The Perils of Awayness . . .

When you go away for a few days it is good advice to switch off all the unnecessary electrics. What you cannot predict however is that time when the electricity supplier will switch it off for you. On returning home recently we found all our cordless phones (BT 8500) flashing away and it took about 2 or 3 days for some of them to charge up again.

The usual search on Google showed that the rechargeable phone batteries were probably past their best, never ever having been replaced, and seemingly not having a very long life. More search revealed “” who delivered within 24 hours a set of new batteries for all our phones. The new batteries are inserted and everything appears to be working.

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If Disaster Strikes . . . or, “Be Prepared”

Getting Ready Together

Getting Ready Together

Back in 1938, 1939, with war most definitely on the horizon the Government set about preparing the nation for the worst. Today, as the prospect of a clean break with the European Union and its institutions and laws faces us the Government is slowly beginning to face its responsibilities, sharp as a door knob, faint but pursuing, it begins to wonder what sort of a mess it may have created out of its desire to create messes.

There is little the ordinary citizen can do except to try not to die.  In occasional tweets we read of folks saying that they are already stockpiling food, and the Government has leaked that it also is stockpiling – food, and medicines.  Next month it seems we are to be battered with all sorts of warning notices as what should have been thought of two or more years ago is dumped on us in one great steaming pile.

James Patrick, who writes on Twitter, has written a useful pamphlet which sets out some of the things we might do for ourselves before the end of March 2019 to mitigate the unpleasantness the Brexiteers might bring upon us. There is a screenshot of part of the front page above, and the document itself in pdf format can be found here or downloaded from the link below :


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More Rain . . . !

Well, we have had a long summer of cloudless skies and no rain. Trying to keep the plants alive but also trying not to use up too much precious water. Last night a weather front finally broke through the anticyclonic barrier and we are getting continuous light rain in “scotch mist” clouds. The trees and shrubs are catching it and dripping it onto the ground – much better than torrential a downpour which simply runs off into drains and watercourses but does not penetrate to any depth.

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Rain . . . !

Today for the first time for several weeks we woke to a solidly grey sky. By mid morning it rained quite steadily for an hour or two.  I think it will need more than that to get down to any depth in the parched ground.  But a little is better than nothing. 

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Updates – Again . . .

I wonder if the geniuses who brought the internet into existence and linked us up into a world wide web knew that they were making jobs for life for the updaters ?

I managed to log in today after three “I am not a robot” screens and so WordPress is up to date as are all the other bits and pieces.

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Success !

After yesterday’s debacle it was back to the internetweb for further consultation using the new error code offered by the last failure. The general consensus seemed to be as follows :

1. Delete the entire ontents of the Software Downloads Folder. Some said delete the whole folder, some said don’t delete the folder. Very helpful !

2. Do the above deleting with the computer running in safe mode.

3. Switch off or disable your security programme.  Nice !

So, first of all it was how on earth do you get into safe mode now that tapping F8 on start up no longer works ? Found that out OK. Next how do I switch off the security suite ? Lots of information about what you should be doing to be safe, but very little about how to disable the thing.

Eventually, running in safe mode the the Software Downloads folder was emptied an the laptop restarted. Then with the security suite disabled the download process was attempted once again. At this point I left the room as watching a Windows laptop downloading a large bunch of files is like watching paint dry. At 10.00 pm I checked in and it said the download was ready to install, so once again, with small hope of success the install was commenced at 10.05 pm. Once again it stuck at 8%, but by 10.32 pm it had crept up to 19% and I left it to its own devices. Checking again at 12.02 am it had reached 97% – Wow ! – but showing no sign of further improvement I left the thing and went to bed.

By this morning, about 8.30 am it was showing that it was awaiting a restart. This done I found myself very crossly being made to tick all sort of things I disagreed with which broadly speaking mean that I think I have sold my soul to Messrs Microsoft.

But the wretched thing now works and we await the next major update for the joy of doing this all over again.

But, looking on the bright side at least this one did not trash the computer, and it only took 4 days !

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Why do we do these things to ourselves ?

The Microsoft “Fall Update” – 1709 – trashed my laptop completely and I had to do a complete Windows reinstall and lose all my programmes. It is only recently that I have finally got it back to something like its old set up.

Last Sunday my laptop announced that Windows 10 “Feature Update version 1803” was ready for download.

I really should know better by now, but in a triumph of hope over experience I told it to go ahead. To my surprise, somewhat hesitantly and slowly, it did so in typical Microsoft fashion, though in fairness I have to say that once the actual 0’s and 1’s began coming down the wires, it got itself along quite speedily.

But as usual it all ended in tears when the download got to 99% complete. There it was, and there it stuck.

So, I set about asking the web what to do next. Finding a Microsoft solution I tried it, but it simply didn’t work on my laptop. The next best idea was to go into the Windows folder, find Software Downloads and to delete the contents of the folder, but not the folder itself. This I was able to do except for one file which could not be deleted because it was “in use by another programme” – but which one ?

A day later I fired up and went straight to the Software Folder and the recalcitrant file deleted easily. In triumph I went into Settings and Update and began the 1803 download all over again. It started OK but then all went pear shaped with the legend ” Feature update to Windows 10, version 1803 – Error 0x80070002″. So, back I went to ask the web what that all meant. Lots and lots of explanations (just as there were for stuck downloads) but all very complex and techy. So, with the wisdom of age (a bit late in the day) I decided to wait and see.

And Lo ! Today the error message had disappeared and I was informed that the 1803 download was complete (when did that take place I ask ?) and I could go ahead and install. So that is where we are at now. Sitting for a long time on 8%, it has now crept up to 11% so it might be finished by the time the next Microsoft disaster is released.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my other laptop running on Linux Mint Cinnamon updates it self quickly and easily most days, and I am using it now to make this post while Windows 10 is scratching itself in the corner.

Update to the update . . .

The End

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Castramon Wood . . .

A fine Sunday tempted us out for lunch and a drive around . . .

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New Fence Time . . .

The old fences were decaying with time and were held up by stays added over the years, and then some gales in the new year finished things off. so we had to break open the piggy bank.

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Trying out the NextGen Photo Gallery . . .

This is an attempt to make use of the word press gallery plugins. Several were tried including Envira and Foo but this NextGen Gallery tool seems to be the easiest (though not simple by any means !) for the likes of this author.

The photos were all taken in February 2018 and looking back over the year so far, I am amazed that we were out in sunshine that early.

Since then sunshine has been in short supply.


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