Monday, March 27, 2006

Mothers Day

Yesterday was a special day. It was Mothers Day and both stepchildren came around, my Stepdaughter at lunchtime for the rest of the day and the Stepson in the evening, after spending time with his own mother during the day. The Stepdaughter actually gave me a Mothers Day present - a DVD of "Acorn Antiques the Musical" something I had wanted to see at the theatre but couldn't as the London West End ticket prices are so expensive nowadays.

I am always surprised and touched to get such attention on Mothers Day as I am only the Stepmother. It's lovely that they are prepared to make the day so special.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Cupboard under the Sink

The other day we had to clear out a cupboard in the kitchen, after the Husband flooded it while trying to clear a blocked drain. It was the cupboard under the sink, where most of the cleaning materials are kept. It became abundantly clear that I have a habit of buying cleaning materials each week, even when we don't actually need them. It's just things I automatically add to the shopping list whenever I order groceries online and then when the weekly shop arrives from Tesco I just stuff the bottles into the cupboard. So when we cleared it out we found about a dozen bottles each of bleach, Flash ( a cleaning fluid), loo cleaner and washing-up liquid. There is only two of us at home and we are not that dirty. So I took the opportunity to sort out the cupboard, and to make a mental note not to buy any more until that little lot is used up.

Oh, there was the remains of a mouse nest in there too. I had suspected for some time that Nimrod the Mighty Hunter had been up to his usual tricks as both he and Pickle kept sniffing the cupboard as if they suspected that there was something lurking in there. But the nest had probably been unoccupied for a bit. So I suspect that Pickle has dealt with the unwanted visitor at some time.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Apathy rules OK

I've hardly done anything for the last couple of weeks. I have no idea why. I just seem to be exhausted all the time and am doing very little, although I don't feel ill at all. Perhaps it's because winter seems to be going on for so long. This isn't meant as a moan just as an explanation why I haven't been around much lately. Only this morning I was meditating on one of the sayings of Marus Aurelius which has forced me to get off my bottom and to write something here:
Every moment think steadily as a Roman and a man to do what thou hast in hand with perfect and simple dignity, and feeling of affection, and freedom, and justice; and to give thyself relief from all other thoughts. And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last, laying aside all carelessness and passionate aversion from the commands of reason, and all hypocrisy, and self-love, and discontent with the portion which has been given to thee. Thou seest how few the things are, the which if a man lays hold of, he is able to live a life which flows in quiet, and is like the existence of the gods; for the gods on their part will require nothing more from him who observes these things.
The Husband went to the gym on Thursday, for the first time since he had the flu and when he came home said that he had virtually fainted while on the second machine (the stationery bike). The trainer thinks that he still had the virus in him that caused him to almost pass out. Now he is being very iffy about going back to the gym.

One thing I have had to deal with the fact that my subscription for Noton Internet Security 2005 expired at the start of the month. So I Removed it off my system and Installed Norton Internet Security 2006. Then I found out that I couldn't get Updates to the programme. So I've had lots of dealings with Symantec trying to sort it out. They have been very helpful, thank goodness, and keep on sending me long (very long) e-mails full of advice on what to do next. In the end I had to Remove (for the 4th time) the programme, run three "patches" to remove anything nasty on my system and then do a Search to see if there were any Symantec files left on my system. That was instructive. Although I Remove each Internet Security programme from my computer when I Update to a new programme still the Search found 22 Symantec files on my system, some dating to 2003 when I first bought the computer. Deleting them and Re-Installing seems to have sorted out the Update problem, although I am not telling Symantec that yet as now occasionally the computer has a funny turn when I turn it on and crashes. So I'm not letting the company sign off on my programme until I am fully satisfied.

It's snowing - again. We've had snow on and off for some weeks, though not enough to lay in any depth. What is beginning to concern me is that Spring is clearly just around the corner with buds on lots of shrubs and trees and bulbs beginning to appear. So the sooner the cold weather goes away the less harm it will do to Spring plants and bulbs.

The Husband and I have spent time recently just "chilling out" and listening to an audible book "Devices and Desires" by P D James that I've downloaded onto my iPod. I must admit that I do like P D James' books although the intensity of the way she writes is demanding on the listener at times. (The Husband says that from the way she writes it is very obvious that she used to be a civil servant.) The book is over 15 hours in lenth and we still have another 5 hours to go so I am off now to listen to a bit more.