arkessian: (Detached Barn)
So there I was, wearily chugging through some online chores -- paying bills, banking, that sort of thing -- when the internet dies.

I reboot the router. No joy.
I plug a laptop direct onto the cable. No joy, but at least it proves it isn't my router.
I ring my ISP. "Everyone else is working fine. It must be your router." "No it isn't because..." "Ah..."
On their suggestion, I reboot the wireless unit on the roof (this can be done remotely, you will be glad to hear). No joy. Again on their suggestion, I change the power supply to the wireless unit on the roof. (I do wonder what they would have suggested if they were talking to somebody who didn't have a configurable power-supply directly to hand...). No joy. I visually inspect the wireless unit with binoculars. No apparent damage. I trace the cable from the wireless unit into the house  as far as I can either visually or physically (not fun in the snow). No apparent damage.
"Ah. Not sure what to suggest. It must be a problem at your location. We can't come out until after Christmas."

And then 30 minutes later, it miraculously springs to life. Which suggests it was their end all along but they haven't rung to confess... Grrr. I want my morning back.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions about ebook location! I shall not be short of reading matter... unless the Internet dies again.
arkessian: (cotinus)
Still making excellent progress in the garden...
  • All the shrubs and the new hedge have had fertiliser forked gently in around their base.
  • The herbaceous bed is now fully dug and weeded. I'll be planting perennials and summer-flowering bulbs rather than cheap annuals as I found a couple of good deals online; the plants and bulbs should be here by the end of April, but probably earlier. IN the meantime, the bed has been mulched with a new straw-based mulch, which is light enough that I can handle a sack of it without help.
  • All the patio pots are now ready for re-planting.
  • Veg plants are ordered (tomatoes, peppers, chillies, courgettes, aubergine) and seeds bought (coriander, cut-and-come-again salad).
  • Two small bay plants (for cooking purposes) have been acquired to replace two extremely dead bay standards that took a dislike to the winter snow and frost this year.
  • First wave of potatoes has been planted on the kitchen patio (the patio we don't sit on, i.e. the practical patio).
In other news, I did my first stint as a volunteer at the village shop yesterday. Training in the new super whizzy till and how to deal with hordes of five year old children all wanting 5p worth of different penny sweets. Having spent 7 years (from the age of 14) working evenings, weekends and school/college holidays in a small neighbourhood grocery store, it wasn't a very taxing afternoon.


arkessian: (Detached Barn)
I took a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum earlier in the week. It was half term, so the place was full of half-pint people in pink flowery wellies (plus their less charming brothers in green padded gillets) splashing through the puddles and the mud, and phalanxes of mothers advancing four abreast with all-terrain pushchairs. However, I managed to get a few photos of the autumn colour that aren't too shabby.
Photos )

Busy bee

Aug. 31st, 2009 01:26 pm
arkessian: (Busy bee)
Gosh, I've been busy and productive little bee today. So far:
  • I got all my mandatory housework done by 0930 . Yes, I have a housework schedule for myself, and I'm not allowed to do anything else until that day's housework is complete — otherwise I'd never do *any* housework, I loathe it with such a passion.
  • I've done some necessary pruning in the garden: a cotinus that seems to be succumbing to verticilium wilt (more's the pity) and a philadelphus that has decided to get too big for its allotted space.
  • I've issued the draft agenda for a monthly share club meeting I attend on the first Saturday of the month, down in Taunton. It's a standing joke among the attendees that I refused to be named as Chair, but have still ended up performing the role anyway. The agenda is a chore every month; I spend a week nagging for items and then make up my own at the last minute, every time.
  • I've updated the software on my websites (plus the lodger's website) to the latest versions.
So now I can settle down to the day's writing. Unless I go hunting first for a word-count widget, because it occurs to me that a good way of reinforcing my writing discipline is to record my daily word-count here.

Anyone know of a good word-count widget?

ETA: Having remembered that (a) I need to bake bread today and (b) I have an inelegant insufficiency of bread flour, I have now visited the local Waitrose, acquired a bag of extra-strong Canadian bread flour and set the bread-maker to make me a ciabatta-type loaf. If I were a domestic goddess, I would no doubt be doing this by hand. But I ain't.

arkessian: (Detached Barn)
Once a year, life around here gets a little noisy... Between the boundary of my front garden and the end of the runway at Fairford (home of the Royal International Air Tattoo) there is nothing but fields and the odd country lane.

The aircraft have started arriving already — as always, very audible, although visibility this year looks likely to be poor. Some years I can sit out in the garden and watch the whole show for free, which is just as well given the level of visitor traffic that will clog the roads all round here on Saturday and Sunday. This year, I'm expecting the action to be hidden behind the milk-of-magnesia clouds.

I don't really mind the noise or the traffic — I knew about it before I moved in. What can be a problem, however, is the interruption to my broadband service. Too far from the phone exchange to get wired broadband, let alone anything so exotic as cable, I have a wireless aerial on the chimney that is linked (eventually) to a base station on the airfield at Fairford and thence to the big wide world. A base station which once a year is flooded with traffic from the staff and volunteers who run the Tattoo.

So if I go very quiet this weekend, you'll know what's happening.