Thursday 24th February 2011

Well, what an exciting week! YD’s birthday on Monday 21st, and her chap took her away for the weekend. She phoned on Saturday night all emotional – he’d proposed! and of course she said YES! Wonderful wonderful news. YD is over the moon. He had had a ring specially made for her, and she had no idea. It’s beautiful. He’d asked her dad the weekend before, and he’d kept it a secret too. They’ve been together for over 7 years. Lovely, lovely news. We are all absolutely delighted.

Then on Tuesday hubby and I caught the train to London, where we had booked a very nice hotel (The Strand Palace), on The Strand, five minutes’ walk from Charing Cross tube station. We had been given tickets to The Royal Opera House, no less, to see Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, and it was wonderful. We dressed up to the nines and the Opera House was also a five minute walk from the hotel. Excellent. The plot is very odd indeed, terribly masonic and peculiar, but a real occasion for us both. 
We also ate our dinner at the Amphitheatre Restaurant at the Opera House, and it was fabulous. Just fabulous. The whole thing was wonderful.
The train journey both ways was also very very good. 1 hour and ten minutes from Birmingham International to London – easy and comfortable.

The cat, of course, was not best pleased that we had disappeared for two days, but YD and Tom were at home to feed her morning and evening. Bless.

YD and Tom are moving out tomorrow into their own house. Tomorrow the sale is completed, and they’re going to clean it up, and Saturday they’re moving their stuff. They’re very excited. It’s a big thing, to buy your own first house. They shared a rented house for a year, but this one is actually bought. Wonderful. Photos to follow.

Also, today, the physio injected cortisone into my thumb joint. It’s never very nice, and I’m feeling fragile tonight. The pain is worse, but hopefully that will be temporary. I also need to have my shoulder x-rayed, and if this injection works in the left wrist, she’ll do one into the right one as well, as that is now painful too. Pathetic. Miserable old baggage.

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Wednesday 16th February 2011

Went to see The King’s Speech on Monday. It was absolutely wonderful. I am no Royalist, in fact I think our heads of state should be elected, and would love a republic, but nevertheless enjoyed this film very much indeed. I cried at one point – and it has to be 20 years since I’ve cried at a film. The whole thing was absolutely excellent, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody at all.
Pedicure on Tuesday, then into Solihull to return two more tops to John Lewis. Totally unsuitable, way too young for me. Then to library, needed to stop for a cup of tea in between the two things. Still needed a long sleep in the afternoon, and slept in till 11.30 am this morning.
But managed to do the ironing, got hubby to move two plant pots outside, and have done the shopping online between us. Also wrapped YD’s birthday present (it’s next Monday), which was no mean feat and involved a long sit down afterwards!

The cat is particularly affectionate at the moment, very cuddly and purry and sweet. I do know I’m just a food provider, and one of the two staff (other one being hubby of course) but I like to pretend she actually likes me a bit. She’s certainly very trusting and secure with us both, and loves to have her chin/throat and even tummy stroked. Bless her little furry heart.

Thursday 10th February 2011

Busy, busy week. Didn’t do anything Monday, I don’t think so anyway, Tuesday we went to Malvern lunchtime to look after the two grandchildren until their mum came home from work at 7.15, then home, food, bed.

Wednesday I was supposed to have my friend round for coffee, but was just too knackered – gaga with tiredness. Woke at noon, staggered around a bit, then slept till noon again today.

Two friends (from the erstwhile knitting class) round for coffee this afternoon – nice chat then food and now I’m doing this blog.

Couldn’t go for my walk today, for some reason my knee is playing up – collapsing at the slightest excuse. Pathetic.
Meanwhile, on the IT front, have had an eventful few days. Discovered that Windows Home Server, installed on the RipNAS, doesn’t back itself up. You can back up any other computer on the network on to the NAS, but it won’t back itself up on to the USB external hard drive I’ve attached to it. You have to either do it manually (ugh) or install something else onto the NAS to make it do it. 
What I wanted ideally is something that will back up incrementally (only new or changed files) and scheduled. Discovered via one of the forums that Synctoy, a freebie from Microsoft, does the job. But it doesn’t schedule itself, you have to use Windows Scheduler to do that bit.
So I attached a monitor and keyboard and mouse to the NAS, installed Synctoy, reattached it to the network, and it wouldn’t boot. Gaaaaaagh. It’s hubby’s best toy in the world, and not cheap. Detached from the network, got hubby’s blessing to take it apart (gaaaaaaagh), put it back together and it worked. How does that work then?
Anyway, it’s all fine now, ripping CDs and backing up on to the Story Station (weird name).

Next, I decided I really need Windows on my pc as well as Ubuntu so that I can access the NAS either through Windows Home Server or through Remote Desktop. That actually wasn’t too hard, although I couldn’t make Ubuntu resize the partition, and had to format and reinstall from scratch, with Windows XP first, on a small 45 Gb partition, with the rest of the 1Tb for Ubuntu. Thank goodness for backups I say.

So. Now we have three external hard drives. One is a Story Station, attached directly to the NAS via USB, one (a LaCie) is spare (at the moment) and one is another NAS (Buffalo) to which I can back up mine and hubby’s computers without having to attach it to each computer in turn. I back up both our computers monthly, once on to the Buffalo NAS and once onto the RipNAS. That way, there are actually three backups of our data, because the RipNAS is set up to backup regularly on to the Story Station.

The spare one, the LaCie, will be used to swap with the Story Station to the NAS and kept elsewhere, so that we have an off-site backup. I did investigate on-line backup, but with 200Gb of data it’s very expensive. This was a much better way of doing it.

Saturday 5th February 2011

Busy couple of days. Friday morning got up at stupid o’clock (7 am) and went to see the specialist physio. She thinks I have carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis in my hand and wrist, something pinching in my shoulder, and is going to do a steroid injection into the back of the wrist, get me a special supporting glove/splint thing and has asked the GP to arrange nerve conduction tests. Also gave me some exercises to strengthen the arm. Excellent. Very productive and I feel much more positive.


Next, Solihull to take back two tops to John Lewis.


Then home, made a banana cake and helped put the shopping away.


Lunch, bed, sleep, for 3 hours.


Today is Alice’s 7th birthday so we went over for brunch and had a wonderful time with the (step)family. She loved the cardigan I’d knitted her with ladybird buttons and a lightly stuffed applique ladybird, and immediately put it on and kept it on all morning! which is always, always so rewarding. 


Home, bed, for another 2 hours.


YD is currently cooking up a storm – mezze for dinner tonight, hooray.



Thursday 3rd Feb 2011

Another Wii Fit+ day, then cleaned our en-suite and the downstairs loo. Always a chore, but done now. Lunch, then bed.


Am losing the Christmas weight slowly but steadily – and here’s how.

  • Breakfast: bowl of cereal, Shreddies or Bran Flakes, with soya milk.
  • Lunch: bread roll with ham & mustard, or (goat) cheese & cucumber, or something similar, then two small oranges and a banana.
  • Dinner: Vic cooks dinner, and I have a portion half the size of his. Then a teacupful of goat yoghurt with dessertspoonful of jam.
  • No chocolate, or cakes, except at the weekend, when I get through a 200g bar of Waitrose own plain chocolate, with or without fruit and/or nuts, and a square Ritter marzipan & plain chocolate bar. Yum. Sometimes a piece of cake too, depending. There may be a banana cake this weekend if we don’t finish the bananas tomorrow.
  • Ten minutes of exercise every day, either a walk round the block, or  Wii Fit+. Very gentle exercise, but exercise none the less.



I have now lost 6 lbs, and am hoping maybe to lose another 3 or 4. I’m not restricting my food intake apart from the chocolate. I’ve given up on the bowl of cereal in the evenings, however comforting it may be. If dinner is something like poached eggs on toast, though, I do allow myself one.


Bought a lovely new top from Next the other day, with a hanky hem and matching scarf. Lovely. Also some fab trousers in the sale at John Lewis – they’re Kaliko and fit a treat. Must take them up, though. I always, always have to take trousers up as I’m 5′ 3″, and all clothes are clearly made for 6′ amazons. I once made the mistake of taking up a pair of trousers before I’d washed them. Mistake. Big mistake. Once I’d washed them they were about 1/2 ” too short, and looked awful. So I had to buy another pair, and wash them, then take them up. And that’s the secret.


Tomorrow I’m seeing a specialist physio for diagnosis and planned treatment of my wonky arm, which is still a damn nuisance. I’m living on paracetamol, and am really hopeful they’ll be able to help.