Thursday, 26 November 2009

How Spooky!! ...

... only a few days ago I was saying about my holiday to Malta that the National Lottery's 15th birthday reminded me of and today Mr Bing has Malta on his home page. To be exact he has a picture of Valletta, Malta's capitol, as his home page. Now that is spooky! If you click on the link for Mr Bing today you will see Valletta but if you click on it any other day you will see a different picture as it's changed daily. Hover over whichever picture is there and little boxes pop up with an informative sentence and then a link. Click on the links and soak up the info. I've started using Mr Bing a lot as my search engine. I'm afraid I seem to be changing my allegiance a bit so guess I'm now two-timing dear Mr Google ... or could it be I've become polygamous??? *LOL*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Will it ever stop? I can't recall the last time we had so much rain for such a prolonged period of time. We get brief respites with some sun - as we have today - but they have been few and far between and the rain is battering the window yet again! It seems to be blowing a permanent gale at the same time, which doesn't help. Some areas of the country have been having an horrendous time of it. I'm so lucky where I live. I've had to empty some of the water out of the fish pond as it was in danger of overflowing. I dropped the level by around 6 inches on Saturday and I've got to do it again soon. Unbelievable!!

What else is unbelievable is Dad. Last week the flats lost the digi signal for all the TVs. The day I was there they were hoping to get it back up and running again. I assumed that they would sort Dad out knowing that he could only see one channel (just) until it was repaired. I called to see him yesterday and he was still watching that same one channel. He'd been complaining that he was bored and was missing his favourite programmes and they'd noted the fact as well. He told me that it still wasn't working properly but the picture he had on this one channel was so much more watchable I couldn't believe it. Got his remote and pushed the digital button on it and, hey presto - there were his programmes. I flicked back to the analogue side he'd been watching and he could have seen the terrestial channels had he thought to try changing channel! Nobody had thought to do what I did for him so, for the past week since the signal was repaired, he's been sitting watching a channel he doesn't like because nobody thought to change it from analogue to digital and he never thought to try changing channel to see what would happen! It is easier for me now that I don't have the twice a day call and all the household stuff to do but there are different concerns now like this and also his shopping, which they do but why would they buy a 2 person meal for an senior citizen who finds a single serving meal a blowout? If they're not doing that they're buying 'snack' size. What's difficult about buying a 'serves one'?

Drawing up his shopping list is a nightmare - it's more instruction than items to buy! I've started getting him bits in our shopping and carting it over to him but he's not got the freezer storage he used to have so I can't buy bulk any more. His shopping has to be done weekly because of the restricted refrigeration he's now got.

I'm beginning to feel that my left arm is a pin cushion. A week or so ago I had my seasonal flu jab. Friday afternoon I had the swine flu one. Wasn't looking forward to that as nurse had told me it gave a painful arm for a few days - more so than the seasonal flu one. Anyway, I bit the bullet and off I went to the conveyor belt of the 'walk-in' clinic. Booked in, "join that queue and get your left arm ready while you're waiting" Hmmmm - I think not, as was wearing a pully and to do so would have meant exposing myself to a waiting room full of strangers *LOL* One out, one in and while nurse prepped my jab I slipped my arm out of sleeve, jabbed, done and out again ... next one in. I started to feel 'the pain' that evening but it was no worse than the seasonal and, in all honesty, the pain never became more than an ache. The only difference I found was that the seasonal was only bothersome if pressure was bought to bear on it for a few days and with this one I felt it all day on Saturday without any pressure but it was worse with. Sunday it started to ease and Sunday night I was able to lie on it to sleep. In all, less bother than the seasonal.

Today I've been to the surgery again ... for a visit with Dracula. A proper Dracula this time, not her apprentice. Mind you, she got it first time with no problem other than it had to be my left arm again as right wouldn't even present a vein!

Now I've got to arrange for a Yellow Fever innoculation and I've the other 'travellers' ones to have on 14th December - *JOY!* .... not! - but come February I'll be enjoying the benefits of those ones!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I have to ask ...

... when presented with 2 sets of facts and figures, that are identical in every way, would you say that they came from exactly the same item? That is something I've had to ask myself recently and, despite not wanting to have to admit it, the answer has had to be 'yes'. If the figures weren't so precise there could have been reason for doubt but there's not, as far as I can see.

1st set of figures -
Dimensions – 389 x 517
Width – 389 pixels
Height – 517 pixels
Horizontal Res – 100dpi
Vertical Res – 100dpi
Bit Depth – 24
Resolution Unit – 2
Color Representation – sRGB
Adobe photoshop 7.0
File Size 54kb

2nd set of figures -
Dimensions – 389 x 517
Width – 389 pixels
Height – 517 pixels
Horizontal Res – 100dpi
Vertical Res – 100dpi
Bit Depth – 24
Resolution Unit – 2
Color Representation – sRGB
Adobe photoshop 7.0
File Size 54kb

Where's the difference? There are other exact similarities as well which further add to the conclusion that these are figures from the same item but ... they were taken from the properties of 2 different sources. I know what conclusion I've come to, no matter how much I didn't want to. The object of these figures has been the cause of an almighty row and a totally unnecessary one. I think people have jumped in with both feet instead of looking at things more carefully before they did so but, to me, more shockingly is how vitriolic people have been (especially as, for once, I'm not the one on the receiving end *☺*). I've certainly seen a few in a different light - and not a very pleasant one at that. Disappointed? Yes, and appalled.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Saturday, 21 November 2009

National Lottery ...

... was 15 years old on 19th November. Although I couldn't remember the year I can remember the event well. It was the year that I ventured out into the world on my own. Yep, it was the very first time I holidayed solo and the very first Lottery draw took place the day after I came home.

At that time there was only the Saturday draw and the jackpots were very high (averaging £8m a draw) - as were the winnings for matching more than 3 numbers. It's always been £10 for matching 3 but for matching more - well, it was a worthwhile win. I used to run a works syndicate of 10 and I can remember that the week before the Wednesday draw started we won by matching 5 numbers. Real excitement as we collected £4,423. A couple of weeks later, after the Wednesday draw had started, the family syndicate matched 5 numbers and won a paltry £600/800-ish (can't remember the exact amount it was so memorable - NOT! *lol*). The difference was due to people not buying extra but by dividing their spend over the 2 weekly draws. If the idea was that there would be more added to the charitable coffers by having 2 draws they were wrong and the reduced jackpots (now averaging around £4m on a Saturdday, less on a Wednesday) and prizes for the Saturday draw shows that. To this day I have never taken part in the Wednesday draw and spend no more than £2 a week - £1 as an individual and £1 in the family syndicate .... They sure don't get rich from me!

Anyway, my holiday? 10 days in Malta and I really enjoyed it. I met some lovely people and Christmas cards are still being sent between some of us but things move on and unfortunately one of the ladies I met - a dear, sweet lady - died a couple of years ago. She was my dinner table companion and she drew me into the group that she'd made friends with. We all did our own thing through the day but met up in the evenings. We certainly had some escapades, including ending up in a gay bar in the middle of St Julian's (don't ask!) but it was fun. The island was fascinating, steeped in so much history. I went back 5 years later to take more of it in.

Funny what things can jog a memory ...

Thanks for dropping by .....

Children in Need 2009 ...

... was last night and here's a video of the Children in Need charity single for this year. There are a few memories there - *lol*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 20 November 2009

Take my hand ...

... and lead me! Why don't men use their eyes or think beyond what they see in front of them?

I've just had to come to hubby's rescue .... again! He's not at all technically minded where the PC is concerned. He's been trying to print something for the past half hour. I've heard him struggling, cussing and cursing. The pain of it, for me, got too much to bear and once the cussing and cursing started to get louder I thought I'd try to find out what the problem was.

Him: "I'm trying to print an email but the stupid printer isn't working!"
Me: "Are you sure it's actually installed?" (He's recently had the PC cleared and Windows 7 installed)
Him: "Yes, look, it's all there ....." (Shows me files on the Program menu)
Me: "Yes, but they're only files. Where is the printer?"
Him: "It's there ...."
Taking the mouse from him I open the Printer folder and .... no printer!
Me: "Helps if you install the printer to have it work" Gave him the printer disc and left him to install it!

I wouldn't mind too much but it's not the first time recently that he's blamed the PC for not working properly, only for me to find that it's been something he's done or not done. I know he's 70 in 3 months time but he's been using a blooming PC for years so you'd have thought he would have gained a bit more knowledge by now - or at least have a less blinkered view on why things might not be working as they 'should' .... *doh*

In a similar vein ... I'm fast coming to the conclusion - nope, I came to it a while ago but it keeps being confirmed - that there's some that definitely think it's easier to use somebody else's brain than to tax their own too much *LOL* Mind you, can't say that that's just men. I've worked with a good few people, male and female, who've not thought to use their own brain to work things out for themselves (or been too lazy to try) but would rather call on somebody else's as the first port of call. I don't have a problem helping anybody ... as long as they're seen to help themselves as well.

There's not much people can't find out for themselves anymore. Not with that mega resource - the Internet and Mr Google! There's now a new-ish man on the block as well and I'm finding him as good, if not better in some ways, to Mr Google. His name? Mr Bing! (click here to find him) and I'm loving him - *LOL* Anyways peoples ... if you've got a query/problem whatever, ask the question of Messrs Google and/or Bing and soak up the information they give you. You might not get the answers you're looking for (unlikely) but you'll learn a lot on the path and you'll be taken down many different avenues. You'll likely end up being a mine of useless information but it'll be a fun journey getting there. ☺

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A week ...

... and no posts! Been busy but not that busy, although I don't seem to have been home much ... but I have! To be honest, just haven't felt much like blogging. Haven't felt like doing much at all really. I've become very lethargic and don't know why. Not much enthusiasm for anything and it's not good 'cos I've lots that needs doing and lots I want to do but can't get going to do any of it.

Weather has been atrocious so that's not helped. Gale force winds since last Thursday/Friday with a short respite on Tuesday. There's been heavy rain at times and now it looks as though we've got the opposite problem with the fish pond to what we've been having. Reckon we now need to empty it a bit - lol! Makes a change from having to refill every few days.

I had a day of workshops at the Glitterpot on Saturday. Workshops with Francoise Reed using some of her stamps (she designs for Woodware) and Copic Ciao pens. Not sure they've hit me but the workshop has given me the confidence to have a go with my Promarkers - or rather, I'm prepared to give them a go when I'm in the mood to do so! We made 4 lovely cards but I've not even had the mojo to photograph them but I will ... one day.

Monday would have been the day that I would have gone into hospital for my hip op, had I not deferred it. Instead I was delivering hubby to the Orthopedic clinic for the MRI results on his hand. Xray didn't show anything but MRI has. He's stretched the ligament at the base of his thumb joint and the joint is slightly out of alignment. It's not dislocated but it's certainly not as it should be. Choices? Steroid injection which may give relief for around 6 months (possible if he didn't need his hands for his mobility, unlikely as he does) or surgery to reconstruct the joint. He's opted for the latter but it will see him in plaster for 2 months. Can see him wheeling round in circles until plaster comes off - *hehe*. Mind, he managed OK (just) after he had a carpel tunnel op on the same wrist and when he had a rotator cuff op on his opposite shoulder. The joys of having to use your upper body in ways that most of us don't have to. Should be fun, especially if we both end up incapacitated at the same time *LOL*

Tuesday was spent with Dad. He had a couple of appointments so had to run him around. He's decided to spend out on some new hearing aids - which may help improve his hearing to what he's got now but I'm not holding my breath. His current aids are nearly 5 years old and worked well-ish when he first had them and, although they've been adjusted several times since, they're now not working as well as they were ......... or Dad doesn't concentrate so much but whatever, we're all having to talk a lot louder for him to hear. He suggested he had new ones so it's being put in motion.

Wasn't too pleased with the way I was greeted when I arrived at his flat though. Said 'hello' and the response? 'Don't say hello to me - I've not had any telly for a week!' Somehow, although I'd not been near, it had become my fault. Further investigation found that the wind had damaged the receiving equipment on the roof of the flats on Friday/Saturday (he really has no concept of time) and he wasn't alone in not having any TV. Unfortunately it was so windy that nobody had been able to do anything about it but they were hoping to have it sorted out on Tuesday afternoon. Don't know if they did but there's nowt I could do about it and he now knows that he has to be patient. Told him to pick up a book and read if he was bored. Shame he hasn't got to know any of the other residents and is unlikely to. He won't go to the next fish and chip supper because me and hubby can't go (I'm at the Glitterpot for the day and hubby isn't going anywhere unless it's urgent until hand is sorted). I've decided to give up trying to get him to socialise! He's even thinking of stopping the Day Centre ....

One good thing, from my point of view. A few weeks ago I applied for a Blue Badge to try to make life easier when I'm out and about. It's fine if I've got Dad with me or I'm with hubby as they've both got one but this one was for me, in my own right. I never expected to get one but I was wrong and it landed on my doormat at the end of last week. It will most certainly make life easier for me and hopefully so will the stronger inhaler that I was prescribed today. If it gives me a bit more lung power I shall be a happy bunny 'cos I may be able to get a bit more done, even allowing for the hip (which isn't too bad at the moment)! Should have had a blood test today but it seems my body wasn't prepared to give any up - again! It's becoming a habit .. and I'd fasted as well - doh! Will be trying again next week .....

Think that's just about caught up on the week ... except, eldest has date for his decree nisi and eldest grandson bought a car and smashed it up all on the same evening .... Now there's a surprise!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Update to post under ...

... You might like to pop over to Jak's blog - Crafter's Kitchen - and get the latest update on the fundraising that these lovely digi images have resulted in. Superb result so far but it could be better *LOL*. I've had the calculator out and .....

..... it shows that there are at least 250 people out there that really care about this cause.

Now, Jak has 555 followers showing on her blog sidebar and, if every one had bought a set she would have raised £2,220. Then, if every one of her 634 Feeblitz follwers had done the same that would have added another £2,536 added to the pot. Then there's her Google Reader subscribers and any other form of subscriber so ...... realistically £5,000 isn't out of reach as a target.

I know that the £1000 is waaaaayyyy more than she ever thought she'd get but .... COME ON PEOPLE ... get buying/donating and make that £5,000 a reality!


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Exclusive Digi Images ...

... by 2 extremely talented artists - in aid of the Meningitis Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign - in memory of little Layton John Cleaver who was taken from this world by this awful disease, at the age of 16 months.

Please hop over to Jak's Crafter's Kitchen for more information and detail and make a purchase, or a donation, to aid this truly worthwhile research.

UPDATE: Here's a sample of an image coloured very basically in PSP - never done it before and this was an experiment .... Think it may have worked!!


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lest we forget ...

I've seen the following poem a few times recently and it is never more relevant than today .....

A Daddy's Poem (author unknown)

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
Her favourite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school
And she couldn't wait to go.

Her Mummy tried to tell her
That she should probably stay home.
Why the kids might not understand
If she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Why he wasn't there today.

But still her Mother worried
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why she tried
To keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school,
Eager to tell them all
About a dad she never sees,
A dad who never calls.

There were Dads along the wall at back
For everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
Anxious, in their seats

One by one the teacher called
A student from the class.
To introduce their Daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching for
A man who wasn't there.

'Where's her Daddy at today?'
She heard a boy call out.
'She probably doesn't have one,'
Another pupil dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back
She heard a Daddy say,
'Looks like another deadbeat Dad,
Too busy to waste his day.'

The words did not offend her,
As she smiled up at her Mum
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.

And, with hands behind her back,
Slowly she did speak.
Out of the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.

'My Daddy couldn't be here
Because he lives so far away
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know
All about my Daddy
And how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories,
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses
And taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes
And ice cream in a cone
And though you cannot see him,
I'm not standing here alone.

'Cause my Daddy's always with me,
Even though we are apart.
I know because he told me,
He'll be forever in my heart'

With that, her little hand reached up
And lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat
Beneath her favorite dress.

Somewhere here in the crowd of Dads,
Her Mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter
Who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd,
She finished with a voice so soft
But its message clear and loud.

'I love my Daddy very much,
He's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
But heaven's just too far.

You see, he's a British soldier
And died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
And taught Britons how to fear..

But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away.'
And then she closed her eyes
And saw him there that day.

And to her Mother's amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of Daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them.
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second
They saw him at her side.

'I know you're with me Daddy'
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers
Of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed
But, there on the desk beside her
Was a fragrant, long-stemmed rose.

And a child was blessed, in that moment,
By the love of her shining star
And given the gift of believing
That heaven is never too far.

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

SU Stampers 10 challenge

My Stampers 10 group were issued a challenge this month. We were sent one sheet of 6 x 6 inch SU designer paper and were told to 'get creative'! We could cut, fold, tear, punch or just leave it as is and use it on a card. I knew exactly what I wanted to do if I could find instructions so, with the help of my dear friend Mr Google I went in search and found just what I was looking for. Unfortunately it turned out that the paper was a little too thick for the job as there were so many folds involved but I think it's sort of worked? Can you tell what it is?

Yep, it's an owl (well, what else would I choose to do - huh?) It was nearly a box though and I'm thinking that it might have been better to have been one but it's done now. If anyone else is interested in making it the instructions can be found here I would suggest that you use thin paper that takes a sharp crease well - *LOL*


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Underhill Lane updated ...

... There's been Winter and Summer and now here's Autumn! Taken on Wednesday morning on my way to the Glitterpot for a workshop with Kay Webb. It was a lovely bright, crisp autumn morning and this time I had my camera so no rubbish picture taken on the phone camera. Now have to wait for Spring to get the last in the series of seasons ... and Summer again to get a decent photograph - *lol*!! I've had people comment on the road sign. Have to say it's not the norm in the UK but a legacy of times long past. It does, however, add a certain quaintness to the picture and I love it!

Had a lovely day of workshops with Kay. A small, friendly and sooo relaxed couple of workshops. Just what the doctor ordered. Full 'doings' are over on 'Bits' here. We made 4 cards and I made a 'bit'. The planned afternoon cards were finished a lot earlier than anticipated so we were given the chance to make another card with the scraps and left over bits. I started but didn't finish and unlikely to ... but then again - *LOL* Not impressed with what I've done so far so, unless I can rescue it ...

Thanks for dropping by .....

Remembrance Sunday ...

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Here we go ...

... again! More wildlife but of a different ilk! Opened the patio door this morning and got rained on. Thing is, sun is shining - although it's pretty chilly (proper autumn morning - *lol*!). What did I get rained on with? Ladybirds! Yep, those pretty red things with black spots except they're not so pretty when they fall on you, into your hair, and in large numbers - *LOL* Our patio doors haven't been opened for a couple of days. Not a mega amount of time but long enough for a group of ladybirds (what's a group of ladybirds called?) to decide that the upper track of the patio doors was a good place to hunker down for the winter. I've got news for them ...... it's not! Looks as though we'll have to make sure we open the door at least once a day for a while.

Bit of research on my good friend Google shows that they were Harlequin ladybirds - not one of the native British varieties. I'm afraid a good few of them are now dead as there was no avoiding it when clearing out the ones that didn't rain down on me but ... it seems that these Harlequins are a real threat to the native British ones so a few less won't come amiss. Took some photos but they're not brilliant. My little point and shoot didn't do too well on these but there were at least 3 different types of Harlequin and could have been more ...

Seems a group of ladybirds is called a 'loveliness'. Not too sure of that when you get rained on but hey, in normal circumstances I won't argue - *LOL*

Thanks for dropping by .....