Sorry it’s not a great picture but it was dark and I was nervous about having the car door open. Confused? Let me explain further. After the long journeies taken visiting family over Christmas the car was filthly. No surprise there. So when filling up with petrol I decided it would be a good opportunity to put the car through the wash. Nothing flash, just one of those automatic ones where you put in the code, driving in and it does it’s thing. Well today the first two of those took place. The third didn’t. It started, soaped up the car and then decided that enough was enough and stopped. In the end I managed to get the person behind to let htem know in the store that there was a problem and someone came along to restart it. However I just had a feeling that with the car door open it was bound to spring back into life so it was a very quick photo to record my predicament.
I have a number of friends across the world where I don’t have a physical address I can send a card. I therefore decided to create an e-card that I could send, and dug out a photo I had taken earlier in the year when there was snow on the ground. I chose this image for a number of reasons. Firstly its got snow on it, but also you can see that it is still snowing. While white Christmas’ in the UK are rare, snow and Christmas always go together on cards. The second reason I chose this photo is for the image of the footprints and the play that I can make on the more famous footprints in the sand message story that is told in churches. (I’ll let you look it up if you don’t know it). For me its a nice way of having the Christian message of Christmas on the e-card.
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.
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.
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.
Today I got my phoneline back. I still have a landline, which I apprecaite that not everyone uses, as I get a good deal on calls to other landlines. However for the last few days it’s not been working. It had started crackling when we had some bad weather recently and proceeded to get worse as time went on. In the end it just stopped working properly. I could call the phone but upon answering it died straight away. I had a look outside and noticed that the cable protecting the line into the house had been knawed at, probably by some of the local urban foxes. They had managed to totally break through the outer casing leaving it exposed to the elements. Thankfully my phone provider repairs this sort of issue free of charge and the line is now crystal clear.
I noticed yesterday that my kitchen door wasn’t quite shutting as it should when I pulled it closed to stop the heat of the house getting out. However given that it locked fine when I had finished, I didn’t think any more of it. Today I wish I had, as after spending time in the garden I stuggled to get the door to shut and couldn’t get it to lock at all. Obviously this presented a security issue. For quite some time I was baffled and looking at all sorts of things that could be affecting the door until I discovered what the issue was. The catch for the door had, over the course of a number of years, slowly shifted back and had got to the point where it was stopping the door catch from working properly and there was something in the mechanism as a whole that then stopped the door locking. Thankfully it was a quick fix, losening a couple of screws, adjusting the catch and tightening them back up again.
Ok, so it’s December so I’m stealing the quote from the Mary and Joseph story to illustrate my attempt to get hold of tickets for one of the two MLB baseball games taking place in London next year. Having pre-registered there was the belief that I would at least stand a change of getting some reasonable tickets for at least one game. Unfortunately from the word go it seemed that the cheaper tickets were gone in seconds or the system kept timing out. All I was ever offered were tickets at a price where I could almost fly to the US and watch the game there for the same price. Eventually I gave up and just looked in unhappiness at the number of tickets the resale websites had listed at about 3 or 4 times the face value price. Looks like I’ll have to take in an extra game next time I’m in the US to make up for missing out here. I do have another chance with the general sale later in the week, but given today’s experience, I’m not going to hold my breath.
Maybe it was yesterday’s snowdrop or maybe it was sitting on the sofa thinking that my nose was cold, but the heating has gone on. I’m lucky that I don’t feel the cold generally so it must have been a sign that it really is getting cold now that I was starting to feel it. I will have the heating higher than the temperature at which I will normally think about turning it on as there is a level of comfort that I may as well have as it’s on with having the house overly warm.
Like most houses now, I have double glazing. At least I have double glazing in all by one window. The stained glass window that provides light to the ‘hallway’ that I have at home. Although I don’t have any pictures of the house when it was first built in the 1970’s I suspect that it was an orginial feature. When I bought the house all the windows and doors had been recently replaced, so that will have been about 15 years ago. In the space of nearly 50 years though the wooden frame for this window has got to the point where is is rotten beyond my repair skills. There have been developments in the last 15 years as well and I’ve been told that I will be able to keep the window and have it incorporated into a double glazed by the small company that I’ve had recommended.