Shiny things!

A week ago I went to turn my computer on and lights flash then... nothing. Not a squeak.

So now instead of a nearly 10 year old w98 box I have a shiny new laptop with winXP (not touching Vista with a barge pole until it settles down some more!). It's amazing how much faster everything is when the limiting factor is the broadband and not the computer. Local fix-it shop diagnosed motherboard failure and put some of the stuff from the hard drive onto disk for me but weren't exactly over helpful so R bought an external box for the old hard drive so we have been able to recover all the data we wanted not just what the computer shop interpreted my instructions to be.

I also have a shiny new portable multi-region DVD player so T can watch without taking up my screen (previously he would watch such things as Thomas the Tank Enging or Pingu or The Wombles (yes really, he's totally fascinated by the original 1970s Wombles) on my computer if I needed to do anything on the computer when he was around). I was surprised at just how difficult it was to get a multi-region player at a sensible price.

Car woes

What on earth possessed me to think that driving to London and back to deliver S's bits and bobs to his adoptive mother was a good idea? Especially having Theo with me!

It's just taken me over 6½ hours for the round trip and I only stopped for about 40 minutes at the delivery point. At least partly due to traffic but partly because I had to waste an hour waiting for the engine to cool down again after it over heated driving down the A10 through Enfield. The car has been tending to get hotter than it should and has been loosing water from some unfindable point for a while now but not this badly. Will have to phone the garage tomorrow and book it in to see if they can find what's wrong with it.


Just looked at the time and I really ought to go to sleep not sit reading a book and faffing about on the computer. Particularly considering that Theo will still get up at 6:30 regardless of what time I go to bed. Unless like last night he decides to wake screaming at 4:15 and refuse to be put down or go to sleep again for almost an hour an a half! And that on top of a self-inflicted late night on Saturday going to a Guiders' only camp-fire.
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Car boot bargains

I have, I think, only been to two car boot sales. One in mid-August and one this weekend just gone.

At the first one I got an Aulos tenor recorder at a reasonable price (£8). It's not a great instrument but then I'm not a great player either! I also got a toy London Routemaster bus for Theo for 50p. It has become one of the "must have" toys.

This weekend I got a toy for Theo that I was too tight to buy for him new. My nephew has one and T was very taken with it when we visited last Christmas but I wasn't spending £36 on this battery operated toy. Got it for £7 at the boot sale at a local garden centre which we only went to because they also had a "country show" with a local viking era re-enactment group present.

Trip to London

Today's special was a trip to London for what was hoped would be the very final Court Hearing relating to the administration of a friend's will. It's over five years since she died and it ain't quite over yet. (If she ever asks us to do anything for her again the answer is NO! ;-) )

Initially it looked as though the judge today was not going to look favourably on our application but then the other party managed to very effectively shoot himself in the foot and show exactly why we were asking for what we were asking. I've lost count but think this is the fifth Court Hearing and there is probably one more to go. There were also two case conferences. And that's just the part of this case that we're involved in. There's a whole other section that we haven't had anything to do with.

Having to travel up to London today made me thankful that I'm not having to do that every day anymore. Central London is too noisy, loud, dirty, crowded and fast. And it's still school holidays so it won't have been at it's complete worst!

Power Failure

In the end the power was out for several hours - at about the worst time of day since it went off about 3pm came back on for a short while (around 15-20 mins) and then went off again and came back about 7.

But I've decided that I so want a portable DVD player. Minor quibble is that it needs to be multi-region as my sister keeps sending things from Oz. My computer quite happily played the first three DVDs from Oz and then suddenly decided it was region locked to region 2. Although it will still play the three region 4 disks it has already played it won't play anything new. Very strange.

The demands for playschool were got round by playing a CD using my portable CD player for which I have a small pair of speakers as well as the earphones.

Elderly computers...

So on Wednesday evening I was cheerfully reading a board and went to move to the next page and my mouse won't move the pointer. Scroll wheel still working, buttons working but no movement.

Have had to revert to the old mouse - which doesn't have a scroll wheel! Aaaargh.

We must do some sorting out of computers. We currently have set up and running a DR-Dos box and this W98 box. In the study there is what ought to be a linux box but we've never managed to get it running properly. Under the desk in here there is another windows box we were given - we've never even set it up enough to discover which version of windoze it has! But something will have to happen as I'm about to have to use a web-based database which requires a minimum of W2000 (and doesn't even promise to work for Macs).

Which reminds me I must sort out something about T's webpage which we broke the first time we tried to update it and so has had the same "place-holding" photo up for over 18 months. (Has anyone any recommendations for writing a webpage?)

Mrs Tiggy Winkle

I meant to post this a few days ago when it actually happened...

Lateish on Saturday (I guess it must have been 9:30 or 10) Robin was sorting things out just outside the back door. He's been digging up drains and such. All of a sudden I could see this small animal skittering along by the fence. My first thought given the drain situation was "rat". And then we realised it wasn't a rat at all but a hedgehog. So I've now seen my first live wild hedgehog. It skittered off into the rhubarb patch and vanished.