Friday, September 24, 2010

Thinking about holidays

It's been a rather cold, drizzly and windy day here, in marked contrast to
the Indian summer we've had this week. So I started to think about booking
another holiday for ourselves ... I've just booked us into Thurnham Hall nr. Lancaster for October 2011, which is a lovely mansion in grounds, with a
heated swimming pool, etc.. It belongs to Diamond Resorts Europe Ltd,
of which Mrs C and I are members. Here's a link to the website...

I've spent today on some admin work for my local U3A. I've persuaded someone
else to take on some of the work I've been doing (organising the Computer Club),
and have sent him a lengthy email giving him a lot of ideas on how to do it.

Yesterday I gave a talk to the Club about the joys of using Picasa 3.8 (plus
one or two things I don't like about it). Two of Picasa's brilliant features
are the basic fixes on correcting red eye, and straightening up sea horizons
and verticals too. They are a joy to use. This evening I was looking for a
lovely sunset to go on my Desktop, and chose this one (taken in Gran Canaria
back in February this year). I straightened the sea horizon in Picasa, and
reduced the image size and added some text in Gimp. It's one of my favourite
sunsets, so I hope you'll like it too.

.... click on the photo to see a larger version.

Here is a YouTube video all about Picasa 3.8, which I invite you to have a
look at, if you haven't seen it already. There is a version of Picasa for
Mac users too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The young ones

Mrs C and I watched the third and last episode of The Young Ones today, on
the BBC I Player. If you missed it and if you live in the UK, I invite you
to see this, while it's available in the next few days ...

I was amazed to see how this group of oldies were rejuvenated by living
together as a group in a 1970s setting ... they really came alive, & became
generally fitter and more confident.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lovely Pembrokeshire

We were in Pembrokeshire in Wales last weekend, staying at a house which was
being rented by friends. We had some lovely weather and saw some wonderful
scenery, and of course had some great company. Here is one of the pics on
my Flickr site for you ...


I had my endoscopy at the hospital last Tuesday, and I'm very pleased to say
that there was nothing seriously amiss ~ just some inflammation in the lower
end of my stomach. I'll get the biopsy reports in 2-3 weeks' time.

As you can imagine, I'm feeling greatly relieved that they didn't find stomach
cancer, as I was fearing the worst (making numerous plans in my mind as what
to do if I'd only a few months left to live). In some ways it doesn't help
having had some medical training, as you're aware of what suffering cancer
patients go through in the final stages of the disease ... it's awful for
their relatives too. Just give me plenty of morphine please, if it it happens
to me.

We've been watching a kind of Celebrity Big Brother on the telly, where a
group of elderly celebs are encouraged to become fitter and more active,
by living together and supporting each other, but in a household where
everything is set in the mid-seventies. The idea is to make them switch
their mental set back to that time, when they were much younger of course,
We've yet to watch the last episode, but most of them are becoming more
confident and more independent. Very interesting.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Busy as usual

Mrs C and I have had a busy 2-3 weeks … 4 days looking after our grandchildren, while their mum and dad were getting ready to move house within Nottingham, a
visit to Leeds to see our daughter S, trips to the cinema and theatre (we went
to see “She Stoops To Conquer” last night at the Nottm Playhouse, and are going
to see “The Girl Who Played With Fire” today at the Broadway Cinema), watching
the third series of “The L Word” (an excellent steamy TV drama about a group of lesbian women in Los Angeles), and trips to Newstead Abbey and Patchings Arts
Centre in North Nottinghamshire, and Harrogate in N. Yorkshire.

I’ve been busy also with re-building this website for my local U3A … my previous version was too cluttered, whereas I’ve heavily edited this version and have
made it much simpler in style and content. I used Kompozer, Gimp & Inkscape
(free software) in creating all this … and I used Gimp to photo-edit the
photos in the following selection below (mainly for re-sizing them).

(you can see more photos on my Flickr site … there’s a link to this in the

A bit of autumn colour …


A lakeside view at Newstead Abbey (former home of Lord Byron) …


Our grandchildren … Little A …


.. and Little J (looking angelic)


PS ... I also used Open Office to create the PDF files you can see on the U3A
website, for example ...