So we sometimes look at Astoria, as a “let’s look and see what’s there” – we were particularly delighted with this one.

There’s just one thing about it.

Do not enter the house.

That’s not sinister at all.


So, as my best beloved pointed out to me yesterday, I do have a tendency to overdo it. As I collapsed into the bed, exhaustion washing over me I contemplated that maybe I’d gone a bit far with the garden. I’ve been trying to do the path for what seems like a while now (although that’s mostly due to the fact that I spent a lot of time moving soil first, then hurt my arm), and yesterday whilst I wasn’t expecting to finish it, we made a lot of headway in that general direction. So much so that I’ve now run out of bricks.

Being as it was our weekend off, and the weekend between our respective birthdays, Saturday my mum came up to visit and we pootled out showing her some bits of Bristol and then spending a lot of money (by our standards) on something terribly, terribly exciting.

A sheet.

And some pillow cases.

Yes, you know you’re truly no longer one of the youf when the prospect of a brand new sheet is something quietly thrilling*.

Then we slid down to the garden centre and bought her birthday / new year presents. Which proved to be dangerous as we brought back some plants for ourselves, too. Including an insanely fluffy little alpine that’s now in the rockery.

The evening, after my mum had headed home, was spent at a gorgeous restaurant which we’ve visited before called ‘Flinty Red’. It serves incredible food, and was the cause of much delight. Then we wandered down to Bristol to catch some music and relax before heading home…

It turned out not to be the group I thought it was, but a pair of musicians who play under the name Paruski. I’ve not seen them before, they have no webpage that I can find, and mercilessly thieve from Russian and Celtic sources to produce entertaining medleys whilst wandering around the bar, out onto the street, up and down the stairs.

It turned out to be great fun, and something I was reminded that we should do more of.

Then Sunday we attacked the garden. I was, it turns out, somewhat overzealous (not realising how exhausted I was until I slumped into the chair after dinner); which is something I need to learn to not do to myself. Partly it didn’t help that I got myself into a bit of a war with a tree that I want to fell. It’s not a proper tree, but one that’s been chopped down each year and has therefore managed to make fairly solid roots whilst actually being fairly titchy on top. I’d been about to sit down and stop and then got distracted and, well, wore myself out digging and yanking on the tree. I was in fact so bloody tired that I’m still knackered today.

However, the path is way further down the garden which is pleasing. Also, following some discussion with my best beloved, we have a modified plan for the lower section of the garden, which should be rather pretty and involves my favourite (free) building material. Pallets. Yay.

The other nice thing about having the paths creeping around is that they delineate the beds, giving me, at least, a better idea of where everything is going to go.

Today has mainly been a shopping and realising that I over did it yesterday day; although I’ve put the belt onto the Dyson DC07 and practiced the various instruments again.

I've been tormenting the ivories again...

Uh, so it’s been pretty busy and there has been progress, but perhaps I need to be a little more… gentle with myself.

* To be honest it’s about time. Our linens are something of a disaster area, with there being few sheets (err, three) that fit the bed. Two of those sheets are over 20 years old and essentially transparent they’re so thin, and one is just a teensy bit short, I think it may have shrunk in the wash. The other sheets (all, sadly, newer ones) – one ripped as it was coming off the bed a while ago and the fitted ones don’t fit the new mattress as it’s thicker than they allow for.


what if the coins you find randomly at the bottom of drawers and in between couch cushions are actually from spiders trying to pay rent

One of those days

Not, oddly, one of those days where you wonder about whether your continued existence on the planet will ever produce anything tangible and worthwhile, or whether you are instead doomed to spend the entirety of the rest of your life looking at cat pictures on the internet*.

No, today was one of those super productive days.

I’m wondering if I need to write myself a to-do list for every day when I’m not working because the effect was astonishing.

On my list was the following:

- Clean some house
- Practice Guitar
- Practice Piano
- Order power supply connector
- Bottle cider
- Garden
- ?Print sepsis card

And apart from the sepsis card all of it got done and some other bits and bobs. Also I listened to lots of music, which is a bonus.

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Note to self: When making a label to distinguish the home made cider from the home made apple juice, do not simply change the word cider for juice and not think any further about it.

Particularly when you’ve decided your home-made apple cider is called “St Anne’s Feeder Canal Cider”.

The end result sounds slightly unpalatable.

So, having ordered the benighted SuperPad a new power supply toying with I discover it’s got a new fun trick. It’s now decided that the WiFi will no longer connect if it’s not in the same room as our WiFi router.

Oh ho ho, what a funny object it is.

Of course, fortunately, our Kitchen is floodwired, so I just need to get a switch to live in the server room and it will well be networked. I will find it a use…other than doorstop.

Having gone to lots of hassle to make a new power supply for the ‘SuperPad’ Android Tablet* I discovered the fault was not with the wallwart but with the connector. So I ‘fixed’ the connector. Which worked for a while, but now it’s snapped somewhat more terminally** so I went looking for the obscure and difficult-to-get-hold of size of connector that it is.

And have now ended up buying a new damn power supply because it’s a stupid size of connector that’s obscure and costs more to buy as a part than it does to just buy the supply.


* If anything in the history of technology is less aptly named, I’m yet to find it.

** Geddit? Terminal. Connector. No? Just me then.

Apparently I’m wrong

So, I’m told that the fact that one of our media server’s terrabyte drives is full is not, in fact, an indication that we need a bigger drive. But perhaps an indication that I should reconsider my “KEEP ALL THE THINGS” policy.

I’m not sure that that’s true.

I envisage commuters arriving at the station and crying out “I MUST HAVE MARMALADE!” and falling to the floor weeping.

The 1940s must have been a challenging time in Bristol.

Hot new tech

Way back when all this was fields, and I still lived in a house in which our computer connected to BBSs, we had central heating and on the wall in our lounge was a thermostat. It was an analogue device consisting of a bimetallic strip that would turn the heating on and off.

Turn it hotter, on goes the heating, turn it lower, off it goes… it was accompanied by a little timer on the boiler that would turn it off at night and on during the day.

Now in our shiny new house with it’s shiny new boiler we have individually controlled radiators which run off a controller that’s wireless so we can sit it wherever we want in the house.

And it broadcasts its little messages to the boiler ‘Turn on’, it says.

And on goes the boiler.

‘Turn off’, it says.

And the boiler just happily ignores it and tries to turn our house into a boiling furnace of heat such that it can melt down the copper from the heating pipes and sell it for scrap, after, of course, we’ve all been roasted alive.

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