Onwards and upwards

Well. My smartphone is still at the mending shop. I’m hoping to fetch it on Sunday. They fixed it quite quickly, but I haven’t been able to get there to collect it. It will be a relief to get it back. The Nokia 105 I bought cheap as a temporary measure works ok but literally only for making and receiving calls and plain texts. That’s ok though. I’ll have to sort out the mess that my contacts are in when I get my Moto G5 back. I’ve also bought a “rugged” phone case to prevent the same thing happening again. Hopefully.

Meanwhile, I have been struggling to set up a wi-fi repeater. It involved setting up an old router (a D-Link 880L) with new, open-source/free software called “dd-wrt”. Installing that went fine, but setting it up to work as a repeater took me ages and ages. Eventually, I set up my laptop next to my desktop, connected the router directly to the laptop (via an ethernet cable plugged into a LAN port, not the WAN port), and tried a variety of things. One set of instructions didn’t work. So I changed the ethernet cable, the ethernet port, re-booted the router, the repeater and my PC, with no joy. So. Then I tried instructions from this url and it worked. It actually worked.

The trouble is I have no idea what I am doing in this particular area, so just have to follow instructions blindly and hope for the best.

The next thing is to see whether the wi-fi signal is improved in the room with the repeater. I can access the repeater’s GUI from my desktop, laptop, and hubby’s desktop (wired connection) but not my Android tablet (wireless connection). But to be honest, if it’s accessible via the wired connections I don’t need to access it from my tablet anyway.

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The shower pump.  Mm. The guy came from the manufacturers, and had a jolly good look, and advised us that the wrong pump had been fitted two years ago and that’s why it burnt out. And that’s why the first one burnt out too, because it was the same (wrong) pump. We have had to order a different pump, which deals with the lower water pressure from our cold water tank, which costs more money, and a gizmo to fit into the cold water tank. I can’t pretend to understand what these things will do, but we are assured they are what we need. New pump to arrive on Monday, then we’ll get somebody in to fit it. Probably the guy who fitted the last one. . . .

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Had some Reiki yesterday. Very relaxing. Then slept for 5 hours straight all afternoon.

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This morning woke up feeling a bit odd, and realised I couldn’t see properly through my left eye. Was just getting to the point where I thought I ought to do something about it, and the aura arrived. Phew. A migraine. Fixable. Took my Maxalt Melt and slept for two and a half hours. All better.

Tomorrow am planning to go to the Stitch and Sip at the local yarn shop. Plans to buy some yarn for a new project. Yeah. A toy. Not too specific because it’s for a present.

 

 

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Frustrated and muddled

Dropped my mobile phone on the tiled floor a couple of days ago. I checked it cursorily and couldn’t see anything wrong. But that’s because the background was black. There is a forked crack.

Drat and botheration! (was NOT what I said). So I took it into Solihull today and left it with Phone Club (or something) to fix. They took out the SIM card and the micro SD card, both absolutely tiny, and gave them to me, because, they said, “they tend to get lost”. Oh no. No, No, No. Not having that. It’ll be ready tomorrow.

So I was left phoneless. Thirty years ago that would have meant nothing at all. Now I feel bereft, so decided to go and get a cheap, non-smart phone. Long story short, bought a Nokia 105. Perfect, I thought.

However. Sigh. The contacts are not on my SIM card and there’s nowhere for the SD card to go. Spent fruitless hours trying to sort that out, but the Nokia doesn’t connect to a pc either, it’s so basic.

Then I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I’d use hubby’s smartphone with my SIM and SD cards in and transfer the contacts over that way.

Nope. Nothing doing. Not an option in Android any more. So I had to get a free app to do that, and now I seem to have all his contacts as well as most of mine on my Nokia. Oh for f*ck’s sake.

Anyway, anyway, anyway. Thought that was sorted, and tried to text message a few contacts to explain I can’t use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger or anything remotely fancy until I get my phone back. But for whatever godforsaken reason, I can’t send texts on the Nokia either. I can receive texts. I can make and receive calls. But I can’t send them (helpful suggestions welcome).

I actually had to email the contacts (at least the ones I have email addresses for!) to let them know.

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that technology would be a little (a lot) more seamless than this, wouldn’t you.

And tomorrow I’m having my hair cut and going to the library. Then I’ll pick up my mended phone and sort out the contacts. Jeez.

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day.  I have been round and round various internet loops, checked and re-checked the message centre number for Virgin (red SIM) to no avail.

I am so wound up with frustration, I just needed to rant. So I did.

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In other news, the makers of the burnt out shower pump (Salamander) are sending an engineer out tomorrow to replace it. No charge, not even for labour. I think that’s pretty impressive.

Also, what a fantastic Women’s World Cup. Really, really exciting. The final was much more interesting than I think anybody expected (particularly the USA!) but of course they won. What an excellent, excellent team they are.

I am such a doofus

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that after having had a couple of leads (usb and audio) and a usb adapter stolen from my car I’d be a bit more careful. However, when I got back to my car on Thursday morning after Stitch & Sip I discovered that I’d left the driver side window wide open. I’d put the Stop Lock on the steering wheel, and made sure everything that mattered was not on view. Except for the stereo fascia, which of course had been nicked. Luckily, that was a replacement fascia, which only cost me £7, and I’d kept the original one. I’d replaced that because it was blank, so I just ordered another one from ebay which arrived today. I’ll check it works tomorrow. But how lucky that the actual car didn’t get stolen!

This is not because I’m a doofus, but the shower pump has burnt out after only two years’ use. That was a replacement for a previous shower pump which also stopped working after two years’ use. At £500 a pop including fitting, that is not a small thing. Husband has been talking to the manufacturers, and they requested photos of the installation. They’ve had all that and we shall see.

Meanwhile, we’re lucky that we have an electric shower in the main bathroom, so I’m using that.

Knitting mojo has sort of returned.

Am currently knitting a scarf for a present, have two toys on my list to knit, and will return to the Elfe top when I’m feeling more on top of things.

Another project has made itself known to me. The wi-fi in our lounge is not all it could be. The main router is in the study, and has to be there because our service provider is cable. I have been reading that you can get wi-fi repeaters/boosters/thingamajigs, and on researching this discovered that if you have an old router you can “flash” that with some open-source (legally free) software.

Now, I have an old router, but no power supply for it. That is in the course of being remedied – ebay – but it arrived with the wrong adapter for the router. They’re going to send me a new one.

When that arrives, and I can actually get the router working, I’m going to have a go at installing that new software. All new territory for me, though I have built and re-installed several computers, lots of times. Exciting. I’ve saved all the relevant internet pages I need onto my pc, because it looks like I have to disconnect my pc from the network and therefore the internet and connect it via ethernet directly to the router. So I wouldn’t be able to access the pages if I’d saved them as bookmarks/favourites. Mm.

Planning to do some clearing up in the garden tomorrow – lots of annual poppies and deadheading to get rid of. Waiting till tomorrow because it’s going to be cooler tomorrow which suits me better.

Have started wearing harem pants. They’re 100% cotton, very loose and comfy, elasticated at the waist and ankle, ridiculously cheap, and perfect for this weather. I have five pairs now. All from ebay (thai_vibes). Love them.

Miscellany

Things have calmed down a little.

The garden is beautiful at the moment, and the sun is currently shining.

Went to the knitting group on Thursday with my friend, who isn’t often able to come, so that was really nice. Finished off a small project, but as it’s a gift no photo yet.

The cat came limping up the garden yesterday on three legs, with one leg held high, up by her face. Both hubby and I thought she was seriously injured, until I got up close to her and discovered one paw was stuck through her collar. Easily sorted and no harm done. Really not sure how she managed that though.

Watching the Women’s Football World Cup – it’s just so exciting. Last night’s match, France v USA, was really good. Can’t knit while watching football, though, too fraught.

In fact, not knitting for a few days now because of a swollen and sore knuckle. It’s settling now I’m resting it.

And I’m resting everything today, because the temperature is set to soar. Not as high as in France or Spain, because, well, Britain, but high for us. Anything over about 24C and I’m lounging around drinking cold water in my pjs.

Re-reading Song of Achilles – at the time I was really struck by it and loved it. But re-reading it I have absolutely no recollection of it. Also reading Siege by Michael Wolff. Dynamite. Really enjoyed Fire and Fury too.

A Bit Overwhelmed

Slightly fraught at the moment.

The tooth which has been hurting, a lot, since December, was extracted today. I currently have no feeling in one half of my face, but that means there’s no pain at the moment. So that’s good then.

I went to the funeral last week for my ex-husband’s mother. Sad but nice at the same time. She was 99.

There is a possibility that one of my favourite people may be moving a very long way away. As far away as one can get, in fact.

One of the most difficult relationships in my life has just got much worse, partly because the other party screamed (yes, screamed) at me the other day. I didn’t scream back though. But am not happy.

My blood pressure is a bit odd at the moment. Unsurprisingly, I guess.

But I’m sure it will all turn out ok in the end. I have no brain space for anything else at all.

And the garden is lovely. The weather is lovely. Hubby is lovely. And my French friends are coming over and we will see them this weekend.

Knitting. Gardening. Organising.

The weather is lovely at the moment, which is almost unheard of for a British Bank Holiday. The cat is loving it and is in and out of the garden, checking she has food, then scampering back outside again. And she’s ten years old now, so scampering is really good.

Gardening has been a joy. Everything’s growing and green and pretty.

The knitting has been a bit up and down. Knitted a hat for a Christmas present which was supposed to be worked in the round. The cables were so curly, even after being straightened in hot water, I just couldn’t deal with it, so knitted it flat. It looked ok until I sewed it up, and it was a disaster. So after considering the alternatives (dumping it or giving it to the charity shop – nobody would have bought it anyway) I unpicked it and knitted up a different pattern, in the round, and it’s great. Thank goodness.

Also started a pattern called Zick Zack which several people at the knitting group have  done in various colourways, and that was a disaster too. It’s a 12 stitch repeat, with one increase and one decrease in each one. Got the hang of it fairly quickly, but after six rows (every damn time!) I was one stitch out in one of the repeats. I wasn’t sure if I was not increasing when I should or decreasing when I shouldn’t, or whether I’d simply dropped a stitch, but I just couldn’t see which. So. I decided not to do it in 4ply cotton (can’t wear wool), or in two different colours, but have bought some double knitting variegated cotton (Sirdar Cotton Prints DK, in Sea Glass). I am going to cast on tonight and we shall see.

However. I have successfully knitted a bumblebee from Let’s Knit magazine, and although it was a big faff, I’m very pleased with it. Also, five months after purchasing the yarn, finished a V neck top for hubby. Rowan worsted yarn, pale grey, pattern called Textured V Neck Vest. The neckline was a bit fiddly, but it’s a success I’d say.

I’m having a bit of a meltdown about blasted circular needle cables. They drive me crazy. I have mostly interchangeables, some fixed, but I’ve been keeping them curled up and trying to straighten them out when I use them. It’s not working.

So I have a new plan. I’ve ordered a wrap/roll for keeping the needle tips in, which will take up less space than the 2 x 3 litre Really Useful Boxes, and for the actual cables, have ordered some cotton reels.  This is what it should look like when I’m done. Thank you Jennifer T.

And buoyed by my successful research, this morning had a BIG sort out of my knitting bag/s. I keep a bag with my current project in it, and various specific bits and bobs. I also keep a bigger bag nearby with various generally useful bits and bobs, and the next pattern I’m planning to knit.

The clue, you may have spotted, is in the “various” and “bits and bobs”. I managed to sort out what is useful/useless and sort it into what I need to dump, what I occasionally use and what I always need, and have emptied one complete little box. The other little boxes are also much lighter, and better organised, so I only need to carry one of them with me at all times.

In the longer box is a yellow row counter. It’s the best one I’ve ever had. The centre is metal, and sprung, and is at least 50 years old. You can’t buy them now, they’re for sale as “retro” on ebay, but it has never, ever broken. The ones you buy now are all plastic, and break very easily. I think it’s called “built in obsolescence”. Very aggravating.

The denim bag was made for me by my French friend from an old pair of jeans. I lined it and took the Velcro out so there’s nothing to colour or snag on the yarn. It always, always prompts compliments. So thank you again, Réjane!

Some people (my family) think I’m a bit of a neat freak, but I find that order makes my life so much easier. I get very frustrated very quickly if I can’t find something I need, not least because there is a real risk I’ll lose the stitch/my place in the pattern or just forget what the hell I’m doing.

So there we are. Ups and downs as usual. But mostly ups.

Harrumph!

On the plus side, after the Royal Mail debacle with a parcel, I eventually phoned up Marks and Spencers and explained, and they simply replaced the order, no charge. Phew. So it was sent to me, and wrapped, and sent on to the little boy who had his second birthday on Saturday 30th March, in Dublin. All fine.

However.

My spectacles broke, and cost me £60 for a new frame, into which the optician inserted my current lenses.

My hairdryer died (not terribly pleased, it was quite expensive and hasn’t lasted that long) so I had to order a new one, which arrived today.

A tooth broke. Now then. This is the very tooth that has been causing me considerable pain since mid-December. I managed to get an appointment with the dentist, and he just stuck a bit on top of the broken bit. No anaesthetic, and hopefully no more pain. I’m really hoping that is the end of that particular story. Any more problems with that tooth might involve a crown. But still. There is at least a Plan B.

So all those things were a nuisance, but fixable, and fixed.

I have just been in the garden, watering plants I have just pruned (hydrangeas, sage and fuchsia) and shrubs I planted yesterday. That sounds lovely, doesn’t it! Well, it was eventually ok, but the spray gun nozzle thingamajig on the hose had been left out all winter, and had split because of the frost. We do know that happens, so why we didn’t put the nozzle away I really don’t know. I swore a bit (a lot), under my breath. Luckily we have another one so I used that and it was fine for the back garden.

The front garden, where the new shrubs are (photinias), is another story. The hose is on a reel, so won’t go up the side passage because there is too much stuff which lives up there (recycling wheelie bin, boxes for glass, box for tip, blah blah blah). So I went to get the other hose out of the shed. It’s very heavy, and long, and was in a terrible muddle, despite my best efforts to keep it unmuddled. Gah! what a pain it was to sort it all out. Then I had to actually do the watering, then wind it up again, which was an equal pain, because you need to put a twist in every loop so it lies flat. Much silent swearing in my head.  Next, I went back into the shed to sort out the lawnmower flex which was in a muddle too because I’d got so cross with the hose. But that was light, and easy to wind, and twist, and loop.

I’ve just ordered one of those expandable crinkly hoses (https://www.amazon.co.uk/KINGTOP-Hose-Expandable-Hosepipe-Function/dp/B01J78W5OY) and two more nozzle thingies. So I won’t need to do all that again, hopefully, as rain is forecast for the next three days.

And I’m not even going to mention the complete and utter omnishambles that is our current government. What a total f*ck up. I could do a better job than that. In fact – no, no, no. Not going to start another rant. Hubby’s doing tea, I’m drinking a nice glass of water, and am hoping to finish a knitting project tonight.

Aaaand – breathe!