Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I have returned from another visit to Cardiff (I wonder if it would be cheaper to buy myself a train season ticket) and yesterday was, in effect the first "normal" day for the better part of a week. And it was good, a quiet day when life got back to normal and I did some cooking and other normal things, all went well. Today, however, has been different, a day of frustration after frustration. And most of it has been my fault.

Yesterday evening I was having some trouble with downloading an audio book and I decided to tidy up the computer system to make it neater and quicker. No problem with the anti-spyware software, I've used it lots and lots of times before. But then I decided to use the software for tidying up Registry keys etc. Then I went to bed. This morning turning on the computer and I got some error messages which just would not depart from the center of the screen. OK, I thought, I know how to deal with this, I've had it before when I've used the registry key cleaner, just have to insert the Microsoft Windows disc into the computer for a couple of seconds and all will be well again. Could I find it anywhere? No. I spent the morning looking for it. It's astounding how many discs one accumulates over the years so I took the opportunity to do a fair bit of "weeding" of those discs I no longer needed. It was during lunch that I suddenly realise that there was another way to sort this problem out: by restoring what the Registry software had removed. And it was sorted out in a matter of minutes.

Then there was the problem I had downloading that audiobook. After e-mailing the Help Desk for the audio book website (ww.audible.co.uk) I got an almost immediate response to say that my surmise that it was because I'd updated my computer to Internet Explorer 7: CopCar had mentioned that it was available and she found it good (see here) so I did it too. I managed to sort the problem out in a few moments once I knew what to do. And the books arrived into my iTunes. Success!

This afternoon I made the mistake of trying to move the Audible Download Manager to my F drive, failing horribly and then failing also to move it back to my C drive. So I've just sent a long e-mail to Audible's Help Desk, long because it all got very complex and I had to expalain just what I did. I am awaiting their response.

I've been sitting at this computer since 9.00am, with breaks for lunch and tea, and at the moment I'm fed up with the sight of it. So I'm turning the whole lot off for the evening and tomorrow I hope I can do some fun things on it as well. Oh, and sorting out the Audible thing too.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's amazing to think how tough some plants are. Take this hardy fuscia for example. When we moved into this house 11 years ago the lady who sold it to us said that she would like the fuscia for her new garden. So when the Spring was upon us the Husband dug up its roots with a spade and mattock and carted what we thought was the entire plant around to her n a wheelbarrow. However, the following year I suddenly realised that there was a small twig with leaves and flowers growing there. I had thought of digging it out but what with one thing and another we just ignored it ... completely. Each year it grew a bit more and we ignored it No feeding, no watering, nothing. The only time I gave it a haircut was this Spring, when I did the other two hardy fucscias in the garden. And now it's a beautiful bush in full flower, some 3-4 feet high and the same diameter.

Isn't Nature wonderful at times.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's odd the way that some foods act as a trigger for becoming a manic and overeating everything around them. The type of food varies from person to person but that particular item makes all willpower disappear immediately and diets come to an abrupt end. Some people find that eating just a crumb of cheese does this, for others it's chocolate or sweets. For me the fatal one is ..... Crisps. I don't know why but all I have to do is to eat just one solitary crisp and I become a manic, consuming not just all the crisps in that packet but also every other food I had previously given up while trying to lose weight.

I have, over the last few weeks lost almost a stone in weight and some inches from my body to boot. I still want to lose more and, hopefully, make a rather obvious stomach disappear. I am not eating much at all - 2 slices of toast for breakfast, homemade soup and some fruit salad midday and two (small) rolls filled with cold meat in the evening, with some fresh fruit for munchies if I'm hungry. Eating like this makes me feel healthy and the weight is shifting, slowly but it is shifting.

However, walking today through the local Tesco I still avoided the isle where the crisps were set out. Just looking at the huge range of colourful packets of them, whether Small, Medium or Large, made me think how ephemeral a diet can be. I swear that eating them acts like a compulsion to me, then I just have to eat all sorts of fattening foods, not just that day but the next day and the day after and the next .... I suppose it's a bit like an alcoholic afraid to have one drink, in case it starts him drinking too much again. So it's self- discipline for me, with the hope that yet more pounds and inches will disappear.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Two weeks

I notice that it's two weeks exactly since I last posted. Thinking back over the two weeks I realise that the first of the two weeks I seem to have spent a lot of time battling the weeds that have appeared in the garden since the drought came to an end. It's odd but despite spending quite some time outside it still seems in need of more attention. We have had a lot of rain over the last couple of days and the sooner I can get outside again the better.

The Friday before last (13th) was an interesting day as the Husband and I went up to London as we had tickets for a film premier. We started the day though with a trip to Tate Britain (the origial Tate) where we saw the Holbein in England exhibition. This was really good, and we both loved his portraits, especially the two of Erasmus and the only one of Henry VII definitely painted by Holbein. Then we noodled around the main galleries for about 30 minutes, got something to eat and then walked across to Piccadilly to see their current exhibition of Rodin sculptures. I've always loved Rodin's work and although The Husband wasn't originally very enthusiastic about visiting the exhibition he said that he enjoyed it as much as I did. Whet I found most fascinating was that in addition to his most well-known works - like the Kiss (two version of this), the Thinker (ditto) - outside in the courtyard of the RA were a reproduction of his Gates of Hell, made after his death but something on which he had worked various elements throughout his working life. It was incredibly imposing.

After this we went to the cinema. I've mentioned several times here of the fact that the Husband has been a film star(!) One of his friends and former colleagues from work has an absolute passion to become a film maker and started by making two small 3 minute long films, one this year and one last, each filmed on a sealed container of Straight 8 film that could not be edited at all. The Husband "starred" in both these films. The first film was called Earth to Earth, I am not sure if this will work but you may be able to see the film here. The second film was made in january/February this year and is called "Go, Got, Need". This has been successfully shown on a tv channel from Holland and can be seen here. Anyway, that's the background. Nick Scott the passionate film maker wanted to try and break into the film beusiness and with a lucky windfall (he won £5,000 on a £3 bet while playing internet poker) he has made one. The film is called "Breaker", 10-15 minutes long and last Friday was shown at the Curzon Soho cinema. He used professional actors for this one, so the Husband didn't have the opportunity for more acting. More about Nick's production company at http://www.thewinnersproductions.com/.

Then came the week just gone. I spent it either in the dentit's chair, waiting for my dentist to ring me or just waiting with trepidation for the problem to be sorted out. The latter was the worst. I had an absolute butcher for a dentist as a child and this has left me with a real terror of the profession. However I do have a very good dentist at the moment and so when a few days ago I lost a crown I went to see him. I had two options to sort out the problem: a new crown using the new wizzy technology he now uses and costing me almost £300 ; or to remove the tooth altogether which as I don't have many other teeth up there would cause me difficulty eating. After spending Monday and Tuesday waiting for the dreaded work my first appointment was first thing Wednesday morning. The next appointment should have been an hour and a half later (once the bleeding was under control) but I had a phone call to say that they had had a power cut and they would ring me when they could fit me in. So spent the day hovering, waiting for a call then finally came at 8.30 at night to say sorry and could I come in for two appointments on Friday instead. I said Yes, put down the phone and within 30 minutes the temporary dressing in my mouth dropped out. Thursday wasn't a good day for me, waiting.... Fridayand by the afternoon it was all over. And I felt like an overcooked piece of spaghetti.

Saturday (yesterday) was a visit to the in-laws in Whitstable, Kent. A good day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dogs vs Cats

Dog's Diary:

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!


Cat's Diary:

Day 183 of my captivity...
My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.

The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture.

Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair - must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit.The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait; it is only a matter of time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Many thanks for all the kind comments about my mother. Her health remains very poor at the moment, there seems to have been very little improvement since she went into the hospital and she seems likely to be in there for some time to come.

Anyway life is still going on, sort of, although the news in that front isn't good. The rest of us are all fine. The Stepson is back at university, having started his third year there. The Stepdaughter is very busy, studying yet more insurance exams and dealing with one of the plane crashes that has happened recently (she is in avation insurance). The Husband is fine, though he is starting to develop a real interest in Wagner's Operas, especially the Ring cycle. I'm not all that enthused - before I was married I had a boyfriend who used to take me to Covent Garden and this has left me with a dislike of all sorts of opera. Still, I normally just duck into another room when he is watching a DVD of a Wagnerian opera, so that works out fine.

The evening classes in curtain-making have been a disappointment as they have changed their structure and focus completely over how they were done last year. I am going to have to work out what I am going to do with all that fabric I bought before I broke my finger, so I'll let you know when I've reached a decision, which isn't yet as other things are filling my mind.