Thursday, July 30, 2009

What great weather we're having ...

Yes, really lovely .... usual British Summer weather: showers, cloud,
mini-tornado (up the Bristol Channel yesterday), hailstones (today),
continuous rain, light rain, and some warm/hot sunshine occasionally.
Just brilliant.

Did you know that the seaside has come to Nottingham? The city centre
square in the above photo now has sand, a paddling pool, a small fun-
fair, some cafes and some palm trees .... so you needn't head off
abroad now for the seaside, you can come to Nottingham instead.

I must get along to the centre soon to take a photo to show you.

Speaking of which, I've just posted about 40 photos onto my Flickr
site (click on the sunflower photo, if you wish to have a look).
They're mainly photos on my family, plus a few photos of places we
visited while on holiday in North Devon & Cornwall, plus photos of
a few birthday treats.

I'll be in Derbyshire tomorrow with a couple of mates, cycling along
the Tissington Trail, which takes you through some fab scenery.
I'll take my camera with me, if I remember to pack it.
The words: "Last of the Summer Wine" spring to my mind.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting back to normal

OMG - what a hectic week Mrs C and I have just had, with one
of our daughters here for 8 days with her two children (under
3 yrs of age), and then with one of our neices too, for a
few days. Mrs C had taken a week off work, to spend time with
them all, but now she's feeling exhausted.

And another OMG ... yesterday evening, I had a search on both of
our computers, to check our flights to Malaga (this September) ,
only to find that I'd never got round to booking them!

So I've quickly booked flights for both of us with BMI Baby,
flying from East Midlands Airport. We might have got cheaper
flights with Ryanair, but Ryanair's flight times didn't match
those of other family members we're meeting up with, at Malaga
Airport (they are flying in from Gatwick). Yes, it will be
another relaxing holiday, en famille.

A couple of moans about booking flights online ... the airline
companies hook you into booking with them, with the promise of
of cheap fares ... and then you get hit by various extras, such
as an extra £30 each, for taking a suitcase and for not checking
in online. The second moan ... I couldn't proceed with the online
booking without giving BMIB my mobile phone number ... no mobile
phone = no online booking with BMIB. This should be optional, not
mandatory. I use my mobile phone about once a week (it's switched
off the rest of the time ... not like Mrs C's, which is the
hotline to family & friends).

I've been busy painting the celing of the study/third bedroom/my
den, today, with brilliant white matt paint. Just a couple of walls
left to do (with barley white paint), and the skirtings & window-
ledge to do in white gloss. I took nearly everything out of this
room for our electrician to install a couple of extra power points,
so it's an ideal opportunity to paint the entire room, before all
the junk goes back in. As regards the junk, fairly usable junk is
going back in, older junk will go in the loft-space, and the rest,
in the bin. So, I'm having a good sort-out, which is a rare event.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

new banner

I've got a new banner ~ a pressie from Keith (many thanks, Keith),
who pointed out where I was going wrong with my previous banners,
which were too fuzzy. My banner sizes were incorrect... they were
too small.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nerds United

I've been thinking that a more upbeat name for our Computer Club
group would be Nerds United, which sounds more friendly than the
name: Nerds Anonymous. The latter sounds as though we'd like to quit
the habit, meeeting up twice a month to confess our sins, whereas
I feel it's the complete opposite ... let's have lots more ...
and more fun, please.

And blogging is fun, n'est-ce pas?

We've had three of our four daughters visiting us this weekend,
one from not so far away in Nottingham, one from Leeds, and the
third from London (who's here for the week with us). Our 4th had
to stay at home, as one of her kids is poorly (??swine flu or just
a summer cough & cold). The main reason for the get-together was
to celebrate all the family birthdays this month... lots of them
... oh, and I've just remembered, it's our wedding anniversary
this week too. I've lost count of the number of years ... 37th
this year?

I once asked my dad what the "secret" was a long & happy marriage,
(my parents had had their fair share of ups and downs during their
long married life, but in later years, they were happy together)
... and he summed it up in one word ... "tolerance".

He enjoyed black humour (as I do).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yep, I'm back

Hi everyone. Sorry again for my delay in blogging.

If you've been experiencing the British weather, you'll be aware of
how wet it's been in the past 2 weeks or so. Devon and Cornwall were
badly hit with heavy downpours/continous rain. We were there last
week but between all the showers, we did manage some visits to local
towns and beaches ... Bideford, Bude, & Padstow (aka Padstein),where
we sampled some of Rick Stein's delicious fish & chips, and built
sand castles on the beach until rain stopped play.

One of the children was ill most of last week with bad ear infection ~
that was Little A. She got worse on the Monday evening, and fortunately
we got an evening appointment with the local GP. Unfortunately, the
doctor didn't carry any antibiotic samples, so we ended up going to
Devon Docs in Okehampton, to see another doctor and to get a bottle of
amoxycillin (some of you may know the banana-flavoured kiddies medicine).
Her dad and I spent 5 hours that evening travelling between surgeries
and waiting to see the GPs. Oh, the joys of country living!

We also visited a local farm for a "cream tea" (fresh scones, strawberry
jam and real clotted cream plus a pot of tea ... dee-licious), and to see
the animals ... ponies, lambs, hens, ducks & rabbits, all of which
Little A loved.

I'll put some photos of all these activities up on my Flickr site soon.
On the site where we were staying, we had frequent daily visits from one
of the resident peacocks, which we fed with bird seed and left-over bread.
A very tame bird. During that week, it plucked out most of its long tail
feathers, some of which I've brought home to photograph (and perhaps give
away to a school/natural history museum soon).

This week, I've been busy putting together a Powerpoint presentation on
various aspects about emailing, comparing Gmail with Hotmail & Yahoo Mail.
Gmail is my favourite for a variety of reasons, but I've still got accounts
with the other two.

I've also been busy putting the finishing touches to a website all about
using Gimp and Komposer (plus Weebly), to help other U3A members set up
their own websites. I'll be mentoring a small group of members in the
next 2-3 months, who are keen to get new websites up and running.

Next year, I'll starting a group for us all ... "Nerds Anonymous",
plus a support group for their long-suffering partners, on how to put
up with nerds in the home.

I'll finish this post with a funny story about my 89 year old MIL, who
phoned up Mrs C yesterday with some family news plus a huge complaint
about Wednesday's crossword puzzle in The Guardian....

"I spent a whole day," she said, "trying to get the answer to the clue:
"SLIGHT DEFECT" ... and there was a letter T in the answer ... and I'm
feeling very miffed that the answer in today's paper is "tunnel vision".
How is that possible?".

"Oh!" said Mrs C .... "Well, perhaps the clue was SIGHT DEFECT?"

Sunday, July 05, 2009

We're off on our holibobs

We're off to North Devon for a week's holiday today ~ staying
at a self-catering holiday complex with one of our daughters
and her family, which should be fun. Sunshine & showers are
forecast for the next few days, and then it will be dry but
cooler on Wednesday.

We're used to summer weather being as wet as this. It often
pours down during the Glastonbury Festival, so everyone ends up
tramping through a load of mud ~ that's not my cup of tea.

As it will be a computer-less holiday, I'll take a few books
and some old unread newspapers with me, not that I'll have
much time to read them with two little children with us.

It's Mrs C who's keener than I am to arrange these family hoiidays,
and having invited one of our girls, we then have to think about
inviting the other three to join us on other holidays. And then
we sometimes feel we need another holiday to recover from the
one we've just had. So next year, we're likely to be going on our
own, without the youngsters.

Now, where's my bucket and spade?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Enjoying the hot weather?

We're in the middle of a heat wave here ... not so nice in the daytime,
but glorious warmth in the evenings. It reminds me of summer evenings in
the south of France or in Italy (though the light is not as fabulous).

One of my U3A chums is off to Verona next week to celebrate her 40th
wedding anniversary, which they spend watching Verdi's Aida ... how
lovely. I recall spending one fab summer's evening there watching the
opera with Mrs C and S, one of my daughters. It was S's 19th birthday ~
a truly memorable evening.

The other day, I heard a radio presenter poking fun at people who moan
about the dismal, cold and wet days we get here ... and then say it's far
too hot for them on hot days (like today). "You can't have it both ways,"
he said.

This reminds me of one of Mini's conversations she had with her mum
recently (Mini is one of my granddaughters, living in London). She was
getting frustrated with some small stickers that were losing their
stickiness (she has had daily temper tantrums about this). She asked
for her mum's help and then refused it (as little ones do).

L. said to her: "One minute you're asking for my help, and then next
minute, you don't want it ... you can't have it both ways!".

Mini replied: "Yes, I can!"

I've had a marathon session posting photos onto Flickr in the past couple
of days ... you'll see my efforts in the Flickr badge on the right hand
side. Hope you'll like some of them.