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.

The good, the bad, and . . .

A long time ago, about 20 years, I would guess, I went to our local supermarket to pick up some bits. I was feeling like five kinds of sh*t, and probably looked it too, although I was past caring.

Well. The product I wanted to get to (bacon, I think), was behind a trolley parked sideways with a small girl – I’d say about 3 years old? – sitting in it, dancing about and generally making sure everybody could see how cute she was. I was not in the mood, really not, so I ignored her.

She did not like that. She did not. So she leant towards me, and said, “You’re UGLY”. Her parents were absolutely mortified, as well they should be. They apologised profusely, and I accepted the apology with “oh it’s ok”. But it wasn’t ok. I was hurt, and still feel it now. How did that child learn that “ugly” was an insult? why did she choose to use it then? she was very small, I know, but neither of mine would ever have deliberately insulted a total stranger. Each other, yes, but total strangers? nope! They were not perfect, what child or what adult is, but really.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Look how long our grass has grown! desperate for the gardener now!

I’ve been very low lately, and sleeping way too much. I had a telephone appointment with a doctor, who arranged a face-to-face appointment at my local surgery, and that doctor (she’s the one I used to see before lockdown) has increased my anti-depressants. I have to go back in a month to see how that is going.

I feel slightly better straight away, knowing something constructive is happening. It felt like a long tunnel with no light at the end, but that feeling is fading.

Still sleeping too much, but apparently it can take about seven days for an increase in jolly drops to work. So that’s ok then.

Managed to go to the local shop today and get some bits and bobs. Yesterday I made carrot cake, and I was halfway through when I discovered that my self raising flour was three months out of date. So that went straight in the bin, and I used plain flour with extra baking powder. It seems to have worked ok, but both the cakes are in the freezer as they are for my daughter’s 40th birthday barbecue in July. She loves my carrot cake. So we won’t actually know until we cut into them whether they’re ok or not! love a bit of baking suspense . . . might need ice cream or glace icing, will see how we go.

Have ordered some full face visors. There is of course a bewildering array, and because I wear glasses I need ones with a head strap. I find the masks stifling and my glasses steam up.

Ironing is awaiting my attention, but having been to the shop today, and baking yesterday, it will need to wait until tomorrow.

And I’m wearing a brand new top today, from Fat Face. Sage green with little leaves embroidered on it. And the New Zealand quartz pendant from YD. Yeah. Little things.

Windows 10. Hate it.

Well now. The printer decided it hates me again yesterday, when I really needed it. This is happening way too often, and I had promised myself that next time it happened I would damn well format the hard drive, wipe everything, and install Linux Ubuntu. So I have. I back up regularly, and always immediately before such a major step. My passwords I keep on a separate stick so I can access the network, otherwise I’d be stymied and going round in circles.

Honestly. The problem was not the printer, but Windows. One time it was Kaspersky protecting me from my own printer (sigh) but Ubuntu just picked up the printer, installed the driver really fast, and printed! that is exactly what I need.

On the other hand, this is Ubuntu 20.04, and I have had problems getting my address book to import and Google calendar to work. Finally, today, I installed Evolution, and everything just worked. So I’ve backed up Evolution to a tar.gz file so I can go back to where I am now if I need to. Phew.

Also, there don’t seem to be any screensavers. Now, that is not a practical problem. Screensavers were invented to stop the old green ASCII characters burning into the old CRT screens, and that just doesn’t happen any more with new technology. But they are pretty! also, have had to install a nicer wallpaper changer, as the ones that come with the package are just a bit boring, and don’t change regularly. I guess that when you install Ubuntu you just need the basics, but it would be nice to have access to some bells and whistles. They’ve done it before. It just seems to be this new package. Ah well.

And now I’m off to play Pysolfc, which is a huge collection of card games and Mahjongg games. Yeah. Need to sort out themes, favourites, etc.

I am SO rock’n’roll.

Lucky!

Just back from a trip to Solihull (5 minutes away) to the opticians. My glasses, which are a bit odd because of my double vision, had a wobbly leg (arm?). I’d been using lanyards for my distance glasses, so that they are always available when I need to put on my reading or my computer glasses. However, the legs (arms?) are quite thin, and the lenses are very thick at the edge, so I guess they’re a bit heavy for that. The wobbliness was because I’d managed to twist them somehow. It was touch and go whether or not they could fix them at the shop, or whether they’d have to pop my lenses into new (identical) frames, which would cost me £60. Waaaah!

So I was despatched to do something else, anything else, for half an hour, in the rain, while they decided what to do. I can barely see without my glasses, so had taken my computer glasses. But of course I was masked up too, so what with one thing and another, it was a fraught half hour. Which was mitigated by going to Hotel Chocolat and spending over £40 on chocolate. Yep. On chocolate. Some dairy free for me and some for hubby. Then I went to Pret a Manger and was able to sit inside, drinking apple juice and eating a dairy free chocolate fudge bar. That definitely helped.

When I went back to the opticians, the laboratory had had a go, and they’d managed to fix the old frames. When I say “old”, I’ve had them about two months. So not actually old, really. Very relieved. And no more lanyards for my glasses. There is a downside, but the upside is I can probably manage dangly earrings again, at least when I’m not wearing a mask.

My specs. You can see at the edge how thick the lenses are (1cm).

Some improvement

Went to the osteopath today for an extra appointment to sort out my recalcitrant back. She did. It’s much looser now and a lot less painful. Still on ice/hot packs/painkillers, but much easier. I love my osteopath. In a platonic way, of course.

Second Covid vaccination on Thursday. Hooray! but it does mean I’ve had to postpone for four weeks my ultrasound scan/x-ray/guided steroid injection. Hey ho. But although the pain is constant, I do think that being vaccinated against Covid is more important.

We had thunder again today. I didn’t notice any lightning, and the cat took no notice whatsoever, but WTF?

My new specs are in need of repair. I phoned the optician and I can just pop there – I’ll have to wait at the door while they fix them. I wonder if it’s to do with the specs lanyard I’ve been wearing. I have to change from reading glasses to distance glasses a lot, but I do think that specs are more vulnerable on a lanyard. Mm. Change of plan. We shall see how I manage without a lanyard.

Another small change of plan involves the vitamins and other supplements I’ve been taking. The orthopaedic surgeon suggested Omega 3, garlic, turmeric and ginger. Well, I feel sick with the Omega 3, don’t want to smell of garlic (although the packaging assures you that you won’t, I did), and the turmeric and ginger give me indigestion. I’ve been taking the last two , along with vitamins A, B complex, C and D, for three weeks, and feeling so much worse. I’ve tried taking them at different times of day, with/without food, and decided today “bugger it”. So I’m back to my multi-vitamin tablet once a day and we shall see. I really don’t need anything to make me feel worse. I really don’t.

New jeans from The Gap have arrived. They’re black, “bootcut” style and high-rise/waisted and I Love Them. They’re washed and ready for hemming. Everything is always too long for me (at least trousers are always too long). I need to take care though because I don’t want them to shrink any more once I’ve hemmed them. I’ll need to be careful how I wash them. Cool wash, definitely. I love jeans, even though I’m 66. They just suit me with a t-shirt or tunic top, and my other pairs (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and Boden discontinued style) are starting to disintegrate. I might even see if I can order some more pairs, only blue. Yeah.

Hubby and I have just eaten our dinner. He had fried eggs and baked beans on toast. I had scrambled eggs on toast. Yum. Now I’m drinking my tea while he drinks his coffee and listens to his hi-fi. Life is good.

Bits and Bobs

Well, sadly, all my seedlings died. That is normal for me though. I’m just not great at seeds. I’m better with small plants, and have just planted two sage and one thyme plants in the garden, and the mint in a pot. Mint is not allowed in the garden. It’s such a thug. When it really gets going even in the pot it tries to root in any pots next to it. But I do love it, and the smell.

The old doorbell battery finally stopped working, so I have fitted the new one. I managed to sync it with the ringer – very pleased about that – and have fitted the new pusher thing to the front door. Little things do help me feel better about stuff.

My back is improving but slowly. Went to the hospital today for nerve conduction tests. Unpleasant. It turns out it’s not carpal tunnel syndrome, but cubital tunnel syndrome, which I think is basically nerves in the elbow being crunched. Hmm. Will see if the information gets to the consultant before I have the ultrasound/x-ray/steroid injection next week, and then it’s the week after that I see him. I’m relieved they found something, because I always feel such a fraud. Imposter syndrome, I think they call it. I certainly felt like that at work, always terrified somebody was going to discover I was crap at everything. I wasn’t actually crap at everything, though. Just felt like it.

Hubby’s new hi-fi was fitted yesterday. It all went well and he is very, very happy. The only problem was a technical one, and didn’t affect his music playing. We had access to the wireless network in the lounge, but no wired network in the study. It took me till this morning to work it out, and one of the ethernet cables wasn’t plugged in at all. Not just not where it should be, but not at all. Anyway, once I thought it through, and found it, we had access to the internet, the network, the lot. Hooray. Satisfying, if frustrating yesterday.

So now we have a gardener who comes fortnightly, a cleaner who also comes fortnightly, and a window cleaner who comes every two months. All jobs we are just not physically able to do any more, and I have actually been urging hubby to get a cleaner and a window cleaner for some years. The gardening was my domain, so I didn’t need to persuade anybody! All of them do a wonderful, wonderful job.

Today at about 1 pm, we had thunder and lightning. Only one clap/flash, but boy it was loud! in May!

The cat is currently trying to herd me into the lounge, where she clearly thinks I ought to be at this time of night (6 pm).

Not a terribly good photo of me wearing the top some of the grandchildren gave me for my birthday. This is before my post-lockdown visit to the hairdresser . . .

Things are happening!

The oven has continued to work ok, so that’s a mystery.

The decorator has been and we should get the quote shortly. All starting to fall into place now.

I have an appointment for a nerve conduction test, and another appointment for ultrasound and x-ray scans of my hand, when they will also do a steroid injection into my thumb. Then I get to see the consultant the following week to decide what to do (joint fusion or joint replacement).

Today my back is dreadful. I’ve had back problems for over 40 years, surgery 28 years ago which helped, but am all bent over to one side. It’s improved from this morning, when I was bent over sideways and frontways as well! still, painkillers, hot/cold packs, not doing anything for more than 20 minutes, and tomorrow it should be better. If not, I’ll try and get to the osteopath this week.

Part of the “not doing anything for more than 20 minutes” included a potter round the garden, in the rain. Took a few pictures because the colours cheer me up so much! and made me feel better even though I couldn’t manage a shower this morning. (I’ll deffo have one tomorrow, though!)

Recovering

So. The fridge is working fine, and the fan oven mysteriously just started to work again all by itself. Strange.

However, hubby’s hi-fi is definitely dead. So we’re getting new kit. No small matter, and he’s very excited about it.

Visited a new cattery this morning. The one we used and loved for many years was Compulsorily Purchased (it’s a thing) because of the HS2 railway. Very sad. So she went to a different one which the cat liked – I can tell because she came back happy and not clingy. That one is now closed because, well, Covid. The owners were a bit anti-social, but the staff looking after the animals were just lovely.

So we had to find a new one. It’s excellent, although the satnav let me down badly. It took 35 minutes to travel 9 miles there, and 12 minutes to get home. But now I know. They have a wooden log in each cat-room, standing on end, leaning into the corner. For a scratching post. Genius! I’ve asked where they get them. Our cat has ruined our carpet. But only in certain places.

I slept for most of yesterday, and half of Sunday, but am feeling a little less shaky and knackered today. Found a nice easy crochet pattern for a shawl which will be good to do when I’m fixed. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/one-row-fishnet-shawl

The weather here in the English Midlands is changeable, to say the least! today we’ve had the complete gamut. Rain, wind, sunshine, cold, warm. British weather, I guess. Sigh.

The planning for the decorating of the lounge has moved up a notch. Waiting for a decorator to come along and quote us. Exciting.

And May The 4th (fourth, if your first language is not English!) be with you all 😉

What a week.

On Sunday, at 5 pm, we had a power outage. Everything went off. The house alarm was beeping irritatingly. We checked the fuse box, and managed to get the lights working, but no power sockets, except in the study (but only temporarily).

So we arranged by phone (which is strongly discouraged, they kept saying Look at our website, which we couldn’t because we had no access to the internet) for an engineer to call the next day. We were so relieved when he turned up at lunchtime because we had no hot water or heating, and we were cold.

He whizzed about through the house, and the short version is that he got everything working again, apart from hubby’s hifi (oh NO!), the fan oven and one fridge. We are very fortunate to have two fridges – when we moved in together we’d lived separately for a number of years since our respective divorces – and an ordinary oven as well as a fan oven. He said that the fan oven and the fridge would need repair/replacement. He/we think there was a power spike.

I ordered a new fridge, and had to think about the oven repair for a day or two because I just can’t cope with too much going on.

The fridge was due to be delivered today, and was actually on the van, when I thought it might be prudent to check the fuse in the fridge plug. It was blown, and a new fuse did the trick. So I phoned the people delivering the new fridge, slightly (very) panicky, to cancel it, and they were fine. So that saved us a bunch of money.

Meanwhile, the hifi man was due this morning (Wednesday) and hubby dealt with him (hifi is actually broken), the lawn man was due this morning and just got on with it, and the cleaner we have just organised arrived unexpectedly, wanting to do the 6 hour deep clean we were expecting next week. I wasn’t even dressed. So I rushed upstairs and threw on my “working” clothes, no shower, nothing. When I say “rushed”, that means I struggled up the stairs, cursing silently to myself. When I say “working” I mean clothes I wear when I expect to get dirty and/or sweaty, eg making a cake. Just for clarity 😉

Oh. My. God. I didn’t actually explode, but my brain felt like it was.

So we compromised and the cleaner just did upstairs – it looks absolutely fantastic. We are so damn pleased.

On top of all that, today is the anniversary of the day my Dad died, 42 years ago, very suddenly, with no warning, at the age of 58. I was 24 and my sister was 21. Normally I’m in absolute bits, but today I was just sad. I have worked out why I used to get so upset – he managed Mother’s worst behaviours, and once he died, that protection was gone. Now Mother has gone too, I don’t have to worry about that. Although some of her nastier sayings keep going round my head.

Also, on Monday I saw a consultant about my hands. He is going to arrange some imaging to see what is going on, inject my right thumb, possibly fuse the right index knuckle and maybe replace the middle finger knuckle. He’ll decide after the scans. This is all fine, because I have had plenty of time to think about priorities and have decided that reducing the pain is the main thing. Not sure how I would manage to write or knit/crochet with a fused knuckle or two, but that is secondary. I expect I’ll manage something clumsy but effective!

Had a repeat blood test on Tuesday so it’ll be interesting to see what that dredges up.

So, tomorrow I am just getting showered and dressed. And that, guys, is all I intend to do. Maybe drink some tea.

Progress

I am so relieved, and so is everybody I know, about the verdict in the George Floyd case. The thing is, though, it should have been an open and shut case, but because this was a white cop killing a Black man, there was still just the chance it might go the other way. True justice will be when there is no doubt about such things. I guess that for George Floyd’s family there is a kind of closure, but I can’t imagine how I’d feel in their place. Mixed emotions I guess. And cops do not have a good time in prison. I know nobody’s supposed to have a good time in there, but cops – well. Particularly when it’s absolutely crystal clear that a cop is a racist. Hmm. Karma.

I can’t remember who asked, but somebody did, for progress reports on the crochet blanket-to-be. Well, today the osteopath did some gentle work on my poor hand and I was actually able to crochet a (purple) square with hardly any pain. I’m so pleased with myself. So here’s a picture! And there’s enough left on the 50gm ball for one more. Each 50gm ball does two squares. The ones which look pale grey are actually pale lilac.

My friend’s little boy chose a plant for my birthday a few years ago. It’s flowered regularly at this time of year ever since. I have been known to drown these (Christmas Cactus? Shrimp Plant? Schlumbergera?) but this one has survived my ministrations. I sent them a photo so they could coo over it. Oh blimey. You can see all the dust and cat hairs on the mat. Oh well. It’s real anyway.

Windows decided to install, without my express permission, (!) the update it’s been threatening me with for weeks now. I’ve been ignoring the dire warnings, because last time I installed this particular update, I couldn’t print anything until I’d uninstalled it. So I was quite concerned. There was no opportunity to say no, or stop it, so I let it carry on and it took a couple of hours. During which time I crocheted said square.

Then, before I tried printing, I did a full backup, including email and mobile phone contacts, and bookmarks, to two different places, and then a backup to a USB stick of the passwords I’d need should I have to access the network.

I tentatively tried to print, and IT WORKED. Thank goodness for that.

Still downloaded Ubuntu 20 LTS though, and have burned the installation files to yet another USB stick, just in case. You never know.