent me, and the parcel was clearly at the local office. Even downloaded their stupid app, which wouldn’t let me log in to it, although I could log in with exactly the same details on tinterweb.

Eventually, today, I phoned up. What an absolute nightmare. I spent 25 minutes holding on for a proper, real, live person, who (thank goodness) was really helpful, and explained that there had been a strike at that particular office, but they were all back at work now, and not to worry. The parcel will be officially counted as “missing” next Friday, so then I have to get in touch with the senders, who have to claim, then eventually they refund me. However, this particular parcel is for part of a birthday present, so there is a time constraint for me. I’m just really hoping it arrives, because there’s a whole world of bother otherwise.

Spent yesterday morning comprehensively failing to crochet an Amigurumi toy.  It was too small, too fiddly, the yarn was splitty, and although I can crochet in a basic sort of a way (blankets, granny squares), I’m hopeless at shaping. The stitch count goes to buggery as soon as I’ve finished increasing. Every time. Why? anyhow, have decided that bigger Amigurumi toys work better for me. I’ve done a couple of Olafs, and they’ve been fine. Meanwhile, will stick to the blanket I’m doing, and knitting the top for hubby.

On the upside, two tops from John Lewis arrived. I’d ordered a brown one and a yellow one, in two different sizes. The brown one, surprisingly, doesn’t look very nice at all. I think it’s because it has a round neck, which isn’t a great look at almost 64. The yellow, however, looks great! and it’s a bit of a departure for me colour-wise. Years ago I had a top in a very similar yellow and loved it. Mm. So the size that doesn’t fit, and the two brown ones, are going back. Yeah.

Also, have discovered that I’ve lost some weight. I only got on the scales because my clothes were feeling a bit big. And I’ve lost 10 lbs in the last 3 – 4 months. Now, I have given up biscuits (work of the devil, have to have at least 3 at a time) altogether, stopped eating crap in between meals (not literal crap, obviously, just sweets and chocolate) and reduced my sugar intake by at least two thirds (I was eating way, way more than 30g a day). So it could just be that. The osteopath said I need to mention it to the doctor though, and I am having some bloods done next week for a routine checkup (on the NHS of course). We shall see. I feel ok, if more tired than usual. And today I’m treating myself to a whole ciabatta roll, warm, with cheese and Marmite for lunch.

Watched Leaving Neverland yesterday. Oh. My. Days. Not sure what to say about that. MJ was clearly a very disturbed, lonely individual. With a child’s emotional development (or lack of) inside a man’s body. And how many lives have been wrecked. And how are we supposed to feel about his incredible talent now? he could sing, and dance, and how. But all that surgery. The chemical straightening of the hair. The skin lightening stuff. Mm.