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Author Archives: AnneMarie

About AnneMarie

Just a corner of the wonderous web for me to post my mental meandering through the weird, unusual, funny, sad of my every day life. Please visit my web site for a more indepth biography of this nobody

United Diversity

What a fabulous photograph! Three beautiful young ladies engaging in the celebrations of a Royal event, coordinating their patriotic red, white and blue with their modesty ethos and headscarves. Three young Islamic followers sharing the joy of a Christian wedding.  I truly hope their experiences of the day was solely positive and affirming.

It’s a sad dark shadow on our society that there are those who will view this casual image so negatively. There are those who will snear and cry that these ‘types’ should go back from where they came (little realising that it’s likely somewhere like Bishop Stortford, or a country village, not some distant land; nor realising Islamists have lived, worked and died in the UK for a few thousand years).  There are also some who will genuinely believe these ladies have demeaned themselves, because they are not wearing black and they have their faces exposed.

Whilst there will always be those who favour an opposite negative opinion, and I hope they are a shrinking minority, can we please try and enjoy the positive, happy, inclusive, non-pigeon-holing of life.  It seems as society is trying to become inclusive and tolerant (detest that word), it is also becoming more focused on tagging and highlighting differences.  

I was reluctant to post this, you never quite know whether on such an explosive subject, readers will understand what I mean, and who will take offence. Fingers crossed.

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Posted by on May 25, 2018 in In The News, Life

 

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Siri? Alexa? No, Aunty

Picture the scene……. You are sitting comfy on the sofa, feet up, the late afternoon sunshine warming your exposed toes, your mind is occupied watching Columbo run rings around William Shatner, you are contemplating when to go make your poached salmon with vegetable rice and a splash of soy sauce, when the phone rings…….

Now I never get unsolicited phone calls, BFF calls during the week during her walk home from work, Bro-In-Law and Big Sis are away for the weekend, Nephew & family would be eating their dinner, whose left to call! I scramble to mute the tv and grab the phone. 

“Hello?”

“Hello you, it’s me” (Bro-In-Law) Utoh, problems? Brain scurries every which way

“Hello you” my brain is bemused, coherence not engaged

“You by the pod” that’s code for within reach of t’internet

“Yeeaaahhhhssssssss?” My brain is reaching wtf mode

“What time does the GP start?” 

Really? No, Hey we’re having a fab time, missing us, food awesome at that pub, etc etc, just straight in with the important stuff, lol.

“6pm Channel Four”

“Ta much”

Who needs Google when you’ve a me!!!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in General, Life, people

 

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Could, Should, Can’t

Well that didn’t take long ……. the vim and vigour after my holibobs staycation with the BFF has dog gone and evaporated. The lovely cuddly warmth of accomplishment after getting the website updated has fizzled. I’m back to disenthused apathy.

There are things I ‘should’ maybe do, like, send in my latest book review (oops that’s supposed to be kind of hush hush) I can only do it at the desktop because my iPad is too old to run Word. I should be finishing the latest blanket as I’d like to start the next pattern, or I should empty, tidy and sort bedside draw, put away stuff not put away. But well, meh, its Saturday, the world won’t explode if I don’t.

There are things I ‘could’ do, like, resort the photos on the computer, there’s the letter to my hospital about my five months overdue appointment, start the video rework for the website. But well, you know.

Now there are some, many even, who would love to be as unbusy as me, I’d quite like to be as busy as some. In a romanticised way I would have loved to have gotten up from my bed, enjoyed a refreshing shower, straightened the bedroom, cleaned the kitchen, and washed the dishes before taking a jaunty saunter to Subway for lunch. Then browse a shop or two to find a box to put my footwear in beneath my desk, maybe find a new top or picked up some fresh raspberries from the grocers. Come home and sit at my desk, write an email or three while listening to some tunes before making my bolognese and settling to an evenings tv entertainment. But I cannot, the only thing I will physically manage, with a double dose of struggle and concentration is throw together the bolognese. 

Is it the human’s lot to always want things different and rarely be content with how things are?

I’ve often remarked that occupation needs a necessity. Doing something without a purpose, a need, a deadline, an outside expectation just becomes a time filler and when you have nothing but time to fill there’s no drive to strive.

Eek, that turned a bit deep and melancholy!  

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2018 in General, Life

 

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Testing technology (and my patient resolve)


*disclaimer* The following blog may sound a touch technical, it may also sound like I know what I’m talking about, however it isn’t and I don’t.

As some of you may know, I administrate a website about a musician and the work he has undertaken over the past years. I try and be diligent in my duties and keep things up-to-date for the fans and those who google interest. Over the past couple of years with a deterioration of my muscle strength and the complications surrounding using my desk for any extended periods of time, I have been lax in updating the photo section of the website. This has been weighing heavily on my mind and conscience, so I took the arrival of my new chair as impetus to get cracking and just do it. 

In order to put a photo gallery together I use an application on my Mac called iWeb, very much a user friendly drag and drop style of templates to create each album and contents, creating a cover, thumbnails, slideshows, and enlarged images. There are now some 18 to 21 albums each containing a couple of pages or more of images from various events, gigs, tours and with fans. Although I haven’t counted them individually there must be several hundred photos.  Now before any image can be dragged and dropped into the photo album it requires a little editing, usually it needs copying or resizing and all of them require the necessary copyright marking. Once added to a particular album I then add a caption detailing the event and that event date. Back up images and details are stored separately ‘just in case’ catastrophe occurs.  All very time consuming.  So for the last couple of months I have been slowly adding more photos to existing albums, amalgamating some albums, as well as adding new ones. Once I was satisfied everything was up to date I hit the ‘publish’ icon to save all the necessary files and folders to make this straightforward piece of the website work.

There was just one thing left to do, transfer all the files folders and contents onto the server for the website.

Historically I have used an FTP program called FileZila to act as intermediary between my computer and the host server so that the files and folders could be transferred over in the right order so everything was in its right place. When you are dealing with something that is so pedantic that a , instead of a . can send the web site into meltdown it is mentally exhausting on a good day. But FileZila is a very competent piece of kit, that when you have a folder containing files and folders, that contain files and folders, that contain files, it can’t be trusted to put the right thing in the right place in the right order.  There was just one slight, tincy, little, problem, the darn thing wouldn’t connect to the server and authenticate it self!  I could have cried.

Unfortunately the host server will only let me use FileZila as I use a Mac computer, however the host site has its own FTP client but it is notoriously slow, frequently crashes and cannot cope with transferring folders from the files and folders it needs it doing individually.  So for a number of hours I sat at my desk and diligently, slowly, transferred each file and folder double checking that they were in the correct order up to the host server.  Once all the files and folders were transferred, and I was satisfied everything was where it should be, I then opened my web browser and collect the link to view the photo gallery. Always a tense moment. Of course, it goes without saying, and is to be expected, but half of what I wanted to be there, wasn’t. Back to the individual files and folders checking the latest update date to make sure I hadn’t missed one (I had, just one) to then try again, and again, clear the cachet and web data, and try again again.

SUCCESS!!!

After the photo gallery was successfully updated, I then set about uploading the pages that have been updated to the main section of the website. These are created by handwritten HTML and not a template or wizard, and are far better behaved and easier to maintain, but photo albums are very technical to create from scratch.

The web to do list had been cut down to just a couple of items, and all the weighted updates were on screen for friends and search engine Google is defined which was a satisfactory failing.  But I’m not quite ready to tackle upgrading the video pages as if that is going to take some hours of diligent patience to make sure the videos comply on multi platforms.

In other news, I have finished two cat blankets and I am working on a third and have the pattern for the fourth one all mapped out. Spring has sprung, a new fresh dose of gumption has been grasped. 

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in General, Projects, Tech, Website

 

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Rebellious technology


Life has a way of making you pay for time off.  I’m paying a price, in frustration!

Wednesday morning I sat and woke up my computer, it had had a holiday too. After dealing with a top priority necessity I clicked to install the update, during its restart process it got stuck, trying to locate my Bluetooth keyboard (I don’t have one). It couldn’t sense my plugged in one. Panic.  Grab the iPad and ask Google, the first two ‘try this’ options failed, one was to just turn off the Bluetooth which was incredibly unhelpful as I do have a wireless mouse. Panic rising, scan read a couple more articles and discovered that either plugging the keyboard into a USB extension or plugging a thumb drive into the USB ports on the keyboard can ‘wake things up’.  Thankfully the extension trick worked. Phew.

Most work days my BFF calls to chat during her walk home, I sat waiting for the phone to jingle into life and when it did I eagerly pressed the green button – to silence. At first I thought our phones had missed connecting, but I could hear the bedroom phone ringing, I looked at the screen and it was blank. Panic. I heard my answerphone click in and the phone screen came to life and I pressed the green button with authority to hear the dulcet tones of my BFF wondering what was going on. Phew.

My wizzy super new desk chair requires recharging from time to time. On Wednesday I dug out the charger and plugged it into the socket and plugging the chair into the charger, the indicator light looked dead (yes, I had switched it on). Hmm, maybe it goes green once its charged. After a couple of hours still no light, I’ll plug it in again Thursday to charge some more, but still the light remained dead. Panic.  Now where exactly is that ‘safe place’ you put the instructions?   Apparently the light ‘should’ be yellow while charging and green once charged.  So, is the charger not charging or has the light gone do-wacky….either way as its only been three months, I need to contact the peeps and get another charger, hope there’s enough charge in the battery. Slight panic.

At least the microwave hasn’t melted, no light bulbs have plunged me into darkness or kettle fizzled ….. although the WordPress app has crashed a few times while typing this.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in General, Life, Tech

 

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Holibobs & Burpdays


Like all things, it came to an end all too quickly. My bestest best friend in the whole wide world came up for a two week stay that coincided with my 50th birthday. Two whole weeks of glorious food, entertaining conversations, laziness and laughter, being spoilt and pampered, as well as my birthday celebrations.  We watched a number of interesting films such as To Kill A Mockingbird, Suffragette, Hitch, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to name a few, we binge watched Blue Planet as well as a lot of Bargain Hunt.

Annoyingly the weather was not bright enough to venture out, but we did take a walk to The Esplanade despite the chill wind for a fish and chip lunch, also a mooch along the High Street – The local yarn shop was successfully avoided, only because we both had crochet projects that needed to be worked on and have enough to keep us going for ever.

I had a wonderful birthday, with cards, flowers and gifts. I had asked for cash to buy a special piece of jewellery and my budget was exceeded. The gold and black pendant watch far exceeded my expectations and arrived on my birthday even though it was not due for another week. When I went out for a meal with the family and friends, my wheelchair was festooned with balloons, and I had a large badge pinned to my dress (yes folks, I was in a dress) so there was no hiding that I had reached my half century birthday. That’s it now, I have decided I am having no more birthdays!!

The #NotMyCat affectionately known as Mickey, he also enjoyed my BFF’s visit as he gets super spoiled with treats and food and cuddles each and every day. The introduction of cat nip was definitely entertaining verging sometimes on hysterical!

They say a change is as good as a rest, I do feel rested, and I am trying to rejuvenate my get-up-and-get-on-with-it attitude that had slipped somewhat. Mind you, I’m not keen on this having to make my own coffee lark!!

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2018 in General, Life, people, Pets, Projects

 

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Running out of t………


For once ‘Babs’ is almost right! The sun in my life is arriving on Tuesday, my BFF will be here for our two-week PJ party, it most definitely will be an excellent time.  Now before you think it, I do not believe in such bunkum as horoscopes etc but an idle curiosity to check out the absurdity often has me glancing if only to go ^yeah, right^ (Oww, look at me going all posh and using the sarcastrophy). 

So how is the to-do list, has it become a to-done one? Not really

  • • Tidy/sort/chuck bathroom junk – woohoo, done 
  •  • Today/sort/chuck bedroom junk – another one done
  •  • Wash towels – tick that one off
  •  • Start big shop list of don’t forgets – and another crossed off, it’s going well!
  •  • Shift/bag loose balls of yarn – well, erm, oops
  •  • Tidy away untidied bedroom bits – almost kind of, sorta, nearly
  •  • Finish web album work – it was going so well
  •  • Type up pod cast article – type up done, web page not created
  •  • Create contact page – about half way there.

I’ve under estimated how much time the web work would take, I’ve also procrastinated at working at the desk, because the getting up situ is not progressing. *sigh* Okay so new plan while BFF is here is to get web stuff done and uploaded to the server and also to try again at getting stood up from desk. 

With my 0-s*** birthday just days away, I’ve been looking for that special something, a statement piece that will be worn often. I think I have found it. I am looking forward to the sitting around the table together, eating hearty food and enjoying each other’s company.

You know, there is even the possibility that I might do some croches! I know, shocking, I’ve done one row since finishing the Christmas commissions.

Toddles for now *waves*

 
10 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2018 in General, Website

 

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