Day 355 – 21st December – Reading Material

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Again today is one of those photos I never thought I would use in a blog post recording my year, but the oddest thing happened today. I was filling up with petrol ready for the driving I’ll do over the Christmas period and unsurprisingly there was a queue at the petrol station. The person in front of me filled up and then spent ages reading through the receipt he had got from the pay at the pump machine. One question arose from this. Why! What added information was so revolutionary that it had to be read there and then. I’ve checked the rest of the receipt and there’s nothing of interest there! (And yes, to those in the USA, this is how much we pay for our petrol at the moment, and this is currently 10 pence down on what it had been earlier in the year!)

Day 354 – 20th December – Rescue Mission

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It was noticed that one of the plants at work had been sufffering and looked like it was dying. On checking it, the lack of root system showed that the main plant had died away and the offshoots were starting to die from the stem upwards. I brought them home and have split off all the offshoots and planted them out. Hopefully at least a few will root and start to grow.

Day 353 – December 19th – Early Starters

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I had a bit of a clear out in the gardne, removing some dead plants and cutting back some of this year’s growth on plants that need it. It’s been so mild that my spring bulbs, mainly daffodils, are starting to come through already, three months early. In repect of the colour in the garden I don’t mind at all, but my concern is what might happen to the plants if there is a sudden cold snap like at the start of this year, it could cause real damage to the bulbs while they are active rather than dormant. There’s nothing I can do but just hope.

Day 352 – 18th December – Old style error messages

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Our computer systems crashed at work today. The outage was only for a few hours, but it did enable this rather amusing error message to be flagged up. I love the idea that a floppy would still be used in this era. I suppose there may be some older systems out there that using them, but they must be few and far between. It has left me I wondering what other automatic messages may still be in networks waiting to pop up.

Day 351 – 17th December – Email Issues

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I mentioned earlier in the year that I had been caught up in the BA hacking scandal. Today the results of that became clear. Thankfully these are not financial, but in the form of other details being passed on. While I know that I would be safe, I wanted to ensure that I protected friends and family so I have started the process of closing down the email account that has been comprimised and setting up a number of different ones. It has given me the chance to rethink my emails accounts and I have set up an account that is solely used for companies. This way if the same happens again, it won’t be the email address that I use for friends and family that is compromised and I won’t have to worry about them. It will take a bit of time as I have quite a few email from the volunteer work that I do, but it’s just a matter of time and I’m happy to spend a few hours doing that to protect others.

Day 350 – December 16th – Christmas Car Songs

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With just a week left of driving to work I decided it was time to change the CDs in the car. I have a selection of ‘Christmas’ CDs that I play at this time of year. They are not your traditional Christmas music as it isn’t the Christmas pop songs, and generally speaking not the carol’s you’ll hear at church. In stead it is a selection of CD’s released by an Ohio based band that I saw in the UK quite a number of years ago. They are a mix of tales and experiences that people have at Christmas time. There’s a Christian ethos in a lot of their music and if you like what is classed as folky americana music they I would certainly recommend a listen.

Day 349 – 15th December – Patio Clearance

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The weather is still quite mild but I decided that it was a good time to finally move all the less hardy plants from the patio and walls into the greenhouse before they do get caught by a cold stint. Also crammed into the greenhouse were the water plants from the water features that need to avoid being in frozen water. They will now stay here for a few months and I’ll top up the water every now and again, though at this time of year they don’t need much.

Day 348 – 14th December – The Easy Way for an Early Start

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I made a decision today to take the stress out of an early start at the airport next year. I’ve done the very early start where you leave the house at an unearthly hour to get to check in and having a look at the cost of parking for a week, the additional cost of a hotel was so little extra that I decided to go for it. It will be nice to just trundle up the night before at my own speed, sleep well and not worry about sleeping through an alarm clock and end up being awake most of the night instead. In the end I went for a hotel that was slightly more than the cheapest option because of the travel to the airport. The option of a bus that is only every 30 mins and taking 30 mins to get to the airport didn’t appeal, especially as it would still be an early start. However the Heathrow POD only takes 5 mins and is meant to turn up almost instantly. I’m hoping that these two options will be a much more civilised way of starting the holiday.

Day 347 – 13th December – A Snowball’s Chance

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We’ve been doing some handmade decorations at the office to make things look festive. The 3D snowflakes have been done but I wanted a new challenge. Looking online I found a template for some ‘snowballs’. There were two, one using a template of squares, the other with triangles. The triangles was the easier of the two and once I had the knack and all the pieces cut I could put them together in about 5 minutes and they made a nice addition to the workplace.

Day 346 – 12th December – That’s Torn It

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With less that two weeks to go until Christmas, the cards from friends are starting to drop though the letterbox. One of todays arrived in a plastic bag with a ‘sorry note’ that it has been rather damaged. Thankfully although the damage was more than half the card combined (the damage at the bottom of the card is harder to see on the photo) I was still able to read the update message from my friend and with some carefully placed sticky tape on the inside it will be presentable. It’s ashame that it happened on this card which has all the correct messages about what Christmas is all about.