Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

We Read – We Write – We Review


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Not the Best Week…

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On Monday my new Android Tablet arrived. Plugged it in to charge, and instantly the screen was full of Chinese writing! Don’t say I had made yet another mistake!  I’m still reeling from trying to master Windows 10 on that other tablet.

Finished reading and editing the book review for Rosie Amber and emailed it.

Gardening is out, as a storm is forecast, and as much as I love a good storm, I draw the line at gardening in the pouring rain…

The weather was horrible on Tuesday, gales and lashing rain, so guess where I was all day!

I had a brave moment and switched on the new tablet for the first time. The Chinese characters had gone, and within minutes, I was up and running, connecting to everything with one HUGE smile on my face. There are just a few wrinkles to sort out, but so far, so good! For me, that is…

The weather couldn’t be more different by the middle of the week, beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The garden beckons!

Still cannot believe my luck with the new Tablet, it’s so easy to use! The technology demons must be having a day off!

Thursday was freezing cold today, so guess what I had decided to do today? Defrost the freezer!

But it had to be done, or I won’t be able to close the door soon, due to the ice buildup.

The new broadband hub arrived on Friday. They say all I have to do, is unplug the old one and then plug in the new. But there has to be more to it than that…

I have been putting this upgrade off for ages, for all hell usually breaks loose whenever I touch it, so I am expecting trouble.

I want to try and install the new Hub on Saturday. But before I do this, ever pessimistic, I am scheduling several days work, just in case everything crashes around my ears. But if you hear screams …

There were no screams, just an all-pervading sense of doom when I had to use a wi-fi hotspot as the hub refused to connect. Mind you, they did say something about an activation date. I seem to recall that was tomorrow…

What am I like?  (don’t all rush to answer…)


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Macro explained…

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There were some good guesses, but no one nailed it!

So I thought I had better post the original photograph…

 

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Far too posh for this really, but nothing else was big enough. Anyway, I love to look at it when I’m thinking…


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The Heart of the Matter…

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After my heart attacks three years ago, and my subsequent brilliant behaviour since then, I didn’t think I would be having any further trouble in that direction. I can still remember every gruelling moment of that time, and how near I came to shuffling off this mortal coil.

For a while afterwards, though, I was very nervous. Every twinge of heartburn (for that is how it started before) was met with chewed fingernails and immense trepidation. Probably a good thing in the end, for it made me a model patient. I took my medication religiously, even though most of it had a dire effect on my asthma.

I gave up smoking that day, and I like to think it was because the cardiologist asked me to but the truth is, I didn’t want to die, so I stopped willingly. I have taken steps to improve my health and fitness too, and think I am in a much better shape now.

So when I began to notice something odd going on in my chest, my spirits hit the floor. I was experiencing little thumps and fluttering’s, and although this doesn’t sound too serious, I worried. When I checked my pulse, I noticed gaps in the rhythm. Every couple of minutes, my heart would skip a beat, and not a shred of romance or excitement anywhere near me!

I have my own blood pressure machine for regular check ups, and I seemed to be fine, so I was confused. I had recently stopped taking the daily aspirin and the beta-blocker, as they were making my asthma so much worse. Maybe I should start taking them again and see what happened. The other odd thing was that my ticker behaved itself during the day, but come the evening, it had a field day. Sleeping wasn’t easy either, more because I was worrying than anything else I think, for I can normally sleep through anything.

And of course, the usual question presented itself. Do I bother my doctor with this? I have a check-up soon, so I could mention it then…

I know at my age there is so much you just have to get on with, and I do seem to have more than my share in that department, but my instincts were not clear. I usually know what to do, whether it turns out to be a waste of everyone’s time or not.  My dilemma is this, apart from the funny goings on, I feel quite well. Apart from arthritis in every joint, failing eyesight, a painful neck and hip, the list is getting longer.

I decided to wait a few days and see what happens…

Two days later… I have reinstated the beta-blocker but not the aspirin, and the thumps and fluttering’s have now stopped. So far, so good. I wonder what will happen next?

Old age can be so much fun, don’t you think?


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The Crystal Horse (or my nemesis?)

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Most people know that I love puzzles and horses, so I was delighted when my son gave me this crystal horse puzzle for my birthday recently.

I had done these puzzles before and looked forward to completing this one.

Inside the puzzle box were 98 pieces of complicated and impossible looking clear plastic pieces, and one ridiculously basic instruction sheet. Was it my imagination, or did this puzzle look so much more complicated than the others I had done before?

Day One

For some reason, I decided to start with the horses head and quickly managed to assemble nearly 20 pieces, including the front legs.

That was when it began to go wrong. None of the pieces seemed to fit, and it was beginning to look as though a piece could be missing. I continued to try them all, but eventually stopped for the day sensing defeat waiting just out of sight.

Day Two

Today, I abandoned the head and turned my attention to the rear end of the horse. This was such an intricate puzzle, the pieces were small, fiddly and impossible to see clearly, for they were three dimensional with several layers and shapes in each piece, and my eyesight is not what it was. Using the chart and the numbered pieces, I sailed along and was soon halfway along the horse’s body before being stuck again.

Round about now I was wondering if I was getting too old for such a tricky puzzle, and I ended up walking away, feeling inadequate.

Day Three

I spent a long time looking at the charts, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong when something occurred to me. To read the chart correctly, you have to locate the number on the grid before you remove a piece from the framework. The pieces themselves are not numbered, and this was where the problem lay.

I double-checked the frames that the pieces were fixed to and it would seem I had one of them the wrong way around. This meant I had been using the wrong pieces.

For two long hours I struggled to continue, but with a sinking heart, I realise that this might be one challenge too much. I might just have found my nemesis.

So many years doing puzzles of every denomination and I had managed to find one I just couldn’t do.

Day Four

With a heavy heart, I had another look at the incomplete horse. I even watched someone assemble the same horse on YouTube, but it didn’t help me at all.

Then I remembered how I usually deal with frustrating jigsaws, trying every piece systematically until one fits. I sat down with more optimism than I thought possible and after a few minutes, a piece fell into place. The puzzle God must be smiling today, I thought and promptly fitted a few more.

Thirty minutes later, I slid the fixing rod through the horse’s body and fixed it onto the stand.  The puzzle was finished and my sense of achievement knew no bounds. Not least because it meant I hadn’t lost my Mojo after all…


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Saint or Sinner?

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If you read the list of attributes for the average Taurean, most of them are highly desirable, and my family would agree that I have most of them. I am practical, generous, patient and loving. Most people like me, but if they were honest, they would admit that my intense stubbornness could sometimes be a bit of a problem. I have yet to come across anyone who can make me change my mind…  I cannot do it, even when it’s for the best!

My sister hates the fact that I always have to be right, moving heaven and earth to achieve this. Most of the time I am right, but will go to extraordinary lengths to make things fit. Once made up, my mind is unchangeable, even by me!

I have more heads than Worzel Gummidge and have had a go at most things. If I like the look of something and someone made it, I will have a go too. Doesn’t matter what it is either, I learned to upholster furniture that way, and found I had a talent for making those wire and gemstone bonsai trees that were all the rage once upon a time.

I love a challenge and is one of the reasons I became a writer. Although, I did imagine in the beginning that I would write beautifully romantic, magical stories. How I have come to enjoy writing psychological thrillers is a mystery. Maybe there is a darker side to me that I didn’t know about!

Somewhere inside me is an artistic streak, desperately trying to get out and be recognised, and although I have created some lovely things in my time, sheer perfection still eludes me.

I have a weird sense of humour, an infectious laugh and a legendary bad temper. The passing of time has rounded off the edges a little however, as I have learned a little patience.

The down side of being a Taurean is not so desirable however, and I have to own up to possessing some of these traits too.

I can be unadventurous, secretive, frugal, possessive, opinionated and overly sentimental. Boring and lazy I would argue with, but I dislike chaos and unnecessary risks. I tend to avoid bossy people, and I am supposed to be good at making money.

Not much sign of that as yet…


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What is Your Favourite Pastime?

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Someone asked me this question the other day and I had to hesitate before answering. I thought it would be writing or reading, but other hobbies pushed the word aside. And it is true, there are so many things that I enjoy doing. There are also many things I no longer have the time for.

The next question is usually, “but one of them must be special in some way?”

Again, there isn’t just one that comes to mind and this must be true for most people.

Depending on our mood, we like doing different things. For instance, my writing mind works best first thing in the morning. Later in the day, I have trouble writing anything. And when I am tired, I like to spend time in the garden with my bonsai.

I love jigsaw puzzles too, but these days I prefer to do them on line. So much choice, easier to do, no more juggling hundreds of pieces on limited table space. You can’t lose any of the pieces either.

In many ways, I realise that all my favourite pastimes are very similar. They all involve a degree of patience, attention to detail and an over active imagination.

At the moment, I have a huge pile of work in progress. Two fiction books to finish, a collection of short stories to prepare for publication and various editing jobs for Anita’s books, not to mention a veritable queue of reviews to finish.

My collection of bonsai should come quite high on my list, as they always need something doing. There is a very good reason they are never considered finished. They continue to grow and need constant attention. Plus, they are all different ages with different needs.

Add to this list, two crochet projects and a pile of dressmaking as yet unfinished. And all those other urgent things that hide in my brain, lulling me into a false sense of achievement.

So the answer to the original question, what is my favourite pastime, should be . . .

 

“My favourite pastime is living and enjoying everything I do get around to. . .”