About Me

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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kitchen cleaning

I have been cleaning the kitchen this weekend.

I have sorted cupboards, cleaned them out, scrubbed the floor.

I am absolutely knackered.

But the kitchen is really clean.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cup cakes

Tomorrow is wear it pink day when money is raised for breast cancer research. As 3 out of 7 women in my office have had breast cancer it is something which is close to us. A few years ago we made cakes which we then took round the offices and businesses on the little industrial unit where we are based asking for donations.

People can be extraordinarily generous and extraordinarily mean. 2 of us go out and ask for donations. Some people give five or ten pound notes and take one cup cake, someone once gave a £20 note! Most people give a pound or so. But some places have people who are just rude! Why? All they need to to is to say 'no thank you'. We don't force people.

Anyway, we usually raise about £100 which is pretty good.

I have cooked 2 dozen chocolate cup cakes and 20 scones to take in tomorrow. They smell great. All I have to do now is ice the cup cakes and I am done.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Computer being cranky

Our no longer new computer system is still giving us problems at work. We have now had it for 6 months and the bugs should have been cleared out but no - they are still ever present.

We have lots of meetings, the computer company have done lots of work and it has improved, but it is still giving us problems. It freezes and you can't move so have to use the Task Manager to close that session, we get things called hyper events which mean the computer has its knickers in a twist. Sometimes we can continue, sometimes the system freezes. Yesterday I was waiting up to 15 seconds from clicking the return key to something happening.

To be fair it has been better up to this week. However this week it is driving us insane!!!

I think out IT department did some work on something else over the weekend and maybe something got put back differently.

Very, very frustrating.

However the sun was out and it was a beautiful day so I went down to the beach on my way home and went up the cliff to admire the sea and the sun setting. A very good way to release some of the tensions caused by computers.

Then home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shoe box collecting

The Council advertises A Roumanian shoe box appeal every year. Someone from the Charity comes with a lorry and they drive all the shoe boxes to deliver them in Roumania. In case you don't know what it is - you put little presents into the shoe box, wrap them up and then someone gets a box as a Christmas present.

It is things like toothpaste, toiletries, little presents and games, paper and pens, gloves, hats and such like. There isn't that much that you can fit into a shoe box anyway.

The Council where I work have in the past done a prize for the best decorated box, which we won for 3 years running. The actual decorating has been done by one of my colleagues, Pam, but as I put my name on the tax form on the box I keep getting the credit which is a bit embarrassing. But we decided not to do very fancy wrapping after the last time.

So far we have soap., a Thomas the tank engine toy, and some other toiletries. However we have another week to go yet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Touch it is.

I have a lovely new hair cut and feel much better.

Then I went into Cardiff and talked to the nice geeky girl in AT computers. We looked at the iPad and the IPod Touch and discussed their relative merits.

For my purposes I want to have an eReader, and I want all the things I have on my little iPod nano. I was pondering the internet availability because there is wifi on both machines, but most of the places that I spend a lot of time don't have much in the way of wifi availability. Cardiff is fine, but Pembrokeshire has next to nothing so the ability to use the wifi wasn't top of the want list. Both machines are wifi, and both machines (Touch4) can be used with either a G3 connection or with a gizmo whose name I forget which gives you pay-as-you-go phone connectivity. Thus getting round the wifi problem.

I think if you want a more portable computer than a laptop is the iPad is the right gadget, but as I really want an all singing all dancing iPod (with movie camera too) and the computer elements are less important to me than the the iPod features I have decided to put all my Christmas presents into one basket and get the Touch. The iPhone would do a lot of it, but I don't use a phone enough to make it worth paying the contract charges, and the phone is more expensive than the iPad without a contract, so I ruled that out fairly early.

I know there are various other options but £200 for a dedicated ereader that does nothing else when for a little bit more I can get lots of things in one package.

A possible problem for the development of eReaders in the UK came in a statement from the Publishers Association this week.

It is so inspiring that all the top people in the Publishing industry are so in touch with reality that they are acting like Canute trying to hold back the tide. They have declared that downloads of eBooks from libraries cannot be done remotely, that people have to come into the library in future and download from library pcs. There are so many things wrong with this it is breathtaking. Overdrive offer a customised library service for downloads which is extremely well used in the USA and is taking hold here too and the model depends on remote access. Council IT departments won't let people plug things into the library machines because of fears of infection so downloads in libraries are not going to be allowed by the IT departments. People who want to download ebooks probably want to do so because it is more convenient in lots of ways than coming physically to the library.

Apart from all this have they heard of bit torrent? If you look you can find lots of pirated books available now and putting these sort of artificial and unenforceable obstacles in the way won't work. It hasn't worked for recorded music and won't work for books either. Their stupidity is breathtaking.

And depressing.

However there are lots of free books out there that I would like to read anyway.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cooker man is coming

The man is coming to look at the cooker tomorrow. As I am at the hairdresser Adam will have to do the honours. We are hoping that it is just the element which won't cost a lot. Hope hope.

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut and coloured - not before time.

Then (if Adam has finished with the cooker guy) I am going to Cardiff to begin Christmas shopping. I am also going to talk to the nice geeky young people in the AT Computers (an Apple shop not THE Apple shop) about IPad and IPod Touch and what they are like as ereaders. Having spent a lot of time this week looking at these things I have been quite seduced by the idea of them and want to actually see what they are like. Maybe a joint Xmas present from all my nearest and dearest????

Fun day though.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Now the cooker is kaput!

Now my cooker is kaput!!

I got home last night and B was in a tizz because he wanted to cook his pizza before we went out. No such luck. He grilled it because there is no heat in the cooker.


I thought I was done with this when August finished.

I am off to the local paper to try to find someone to come and look at it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas is coming...

Ad has just been told he will be working on Christmas day, which is a nuisance. We will have to rearrange lunch and have an early dinner I suppose. And we will have to wait till then to open our presents!!!! Can I stand the suspense?

I have started buying stocking fillers and thinking about actual presents, so I am feeling sort of prepared (ish).

I have been told by Kate that I have to get Sky sports on trial over Christmas so that she can watch the cricket. The excitement is almost past bearing!

We have another new thing this Xmas because usually my kids go to their dad on Boxing day, and probably will do that this year. B's kids usually went to his house when he was at College, but as his house is now in Pembrokeshire he will have his Boxing day here with his kids. This is fine and will probably be lovely, but my slob out day with the dog and cold turkey will be a thing of the past. You can't have it all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lovely weekend

This weekend we have had lovely weather. It has been sunny, clear and even warm.

I was down in Pembrokeshire this weekend and after a leisurely morning of cups of tea in bed we went to Haverfordwest and went for a swim. The leisure centre there is really nice, modern and clean. The changing facilities are excellent and the showers are great, which is not the case with the leisure centres here. We then had a feeling of virtue all day because of taking excercise so early. Then we had a lovely coffee in the sunshine at a cafe before heading back for lunch. In the afternoon we pottered round St Davids and then in the evening we had a social engagement!

Some people we met a couple of weeks ago have the cottage across the road and we went over there for drinks and nibbles in the evening which was really pleasant.

B has been doing lots of work on the revised version of his website and we hit a problem because the version of the operating system on his computer is earlier than the ftp client we were planning on using. So now we need to either find an earlier edition of Cyberduck or another ftp client. Pain in the neck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

CJ Sansom

I have nearly finished Heartstone by C J Sansom, his latest book starring Matthew Shardlake who is a Tudor lawyer. I am a teensy bit disappointed with it, which is sad because I have loved all the previous books. There is much less politics in it than the previous ones when he was a member of Cromwell's staff when Cromwell was at the height of his powers. I felt that Shardlake's motivations were unconvincing which meant that the strength of the narrative was not as great as it should have been, and I have found myself speeding through as I get nearer the end to find out what has happened. I hope it is just a blip and the next one will be better.

There has just been a bit on the news about a dinner lady in a school in Northern Ireland who has been in trouble with the authorities for 2 years. Her crime? She gave a child a biscuit. She was asked by said child if it could have a biscuit. She agreed and asked another dinner lady to give the biscuit. She was then told she could be grooming the child and her behaviour was inappropriate. She had long meetings with the school and education authorities.

What ???

Thankfully common sense has prevailed - eventually - and she is reinstated and people said that it was an overreaction.

Political correctness gone totally mad.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New hat and new neighbours

I got a new hat on Saturday. It is not a pretty hat. It is waterproof with ear flaps, there is elastic on the back to hold it on, and it will be great when going out for walks in the winter. I love it. B says he will walk far enough away from me so he can pretend he doesn't know me. But I will have warm ears. Excellent.

Llandeloy is a very small village, where B lives. There are about 30 houses. A few years ago we met the people who own the cottage across the road. It is a holiday cottage and their main house is about 4 miles from Llantwit Major - what a coincidence! we thought, fancy another couple having houses in both places. Then on Saturday when we got back from Haverfordwest a couple came up to us and said that they knew some other friends of ours (e colleagues of B's), so we invited them in for a cup of tea. They also live near Llantwit, but they have bought a tiny little cottage across the road from B in Llandeloy.!!! Marianne is the oncology social worker for an area which includes the area from Llantwit to St Davids and up to Cardigan, and having the cottage means she can base herself there when doing all her calls in West Wales, so it makes sense. But what are the odd of 3 couples having houses in both places?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Too much to read!

The advantage of working in a library is that there are lots of books.

Lots of these books are published in Sept/oct in time for the Xmas rush.

I have too many books to read at the moment.

I have new fiction books by all of the following
C J Sansom
Philippa Gregory
Kate Atkinson
Janet Evanovich
Terry Pratchett
Dick (Felix actually) Francis
Jill Paton Walsh (doing a Dorothy L Sayers)

I also have The Hare with amber eyes by Edmund de Waal which is lovely
A digital photography book

The ones I might have kept had the pile been less high include
The secrets of Bletchley Park and something else that I can't remember the title of at the moment.

I am not actually complaining but am feeling a little bit daunted.