Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mad Cat Lady

After cleaning out the cats' litter trays the cats always line up to be brushed and this evening I caught myself discussing with them their bowel habits. OK  -  so I talk to my cats.

My fixation on their bowel habits stems from the three of us experiencing an unusually sudden transition from winter to 36 degrees Celsius within 24 hours which triggered a sudden and heavy moult.  Parsifal managed alright but Poppy got fur balls and blocked up, needing medication usually used for people to unblock her.

We have had some weird weather this year with unseasonal storms, gale force winds and hot, humid days.  Thank goodness for air conditioning; at least I can regulate the temperature in the apartment and all the shops are just downstairs in an air conditioned shopping complex.

Cricket lovers who watched the last day of the third Ashes Test Match yesterday would have sampled a bit of our current weather.  The day before yesterday there had been intermittent rain and with possible storms predicted for overnight so the covers were put over the pitch.  They blew off and play was delayed for a couple of hours while leaf-blowers were used to dry a wet patch, and the pitch was scored with cracks  -  a bonus for the bowlers  -  and there were near-gale force winds.  Australia won . . .

The odd weather has triggered my asthma and I have been wheezing for several weeks and my hayfever has been worse than usual but all is settling down now.  A good thing as Christmas is only six days away.  D1 is flying in from Sydney on Friday evening but is only staying for five days.  Tomorrow I need to "do out" the spare room which is usually kept closed and therefore easily ignored until it is needed.  

I will be spending Christmas Day cooking for the family for Boxing Day as Ex and Exette are officially having the family for Christmas Day this year but the family seems to have dug in their toes and D3 will be cooking dinner for them on Christmas Eve.  Maybe it is time for me to dig in my toes and pass on my recipes for potato salad and trifle and let someone else do it.  I wish!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sumer is Icumen In . . .

Despite what the calendar says, today was not very warm although tomorrow is predicted to be hot.

Management  sent around an air-conditioning person to check our systems today.  Mine was fine but I need a couple of new screens as the ones which I have are showing some sign of wear; not surprising since I have been here for over six years and they have not been serviced in that time.

Poppy is finally a well little cat again after a rather traumatic time was had by all.  A couple of weeks ago she ripped out a claw so that it was hanging by a thread so I took her off to the vet who sedated her and removed the claw.  When I got her home she was a very happy little cat and because I know that she has arthritis I assumed that it was the pain medication.  Back for a check-up and the vet suggested that maybe she should have regular pain medication. 

That was fine and she liked the taste so it was easy to give to her but she became very constipated (but no vomiting this time around) so the vet decided that the constipation might be caused by the pain medication and put her onto faecal softeners instead, which worked after a couple of days and she hasn't looked back.

The two of them have almost finished moulting and are looking very sleek and shiny but I am still vacuuming up great heaps of black fur.

COTA has finished for the year, just in time for a huge upgrade by Microsoft which left me floundering in a mass of requested passwords and exhortations to register to the Cloud, a thing which I have managed to resist so far.  I am keeping my options open as to whether or not I keep teaching next year.  Windows 10 is not easy to teach and I feel that I should not have to provide on-line access for my clients if they bring their own computers and twice now a client's computer has totally drained my hotspot of all its 4 Gb in short order.  It will cost me $50.00 to recharge it so I will see how I feel closer to the start-up date next year.

I seem to have reached the limit in my genealogy research into the descendants of one of my maternal grandmothers.  I am a bit short of data on a couple of the families and in one case I have gained far more information from the archived newspapers than I have from the cousins themselves but there is no information at all on a few and they will have to be delegated to the great unknown as even "Lady Kitty", the queen of the Advertiser Newspaper's social column in the 1950s did not manage to glean any gossip about them.

But it was fun reading through some of her writings; so many familiar names.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thunder on the Right

The night before last we had the most amazing thunderstorm.  It lasted for over three hours and I had a panoramic view over the river, followed by a short burst of torrential rain directly from the south which washed my windows.  They had been so dirty that, at night when the light shines in I, could hardly see through the dust and dirt.  Usually the management sends around a team of window cleaners a couple of times per year but so far there has been no sign of them.  They have to abseil down from the roof and negotiate an overhang.  A very bad design fault and I am not surprised that it is hard to find anyone to do it and must cost a fortune.

The cats are moulting and I am being swamped in black fur.  The fact that they are brushed morning and night has not stopped them from getting fur balls and vomiting all over the carpets.  They prefer the carpets  -  softer on their paws while they get down to the business of ridding themselves of their dinner.  I am very practised at cleaning up cat barf  but it is a bit hard to do before I have had my morning coffee.  I have been feeding them Catlax but it took Poppy five days for it to work.  One of the joys of keeping indoor cats but I wouldn't do without them.

I have bought myself a little carpet shampooer.  It is a Bissell which is the only one of its kind to be recommended by Choice Magazine.  It doesn't have a very big capacity which is exactly what I needed and it is very effective.  Yesterday I finally summoned up my courage to use it  -  it arrived just before the 'flu and when I started to recover I  had a panic about where I had put the accessories and instructions.

The most urgent bit of carpet was the strip where I groom the cats, outside their bathroom, and although vacuumed regularly it looked pretty grotty.  So yesterday I gave the area a thorough vacuuming and them washed the carpet.  It needs doing again but the amount of dirt and cat hair which was sucked up was staggering and the carpet now feels nice to walk on  -  it has lifted the pile and released the embedded cat fur.

Now I just have to vacuum and mop the huge acreage of off-white tiles which cover most of the floor area, right in the middle of the apartment and which are firmly resistant to detergent and mop and show every footmark when wet.  I have evolved the habit of doing the job over two days so that I can get from one end of the apartment to the other without stepping into the newly washed area until it has a chance to dry.  There has to be an easier way.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Digging up the Past

Since meeting my two distant cousins I have set myself the task of tracing all of our mutual relatives and it has not been as easy as I imagined.

I assumed that it would simply be a matter of contacting my fairly close cousins and asking them.  I have found that it is not so simple; I first have to convince them that I would not be broadcasting their most intimate affairs to the wide world.  And one of my second cousins has flown so low under the radar that he is almost impossible to trace.  He has a name which should stand out in any search and certainly others with the same name appear with alarming regularity  -  but not him.

Knowing his name and the first given name of his wife I have been searching through the social and family entries in the main South Australian newspapers which are progressively being archived, scanned (badly) and posted on-line.  People are encouraged go to the site and correct the rather garbled print which is correctable in a sidebar with the actual scanned copy to refer to.  It is fun to do and I have tended to correct the entries pertaining to my own family when I do a search.

Anyway, I found an engagement notice among the BMDs which gave me the name of his wife and his wife's father which enabled me to search further to the wife's death notice which has given me the children and the one grandchild, along with the spouses of the children and the date and two places where the wedding took place.  I am not sure which one is correct.  They were both on the Social Page (Very Adelaide). 

One was a report of a pre-wedding party which gave one location and the other was a report of the wedding itself along with a photograph which placed the ceremony in a different church.  I have listed both and maybe one day I will find out which one it was.  I could purchase a copy of the marriage certificate but he is a second cousin and it doesn't really matter much in the total scheme of things.  And it is a hassle to prove who you are and that you have a right to buy a copy of the certificate.

I have recovered from the 'flu just in time for the hot weather.  Two days ago the temperature suddenly shot up to 36 degrees centigrade after a series of very cold, wet days and it was a bit of a shock to the system.  But nice not to have to rug up any more.

However, my cats are now  moulting their winter coats, there is black fur everywhere and the little girl is vomiting on my best Persian carpet.  Always a thorn amongst the roses.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I Have All The Best Words

I have been struggling through a book written by the brother of one of my friends while recovering from the 'flu.  The author is a Doctor of Divinity and the book is about the Pauline epistles.  I confess that I am struggling with it; it was obviously written for scholars, not lay readers with an interest in the early Christian Church and I have had to haul out both my dictionary and my bible.

I would like to make clear at this point that my preferred deity is the invisible pink unicorn.  That is actually not an official religion and in the last Australian Census I had to opt for being a member of the Pastafarian church which has, as their deity, the flying spaghetti monster.  This is a registered religion in USA so it is official.

My interest in religion goes back to my school days when I first started to read the Bible critically and realised that the stories being fed to us were the Sunday School version and not based on anything much found in the King James Bible.  My interest has primarily been the historic basis of the Old Testament but I own a book called "Who Wrote the New Testament" so I have some basis for understanding the book I am reading at the moment.  I'll give Doctor Harding a plug here  -  it is called "The Pastoral Epistles?".

The new best word in my vocabulary now is 'parousia' which was totally new to me and never used when I was at school.

I have had a bad week what with the 'flu but there has been one very positive outcome.  On Wednesday morning I found that Poppy, my girl-cat, had ripped one of her claws and it was hanging by a thread.  I took her to the Vet thinking that I would have to fast her overnight and take her back first thing on Thursday morning to have the toe amputated.  However, it was just the claw and there was no infection so the Vet said that surgery that morning was just finishing and that she could sedate her and remove the claw immediately.  

That was good and I took her home with some pain relief to be given with her food.  When we got home I realised that I had a completely different cat to the grumpy, hissing and spitting cat I had known and loved for the last six years.  Gone were the hissy fits whenever her brother approached, gone was the low growling when he tried to curl up with her in bed and it occurred to me  -  knowing that she had arthritis in the right front leg, that she had been in chronic pain.  So when we went back to check the claw I mentioned this amazing change in her and the outcome is that she will be on long-term pain relief which goes on her food and which she loves the taste of so it is very easy to administer.

And we now have peace in our time.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cousins and Forebears

Last night a first cousin once removed telephoned me at the instigation of one of my first cousins to further my researches into my father's family.  G.C. is only five years older than me although he is a different generation but he doesn't have a computer so telephone and snail-mail are going to be the only way to communicate.  I have only ever met him once many, many years ago but remember it, probably because he was near my own age and that is important to a teenager.  Anyway, he has contacted another of our cousins and obtained her email address for me so that I can clarify her siblings  -  a big gap in my contemporary tree.

I now have the bit firmly between my teeth and have discovered, in the 1851 census, the family of my great great great great grandfather, his wife and his children including my great great great grandmother.  She stayed behind in England after her marriage and followed her husband to South Australia about five years later; in the census she is shown with her married name in her father's house so I know that it is the right family of Smiths (her maiden name).  Yeah!

I have had no luck tracing her husband's family back further than his father; there are too many people in England with the same name and I have no idea where in England they lived.  But more and more information is coming online all the time  -  I didn't think that I would ever be able to find Benjamin Smith in the whole of England and I did.

This research back into the mists of time doesn't affect the two cousins whom I met last week.  Our family trees meet with my great grandmother and I am now researching my great grandfather's forebears but whereas my W. cousins have researched the distaff side no-one seems to have researched the male line and what actually is already in Ancestry.com is wrong and very muddled, so it is worthless to me.  It is worrying that Ancestry.com allows so much mis-information from unchecked sources.  That may be why the erroneous tree is no longer active and I cannot access the owner to correct his/her information.

Today is Opening Day at the RFBYC which I overlook from my apartment and the yachts are gathering.  The weather forecast is for gale-force winds and thunder.  At the moment it is dead calm, hot and humid; it certainly feels ominous.  I have a birds-eye view and will be watching the proceedings with interest.

Friday, October 13, 2017

My black furballs turned six last Thursday

I find it hard to believe that I have been in this apartment for over six years.  The cats were born on 12th October 2011, an easy date to remember because it was my parents' wedding anniversary.  I collected them on 2nd January 2012 when they were 10 weeks old.

Yesterday I met up with my two Wilson third cousins and we talked none-stop for four hours.  It was a lot of fun  -  they are great people and both interested in our mutual roots.  I have spent the last couple of weeks gleaning as much information as I could from all my Wilson cousins descended from Matthew Wilson,  my paternal grandmother's family.  To clarify that last sentence  -  I have some other Wilson cousins who, as far as I know are a different family altogether. I have not been able to get a complete descendant line  -  there are some gaps to fill in still and I am hopeful but not at all confident that I will get all the information I would like.

It is easy going back since there is a lot of information online from people researching their ancestors but not as easy to cover contemporary relatives.  There is nothing in the archived newspapers and the BMD CDs only work with 32 bit computers and only go to about 1930 anyway.  I used to have the whole set and squeezed them dry before disposing of them when I moved.  I realise that they might still have worked on my Win 7 laptop but they didn't have the information I want anyway.

My latest COTA client has cancelled his last two lessons.  I can't say that I blame him, the computers which we use are on their last legs and last week there was no internet connection.  After two weeks of exhorting him to click on the Microsoft button to find out which version of windows he has it is quite possible that he discovered that he has a Apple Mac.  Anyway, unless COTA manages to dredge up another client is looks as though I will be able to sleep in on Thursdays for the rest of the year.  My plan is to go to the Christmas party and then resign  -  or resign and then go to the Christmas party.

We are having weird weather at the moment  -  hot days, cold winds, storms  -  totally unpredictable and my asthma is bad and I am currently taking cortisone which is great for my poor sore arthritic thumbs but extremely painful when I stop taking it so I should be taking advantage and getting back to spinning but I have spent a great deal of time trying to kill off two infants, Michael [--?--] and Daniel [--?--] children of a cousin with a nameless husband.  Michael and Daniel were duplicated and even FTM should have realised that but didn't.  so I deleted the repeats which returned with alarming regularity and eventually I had to kill off their mother and reinsert her.  I haven't tried putting the boys back but maybe one day ...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I have received a 'Top Comment' accolade from Facebook

This is a one-off event and I feel that I must record it for posterity because the original has sunk way down the page and may never be seen again.

The comment was in response to a number of American politicians who passed a bill making abortion more difficult.  After the Las Vegas shooting all that the 
republican politicians seemed to say was "My thoughts and prayers go out to you."
My posted comment was "My thoughts and prayers go out to all those American women who accidentally become pregnant. My though and prayer is "Thank God I live in Australia".

Parsifal loves the TV and is convinced that if he could only find his way in or through the screen he would be able to meet and greet all the people in there.  He walks backwards and forwards across the front of the screen and twice in the last couple of weeks he has trodden on the remote and switched it on.  I am not looking forward to the day he puts two and two together and turns it on whenever he is feeling lonely.

The internet was down today at COTA and since I was intending to teach word processing I thought that is wouldn’t matter but was unable to use the computer I usually use as it refused to load so I moved over to the one which Himself uses and discovered that there was no way to get a big enough block of text to use.  I usually go  online to  my webpage to get a text document and have one saved on the desktop but, with no internet, I was unable to do this today.  I am getting very tired of the never-ending battle with the COTA computers and am seriously considering resigning at the end of the year.  I enjoy teaching and meeting new people but the computers are dying and I am tired of carrying two computers with me every week just in case I need them.

Next Friday I am having morning tea with two long-unknown cousins.  One, KH and I have been in contact for several years as she is a serious genealogist but I had no idea that there was another cousin from the same branch over here in the West.  The family settled in South Australia and KH is a
South Australian as am I but so far I have no idea where SC is from.

I have been busy contacting cousins to obtain as much family information as I can so that I can print off a  descending descendants’ report from our common ancestor and there is only one gap  -  the son and daughter of a great aunt  -  and the only person likely to know is an 83-year old recluse who doesn’t own a computer but who is reputed to be a genealogist so maybe he researches at SAGHS and the Mortlock Library.  I have his phone number and will try phoning him but I am not holding my breath.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Spindling á la Turke

Being the proud possessor of eight spindles I have finally decided to master the technique of spindling.

Since I already have two spindle rests I decided to start with one of my support spindles.  I spent two days struggling with one of my lovely, beautifully balanced, hand-turned support spindles and although I managed to produce a yarn which veered from very good, bumpy and broken.  I have a feeling that part of the problem was the fibre which came with the spindle and which, with my arthritic thumbs, was very hard to draft out.

Having tried the support spindle with indifferent results I decided that maybe my little Turkish spindle might be easier  -  and it is, although the fibre which I found so hard to draft was also hard with my little Turk so I have abandoned that fibre (although a bit of pre-drafting helps) and have started on the rolags which I had previously made on my blending board.  Eureka!  But I am having a bit of a problem with the winding on  -  two over and one under  -  and my arms are not long enough to spin out more than about a metre before I have to wind on.  However, I can, up to a point, spin and draft so it is much quicker.

All power to u-Tube for its instructions except that I am starting to get spindle hints on Facebook which I see as a severe lack of privacy.

My cousin J. has emailed me with a lot of information which I didn't have before about her side of the family so I will be able to fill in some gaps in my Family Tree.  Going back in time is relatively easy but going forward, especially when most of my family lives in another State is harder.  The archived newspapers only come as far forward as the 1950s so I am missing out on several generations and even then people needed to be newsworthy to be reported.

 Family Notices are the most helpful as it gives engagements, marriages, births and deaths and I have found a lot of information about my parents' generation but struggling to get information from the Registrar General's Department about more recent BMDs is a pain and with identity theft on the rise it is becoming harder to squeeze any information out of them.

My mother's family ended up in the Law Courts enough to get quite a bit of newsworthy information but my father's family were all too law-abiding for genealogical purposes.

Friday, September 22, 2017

"There is nothing left of the Equinox ...

... because the Precession has proceeded according to precedent" accompanied by equinoctial gales.  Yesterday was a horrible day and I was almost blown off my feet when I went downstairs to check my mailbox.  Thank goodness my computer client had opted out of her lesson or I would have had to battle the gale to get to Victoria Park and back.  There is no shelter from the wind at the railway stations and the wind screams down the rails with nothing to block its path.  It would be nice to think that more sheltered stations could be built but Claremont Station is heritage listed and the Cottesloe station is simply a roof over a few seats and is wide open to both prevailing winds; the easterly in the morning and the sea breeze (Fremantle Doctor) in the afternoon.

Instead of doing battle with the weather I decided to try my hand at spindling.  I have eight spindles and have never learnt to use them.  With a wheel and an electronic spinner I have never been motivated to do so but would like to be able to expand my repertoire at my knitting group as an excuse to use the spindles. 

There is a great deal of useful information on U-Tube on how to spindle and I now have the general idea and can actually produce a yarn  -  very unevenly  -  but have not mastered winding on so it needs some work before I can be in any way proficient and I have a nasty feeling that my sore thumbs will stop me in my tracks.  I am using a support spindle but wondering if I might do better with a drop spindle.  I have a nice little Turkish spindle which is almost small enough to slip into a handbag.

Meanwhile I am getting very zoological with my knitting.  Currently I am knitting a lacy scarf from Corriedale wool and Samoyed dog hair and a sweater from yarn comprising Merino wool and possum hair.  The dog hair is not easy to knit as the yarn fluctuates wildly between very fine and thick clumps (one of my early attempts at carding done about 45 years ago) and the possum sweater is easy to knit but the colour looks dreadful under fluorescent lights so I am going to have to be careful where I wear it.

Yesterday someone posted a photo on Facebook of a crocheted toilet seat cover which has been received with much mirth.  I certainly do not intend to do anything so gross but one Japanese contributor said that in Japan, in winter people slip woolly socks over the seat.  I have a feeling that the problem has been overcome in Japan with warmed seats, water jets and warm air.

Now that we are officially into Spring, hopefully the weather will warm up a bit but at least I have reverse cycle A/C which I need because my apartment faces South and gets no sun and the sea breeze comes screaming in from the South Pole every afternoon  -  lovely in summer but not so nice in winter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Like Drawing Teeth

I was going to title this entry "Like trying to draw blood from a stone" but I know that is impossible and in this case I know that the information is there but not forthcoming so I have had to go to any sources I can find for the information.

What I am trying to find is family records from some of my closest relatives  -  first cousins.  I was told that J. is the Family Historian so I figured that she was the person to ask.  However, all I managed to squeeze from her was that she has three children and five grandchildren.  I have spent the last week searching Trove (archived newspapers) and a related family tree which I have and which in J.'s case is wrong as it shows four children.  I know that she has twin sons but one of the twins is called "saw" (Lower case so the person compiling the tree was obviously uncertain).  The other son has a different birth date and I am not sure which of her two sons has been given the correct birth date and which is a fabrication

I have also managed to find birth dates and places for J. and her two siblings by going through the Family Notices in the archived newspapers but that is time consuming.  I have just emailed her with all the data I now have and asked her for additions and corrections but I am not holding my breath.  She might be a historian but she is certainly not a genealogist and the two are really all part of the same equation so I am wondering what history she is researching.

I have the telephone number of a second cousin who is supposedly a genealogist but he is in his mid-eighties and is not computer literate and is very reclusive.  I met his two siblings at my mother's funeral but gather that they are now dead and I am reluctant to telephone him simply to ask when his brother and sister died so I have simply entered their deaths as "after" and entered the date of my mother's death.

I am back to doing yoga five times per week and feeling much better for it and I have resumed the "fast diet" because my weight has started to edge up.  I am finding this rather hard and will probably do so until my body gets used to it again.  I have never found it particularly hard before; it is mostly just keeping busy and drinking extra coffee if things start going tough.

The possum sweater is progressing slowly and I am knitting a lacy scarf from some very, very old spinning where I blended dog hair with the wool and dyed it pink.  The dog hair didn't blend in evenly or pick up the dye so it is definitely in the novelty yarn category and is ideal for a lacy scarf.  So far it looks very pretty and being mostly holes it is a quick knit and a nice change from the sweater which is serious knitting.  I intend to modify the pattern to give the sweater a cowl neckline so fingers crossed that it will work out.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Revisting old times

My original online name was Minerva and when I started playing the Douglas Adams computer game 'Starship Titanic' it got shortened to minnie and then, as a reflection of the song Lily the Pink it became minnie the pink.  When I wanted to make my nationality clear I became minnie the pink Ozcat which has morphed into pinkozcat.

I decided to see if there was anything left of SST so I googled
minnie the pink + Starship Titanic and found a heap of posts from the forum.  I also discovered that I can download the game for under $8 Australian and it works with Windows 10.  I am tempted!  I still have the book with all the hints which I collected after I became a Captain and stayed to help those who were still working through the game so I could probably play it again if the mood moved me.

I am re-knitting my pink possum sweater.  I realised that I was knitting a  size (or two) too big and luckily I had not progressed too far.  It will now be about 5cm bigger than the Chunderup sweater which fits well but going down another size will make it a fraction tight and I do not want to undo it again and start again with smaller needles .  I am in no hurry to finish it as the weather is finally warming up and the sweater may be too warm for this climate even in winter  -  but 'Have Yarn - Will Knit'.

I have had to turn on the 'happy juice' dispenser as the cats were scrapping BIGLY and Poppy was seriously fighting me when I needed to clip her claws.  I know that she has sore feet and arthritis in the right hand but she is always much happier when the claws are short so they both have their nails clipped every three weeks which seems to be the optimum period between comfortably short and ripping up the leather couch.

I am making progress working back through my father's side of the family and am back to 1726 but still no word from a first cousin who is supposedly the family genealogist.  I was hoping that she could give me information about my contemporary family but I might have to leave that to the next generation or hope that someone posts on ancestry.com.  The problem there is that no details are published for people who are still alive and that is going to limit me  possibly only to information about births; but I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I have sorted the Sarahs

One of the things which you do while you are waiting to fall asleep  -  think:  I need to check the birth date of Matthew's oldest brother.

This morning I did this and found that the eldest sibling was born in 1795 and therefore Sarah Lockwood (married 8-7-1790) is the only possibility.  I had the right name but the wrong Sarah on my family tree.  Now that that is all sorted I looked at the births of the three siblings  -  1795, 1803 and 1808 so either Matthew's father was away a great deal or Sarah had difficulty carrying a baby to full term as in those days the family popped one out every year or so until the mother died of exhaustion, usually after number nine or ten.

D2, who is a doctor, told me that after number three birthing becomes more and more dangerous for the mother and in the late eighteenth century all that the women had was a midwife of varying competence and looking through my tree I have found a number of women who died with a newborn baby which tended to die at the same time.  It must have been very scary for women; men had it easier, they just married again.

So Many Sarahs

I have been playing around with the nether regions of my paternal family tree.  My mother's family were seriously bad but my father's roots were steeped in non-mainstream protestant offshoots of the official Church of England  -  in this case one lot were Congregational and one were Methodist and one great great grandfather was a fire and brimstone congregational minister and the other branch had a greatx3 grandfather who was a Methodist South Sea Island Missionary.

I have had a lot of help from a third cousin (once removed) discovering the South Sea island branch but realised yesterday that the missionary's father and mother appeared to have been married when said Gx3 Grandfather was 17 and since he was the youngest of the family I realised that there was an error generated either by me or my cousin.

My great greatx4 grandfather, John,  married a woman named Sarah and the couple were supposedly married in 1823 whereas their youngest son was born in 1808 so I realised that if John and Sarah were their correct given names then it must be a different Sarah.  Since John's family name is correct I started searching for a Sarah who had married a John within a reasonable time and place to have a child born in 1808 and I have made a non- exhaustive list of possible Sarahs; not that is really matters so far back in the late 1700s which is about as far as the records are available and readable.


Sarah Lockwood         8-7-1790
Sarah Parkin              25-9-1797
Sarah Blagborough     14-8-1789  
Sarah Berthwick         27-1-1800
Sarah Garfat              21-5-1801

I will check with my cousin in due course but do not want to rain on her parade just yet as she gave a talk to her local Genealogical Society this afternoon and is probably done with that branch of the family for a while.

The warm weather is finally happening with a green tinge starting to appear on the deciduous trees outside my windows  -  just when I have started knitting a possum fur and merino wool sweater, hopefully with a cowl neck; hopefully because I am having to combine two different patterns to end up with what I want.

My enthusiasm to extend my family tree is probably, in part, an avoidance mechanism.  It is going to be a very warm sweater and will be knitted over a probably very hot summer.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Cold, Wet Winter

We are now into our sixth day of spring and it has finally warmed up a bit.  The winter has been wet, windy and cold and I finally went out and bought myself an electric blanket, something which I haven't felt the need for since I invested in a down duvet many years ago.

I have been doing the usual spinning, reading and knitting as well as getting back into researching family history.  I am finding that the new FTM doesn't do its charts the way the old one did; it adds too much detail where it is not needed in the descendant chart but that is really a minor problem as  it generally works and syncs well.

I have reconnected with a third cousin once removed who gave me a huge amount of help in my early days of genealogy research and hopefully I will get to meet her sometime soon as she lives in an outer suburb  -  really a satellite city of Perth, Western Australia.  It is two hours each way by public transport to visit Mandurah but she comes up to Perth frequently.

I have knitted thirteen beanies for the homeless people sleeping rough and a couple of others in my knitting group are also knitting for the homeless so between us we have done well but the rush is now off and I have started on a cowl-necked sweater in "eco-fibre" from New Zealand where it is called "merino  possum".  While possums are protected here in Australia they are an out-of-control pest in New Zealand and the fibre is very light and extremely warm.

I knitted a possum cowl some months ago and it is great to wear when waiting at the railway station as the south wild screams down the line and there is no shelter from it.

The cats are well and sleep a lot during the day now but seeing the state of the apartment in the mornings I suspect that they riot when I am asleep.  They are both on a diet but have not lost any noticeable weight but we still have about six months before the Vet weighs them again.

Parsifal has finally achieved his greatest goal  -  getting behind the TV cabinet  -  and he did it when I was about to head out to COTA.  I knew that he had hidden himself away somewhere but couldn't find him and had to rush to catch the train so I left all the doors, cupboards and drawers open just in case he had, yet again, shut himself in somewhere.  When I got home he was very much in evidence and very, very dusty so the next time D2 came to do a car swap we pulled the cabinet out and I cleaned out behind it.  Now Poppy has been behind as well  -  amongst all the cords and cables and she actually managed to unplug the power to the DVD player.  *sigh*

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Rose by any other Name ...

One of my first cousins is writing a book about one of our mutual great grandfathers.  I am of the opinion that our Great great grandfather would be a good place to start but it is not my book.  Our Great Great Grandfather was a congregational minister who emigrated to Australia with his whole congregation and set up a settlement about 50 miles from Adelaide, but my cousin prefers the son and it is his book, after all.

I am a genealogist with an extensive Family Tree, am a member of Ancestry.com and a regular visitor to Trove.gov.au, the National Archives where old newspapers are being scanned and posted on line.  Some (most) of the scanning is full of gaps, weird words and strange typos and people are permitted to go into the site and correct the entries which is fun to do and one gets one’s login name credited with the corrections.

Anyway, our mutual grandfather has, as a middle name, the maiden name of his paternal great grandmother.  Her family in England spelled the name with two ‘m’s but our grandfather’s middle name is spelt with one ‘m’.  England was a long way away at the turn of the last century and there was no-one to ask how the name was spelled.  My cousin was all for adding the extra ‘m’ to our grandfather’s name despite the fact that his birth records, death certificate of his wife and his own death certificate all show the single ‘m’ so it is legal and I think that I have persuaded him that he needs to stay within the law.

Not so easy is the name of our mutual great great grandfather.  In England it is spelled with an ‘e’ but here in Australia the ‘e’ is left out.  I blame our great grandfather who misnamed his son (our grandfather) and since he wrote his memoirs and spelled his father’s name without the ‘e’  and younger members of the family who also have that name have dropped the ‘e’ and it has been set, literally in stone, on the wall at the entrance to the church built in our great great grandfather’s memory. 

I know that England was a long way away with no internet and no Ancestry.com but I am beginning to suspect that my great grandfather couldn’t spell to save himself and the only reason that the spelling in his books was correct was that he had a good editor who wouldn’t have known how his father’s name was spelt and therefore didn’t correct that particular error.

I have pretty well convinced my cousin that his name should have the ‘e’ since Ancestry.com has a scanned copy of his father’s ( my 3 x great grandfather’s) application for a marriage license and it is quite clear how his name is spelled as it has his actual signature which quite clearly shows the ‘e’.

Probably all or most variations of names were due to spelling errors but I am a pedant and find it difficult to see it happening in front of my eyes.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


The last week has been abnormally cold with the temperature plummeting to 1 degree Centigrade.  For two nights I warmed up my bed with a heated throw and then decided that the time has come to buy myself an electric blanket.  Electric blankets have advanced since last I owned one; I can now do a quick pre-heat after which it turns itself off which suits me fine as I usually prefer to sleep cold.  But it is nice to get into a warm bed.

I have oiled and sorted my treadle spinning wheel which has been sitting idle since Herself died.  Since I mostly now use Ertoel Roberta, my electric spinner, poor Ertoel Emma has mostly been ignored except when Herself and I did spinning demonstrations for little Grade I children who  probably think that milk comes in plastic bottles and sweaters magically appear in shops.

At the moment I am using up some rolags which I produced on my blending board but the pressure is on to knit beanies for the homeless who are sleeping rough so I am using up my scraps and since I have been told that most of them like colourful beanies I am letting my hair down and adding stripes from the scraps which are too short for whole beanies.

There are three of us knitting beanies in my knitting group.  They are simple to knit and there is not much can go wrong even if we spend most of our time talking  -  so knit nothing complicated which might have to be undone later.  It is a great group where we share our skills and are happy to give advice if someone is having a problem.

My Ex and Wife-in-law are both in hospital at the moment.  Wife-in-law had untreated cellulitis and needed help to get around.  Ex tried to help her and lost consciousness three times so they were both shipped off the Charlies.  D2 has organised them into a private hospital where Ex can be treated by his own cardiologist and W-I-law can have her cellulitis treated.

Nobody knows
How cold my toes
How cold my toes
Are growing.*

A A Milne

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Today I performed the dreaded task of clipping the cats' claws.  This is always a fraught job because Poppy has arthritis in her right arm and doesn't like it to being handled so claw clipping is about as bad as it gets.

However, taking on board something which someone said to me about cat claw clipping I sat cross-legged on the floor and held Poppy like a baby  -  tummy up.  I still had to muzzle her but I was able to clip her claws without pulling on the leg and she hardly protested at all so maybe in the course of time she will allow me to do the job without the muzzle.  As the operation needs to be done about every three weeks it is something which matters a lot to me.  Poor baby, this has been going on ever since I first got her and it is nothing I have ever done to her  -  I've always been very conscious about only taking off the tips and not hurting her.

I am trying to get back to yoga after my double bout of vertigo but am finding the going hard as my balance is not good and I keep falling over if I do not concentrate.  I have decided to use a chair for support in the lunges which are my main problem and perhaps things will improve as I work at it.  Here's hoping, anyway.

Winter has finally arrived in Perth with only one day of official winter left and we have had rain, gales and low temperatures.  I had no clients last Thursday, something I applauded because the day was cold, wet and windy and I have to change trains to get to Visability and it means waiting for non-connecting trains at the Perth station on the way home.  Going to Victoria Park is not such a hassle because there in only an eight minute wait between trains and the Thornlie train is always already in the station so I can sit down and read a book until it is time to go.  But going home the Fremantle train pulls out just as the Thornlie train pulls in so I have to wait 15 minutes for the next one.

With the two places where I have been buying my clothes either moving away from Claremont or being taken over I am back to shopping online at a Muslim outlet which sells the most beautiful clothes  -  and skirts and trousers are international.  In the olden days after my trip to Iran I used to buy most of my clothes from this outlet which was based in Syria but the skirts and trousers which I have just received were posted from Jordan so I hope that they are all safe from the bombs and are able to keep on producing.

Things seem to be getting a tad chaotic in USA over the last few months and especially over the last week.  The antics from the Government used to be funny but things are getting worrisome  and goodness knows where it will all end up.  SAD!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Those Red Satin Knickers

My knitting group is a very light-hearted affair and we spend more time laughing than we do knitting and no one attempts complicated patterns for fear of making a mistake.  I take all my knitting gear in a fabric shopping bag and when I put something in the bag it tends to stay there so my bag has become something of a joke since I can usually produce knickknacks like stitch markers, needle gauges etc. and one day someone suggested that among my possessions I probably had a pair of scarlet knickers.  I denied this but suddenly remembered my red satin frilly bikini knickers and promised to produce them at the next meeting, which I did.

How did I, a senior citizen, come to be in possession of a pair of red satin frilly knickers?

In the olden days when I was still working there was a Ponzi scheme amongst the staff.  One of those chain letter sorts of things where you received a letter with three names and addresses and instructions to copy the letter into three sheets of paper, delete the name on the bottom and add your own to the top, send a handkerchief to each of the people on your list and post your three new letters to your worst enemy and eventually you should receive 1,000 handkerchiefs.

Of course, it never works that way because mostly people throw their letters into the bin and send no handkerchiefs.  However the one I found myself a part of was not handkerchiefs but knickers and along with your name and address you needed to list the size of the knickers you wore.  Needless to say  -  everyone (except me) lied about the size of their knickers. Sadly I only received two pairs in all  but ….

The first pair fitted the first time I wore them but shrank to tiny after being washed but the other pair was a gorgeous red satin frilly bikini which was very comfortable and oh, so cool in summer so that when I moved into my apartment I couldn’t bear to part with them and for old time’s sake I packed them along with the rest of the clothes I brought with me.  And  promptly forgot about them.

As requested I produced them for the knitters and they were much admired and, I thought, forgotten. 

Last week, because I had given a spinning lesson to a friend of one of the group I was telling people about spinning equipment and was asked to bring my niddy-noddy along to the next session.  It clean went out of my mind so I popped back to get it (I live just across the road from the place where the knitting group meets) and I was asked to bring my red satin, frilly knickers for someone who had missed out on the first viewing a few weeks previously.  They are now back in my undies drawer shining their light under a bushel of regular knickers.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I've been sick

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks because during that time I have had two episodes of vertigo, each of which laid me up for two days after which I spent three days recovering my balance enough to function in polite society  -  and during that time quite a lot has happened.

Firstly D1 flew into Perth for a couple of days; not to celebrate the birthdays of myself and D3 but to celebrate the 85th birthday of the father of one of her friends.  I had a good excuse not to cook for her (back of hand to brow "Mother, you KNOW I don't like mushrooms") and I took her over the road to Nolita which is the poshest and most expensive of our local restaurants but it has the nicest food.

On last Wednesday I went to Apple to get a cover for my latest iPad only to find that there were only two left for my model and the one which I opted for came from Queensland.  But delivery was free and I am very happy with it.  There is no longer any danger of the cats dancing on the Gorilla Glass.  I also bought a stand for my stylus and duly colour in my picture (app Pigment) of the day when the mood moves me.  I haven't got much further than games on the new one but I have THE BOOK (The Missing Manual) and am slowly working my way through.  So far I have discovered that the iPad refuses to read my fingerprint although it eagerly recorded it.  And I have yet to hold a meaningful conversation with Siri.

I was contacted by a friend of one of my knitting group who wanted to learn to spin.  She had the wheel, niddy-noddy and Lazy Kate as well as THREE merino fleeces but no idea what to do with them.  She had washed (not very well) and combed (not very well) some of the fleece but it has tiny crimps and was not very long  -  so is difficult for a beginner.  The wheel is lovely so she just needs to get the hang of spinning; like all of us when we start she began by holding the fibre too tightly and can't feed it out but time will fix that.  I did suggest getting a Corriedale fleece and use the merino to stuff cushions but if she learns to spin that she will be able to spin anything.

Last night I downloaded the latest version of Family Tree Maker.  Because I already used FTM 14.1 I was eligible for a free upgrade to FTM 17 if I enrolled in the Beta program which I obviously did although I really don't remember doing it.  Anyway, FTM 17 was rolled out two days ago but without the facility to sync which will come later.  For some reason I was one of the first to get it and although the instructions looked very complicated it turned out to be well  explained and easy  -  if I did it correctly and it will work (fingers crossed). 

To be truthful, I have really gone as far as I want to with my tree but there is always room for expansion  -  I could always add the 800 or so descendants of John Pidwell who mostly reside in America but that is really getting a bit remote  -  the brother of my great great great grandmother, a humble shoemaker who went to Canada and made good. And explore my German roots via the Samler family who were sugar bakers and probably very respectable but judging my their descendants their morals seriously deteriorated.  My mother's family were mostly not nice people.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rebooting my watch

Back in 2011 I paid a visit to Sydney to attend D1's MBA Graduation and while I was there I bought myself a very pretty watch.  I had intended to get one of those ones which are powered by movement but was persuaded to get one which was triggered by light  -  something I had never heard of then or since although I am sure that they are still around.

It is a very pretty little watch, gold with a row of tiny diamonds along each side of the face and it shows the date  -  important; I can never remember the date.  It has run on light and kept perfect time for 16 years and suddenly it started losing time.  I searched out a watchmaker who specialises in that particular brand of watch and fully intended to take it to him next week but in the meantime I needed a watch which showed the date so I went searching downstairs.  Lots of shops sold watches but they were either too expensive for what I would be getting or they didn't show the date.

Eventually I wandered into the most expensive jewellery shop in the Claremont Quarter where I saw the prettiest black and silver Swiss watch with 13 diamonds to mark the hours and  -  a little window showing the date.  I had only intended to get a cheap watch to tide me over until I could get the solar one fixed but since I have a birthday coming up I decided to give myself a present  -  and there was a sale and I got 20% off  -  so I bought it.

I have been suffering from quite severe vertigo for the past week or so and since I could not do much I had a lot of thinking time  and I wondered if there was a way of shocking my solar watch back into working properly.  As I am into the vagaries of computers (I am still struggling with my new IPad) it occurred to me that a  re-boot was worth a try so I shut the watch into the darkest depths of my jewel box for 12 hours and then left it under a very bright LED light for a few hours and  -  would you believe  -  it has been running perfectly and keeping perfect time ever since.

I have rebooted my watch.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

i-Pad connected at last

my I-Pad is now connected to my modem  -  finally!  I have been using my Hotspot but that is not altogether satisfactory.  All that was needed was the password of the modem and all my searching for it was unsuccessful although I did find out some amazing strings of letters and numbers.  Techie found it in about 20 seconds but was surprised and muttered "What made me set that one?"  Anyway, after a bit of pfaffing around I have got it up and running but had to get in through Facebook and change the Facebook password which I have coded and recorded.  So long as I can decipher the code we should all be OK and D1 will be able to connect her I-Pad when next she comes to stay.

Yesterday we had a meeting of the four COTA teachers to try to agree to what is needed to get the COTA computers up and running.  I gather that Himself and I are the only ones who work in tandem so I am usually the only one who uses Boardroom 2.  Boardroom 1 died completely a couple of months ago, disappeared to undergo serious rehab and now works reasonably well.

Techie also came to sort out the connection issues of all my computers and to get my Wi-Fi printer printing from them all (but not the I-Pad which is the opposition brand).

Nothing else of any note has happened to me and I have been keeping myself busy but not achieving much of anything  -  but have knitted six beanies for the homeless from leftovers from my spinning and knitting.  I have been watching a lot of TV, what with things the way they are in USA and it is all getting very interesting.  And speaking of interesting  -  Techie thinks that Trump is doing a great job so by unspoken mutual consent we changed the subject.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


My new I-Pad is NOT connected to my modem after all.  I was fooled by it's willingness to play games when it has no internet and it is only when I need to buy something at the Apple Store that it needs an internet connection.  When this happens I still have the hotspot to connect me so all is not lost but I have spent inordinate amounts of time trying to get it connected to my computer modem.

Just in case people are reading this and beaming me messages to look under the modem for the password  -  I have done that and tried every combination of letters and numbers on the bottom and have even gone to the modem's webpage where I found that the generic password is 'admin' -  that doesn't work either.  So all I can do now is wait until Techie can find the time to come and connect it or abandon him and find someone else to find the magic word (and no  -  "please" wouldn't work although I haven't actually tried it).

Tomorrow I am looking forward to a day when I have nothing at all planned  -  the first for weeks  - and I have a sinking feeling that my conscience will prompt me to get the floors and windows cleaned.

One of my clients brought her computer in today and it turns out that she has Win 8.1 but I was unable to connect her to the internet and have a strong suspicion that she has a dial-up connection.  Anyway, the computer is pretty useless as it has no editing, no minimising or closing pages, nothing!!  She uses it to play solitaire and that is about all it is good for.  I suggested that she have it sorted by a technician but she says that she can't afford that so I have offered to teach her Win 10 and she can use her library's computers.  However, the receptionist has given her the name of one of the other teachers who is an IT specialist and I am hopefully that he will take her on and sort her out.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

I don't know how I did it but I did.

My new iPad is now connected to my modem.  I don't know how I did it but it now works without the Hotspot.

I kept my appointment with the Apple experts and Josh unlocked and did basic setup to the new one so that I was able to use it and Siri seems to recognise my voice but at the moment our conversations are a bit stilted.  Siri was a man to start with but is now an Australian woman and I really do not know how I am supposed to use her; no doubt the light will eventually dawn for me.

On  the way back to the train I ran into Techie who said that he would try to be with me at the end of the week  -  but he didn't come so I have been fiddling with things and changing settings for the past two days using my Hotspot and this evening I turned her on (the iPad is a  girl) and found that I was connected to the internet without the aid of the Hotspot so something I did has worked.

I still cannot connect all my computers with each other or use Wi-Fi to print so if Techie eventually arrives I will ask him to do his worst and get things up and running.  However, one of the sites I visit knows exactly how many computers I own so they are connected somehow  -  probably on the Cloud.  I still have too many passwords between the two iPads but hopefully as I work through things I can synchronise them a bit better but for the moment it is just nice to know that they are both connected.

This morning I clipped the cats' claws  -  a job which I put off for as long as I can because poor little Poppy has arthritis in her right front paw and obviously at some stage someone was a bit rough with her.  It wasn't me  -  I have always been super-careful not to hurt her but she still has to be muzzled to quieten her down.  Parsifal knows that he gets special treats after the operation is over and tries to hurry things up by wriggling but he is no problem.  Poppy enjoys the treats but not the claw clipping so she always gets done first so that she doesn't anticipate  -  if cats are capable of anticipating and judging by their reaction to the serving of their evening soft food they are definitely able to anticipate.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ipodology - or not

I have never before felt so inadequate when faced with a computer, as if there hasn't been enough stress in my life recently.

My old Epsom XP-100 printer kept on getting its black ink nozzle blocked and I was spending more and more time "wiping" it, culminating in a whole afternoon when the test pattern didn't change no matter how many times I cleaned the nozzle so I decided that it was time to get myself a new printer.  Having seen a newer iPad than my very old one (which I have never really used except to play games on) I decided to get myself a new one while I was in JB-HiFi.  The printer is no problem:  ink cartridges went in easily,  it primed and printed although it should connect wirelessly (it tries  -  more on that later) but the iPad was not so easy.  It rejected all the passwords which I tried and then suggested using a thumb print as ID.  The went OK and I made friends with Suri and took a couple of photos of the cats.  Then I turned it off.

It refused to recognise my thumb print and got very surly when I tried a couple of passwords which I knew that I had tried so I took it back to the store where I was shown how to force start it and plug it into Happy Tunes which would fix it.  It didn't!  Happy Tunes tried to download the repair program but after many tries I gave up and, knowing that I was on iCloud I went there and set a user name and password which should have worked except that I had tried too many times (I understand that five times is the limit) and it was disabled.  Grrrrr!

I phoned Apple and they did a remote connect and tried and tried to fix it until I ran out of time (Mothers' Day and I was being collected by D3 to go to lunch with D2).  So Now I have an appointment for late morning on Wednesday to take it to the Apple Magic Unlock people.  So here's hoping. But GB1 who is now 16 years old and in his second-last year of school said that his class and the one above have all been furnished with Surface Pro4s (I have Surface Pro 3 and it is a nice little tablet) because the school has discovered that employers want their staff to be familiar with Internet Explorer.

My next problem is that the new iPad will not connect with my modem and D1 had the same problem with hers when she came to stay at Christmas.  They both connected with my Hotspot so I realised that the problem probably lay with my new computer which Techie dropped in here in a rush last August after my brush with the Blue Screen of Death. 

I went in to settings and the 'sharing' switches are turned off so I think that techie was in a rush and didn't stop to set things up.  Until the printer and the two iPads I didn't notice that things are not as they should be and so I will call him up when the iPad is unlocked and hope that he will set things up so that the printer and all the rest of my multiple computers can print wirelessly and both iPads will connect without having to turn on the hotspot.

I ended up so confused yesterday that I began to think that I was dementing but a good night's sleep has cleared my brain and I will get things sorted one way or another but if IE is going to be  'de rigueur' then I may have missed the boat with Apple.  Never mind  -  there is always Mah-jong and Sudoku but it did take a really nice photo of the cats so all is not lost  -  except the photo of the cats.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Getting back to Normal

I no longer have to keep my leg up and I am back on a normal diet  -  as of yesterday  -  and still feel a bit guilty when I chew on anything but the mouth has all healed up and there is no more need for custard-like food.

One trouble I am having is that the suggestion about eating nothing thicker than custard set me exploring the custard shelves in Coles and I discovered a delicious chocolate custard which I persuaded myself was a legitimate food to tide me over.  I am now going through the throes of sugar withdrawal which is never easy and all chocolate is out for a while which is really just a matter of avoiding the aisle where the chocolate is shelved.

So now I have no excuse not to clean and tidy my apartment which, thanks to my automatic vacuum cleaner, is mostly just setting it to run,  cleaning and emptying it out afterwards, wash the filter and put it all together again.  It does both tiles and carpet so I just leave it to its own devices and it has finally discovered how to find its way to and put itself back into the charger.

The "meet and greet your neighbours" affair has been cancelled.  As I understand it, only the people from CRII replied to the invitation and someone found that it was going to be all too difficult to organise.  All it needed was a rubbish bin and a couple of people to collect any stray paper plates afterwards as we were asked to bring the tipple of our choice and a plate of nibbles to share.  What can be so hard about that?

Today I had a little bit of Mothers' Day early because D1 will be off to Europe next Saturday and will miss the main event so I opened her present when I phoned her this morning.  I know that I am getting a pair of handspun and hand knitted socks from D3 because I ordered the fibre in with the Chunderup fibre so it is all matching but different as they were both spun differently.  I will try to post a photo of the Chunderup Sweater and matching scarf if google will let me.  It used to be rather bloody-minded about that but I have a feeling that things have since I last tried.

I am still entranced by what is going on in America and just hope that the checks and balances regarding Trump-Care will hold firm or a lot of people are going to die.  If rape is a pre-existing condition not worthy of benefits then anything which takes people to the doctor could be considered a pre-existing condition and then most of the population will  have not health cover and the doctors and nurses will have to get jobs in the coal mines which seems to be the only growth industry  -  or building a pipeline through heritage forest.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Heaven save me from ...

...computers set up by friends.

I had my third session with the man with the strange version of Windows 10 and, as predicted, he had not managed to open a file and insert some text ready for editing.  So, using his rather strange text program, we put in a block of text from my web pages and tried to do the cut/copy/paste routine.  It turns out that his text program will only highlight one word, one sentence or one paragraph which makes the editing program pretty useless.

He had another relative clean things up a bit  -  I only saw one red truck  -  and she wrote down something step by step for him which we had done the week before  -  probably clearing cookies.  His email is stuffed and I have requested that he either find out what password will get him into his Gmail account or open a new Gmail account before he presents himself again in two weeks time.  And hopefully get someone who knows what he is doing to get his computer up and running; I suggested a couple of people and alternatively suggested he phone UWA's Student Employment Agency for a hopeful student. 

Himself will be back next week and I can see a battle looming for the only computer which sort of works.  Himself will probably win since I bring a couple of my own tablets and a hotspot to COTA every week.  The new receptionist was there and was being mentored by the general office volunteer who is not looking well.  She is on new medication and still getting the dosage right.

I have finished knitting beanie No.3 and am all set to start on my Pink Pussy Hat and have finished spinning the first bobbin of Bruised Ego.  I am limiting myself to about 60 minutes per day so it will take me a couple of weeks to do the second bobbin.  It is spun fine and is destined to be a lacy scarf.  I will spin the rest thicker and knit a sweater to match the scarf.

I am back to yoga again and am very stiff at the moment but feel much better for doing it.  Hopefully, after Monday I will be done with all the medical specialist visits and can get back to a normal life.  I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Even Chocolate is hard to eat when ...

... you have to suck it.

Yesterday I had the polyp removed from my mouth and am now supposed to eat only food with a custard-like consistency.  After 24 hours of diet shakes I felt that I needed a little treat so bought some Lindt Chocolate balls and found that the urge to bite into them was almost overwhelming and somehow they are not the same when sucked.  I had no desire to scoff the lot which is my usual reaction to the chocolate balls.  As DT would tweet, "SAD".

I cleaned up the inflamed incision on my leg and found that there was a bit of suture sticking out (supposedly the dissolving sort and inserted on 17th February) and pulled it out.  It was all in a tangle but slipped out easily; not so the other side of the incision   It also had some suture sticking out but I was not able to remove it and it seemed to be attached somewhere down my leg so I have covered it with Fixomull Stretch to prevent it from catching on my trousers and tomorrow morning I have an appointment with the dermatologist.

 I have a bad feeling about this and unless he can somehow pull it all out I may be faced with re-opening the incision and sitting with my leg up for another three weeks.  Not a happy prospect and just when I thought that I was almost done with this gradual whittling away of my person.

Back to COTA today and my first client had the most peculiar set-up on his laptop.  It looks like Windows 10 and he thinks that is what he has got but it was installed by a friend and I suspect that it is an illegal copy and it acts very strangely.  The tiles do not work as they should and when we tried to open a text document all he had was Wordpad. 

I like Wordpad and all its works so we opened and saved a blank document on desktop. closed it to demonstrate filing, naming and saving and when we opened it found that it had morphed into a spreadsheet and every time we tried the same thing happened.  However, we found another text app  -  one which I have never seen before and we are going to have to work with that.

He wants to sort his pictures but when he opened the Pictures App he had a page full of duplicate photos of a red truck filling the whole page.  I gather that this was a present from the friend who installed Windows 10.  I really need to spent time working on the computer myself.  It is very hard to teach someone how to do things on a computer containing a multitude of weird things and with no clue as to what is there.  I think that next week I might take over for the time it takes to get into My Computer and see just what has been installed before handing it back to him to do some editing.

His homework is to open a new text file and add enough text so that I can show him how to edit but I am not holding my breath that he can, or will, do it so I will take in a flash drive containing something from my web pages or we might find ourselves spending the whole hour trying to install enough text to actually teach editing, saving, naming and filing.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Post-departure Pictures

Early in this last week I attended the funeral of one of my friends from the time when I worked for Mental Health Services and who was a member of the Lotto Lunch Group which has been running from the time I retired.  Gradually the whole group has retired but we still meet every two months, albeit we are a member short at the moment.

It was a beautiful funeral  -  totally secular and without a lot of the to-ing and fro-ing usually seen at these functions.  Part of the proceedings was a slideshow of photos from her life (she was stunningly beautiful with red hair and a lovely bone structure) which got me thinking that maybe my kids might want to do something similar so I hauled out the three CDs of family photos which were mostly taken by my father and which were collected by my brother and me and put onto CDs.  However, when I tried to transfer the pictures to my computer they refused to transfer and it took me most of the afternoon to work out how to save them all on my hard drive  -  not made any easier by the fact that I had to do each one using a different method.  I cannot blame Windows 10 for that  -  I tried on my Win 7 computer and it gave just the same result

The hardest to transfer was a large assortment of photos taken when my children and I were younger and far more beautiful  -  in my case, at least and which were professionally transferred from colour slides to CD professionally and which were designed to be easily copied so that I could send a copy to each of my kids.  Copied onto CDs perhaps but not to a hard drive.  So now they are all there on my computer ready for my funeral slide show  -  and they are very interesting as they show my daughters as children and me without wrinkles.  Perhaps I should make a selection  myself but hopefully that will be jumping the gun a bit.  I will put them all onto a flash drive and hope that the technology outlasts me.  I am going to have to rename them so that the names of the people are not forgotten  -  as so often happens.

I have returned to spinning and am pushing ahead with a colourway called "Bruised Ego" in superwash merino.  I think that I will have enough for a sweater with quite a bit over so I am spinning the first 200gms much finer than usual with the idea of knitting a lacy scarf and I will knit my favourite  "Kimono Sweater" with the rest with, hopefully, enough left to make another beanie for the homeless.  I have already knitted two and one of my Knitting Group has knitted another for me to donate.  The Group mostly knits squares for rugs or dolls to be given to children in more deprived countries so perhaps beanies will be a change for us.

I am having another bit of me cut out of my mouth on Wednesday, after which I will be eating custard for a week but hopefully it will be like most of the previous dissections  -  totally normal and non-lifethreatening.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Nightmare scenarios

As my boy cat carefully walked behind my computer and monitor avoiding with some precision all the cables and connections before realising that there was no way either forward or back and I could see that some damage to my connections was imminent ( I picked him up by the scruff and removed him forthwith) it made me think about unpremeditated actions which could lead to dire consequences and what has been going on in the world over the last couple of days.

When a man with almost unlimited power and the nuclear codes suddenly decides, without warning, to bomb another country for no particular reason (OK chemical weapons, but …)  and is left with the aftermath and no plan, the excrement is going to hit the propeller in a big way.  Did no-one try to stop him; did he even discuss it with his closest advisors?  What is he going to do now? Escalate or creep back into his hole and declare the whole thing to be FAKE  NEWS?

Is he planning to try the same tactics on any other country which does not please him?  He doesn’t like Iran but Russia does, just as Russia likes and supports the Government of Syria.  He has already threatened to bomb North Korea which would put China off side, not to mention anything or anyone who gets in the way, such as Japan and South Korea.  Are we facing WWIII as some people have already suggested  -  and we have bases here in Northern Australia.

Some people have said that it was the right thing to do and maybe, in the circumstances, it was but what is going to happen now?


Meanwhile my boy cat carries on unchastened and unrepentant.  He tells me that he will do it again when I am not there to stop him.  I love him dearly but he seems to have a sort of death wish; there are tooth marks on the cord of my IPad recharger and he could only have got to it while the charger was switched on.