Fair Comment

Becky is producing a power-point training presentation for Mitcham’s Commonside Trust. Trawling through the web for suitable images she found one that was ideal for the point she wished to make. She was unaware of the picture’s provenance. Upon attempting to use it, she found it too large for her purposes. She returned to find out whether she could make it smaller. This time she discovered the credit. The photograph was from one of my posts.11831282_10153233541113999_1646686465_o

Wondering what were the odds, she has sent me the relevant page from the presentation. The image of the little church fete was my picture. The quality of Becky’s production is clear from her captions.

I have been unable to access the internet on my PC for a couple of days. This is because the icon came up in my taskbar, but I couldn’t move it to the screen. I rang Hewlett Packard this morning and discovered that I had managed to press two keys, so far apart as to make that a very difficult achievement, simultaneously. This informed my computer that it was possessed of two screens, so the internet page wandered off to a non-existent one. With the problem solved, I had 325 e-mails to deal with. Needless to say, that task was not fully completed.

Before phoning technical support, I had hoed, raked, and trimmed encroaching ground cover plants from three gravel paths. I then walked to the post box. The farmer has now harvested his rape crop, so I was able to walk across the field and down to the stream, which was now looking rather dried up, and back.Stream

Recently, Jackie heavily pruned a lilac that was growing over the pergola path. This afternoon, with my usual kit of fork, spade, and axe, I eradicated the residue, sometimes tracking trailing roots some way across the bed.

Japanese anemone and clematis Campaniflora

In the front garden the minute flowers of the prolific rambling clematis, Campaniflora dances among the Japanese anemones and everything else within reach of its tentacles.

Rose Special Anniversary

Special Anniversary is being celebrated in the rose garden,

Rose Compassion

and Compassion soars above the giant thistle and over the Dead End Path.

This evening we dined on gammon steak, lamb’s liver, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, all done to perfection. Equally perfectly, I microwaved the Tesco’s syrup sponge puddings, onto which we spooned thick double cream. I drank more of the Teroldego Rotaliano, and Jackie enjoyed her Hoegaarden.

A Battle-Scarred Red Admiral

Had I had no success with the computer problems that beset me this morning, you would not be reading this post, and I may have gone off my rocker. Yesterday afternoon I found I could not, it seemed, access the internet on my Windows 8 laptop. After much grappling, I realised that the internet pages, through Google Chrome, were automatically minimised and could not be enlarged, having been hidden in the bar at the bottom of the screen. The Hewlett Packard phone help service was only available during the normal working week. On line support was not much use to me in the circumstances.

I usually rise rather early and spend an hour or so on the laptop. This was not possible today. Fortunately my head was clearer than it has been for two or three weeks. I was happily getting on with my iMac, when I received an alert advising me to replace the batteries in my wireless keyboard. I did so. It would not then connect to the computer. I kept swapping batteries around, to no avail.

It was good that Jackie got up early so we could have coffee together, because I couldn’t phone any help desks until 8 a.m. My first call was to Apple Care.  They needed the serial number of my machine, which is accessed via ‘About this Mac’ on the screen. I couldn’t access this because I couldn’t type the password. I was getting a wee bit frazzled by then. A young woman called Sam managed, without the relevant number, to talk me through getting my keyboard and computer conversing with each other. This involved using the technique advocated by ‘The IT Crowd’, which is ‘turning it off and turning it on again’. Apparently I had been sending my Mac to sleep, rather that properly switching it off.

This didn’t take too long, and gave me confidence to telephone Hewlett Packard. A patient and helpful young man, eventually taking over my screen, spent an hour sorting out that issue. He thought ‘a bit of malware had got in there’. Never mind, we both learned something. I now know what a taff bar is, even if I can’t spell it; and my advisor knows what colons and semi-colons are. I can confidently state that a taff bar is not a watering hole for Welshmen, and perhaps my helper now knows that a semi-colon is not found in the human body.

The rest of the morning was sunny and mild. I took a wander around the garden to investigate what has been happening there whilst I have been holed up inside.Snowdrops

The whole plot was now carpeted with snowdrops that had just been poking through the soil three weeks ago.Hellebore

A very large variety of hellebores hang their heads everywhere.Camellia

All the camellias, including some darker varieties than earlier were now sporting blooms.Cyclamen

Winter flowering plants such as cyclamens, pansies, and violas have thrived.

Ever since the first autumn fall, loosened leaves have fluttered in the wind, often initially taken for butterflies. Imagine my surprise when one careened past me and, settling on a gravel path, proved itself to be a very battle-scarred Red Admiral. The wings of this creature looked as if they had fed caterpillars once the nasturtiums had perished in the few days of frost.Red Admiral

So surprised was I that I looked up its life-span on Wikipedia, where I learned that it is possible for these members of the Lepidoptera to survive in the South of England during the period we have recently experienced.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s super sausage casserole (recipe), piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), mashed potato, carrots and leaks. Sticky toffee pudding and custard was to follow. I finished the chianti and Jackie drank more of the zinfandel.