About Me

Llantwit Major, Wales, United Kingdom
I am mother, librarian, avid reader, sf fan, writer (unpubished), singer(amateur), animal lover, needlewoman.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winter is a coming in....

The heating got turned off again 2 days ago, and goes on again tonight as it is chilly already and only 6.15. It is on/0ff at this time of year because when the weather changes from summer to winter on almost an hourly basis.

The back is improving, though still a bit stiff, but the end is in sight and I will be back to normal soon. We are thinking of going blackberry picking this weekend - we wanted to last weekend but I was a bit couchbound. The Scilly Isles had more blackberries than anywhere else I have ever seen, but I think we will find enough to put some into the freezer for later in the winter.

B has been building a log store at the cottage so he can now buy logs for the winter, and we can get through the shed (which usually gets full of logs). There is something very pleasant about sitting in front of a fire. The two fires in the cottage are both log burners - we did try an open fire but couldn't get it to draw, and when we got fed up with being smoked like kippers decided on wood burners . Although I deeply appreciate central heating it doesn't have the same hypnotic power as flames - you can't stare at a radiator in the same way.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bad back and opera

Last week my back decided to go on strike which was a nuisance. It wasn't dreadful and when sitting down was not even painful, but very constricting. I felt like Quasimodo as I wasn't standing up straight when standing. It was getting much better on Saturday and then I went to the opera at the Millenium Centre which is a fabulous building but has the most awful seats. So that when I came home I was doubled over again. Sunday I spent reclining like a lady of leisure and today it is improving again.

It is odd how it sometimes goes with no particular reason, though at least it didn't go while I was on holiday.

The Millenium Centre in Cardiff is a beautiful building but why they put in such awful seats just baffles me. The Victorian theatre has comfy seats except in the gods, and St David's Hall had great seats everywhere, so why the new one has such awful seats is a real puzzle.

The opera was Fidelio by the Welsh National Opera. It was beautifully sung and I really wish it had been a concert version instead of a performance because the production was rubbish. The director was trying to get a stylised performance and just failed. There was a hilarious bit when they are down in the dungeon digging a grave for Fidelio's husband with no spades, then give the husband imaginary bread and water and just really lost the mood. Shame.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Past 200!

This is my 201st blog.

I am quite pleased with that and feel a real sense of achievement.

One one of the lists I subscribe to for work I discovered that some Local Authority has decided to ban products from Israel. Although Israels holier than thou attitude is galling, neither party in that dispute is all in the right or all in the wrong so I do think what they are doing is just wrong.

There is lots and lots of discussion about the future (or not) of free public libraries in the UK. As I work in public libraries I clearly have a vested interest (I want to keep my job so I can keep eating) but some of the things people say about having collections of books in supermarkets or pubs run by volunteers as being a viable alternative makes me want to scream. There is lots of support. There are sensible suggestions about how to save money as well as the stupid ones.

I presume the same conversations are happening in all sectors of public service, and health workers, social workers, highways engineers, etc etc etc are all looking at what might come and are hoping that sense will prevail over stupidity, but I don't think any of us are holding our breath.

The real impact of the recession hasn't hit most people in the UK yet, and it won't until the public sector cuts kick in. Then the roads don't get mended, the bins don't get emptied as often, the libraries close, the small schools close, etc etc.

A small instance came up at work this week. Small local papers have, for years now, been put onto microfilm to preserve them by the British Library and the National libraries. That is being cut. So in future we will have to go back to binding them (if we can afford to) with all the problems of missing issues, people cutting bits out, people stealing whole volumes and all this with the knowledge that each volume is unique. A good system used by masses of people is just being scrapped. I don't think it is progress.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scilly Isles and gardens

Here we are on the beach on day one of the holiday in St Mary's in the Scilly Isles.

We had a really relaxing time.

as you can see from this photo.

We saw lots of gardens even though September isn't the best time of year for flowers.

I recommend the Lost Gardens of Heligan - even in Sept they were lovely. We also went to Tresco and to the eden Project and of the three I least liked Eden, mostly because it felt a bit more like a theme park than a garden. However they had fabulous sculptures as well as wonderful planting. Brian found the rainforest biome a bit too hot so we didn't stay that long in there.

The Scillies were great for a week. We walked, we sat on the beach and didn't get stuck with horrible weather and nowhere to go (thankfully) but a colleague who was there in the rain hated it. For two weeks with nice weather so you could sit on the beach more it would be fine too, but we covered most of the island walking in one week and we are fairly leisurely walkers. If you don't sail I really don't know what you would do with your time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Painting the porch

While Brian was fixing the garage roof all over the bank holiday weekend I was looking at the rest of the house and concluded that the fascias and guttering were looking awful, and the porch needed repainting.

The guttering and fascias will have to wait till next summer because they are too high to do without scaffolding things, but the porch is stepladder height and I can manage stepladders.

So yesterday I sanded it down - most of it is plastic, only bits of it are wood so it wasn't that big a task. Then I began the undercoat and it began to rain. I stopped and went in for a cup of tea. When it stopped I went out and carried on. Some of the wood is rotting but it will have to do for now.

This is where I am different from Brian because he would have wanted to replace all the rotten wood now, and I am prepared to paint over it and make it last a bit longer. However he is in Pembs and I am here, plus he has spent 2 days climbing all over the garage roof repairing that so is pretty pooped.

I did discover why the guttering looks so awful. It is white and looks dirty. Actually no. It is grey and has been painted white by someone. Now the paint is flaking off. Why paint plastic guttering? What a very odd thing to do. I have repainted the guttering on the porch, and what we do in the long term is a decision for next year.

It has stopped raining at last today, so I think I will head off out to put the gloss paint on. Before it starts raining again.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hooray for the new router

The wireless gave up the ghost completely this week and the ISP have sent me another new router which is now up and running and I am connected while sitting at the laptop again. I hope it will work with my macbook which I am retrieving from the repair shop (where I phoned to tell them not to repair it because it may be the router) tomorrow.


I am hoping that this means September will be better than August. I certainly hope it is cheaper. The heating is now done.

Thank the lord this all happened when Brian was here because I'd have had to take days and days off to meet engineers and builders otherwise.

Brian is now officially retired. It is a bit odd. He got given a blanket as a leaving present. Does anyone else find this an odd present? It is a traditional Welsh blanket but people don't use blankets much these days. No one asked what he might like, it seems everyone is given a blanket. We find it bizarre as a present choice and we have no idea what we are going to do with it.

I had a root dressing on a molar yesterday ,the root cause (!!) of the toothache I have been having and my mouth still tastes of TCP. I propose to drown the taste with some wine because it is Friday. Hooray hooray.

Also I am going to the Scilly Isles on Thursday so I only have 2 more days of work before going away.

I hope the weather we have had this last week comes to the Scillies while we are there.