Best laid plans of mice and Kate

So, I’m off on an ALS (Advanced Life Support) course in June. In my usual efficient, non-prevaricatory way I’ve left doing the online portion of the course…a while. I’d vaguely noted that it said that the learning management system would be offline for maintenance for a couple of days but hadn’t really taken much notice of when, exactly. Until today. When my plan for the day which went:

– Paint
– Dink on the net
– Go out for nice lunch
– Return and do ALS precourse
– Drink tea, eat biscuits
– End

Fell over somewhat.

I managed the painting; another coat of lovely red paint on the lovely trim. I’m now all the way around the upstairs door frames, which means after one more coat on that frame all that’s left is the trim that I can only prep and paint when Kathryn’s home (because it involves being ‘quite high up’ on a ladder at a slightly dubious angle) and the trim next to the stairs. I’ve even painted the loft-entrance.

Oh, and patching up the paint on the wall which, as usual, does not seem to have stuck as well as I’d like despite the endless attempts to persuade it to (with plaster-prepping pre-paint stuff, dilute coats, and sensible long drying times). I’m never quite sure how other people get paint to stick to plaster (or if they really do), because while the vast majority of it seems to end up pretty well attached, if I ever put masking tape on paint (which it says you can) it always ends up pulling stuff off. Anyhow. Despite the low-tack masking tape, there were a couple of small areas where the paint’s been pulled off the wall. Some of that is fillered areas, and some of it is just that it hasn’t stuck at all to the plaster. I’ve got some paint from the batch that I kept ready for such an emergency, so I’ll clean the wall up, probably filler it to get it close to the level of the multiple coats of paint and re-prep it and then repaint those little bits.

The red really adds definition to the upstairs. Or at least, Kathryn and I think it does. Everyone else might hate it. But we really like it.

Then I set to on the Sepsis cards for work. I’d thought I was happy with the design, but looking at them today I just wasn’t. So I spent some more time modifying the layout before sending them off to the printer. I tweaked it so I could abuse business cards into being the sepsis cards. You can all tell me how much you hate them, but I’m quite pleased with them – in so far as they at least look different to some of the other cards we get at work:

Sepsis front Unbranded

Sepsis back

It’s still not really to the standard I’d like, and the font isn’t quite what I was after, but given I’m not paid to do this, this is my own time, and my own money, then… well. They get what I pay for. The blue is meant to sort of tie it in to the NHS blue, without explicitly stating that. :)

Anyhow, then I sent them off to be printed. All pray, I did online proofing, rather than taking it to the local Staples, because Staples didn’t seem to want to share their online pricing for printing full-colour double sided business cards. I may get back 100 awful, hideous, unreadable cards. But they looked fine in the preview.

Anyhow, that done, I did my dinking on the net. Bought myself a network cable and socket tester (and it came with a free crimping tool, which is handy as I’m thinking of extending the cabled network down to the garage*). Anyhow, the excitement of that is I might be able to isolate what’s wrong with the kitchen network point and then I can fix it if I’ve wired it wrong in some way or get a new socket depending. I’m thinking it’s probably a socket because it’s definitely worked at least a bit before. Either that, or something’s eaten the cable, which would make me sad.

Anyhow, that done I set to on the next problem which was going out for a nice lunch. Easy. Headed over to Hart’s Bakery…only it was rammed. There were no seats at the tables, so I ended up grabbing it and coming home which made me a little sad. I was looking forward to getting some nice coffee and chilling out in a space other than the house.

Still, when I got home I still enjoyed the delicious bread, and then attempted to log on to the learning management system. And there it was. LMS unavailable until the 29th. ‘Bother’, I think is the word I was looking for.

On the plus side, after some vacillating about how to spend my newly available afternoon, I headed out to the garden and moved the rest of the soil from the front garden to the back. Distressingly, the new pseudo raised bed astonishingly still requires more soil. I suspected as much, that I might have built a bed that required more soil than we have, but the fact we’ve put around 700 kilos of soil into the back garden (plus about 800kilos of gravel) and we’re still short is a little scary. I keep thinking that the amount of compost, manure, gravel, sand and plain old soil we’ve put in, and the fact that the excavated soil from the garage also went in should really have raised the garden up several feet. But it hasn’t.

Anyhow, the soil moved, but distressingly inadequately filling the bed meant that I couldn’t do what I’d planned to do, which was put the veg / plants out that’re sat on the windowsill waiting for a new home. We shall have to pick up some more soil to complete the bed :(

That having slightly failed I set to on another project, which is a mixture of creating a new bed further down the garden, and stripping the last remnants of the lawn off – and moving them to the tiny bit of garden that will hopefully become lawn. It’s right down by the garage and we’ll probably turn it into more of a meadowy affair, but at the moment it’s a mixture of cat-shit and weeds. Oh, and it turns out, potatoes. I yanked a mixture of potatoes and weeds out. Buried the cat-shit a bit, and then started skimming off the grass from the soon-to-be-bed and putting onto the soon-to-be-lawn. Uneven and lumpy though it is, it is a fairly effective (and cheap) solution (although we’ll have to put lots of raked topsoil and grass/wild meadow seed on to it to make it level enough). But it does make that patch look better, and it did so pretty rapidly. Still lots more to do there, though.

But whilst I was doing it I slightly surprised myself by stumbling on what was perhaps once the edge of a border. It’s a little hard to tell; there’s just a line of bricks running across the garden – edge up – so I’m assuming it’s not a wall – although I’ll need to dig them out anyhow so I will soon find out. It’s quite near to the area of random, inexplicable concrete that was dug up when we started on the garden. I have no idea if it relates to that in some way, or was simply the edging of perhaps a war-time veg bed. It was sufficiently far under the mud that the grass looked quite happy, and I’d no idea that the bricks were there until I hit them.

So anyway, that was pretty positive. Then it started raining, so I’ve taken shelter inside again….

* Which leads to the exciting debate: Do I do it properly with armoured direct-bury cable, or do I find some spare old hose-pipe and run the cheap, nasty, horrid (alleged) cat5 cable I’ve got inside that. I’m largely inclined toward the latter, considering I’ve got bloody miles of the craptastic cable, and I’m not going to take it to the US, nor am I willing to inflict it on anyone else because I’m highly unconvinced of it’s actual twisted-pair-ness.

Author: KateE

Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at pyoor.org...