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Archive for April, 2011

Not much to report.  For the first three days we had satisfyingly beautiful weather, in contrast to the forecast.  I didn’t manage to get the lawnmower started so that didn’t get done.  But I did tidy the front section by doing some weeding and chopping back of branches overhanging the driveway, etc.  I worked on some family history.  I read an overdue book (in the sunshine).

Apart from that I can’t recall anything specifically that I did.  The weather turned to shite on Monday with strong winds keeping me awake overnight.  I woke up on Tuesday morning with a headache so didn’t get into town to meet friends.  By now I was sick of the wind and just felt miserable.  It was a definite soup day but we didn’t have any so daughter made some hot chilli which kept us warm that evening.

Strong winds again kept me awake and I lay there listening to the banging and creaking and fearing the roof would come off (especially when I thought I heard a nail coming out).  I was awake from 5.30am and waited for it to get light enough so I could check the state of the roof.  I knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep – I’d slept fitfully as it was.  I had a look and it looked fine but just to be sure I called a roof contractor before heading off to work.  Daughter contacted me later to report that only a couple of screws were loose.  No matter if the bill is high – it was worth it for my peace of mind.

Naturally I was tired the next day (today) and the day wasn’t helped by hearing the news that an ill staff member had died on the Sunday.  His funeral is tomorrow.

So a bit of success mixed with a bit of misery.  Just having the five days off work was worth it, regardless of what I did.  I should have taken the lawnmower in to be fixed yesterday but I was not in a state to step outside the door.  Only two more days of work until the weekend, but the weather doesn’t look the greatest.

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Saturday was all about preparing for daughter’s 21st party. Alas it was supposed to be outdoors (as none of her friends had an indoor area big enough) and the forecast was for rain. Daughter prepared several dishes and I helped out, making raita and checking the cooking, etc. Unfortunately it did rain solidly for a few hours but it was supposed to clear by evening. She went off to do a few errands and take everything to the venue while I stayed home waiting for older daughter and boyfriend to arrive.

They arrived about 5.30pm and the party was due to start at 6.30 but we waited a while before getting changed – the theme was a mask party. I put on gumboots and a warm jacket, envisaging myself freezing outside in the mud. There were supposed to be a marquee and tent but when we arrived there was just a tarpaulin over the washing line and a few paltry chairs underneath, one of which was sodden. (The marquee had collapsed and I don’t think they bothered with the tent considering it was pouring at the time.) We headed inside and some people were gathered round in the kitchen. The house was an ex-state house and had the same layout of a friend’s mother’s house – not large. However, we sat round and drank our drinks and partook of the finger food. We spent some of the time outside (as it had stopped raining by now) and stood near the flaming brazier. Nosey neighbours on one side were peering through the windows at us, perhaps thinking we were taking part in some pagan ceremony. When they kept staring I turned round and jumped around like an ape making silly noises. I hadn’t had that much to drink but as people laughed it only encouraged me to do it a bit more. Then I turned back and talked with all seriousness to daughter’s boyfriend’s mother (she must have thought I was a nutter). Indoors again for some more food and drink and the time went very quickly. Older daughter’s boyfriend doesn’t drink so he was our sober driver, while younger daughter stayed overnight at the house (and she was swaying drunkenly). All very civilized and no idiots (she has good friends).

Sunday I was not permitted to sleep in thanks to the sound of heavy rain and a hungry cat. I mucked around on the computer and did some washing (with little hope of it drying). There was some sun trying to break through but on the whole a pretty miserable day.

Older daughter’s boyfriend installed a new game on the computer – The Sims Medieval. Well, that was right up my alley. I’m a Sims fan and I love the medieval period. The game is very different to previous Sims games as you play mainly with one character and do quests and with each successful quest you’re able to add a building (and another character) to the kingdom. Well, that kept me busy for most of the evening after daughter and boyfriend left. That, and catching up on missed episodes of Amazing Race and America’s Next Top Model online. I saw a bit of Masterchef too and was sad to see Cameron leave. Just after that finished, younger daughter was back home with all the gear. She saw me playing Sims Medieval and wanted to have a go so I got off the computer, finally, and watched her for a bit before heading to bed.

Not much of a weekend (very unproductive) but thankfully it’s a short week and then five days off. I hope the weather is kinder so I can clear blocked gutters and (try to) mow the lawn!

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I was reading my book about clouds at lunchtime and, as you do, looked up at the clouds to see the very clouds I was reading about.  They were appealing stratocumulus and were pulling me thither.  I felt the need to go outside and view them properly and take photos.  Alas, the spot where I often do was disturbed by a mower, so I walked around to sit on a step.  A person was standing on the step.  I wanted to be alone to enjoy the view, so kept walking towards the bush track.  I paused on a bridge to see if an approaching hoard of people including a million children, were coming the same way.  They were, so I turned back and sought out another spot.  Alas the trees obscured the sky.  I headed back up the way I came and stopped at the top of the steps again.  The clouds had changed and weren’t so satisfactory (one has to be quick with clouds) but I took the unremarkable photo below anyway.

At that moment a woman started playing a lovely medieval-type melody on her flute and peace was attained.  I walked back to work and passed a threesome surveying the flowers and a woman lying on the ground relaxing – seemed everyone wanted to be out communing with nature in some way.

From my window now I can see more appealing clouds that look rather like a watercolour painting because of the subtle shades of yellow, blue and grey.  I’d feel rather self-conscious taking a photo in front of colleagues  – I’m a shy photographer, sadly.

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I don’t get them and I feel like I may be left in the dark ages. They’ve come up in conversation lately and I’ve seen a staff member with one – he was reading the newspaper on it. I had newspapers sitting in front of me so didn’t see the benefit there.

Yes you can browse the net – but why would you feel the need to take the internet with you wherever you went?

Apparently you can email – again why would you feel the need and where’s the keyboard?

Last night at dance one of the dancers had one and was showing it off. I was still mystified at the end of her brief demonstration – it looked like a glorified toy. She had photos on it – which is fine if you want to show people some photos but I can’t see why you’d want to store them on it.

It could take photos and video but I think you’d look a right wally holding up a large tablet to record something – cameras and cellphones (not that my cellphone takes photos) are way more discreet;

It had photos which you change the colour of. For example she had a stock photo of some guy with flowers on a bicycle. With a few touches she could select an area and colour it in with a different colour. Umm…..

She could “do pottery” on it. A potting wheel and clay started spinning on her tablet and with a movement of the finger she could make shapes. Umm….

What is the point? I still don’t get it. I’ve tried to search online to find examples of the usefulness of them and come up blank.

Nope. I just don’t get the attraction. It’s a toy and rather an expensive one at that.

I must be getting old…

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A tribute

Some photos of our darling 6 month old kitten who was run down by a speeding SUV.  He’d been playing by the road and chased something across it without seeing or hearing the oncoming death machine.  I saw it from inside the house, praying to whatever that it wasn’t Jasmine, saw with shock that it was Nubi on the road, scooped him up and sat down with him on the front lawn sobbing over his dying body….

First day at home from the SPCA.  He wouldn’t stay still long enough to take a photo.

Big ears, part of the reason for his name – Anubis.

Wondering why H looks at the same place all the time – what is she doing?

Able to relax anywhere.

Discovering climbing, but how to get down?

A rest…

Pretty tummy.

RIP, Nubi.  We had you for just three and a half months but you filled our lives with your affection and playfulness.  We’re gonna miss you heaps.

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The weather was brilliant both days.  Couldn’t have asked for nicer.

Saturday morning I did a bit of genealogical research (see my genealogy blog) and then was on the phone to a very distant cousin (family-wise and distance-wise) in England.

Then met daughter to do a bit of birthday shopping for her 21st.  She wanted a new phone or a new digital camera.  I offered to buy her both if they were both cheap enough.  We went round a few places and she spotted the phone she wanted.  However, all places were out of stock except for one and that was pink.  She shares my hatred of all things pink (except flowers which is where the colour should stay).  We looked at cameras instead and finally found a very helpful chap in Noel Leeming.  He was great and did us a great deal.  So daughter will be getting a camera for her birthday.  She’s having a party the weekend after it and we’re going to a restaurant on her actual birthday.  The party is for friends (and immediate family).  No official, traditional-type 21st for her.  The father now lives in Aus now anyway, thankfully.  Hopefully he’ll send her something decent or some money.

Back home I got into making a few finger food dishes for the evening with friends.  My stuffed tomatoes were a disaster but daughter said they were edible.  I then did the baguette slices with cheese and honey and walnut, following a recipe.  Not bad, but not overly exciting.  The cheese was a bit bland, I think.  Then I did some olives and cheese and chorizo sausage on little skewers.

Very pleasant evening for driving and I got there before dark.  Tasty food and mocktails (bar one with vodka – very nice) and we were stuffed.  Couldn’t even manage the chicken the host had kindly made, dammit!  Retired to the lounge to watch music videos and we sat down like old folks at a retirement home trying to figure out who was who and how they looked – it was hilarious.  One had to be there!  Got home about 11ish and fell into bed.

Slept in this morning even with the clocks going back for the end of daylight saving.  I wrote to the English woman attaching a scanned photo of our relatives in the 50s, then did some washing and “spring-cleaning”.  See genealogical blog about notes.  I found them!  Worked through and chucked some out and organised them better.

Tried to do some lawnmowing but the mower refused to start or did for a second and stopped.  I’m so sick of non-starting mowers – they’re the bane of my life.  Even after they’re serviced they play up.

Daughter headed off to UCOL to do some work on her assignment and I went back to the genealogical website to use up my credits before the expiry date on 9 April.  I looked at a few more census returns and it didn’t take long to use them all, downloading some.  So much for the cost of that website – that I used the vast majority of credits in one weekend.  These websites are a real ripoff.  I haven’t renewed the sub on that one.  It might be worth concentrating on the Scottish side for a change – haven’t had much success there but everything costs.

The weekend’s too short.  I’ve barely touched the list I had for this weekend – much of it involves the computer (for genealogical related stuff – got the bug again) but daughter’s on the computer most of the week and I don’t get much access.  Having said that, I should make use of her time away and get onto something.

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Inside my bag….

I was disappointed with the other photos I took, which I mentioned in my previous post.  I deleted them.  However, here’s some sky.

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