Still working . . .

Well, the printer fell off the network once, but I think that’s sorted. It hasn’t fallen off again. I had to re-pair the HomePlugs it’s using. I guess its little electronic brain recognised that it was connecting to a “new” network, or at least a new router. Anyway, it’s all still working. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile I’ve again changed my painkiller routine as I wasn’t coping with the pain. Two Co-codamol (30/500) in the morning, two at about 5 pm, and then two Paracetamol at bedtime. Seems to help.

I was even able to do a bit of knitting last night, until the cable fell off the end of the needle, then all the stitches fell off. So I have picked them all up, fixed a new cable, and ordered some new interchangeable bamboo needles (Hiya Hiya instead of Knit Pro). I didn’t order a set, just sizes 4mm, 4.5mm and 5mm, with four different lengths of cable.

Planning to do a bit of clearing up in the garden tomorrow. The hardy geraniums in the front have gone over, so I’ll cut them back to the ground. Some bluebell detritus gone yellow. And probably cut the poppies which have dead blooms on them back to the ground. Sometimes you get a second flush of blooms if you do that, rather than just take off the heads.

Managed to save one baby bluetit from certain death (by our stupid cat), but not the other one. They do seem to fledge from the ground, which doesn’t make that much sense really. Chased the cat away, lured her back into the house with the treats in the crackly bag, and wouldn’t let her out. So she sulked. Well, to be fair, she slept in her little cat bed. Which is fine.

Fam-a-lam Bingo tonight. Auckland NZ, Dublin, Brighton, Malvern and us (Solihull, West Midlands). We have the technology. We have the bingo cards via email. Can’t wait . . .

Zoomed this morning with some of the knitting guys. We drink tea/coffee, talk over each other, laugh a lot, and do show and tell with our projects. Or in my case, the broken cable.

Finished Succession Season 1.Have even gone off Marcia. But it’s still exciting. Just paid for Season 2.

Success!

After days and days of problems with the wi-fi signal (probably because everybody is using wi-fi more now we’re all at home so much) I decided that we needed to put the Virgin Superhub3 into modem mode and buy a new router.

So I did. Also bought some new cables and switch boxes. It all arrived today (Asus RT AC 85P and tp-link 8 port switches, along with various lengths of Cat6 flat ethernet cables).

Surprisingly, after a number of sleepless nights worrying about it and thinking it all through, I put it together and it worked with no problems at all. I can now see every single thing on the network, which I couldn’t before. Even the TV!

Also the Tivo box had been giving us problems, which have magically disappeared. And hardly any HomePlugs too. One (plus its pair) for the printer, and one (plus its pair) for the hifi thingamajig in the kitchen. Which are also visible on the network. Part of the problem was that the electrical circuit in the study doesn’t talk via HomePlugs to the electrical circuits anywhere else in the house. So now we have 2 x 30m of ethernet cable going from study to lounge, but it all seems to work. I can’t believe how easy it was.

The main problem, though, was that the Virgin Superhub3 wasn’t coping, as demonstrated by the new router, which clearly is coping. Hooray!

But I’ve only just finished it. It could all go horribly wrong by tomorrow, but that’s unlikely.

And just to finish off, here is a photo of some poppies in my garden. Yay!

Happier Things

I’ve just been in the garden, tidying up most of the daffodil, tulip and bluebell detritus. Looks much better, but when sitting having my post-gardening cup of tea I noticed more I’d missed. Another little job for another day.

Meanwhile here are a couple of photos – two of indoor plants, the white schlumbergera (?) was a present from my small friend Henry, the pink one I have no idea what it is, but took a cutting from Mother’s house while she was still with us. The red ones are perennial poppies I grew from seed several years ago, so I’m quite (insufferably) smug about those.

Currently reading The Man In The Red Coat by Julian Barnes. Love his stuff anyway, but this one is very interesting. Non-fiction, it’s a sort of meander through La Belle Epoque, but occasionally the author “talks to camera” which is very endearing. Previous book was Bill Bryson’s Thunderbolt Kid. Laugh out loud funny.

Half way through Pimpelliese shawlette, but I’m guessing there will be no knitting tonight after gardening this morning.

Halfway through the HBO season 1 of Succession. Wowsers! I don’t like any of the characters. Perhaps a sneaking admiration for Marcia. It is so clearly intended to be a story of, let’s say for example, Murdoch empire (Fox/Sky).  I don’t know why anybody would want to work for them. Edge of the seat watching though.

Work is still ongoing on the “improve the wi-fi” project. More to come when I’ve actually made some progress. Sigh.

Busy, busy, busy

I found 35 fox turds in our front garden. It’s like a public toilet for foxes. “This way, guys, it’s wonderful here”. The smell! so I’ve got some fox repellent called Scoot. It’s powder you mix with water and use a watering can to sprinkle. It doesn’t hurt plants or animals (or humans) and it makes a smell that only foxes can notice, and that smell tells them it’s somebody else’s lair, so keep away. It does work, but has to be replaced regularly. That’s ok though.

Then there’s the heating system which is still to wonk.

The wi-fi range is a problem in our house. It’s been working fine for years, until lockdown, and Skype and Zoom became regular things. I’ve been under the delusion that these powerline/homeplug/whatever-they-are-called things work through the whole house, but apparently, to my horror, they only work on the same electrical circuit. So I’ve ordered a wi-fi range extender with all sorts of bells and whistles, and am hoping that will help. We do have an old router I made into a wi-fi booster, but even that’s not helping with the Skype and Zoom problem. Last Saturday hubby and I sat in the study, using his tablet, next to the router, so that we could join in.

The network fell apart last night. The music player in the lounge (hubby streams music) was not visible on the network. (everything else was!) I had moved the router  (which is in the study) nearer the door (we’re on cable, so it can’t be moved out of the study) in an effort to improve the wi-fi range, though I hadn’t unplugged any of the ethernet wires. After a fraught and sweaty half hour, with lots of switching things off and back on again, eventually, the music player re-appeared on the network. I am sure the problem is that the only reason it’s visible at all is because of a huge long ethernet cable from the router to the music player, which looks a bit fragile where it’s attached to the plug. So I’ve ordered two more huge long (30m) flat ethernet cables, one to go from the switch box in the study to the switch box in the lounge, and a spare. (Resilience, I think the techies call it). The idea is that the switch boxes in the separate rooms will then talk to each other via the ethernet cables, as they clearly don’t talk to each other via the powerline / homeplug / blah blah blah. We shall see. Flipping technology.

And hubby hurt his back turning the compost. It’s a regular problem. So we’ve ordered a tumbler compost bin, which should help.

Lots of money going out. Lots of deliveries arriving, but somewhat sporadically. It’s all fine. It’s all FINE.

 

Up and Down

Yeah. My hands are particularly painful. Will be hoping to speak to a doctor tomorrow.

Also have had to give up on the daily walks. Even though they were very very short, I was having to spend two days a week asleep in bed for 6 hours at a time as a result. That is not how I want to spend my life. It wasn’t the best idea, really, although it sounded excellent. What with the M.E. and stuff, I wasn’t walking every day before lockdown, so doing more during lockdown wasn’t sensible. I am continuing with the morning stretches though, and trying to be more active in the house.

Little things, like going upstairs when I need to and not leaving it until there are several things I need to do upstairs. So I’m up and down the stairs more. Also, if I need to do something (small, in the shed maybe)  in the garden, I don’t leave it but do it straight away. That way I’m moving about a bit more.

This morning hubby helped me get a fuchsia out of its pot, where it really wasn’t doing terribly well, and into the soil. Fingers crossed it will perk up a bit and grow a bit more enthusiastically.

Gardening is lovely, but it’s very ad hoc. And I only do it when I need to, when the weather is nice, and when I have the energy. Those three things don’t always coincide.

Also am wondering about a power supply/adaptor for the wildlife cam, which eats batteries. Had a look on tinterweb, but didn’t really understand. Maybe tomorrow, with hubby’s help, we can sort something out.

Finished the slide project. Far fewer than I thought, probably 1,000, out of which I dumped about 500 (cats, dogs, views, people we don’t know, railway journeys  – 🙄 – you get the picture). I’ve uploaded them all to my Google Drive and shared them with the immediate family, who are very enthusiastic. So now I need to sell on the gizmo that converted them. Ebay.

Next up are the cine films. They really need to be done professionally. Doing them yourself involves a working projector, running each of the 55 films through it against a screen of some sort, and filming the result with a smartphone. Not ideal. But expensive to have done. We’ve sent off a couple of films, which weren’t labelled, to a company and will see how they come back. When there are lots they come and collect them and post the resultant DVDs or USB sticks back. We shall see.

I’m still putting a soft toy on display in our front window for any childreIMG_20190415_180432939n who potter past. There are a few, some of which I have knitted, some of which I haven’t. Currently it’s Eric the Bumblebee (congratulations if you got the Monty Python reference). Tomorrow it might be Bagpuss (Alan Dart). There’s also a Victorian style doll (Jean Greenhowe), and a couple of small penguins, also Jean Greenhowe. I did knit all of those. It just depends on whether I remember, and the mood I’m in.

Very concerned about the chaotic UK easing of lockdown. BoJo doesn’t really seem to know what he’s doing. Dominic Raab (the guy who didn’t realise that the English Channel was such a busy trading route!) is totally clueless and mostly inarticulate. And Trump! don’t get me started.

Hubby and I are carrying on the same, as we both have “underlying health conditions”. Zoom works ok, so does Skype and WhatsApp, but the broadband isn’t terribly reliable. Talking to YD in NZ is difficult, although ESW (now 4) is very engaged and chatty, so that’s a damn shame.

I’ve just finished reading @SusanCalman’s book Cheer Up Love, about depression. I do like her. She’s honest, funny, self-deprecating, and a lot of what she says about being sad resonates with me. I have certain go-to books when I’m down, and one of the other authors I regularly read is Bill Bryson. I have Adventures of The Thunderbolt Kid ready.

And today, for a special treat, I exfoliated my baggy old face and had a face pack. Doesn’t look any different, but feels lovely. Yeah.

 

Cheering up.

Yesterday I was very low. It was 41 years since my dad died suddenly, and I do wonder if it’s normal to feel so sad after so long. My sister assured me that as long as I don’t feel that bad all the time, it’s probably ok. Then it occurred to me that Dad acted as a buffer between me and Mother, and he curbed her more difficult behaviour. So when he died, that was all gone. Oddly, having realised that helps me understand why I miss him so much. Also, it probably wasn’t the best idea to digitise more slides yesterday. There are photos in there of him I’ve never seen, and nostalgia plus grief aren’t the best of companions.

Add to that the pain in my stupid arthritic hands, and you have the perfect storm. Took two Co-codamol (30/500) at bedtime and it took two hours for the pain to go away. I was actually in tears with it.

But. Today I have had a telephone consultation with the doctor, and have a new pain analgesia regime.  Paracetamol in the day, then two Co-codamol in the evening, every day, regularly, to keep the pain at bay. It feels slightly counter-intuitive, but as the pain is constant, it does make sense.

Made chocolate fudge brownies this morning. Thank goodness for the electric hand mixer. They smell divine and I can’t wait to have one after lunch.

Ordered some new lipstick – I’m not a big make up wearer, but the one I ordered is Clinique, and it’s called Bare Pop.  It’s just exactly right for me.20200429_114730 And while I was on the John Lewis site, I treated myself to some Chanel No 5 perfume spray.  A big treat. I have always loved it. Always.

So now I’m awaiting a couple of tops from Seasalt Cornwall, lipstick, perfume, and also ordered some emery boards (can’t get them from our supermarket!) Just the anticipation cheers me up. Shallow, much? Don’t care. Needed cheering up, and various sorts of retail therapy always help.

Will go for a short walk after lunch. Yesterday it was pouring with rain so I didn’t go.

And it’s my friend Réjane’s birthday today. Joyeux Anniversaire, mon amie.

 

Things I’m doing slightly differently

For a start, I’m setting the alarm clock so I actually get up every morning. It’s for 9.30 a.m., so not exactly early, but fine for me. If I don’t set the alarm, I just sleep till mid-afternoon. Not great.

Going for a small walk every day. Hubby devised a shorter walk than the 10 minute one, which takes me 4 – 5 minutes. It’s for when I just can’t manage the 10 minute one, and it works a treat.

Noticing  what’s going on in people’s gardens. Particularly at this time of year (spring in the UK), there are lots of things bursting into leaf/flower.

Knitting with a slightly different technique, keeping my index and middle fingers together, which doesn’t hurt so much. My middle finger keeps trying to point nor’nor’east instead of due north (assuming my other fingers are pointing north, if you see what I mean). I have to make a real effort, and sometimes actually pull it back with my other hand! What on earth? Arthritis I guess.

Ordering stuff online. To date, a web cam for hubby and one for me, some plants which haven’t arrived yet, some compression gloves, various new tops (yay!) and a new hand- held electric mixer.

Trying to eke out the painkillers because they’re just so damn hard to get. My lovely friend brought me two packets yesterday and left them in our porch. It’s her birthday today. Happy Birthday you legend! you know who you are.

Attempting not to get too panicked about the pandemic. Harrumphing of course about Trump and his determination to make it clear that he really is the stupidest man on this planet. Glad Bojo is on the mend, though he must have been much worse than they let on.

Not beating myself up for the stuff I can’t do. Trying not to moan about, or even mention, the aches and pains of getting older. Not interesting to anybody except potentially the medics. And even then, they have more important things to worry about.

Looking forward to planting the double cosmos seeds I have. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, which will make the earth easier to work, so maybe this weekend. Yeah!

And finally a picture of the lion I knitted for my great-nephew, whose name means “lion”. It was his birthday last week, so now he’s actually seen it. He loves it. It’s called Lucy, so a non-binary lion. Bit hairy for a lioness, but hey, what can you do. Apparently there was trouble when he discovered she’s not allowed in the bath, or to eat his Weetabix. Yeah.