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  The problem there is that no details are published for people who are still alive and that is going to limit me to possibly 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 and a regular visitor to, 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 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 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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

And I was about to resign, too. Oh, well ...

COTA seems to stumble from one unforseen disaster to another.  Two weeks ago there were no staff there  -  no-one in reception even and therefore I had no idea who my clients were going to be and no sheet on which to fill out their details.  I used a blank sheet of paper and which got lost so I had to start again last week with the one client who returned.  The other one has not been back and I can hardly blame her since the only computer I had with Win 7 installed was not working properly and the only way that we could close files and folders was by going to Task Manager.  Not a good look ...

This week I arrived to find a new client waiting for me and then the one I was expecting arrived for his third lesson.  I had been double booked.

The client who was there for his third lesson had not charged up his battery  -  he brings his own computer  -  so we had to use a COTA one and the clipboard was not working properly .  Luckily the one which had been sent for repairs was back and it works although it had some funny little ways which we were able to work around.

After the second class I was told that another client had arrived 20 minutes late so I was doubly booked for both my classes.  The receptionist passed both extras over to the boss lady so I do not know what arrangements have been made for them.

My second client had her first three lessons with Himself and we used the newly renovated Boardroom 1 computer for her last lesson so all went very well and she wants to come back for some more lessons.  We appear to be booked up until July (I can't believe that considering the state of the computers) and she can not get another set of classes until then.

My friend The Shrink who was diagnosed with a brain tumour about a year ago died a couple of days ago and her funeral is next Tuesday.  I checked public transport to the cemetery and there is none.  Big cemetery; lots of funerals; and no buses or trains.  So I will be taxiing and will have to miss the knitting group when we are supposed to be teaching 8-year old kids to knit in two hours.  I was looking forward to it but it is not to be.

I started knitting a scarf from the remnants of the Chunderup sweater and I love it so maybe it will lift the tone of the sweater which certainly needs something to help it out even though I will wear it with pride as it is the first time I have incorporated a pattern into a knitted article and it emboldened me to knit the lacy possum cowl which I love.

I am still eagerly following American politics but the wheels seem to be starting to fall off and it will probably settle down to the usual ho-hum politicians doing ho-hum things like most governments do.  Maybe it is time to get back to writing up my family history, warts and all.

Monday, April 3, 2017

D. is leaving at the end of the week :(

D is the person who cleans the public spaces in apartment Blocks A & B and we are going to miss her.  Not only is she super-efficient but she always has time to stop for a chat, help anyone who needs help and battles with the Administration when things are not working as well as they ought to.

A group of us had a send-off for her today at KokoBlack and it was a fairly raucous occasion.  There were eight of us, all from Block B except one lone soul and it was a lot of fun.  D. outlined her plans for the rest of the week; she intends to crash and have a 'nanna-nap' on the couch on level six sometime and on Friday she is going to have a swim in the pool over in A Block.  The event is scheduled to start at 10.00am and we are all invited.  Since the forecast is for showers I do not think that many of us will be joining her in the water, even though it is a heated pool.

Earlier in the day my life was livened by a plumbing company coming to change the anode in my hot water system and, from the look of it, it was not before time.  The appointed tradesman arrived half an hour early which was good because of the party to farewell D. but he took one look and pronounced that my apartment was very different from the rest (which I already knew) and said that he would not be able to lift the clothes dryer off the wall on his own so he called up a mate who arrived an hour later. 

They unblocked the overflow and showed me the anode which they were replacing and from the look of it was another cheap alternative because the anode which they put in could not possibly have corroded that much in five and a half years.  And, bless their hearts, they asked for a mop and bucket of water so that they could clean under the washing machine which is too heavy for me to shift and rescued all the cat toys which had lodged underneath.

They are replacing the anodes in any apartments where the owners put up their hands and we get a discount if enough people do so.  From the look of my anode all 150 apartments need new ones as I live in the newer block  -  four years younger than Block A.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Our Two Days of Summer

While the Eastern States sweltered in above average temperatures, here I Perth we only had a couple of days of summer and already the leaves are turning, * 'the pre-session of the equinox has proceeded according to precedent' and the days are drawing in.  This afternoon I turned on the heating for the first time for ages.  Queensland is on cyclone watch for one of the worst cyclones on record, expected to cross the coast tonight and there have been floods Down South and Over East and several people have drowned in the flood waters.  All in all it has been a very funny summer.

The three weeks which I spent with my leg propped up prevented me from doing anything but reading, knitting and following  American politics and I admit that I have managed to develop an addiction to the goings-on in Washington and some of the very funny news and YouTube offerings which sadly seem to be  tailing off since the defeat of Trumpcare.

I am back to doing yoga and am extremely stiff as a result and yesterday I resumed spinning despite worsening arthritis in my thumbs.  I am knitting a second version of the 'Go With the Flow' jacket but have broken off to start knitting a few things for the homeless with the leftovers from various sweaters.  At the moment I am knitting a diagonal scarf with the remains of 'Chunderup' the sweater which featured large a few posts ago.  I have already knitted a beanie and will do a few more.  I think that it is going to be a cold winter so hopefully something warm and woolly will be of some help to those people sleeping rough.

I finally removed the last of the steristrips from my leg since they were grimly hanging on and the adhesive was getting sticky and I don't think that they would have fallen off by themselves.  The incision has healed well but there is a dent in my leg, where the SCC was, so quite a bit of tissue must have been removed.  I am glad that it is gone but think that I might be developing another one on my arm.  It is small and I am keeping an eye on it so hopefully it will not need such drastic excision.

Himself is away for a few weeks and I am back to battling with the COTA computers but thinking of resigning.  I am tired of trying to teach on computers which are never upgraded and do not do what I ask of them.

*I have been rereading my Terry Pratchett books with their extensive and nonsensical Discworld endnotes so have decided to acknowledge the above quote as an endnote.  It is from "The Elephant's Child or How the Elephant got its Trunk" by Rudyard Kipling.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

OMG, Custard?

I had an appointment to see an oral surgeon a couple of days ago because Oral Surgeon Mk.1 said that I had a 'nodule' in my mouth and that she was not qualified to remove it so she would refer me to Oral Surgeon Mk.2.  The poor man had to sit through me venting about perfectly healthy pieces being chopped out of me with no explanation, after which he carefully looked at the nodule and told me exactly why it needed to be identified  -  so I am to have a biopsy in about four weeks after which I have to eat custard and foods with similar texture for a couple of weeks.  I figure that avocados would qualify and maybe very finely blended soups because I don't think that I would survive on custard for even a couple of days ... I don't do sweet but there are some recipes on the net for savoury custard, a sort of quiche without the ham and onion.

My leg is healed but the steristrips are still in place so I have a few weeks breather before the next round of evisceration.  The problem I have now is that my enforced rest got me interested in what is going on politically in America and the first thing I look at in the morning when I turn on my computer is the news.  Our ABC has a category classified as "Trump's America"  -  and of course there is Facebook which is very Democratic unless I am looking in the wrong place.

Our politics is marginally better and therefore less interesting but we have just had a State Election and there has been a change of government which was expected  -  so no surprises there except for the huge swing to the other party.

I bought a 'going away/thank you/housewarming' present for D. the woman who cleans the common areas in both apartment blocks and we are all going to miss her.  She knows everyone, keeps an eye on the oldies and always has time for a chat and to let us know what is going on (or not) with Management.  I bought her something from DJs which has a warranty and any gift with a warranty, if you let it be known that it is a gift, gets a special 'gift' receipt which allows the warranty to be activated without the recipient knowing the price.  That is the best thing that I've come across in a while  -  its great! (sorry  -  couldn't resist).

However, I needed some new undies and DJs arranges things so that the pretty, expensive and tiny sizes are easily accessible but the common and garden knickers are right down near the floor so I spent some time on my hands and knees looking for my size which is in short supply and they are no longer available on-line.  The bras are now in EU sizing so I had to try on a heap before I found my new size which translates to my old size and my size, once again, was down near the floor.  It is a good thing I wasn't in a hurry because there is no-one to help so it means getting dressed each time one wants to experiment with a different size..  Grrrrr!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Champagne in the Shower

Today I visited the dermatologist, had my dressings changed  (I still have some steristrips to reinforce the scar) and was given the OK to have a shower as long as I pat the site dry rather than give my leg a hard rub.  I am not sure that I really want to drink champagne in the shower but I might do it just for the heck of it.

It has been an interesting three weeks of taking things easy and keeping my leg up as much as possible.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time on my computer, learnt a great deal about American politics, discovered Randy Rainbow and caught two Trojan Horses.  I collected both of them from looking at the sidebar of Facebook and each time my computer was locked and a voice from Hell told me that my computer would be locked by Microsoft until I phoned to find out how to unlock the computer and remove the spyware.

I am not sure if this is actually 'The Voice of Microsoft' or if someone is ransoming the computer but Windows Defender has sorted the problem for me after I turned the computer off at the switch to restart it and change my IP number.  I have also changed my password.  One problem with this is that my other computers want to know what was the last password which I used to open them so I have made a little list and hope that it works.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Still one of the Great Unwashed

After two weeks of not being able to have a shower I returned to the dermatologist today hopeful that I would be allowed to have a shower tonight  -  but alas ...  the dressing was changed and I am to see him again in a week's time and I still have to keep the dressing dry.

But the good news is that the whole of the Squamous Cell Carcinoma was excised and the suture line has healed up very well; I just have to treat it gently for a while longer.  At least things seem to be hotting up politically in America so that should keep me entertained for a bit longer while I am forced to rest and we have our own elections in a week or so.  The State Premier, who is my representative, seems to be so confident that I had to go online to even find out who else is standing for the seat.  It is going to be interesting because he is not generally liked and seems to have spent a lot of tax payers' money on non-essentials.  He should be working his butt off or he is going to lose his seat which has always been a blue ribbon seat for the Liberals.  So that should keep me entertained as well although I am back to turning off the TV whenever a politician appears on the screen.

Poppy managed to get herself locked out in the passage last night and was returned by Mrs 706.  I think that Poppy was hiding by her front door and I assumed that she had taken herself back into my apartment which is why I hadn't missed her.  I am aware that she would like to visit Mrs 706 and possibly move there to escape Parsifal's overenthusiasm and since, last night, Parsifal was very much in evidence I assumed that Poppy had put herself to bed.  I always count heads before I go to bed so I would have found her eventually but I am going to have to be more vigilant in the future and count heads directly after their run in the corridor.

D2 is back from her R & R in Bali and is looking and feeling much better.  She was there for three weeks of rest, massage oils, yoga and Ayurvedic diet and has a week before she has to go back to work.

And the manager of the Apartments has taken note of the non-functioning air conditioning and the water stain on the ceiling in the corridor.  He is trying to use the inordinate amount of rain which we had as an excuse for the leak but a well-built apartment block doesn't have leaks however much it rains  - or shouldn't.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just Asking

20 billion dollars to build a wall, massively increase the nation's nuclear capability and build up the armed forces so that they are unbeatable  -  who is going to pay for it all?  And the people were  promised tax cuts.

My outer bandages came off my leg yesterday, much to my relief as they were starting to roll up and get lumpy and very uncomfortable.  I still have the steristrips and the dissolving stitches and I still can't have a shower but I am not being quite so obsessional about keeping my leg up; it is very uncomfortable and sitting around was starting to annoy me. In six days I see the dermatologist again and hopefully I will get the all-clear and will be able to shower again.

 I am still re-reading my Terry Pratchett books  -  working my way through the Witches Series at the moment.  And I have been spending a great deal more time than usual online  -  hence my questions at the beginning of this blog  -  but now that I feel that I can put my foot down a bit more I can probably get back to spinning if I do it in small bites.

Today is GB1's 16th birthday and the 16th anniversary of the day I fell asleep as the wheel of my car and realised that I needed to do something about my RLS so that I could get an occasional good night's sleep  -  which led to a night in a sleep clinic.  Don't go there unless you are desperate  -  it was probably the worst night I have ever spent but it made the condition official and I was able to legitimately get medication to ameliorate the symptoms.  I have the opposite problem at the moment,  so bored that I keep on falling asleep  -  ooops  -  I keep needing power naps; but sleeping during the day has never been a difficulty it is nights which are hard.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow creeps . . .

. . . in this petty pace from day to day.

The bandages on my leg can come off tonight and I will be left with the steristrips and the stitches and I have another week of keeping my leg elevated whenever possible, although I forget and find that, especially when I am on my computer, my leg sort of ends up with my foot on the floor because it is more comfortable.

And I am spending a lot of time on my computer.  The political news from USA is giving me endless amusement but is all a bit scary.  The President has announced an upgrade of his nuclear arsenal . . .

A profound quote from Donald Trump  -

"You know what uranium is, right?  It's this thing called nuclear weapons, and other things, like lots of things are done with uranium, including bad things."

. . . and there is an agreement between USA and Russia that they will match each other's nuclear capabilities which means an escalation in nuclear weapons.  I hope that there is a system of checks and balances before anyone can press that red button or we are all in the poo.

And if you have not yet discovered Randy Rainbow  -  he is the one person who has constantly made me laugh over this very tedious time  -  and I still have a week to go before I get the OK to get back to any sort of normal life.  Thank you, Randy, I have you on Feed to Facebook.

I am still working my way through re-reading my Discworld books and am currently reading Masquerade which is a parody of The Phantom of the Opera.  I tend to find something new every time I read these books.  Terry Pratchett, as well as writing prolifically, must have read widely as his books are full of quotes and misquotes from other books.  There is an internet site called The Annotated Pratchett which gives the source of his quotes.  I have contributed one quote which was not listed and it was duly added to the page.  My favourite is 'Another shirt ruined' which is a recurrent theme in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters.

OK  -  so I am waffling; I'll go and put my feet up and knit *sigh*.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Immitation of Immortality

I am five days into the edict "Keep your foot up, do not walk far, do not stand for long periods, do not get your bandages wet and  DO  NOT HAVE  A  SHOWER  FOR  TWO  WEEKS".

By 10.000am last Saturday morning I was bored out of my mind and wondering how I was going to last for the two weeks of doing nothing.  Normally a day without plans is something to look forward to; I will never think that way again.  Imagine being forced to live forever after you have done everything you need to or had planned to do.

I have been hanging out on Facebook and giggling at the posts. It would appear that Facebook is strictly Democratic  -  or I just haven't found much Republican stuff  -  and I have discovered Randy Rainbow and all his works. I have read all the posts about the terrorist attack in Sweden  -  and some of them were real classics. As I understand from official Swedish sources it snowed and a rutting moose attacked a garden ornament in the shape of a moose  -  Oh, and a pony called Biscuit was rescued from a well.

I have tried reading and have finally finished "Baghdad Burning; Girlblog from Iraq" and have read the preface to the second book of Riverbend's blog "Baghdad Burning II" but that all needs to be taken a bit at a time and blog by blog.  I wish her well and hope that she is safe and happy wherever she is now.

I am reading a Gladys Mitchell book on my Kobo Reader but keep on falling asleep since it seems to be a guided tour around the Scottish Highlands with a murder thrown in for a bit of light relief, so I have resorted to re-reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books and it doesn't matter if I fall asleep over them because I have already read them so many times that if I miss a bit I will know what happened anyway.  And of course, I can't get to sleep at night so I get up and read tomorrow's news which is already happening in USA or maybe it is yesterday's news which tripped over the international dateline.  Anyway it is all FALSE NEWS and LIES so it really doesn't matter.

If you have managed to read down this far you have probably got the message that I am bored out of my tiny mind not because I usually do a heap of things but because I CAN'T do things.

The cats are no help either.  They see one leg up and assume that it constitutes a lap and object when they fall off . . . and Parsifal is learning to knit, I think.  He used l eat anything cordlike so I am treating his interest in my knitting with deep disquiet, keeping it well wrapped when I stop to read a book, fall asleep or haunt Facebook.

"Life gets tejus don't it."

Friday, February 17, 2017

I have joined the ranks of the Great Unwashed

Yesterday I had my pesky squamous cell carcinoma removed from my leg and for the next two weeks I am not allowed to get the area wet, not allowed to walk very much and need to keep the leg up as much as possible so I am sitting here with my right heel resting on a stool  -  and it is not at all  comfortable.

The cats, however, think that keeping one leg up constitutes a lap and I spent the morning trying to gently discourage them so that I could knit or at least read a book but they insisted on being tickled under the chin or between the ears and refused to desist.  They have finally settled down and gone to sleep but I am going to have two weeks of this.

After the hectic last two weeks I would have thought that a day when I was forced to do nothing would be welcome and wonderful but I was bored by 10.00am.  The outer wrappings can come off next Friday but the stitches and steristrips have to be left to fend for themselves and will come off in their own good time; the stitches are dissolving ones.  I will be going back to the dermatologist in two weeks and the nurse suggested that in light of previous experiences she felt that a quick shower before attending should be possible if I carefully patted the site dry in order not to disturb the incision.

However, I have managed without a bathroom before and do not doubt that I will be able to cope without becoming rank.  For the next two weeks I will be using the APC routine and I wash my hair under the laundry tap already so at least my hair will be clean.

There are layers and layers of dressings and bandages which are hot and tight but they can come off in six days now  -  and counting.

I have finished the cowl which I have been knitting and am very happy with it.  So far I have found six different ways I can wear it and I am sure that I will find others.  The pattern was a bit of a pain to knit and there are a few mistakes but they do not show in the chatter of the pattern so I have left them since they were minor and the pattern was a hassle to undo the few times I felt that I needed to.  Eventually I started putting in safety lines of dental floss which gave me confidence that I could undo it down past any mistake and pick up the stitches again.

Now I can concentrate on the 'Go With the Flow' jacket and maybe get back to spinning if I can manage it with one leg in the air.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Worse than the Bark

Today I took the cats to the Vet for their annual vaccinations and they were not amused.  Poppy was first and she allowed herself to be weighed but took great umbrage at her injection.  To make matters worse both of them had been given malfunctioning microchips so she had to have another one inserted.  I had taken her muzzle but forgot to put it on.  She bit me.  She only has two teeth but she made quite a hole in my thumb  -  blood all over the place.

Then it was Parsifal's turn and he was already revved up for battle.  He is usually pretty good but he lashed out at me and opened up my right thenar eminence; blood all over the place.  All over the floor and all over me.  I was swabbed with hexachlorophene and bandaged and the vet suggested that in extraordinary circumstances they did house calls but hopefully that is a year away so I will not have to think about it yet unless Parsifal's teeth start to give trouble.

They are both overweight and will have to be dieted; I can see trouble ahead.

Several of the women who attended the knockers knitting last week turned up again today  so there were twelve of us and all but a couple were still having knocker problems.  I am glad that I decided not to try them but instead got on with my 'Go with the Flow' jacket.  At home where there are no distractions (except the cats) I have been getting on with my cowl and only have about two more inches to knit in order to finish it.  I took it along today for a show and tell as did one of the others in the group and I think that one of our new recruits is going to knit it as she took a photo of the pattern.

One of the new recruits, who wanders around asking for information about obtaining knockers " for a friend" told me that she used to teach knitting and that I should place a red tick after each finished row.  As there are four distinct pattern rows and each had seven repeats and it will be 28" long it didn't seem to be a very practical idea but she assured me that all row markers slip.  I'll take mine along next week on the assumption that she is going to turn up again and will let her test the strength of the magnets holding the chart.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the oral surgeon but I can't think why as the biopsy she took was negative.  Cash cow mentality?  I shall refuse any further visits to her unless she can give a very sound reason for the appointment.  COTA on Thursday and the SCC is coming off on Friday.  So far next week is mercifully clear and I can get back to doing my own thing.

Friday, February 10, 2017

....... but it pours!

The rest of Australia is experiencing extreme heatwave conditions with power outages due to overload from air conditioners but here in the West we have had two days of pouring rain and yesterday was the coldest February day on record with the maximum reaching only as far as 14 degrees centigrade.  I even had the opportunity to put on one of my two unworn sweaters but not the one I have named Chunderup;  I am keeping that one for a special occasion.

The day before yesterday I saw a dermatologist about the squamous cell carcinoma on my leg and it is being removed next Friday afternoon.  I have been told to expect a long stitch line and that I will need to keep fairly quiet for a week or two  -  so no yoga for the foreseeable future until I have healed up.  I ascertained that this procedure would be done under local anaesthetic  -  I don't want the sort of problem I had when a lesion was removed from my eyelid and the surgeon was adamant that I needed a general anaesthetic and have a family member take me home afterwards and stay overnight.  This didn't happen, of course  -  D2 refused to leave work when they phoned her so I ended up having a quick prick into my eyelid and a fast and  painless removal after which I took a taxi home which is what I had wanted all along.

COTA has started again and yesterday both Himself and I each had two clients but Himself was unable to get the computer he uses to load so it sat trying to repair itself for two hours while Himself and his clients used the boss's computer.  She was providentially absent for the day.  Afterwards we went to a cafĂ© called Sassie's Cookies which is just down the road from COTA's rooms and were unexpectedly joined by D3 and SIL which was lovely.  Somehow they had neglected to book in any clients at the Clinic and since D3 had to write a submission to the APA they had a mostly free day and D3 got to write her submission  -  and I got to see her.

D2 is in Bali for four weeks being pampered and I still have two of her cars.  The man who recommended the degreaser which we used to clean up the mess left by the two incontinent cars I was babysitting has asked if he can come and have a look at the two which I have at the moment.  It is a shame that I no longer have the red one to show off but the customised VW is very pretty and I still have the silver one.

I only have about 20 cm of black possum cowl to finish knitting and am almost dreaming in blocks of 17 as the pattern is repeated seven times per row and there are four pattern rows.  At the knitting group on Tuesday we had someone come along to show people how to knit knockers (soft cotton prostheses for people who have had mastectomies).  I took along my own knitting since I knew that in a crowd (and there were over 20 people there) I would not be able to follow a pattern and most of the knitters were having problems  -  except the woman sitting next to me who wasn't even looking at her work and effortlessly knitted up the increases and decreases.  Hopefully she will continue to attend in the future  -  I liked her a lot.  it will be interesting to see how many come back next Tuesday.

Edited to say that today was the second wettest day that Western Australia has ever recorded and it isn't over yet.