Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Is Just So Complicated...

I can get into my blog on this computer but though I can read it on the tablet and laptop I cannot access it there so unless I am given help or this computer fails, this blog may be lost.

I don't understand why...just keeping you in the picture. If any of you want to stay in touch whilst I can send me your e-mail addy's they will not be published. I will make a note of them.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Its A Thunderplump Sort Of Day...

(that's an old 19th century word for a heavy storm or shower of rain)

I'm dressed for the weather, I'm rested and almost ready for the theatre tonight of Big Band Music. I may remember to use and take an umbrella with me too.

Not very healthy but I am taking some egg and bacon sandwich spread sandwiches, crisps, some pork pie, a banana, sweets and water in case I become hungry before the show or in the interval.

For the journey there and back I have the radio on the cheap mobile phone and a tablet for some internet access on the bus.

After all more than anything I have to stay in touch with the radio serial/soap The Archers :2funny:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Gave Up And Gave In...

around 3pm I decided to get out. I hoped on a bus to a neighbouring town for the ride as much as anything. During the journey the weather turned and the bus was getting covered in wet snow. I had a reasonably good all weather coat on plus scarf and hat(no gloves)but by the time I arrived it had stopped.

I popped into the supermarket(treating myself to some cakes)some buns that I like, tomatoes, potato wedges, corned beef, prepared vegetables and spring onions. So I am happy with what I have...it will make stews/casseroles/salads and sandwiches.

If the weather was better during much of the Summer months I can survive on salads/fruit and sandwiches and am not that bothered about cooked meals. Its simple and easy.

It takes me around ten minutes to walk there and the same back to the bus stop. So if I don't want to kill an hour waiting for another bus home I only have twenty to do an actual shop. I managed to do so.

You guessed it..on the way home it started snowing again after alighting from the bus. And yet once again it has not settled and it looks quite nice and sunny outdoors and there are blue skies.

I had everything done within two hours which isn't bad.

Tomorrow, I will stay in for most of the day and leave in the late afternoon for Durham and the concert I booked some time ago. Nothing is planned after that. Its more a case of if something comes around and I am free(have the money)I'll consider if I want to go but as I said I may think more about some excursions during the Summer either under my own steam or via a local coach company.

I've had another Panini salad roll and will have a coffee now...and though only coming around to 8pm I think I will get cosy in bed and listen to the radio, do some surfing around the internet perhaps on the tablet. It will soon be 10pm.

I am thinking of contacting the coach companies tomorrow and possibly if up early enough and I can find out the details and where to buy tickets from perhaps I'll make that my task for the day and then continue to the concert. As I said if I leave it too long I may not have any choice in the matter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday Was Good...If Tiring...

I did not buy at the Food Festival...I did not want to buy and take food to the theatre, it was expensive and really I did not need any cheese or meat. I did get a look around Auckland Castle, if honest it was smaller than I expected(or is that just because some is not open to the public)Impressive, certainly but unless you are going to spend hours looking at portraits of past Bishops who lived there, you can do the tour very quickly.

I was on my way to Durham by 4pm. Somehow I killed almost three hours. Which with all shops closed and many cafés too takes some doing.

So I was struggling to find a connection to the internet via my tablet, my best two hopes wanted me to allow my details to be shared with other companies and be inundated with promotional information so I did not sign up.

The theatre does not appear to offer free public Wi-Fi but I'll ask next time I am there.

It was a great night of Big Band Music with The Syd Lawrence Band fronted by Chris Dean...it was a slightly smaller band this time with only 15 members(if you include Chris)but it sounded as good as ever and on this occasion any songs were sung solely by him. Sometimes we have a guest vocalist(usually female)

I had someone sitting next to me, he may've been enjoying himself, difficult to say because he sat with his arms folded the whole time, never applauded, his expression never changed and you never saw a foot tapping to the music.

The performance finished just a little late to get to the bus station for the 10.15pm bus home and even a taxi there would still have missed it. The usual bus stop on a bridge near the theatre because of Sunday service was no help either, Mon-Sat its great so I took it really slow back to the station...and was home for Midnight.

Plans on Monday were called off because I was tired and the weather was bad. I wanted to blame myself for not having a day out but in the end it was the right decision. If honest its not great today either. Its been so wet, gardening is out again as I'll have to wait for it to dry out again.

Its the music Club again tonight...perhaps I'll try and have a trip tomorrow.

I have found a company doing coach trips nearer to here, I still have to travel 7 miles to reach a pick up point and some trips are out because I will miss the pick up by 20-30 minutes. But most I can connect to.

So two trips appeal...and I think I will have to be quick to book  a seat before they all go. One is the Sunderland Airshow. I can go by public transport but coming home is a nightmare. They put loads of buses on to get there but not for coming back. A coach would be better. The other is the Tall Ships event in Blyth Northumberland(that's 2-3 hour journey on public transport)but again a coach would be better. So you pay but its more comfortable, takes less time and almost gets you door to door and is about the same price as a taxi one way for a distance of 7 miles and you've travelled much further.

And all being well if it gets back in decent time I can catch a bus home for the last 7 miles. I may try and go on some other trips during Summer. Especially as the theatre near me is closed for around 18 months and at present there isn't much I want to see at the other venues. I'll look into booking trips in the next day or two and contact the company.

I do have another show on Thursday which was booked ages ago. At present its all Big Band stuff. But some genres are difficult in that on Saturday the Big Band was playing as part of the Jazz Festival. Is it jazz? The same thing happens when the term Folk is used. It encompasses so much.

I think I'll make up a kind of Panini Roll with tomato, ham and green stuff to have at the club tonight and take some crisps. I share bags of crisps with others on my table.

Having spent a little lately, I am thinking I may treat myself to some of the new dinky hard drives that are smaller than the ones I have which look like big black books. They still work but the new ones store much more data, take up less room and look nicer.

Does anyone have any experience of those wearable fitness gadgets for checking your health? Are they any good or just another un-necessary gadget we think we need and are told that we do? I guess I keep thinking I may as well have one and be quite up to date. At present I can have one that is half price and a well known brand.

Update:I called in on the way home for some Strawberries, milk, Clover spread, stew vegetables so I can avoid going out on Wednesday, more of the same I fear on the weather front. The media is enjoying spinning the story of rain, sleet and snow but its nothing that unusual to be honest. As I came home late from the supermarket I was being hit by freezing rain. Luckily I was almost home.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I Could've Gone Later And Not Missed Much...

I left home half an hour later than planned yesterday. I found that the first visit I had on my itinerary was not happening for at least an hour bringing planned day of music too close to midday where I hoped to be in the town centre to see the Town Crier and perhaps raise a toast to England's Patron Saint, St. George. We all were given a small glass of Port. Ladies were given roses too. I'll admit I have never done that before.

A little crowd did congregate at the appropriate time but I'll be honest, it was hard work getting anyone interested...a mixture of apathy or some probably still unaware that it was St. George's Day. The Welsh, The Scots and Irish would be far more ready to embrace their nationality. Yet we are often told how patriotic "we" English are.

It was said that there were performers playing jazz around various parts of the town centre but I had difficulty finding them.

Eventually there was a music event found but that started at 12.30pm and I was scared that if I did not head for the afternoon of music I knew to be happening in a pub nearby I would not find a seat or it would be too crowded. So I only saw them perform one tune.

The pub was really tiny and I was lucky to collar a stool and stay put all afternoon. No one was watching so I probably could've survived on one drink but I did spring for a second. As the afternoon went on it became quite packed. And the shape of the room means that some probably were unable to see the acts as they performed. We had a set by the Ruth Lambert Trio, the duo Dean Stockdale and Noel Dennis and Lyndsay Hannon with her band(She later sang two songs with one of the big bands at the evening concert)

It was fun though. That took care of my entertainment until 5pm. I managed to kill approx two hours between then and the evening concert at the leisure centre in town so did not come home. I went to the theatre and purchased a ticket for the final show before it closes for refurbishment. That show happens the day after my birthday and is hosted by Christopher Biggins and celebrates the history of the theatre and is a mixture of acts, a sort of variety show.

The concert was great but unknown to me as I sat downstairs in the foyer waiting for the doors to open, a queue at started on the stairs and many seats were already taken and again unknown(nothing was said on the tickets)that a lot of the room had been reserved for some attending.

Being St George's Day some pubs were celebrating the day and the old St Cuthbert's Church was flying the English flag around the spire. 

Both bands were great...there was the Durham County Youth Big Band who played for approx 30 minutes. 

Then another the Durham Alumni Big Band played from 8pm until 10pm performing many classics by Baisie, May, Kenton, Heath and others. The term Jazz incorporates so much music and can give a misunderstanding of a large body of music. The same thing happens with Folk music.

I managed  to get to the bus stop in time for a bus home at 10.15pm. I had free wi-fi access in the leisure centre which was great. I was able to stay connected to the internet before and inbetween the acts at the concert and also on the bus home. For as long as the tablet's battery lasted. It helped fill in some of the time.

I also had some access at the pub in the afternoon.

Hopefully I'll  add some images later this evening so this post may change a little.

If I had not been doing other things today I may've returned today as there are some other events taking place.

I was heading out early today to the food festival, to look around an historic landmark and then go to to tonight's concert but I think I'll be OK if I get their by lunchtime. And I will leave directly from there to Durham rather than come back to my town first. Waiting to see how the weather is too. So I may get another couple of hours in bed.

I said I felt a little down on Friday...well of course Friday was the fourth anniversary of Mum's passing so that probably played its part. In reality four years ago this happened on a Sunday Morning just as the London marathon takes place so I kind've associate the two events with each other. That happens today but I won't be watching. I never have. Actually I felt pretty OK on Friday and it went quite well.

Update:Scrub the earlier estimate when I would be at the Food Festival...more likely to be 1pm now and we'll have to see what is left, I should still get a look around the castle though.

Friday, April 22, 2016

That Was Fun...

Things went a little wrong in Wednesday.

I found I missed the bus I planned to use for Durham to see the play. The next would be too late :sad: I came up with another plan and at a push I now have another option in the future because of what I did.

I caught a bus to the neighbouring town of Bishop Auckland. The bus I thought I would board to Durham was not leaving for 45 minutes so that was the end of that. Or so I thought. Then I found an express bus to Newcastle Upon Tyne was leaving in 10 minutes which calls at Durham and the route gets me virtually next to the two theatres in the city. :smiley: If it runs to time I can be in Durham and at the theatre with 25 mins to spare.

Its an alternative. I also had access to Wi-Fi on the bus too.

Coming home...I was in time for an early bus but standing alone on the main road bridge, two buses flew past and did not stop when I flagged them down. :angry: Then an unexpected one did but it meant I had to hang around in the bus station for the last bus. I filled the time accessing Wi-Fi in the bus station until they turned the signal off. At least I think they did or perhaps it was me.

I was home around Midnight.

The play was a light comedy about a newly bereaved widower and called "Over My Dead Body" Funnily enough as I waited in the bus station I was joined by someone and I thought "I know that voice!" I eventually looked around and though he was not in the present production, I have seen him a few times and he is a regular cast member. So we got talking whilst he waited for his bus. And shook hands. I've always been good with voices.

Its an Am Dram production. They do well. Occasionally they get a prompt off stage but sometimes they don't need it and the prompter is a bit quick off the mark. :2funny: The only little glitch this time was they sometimes got the names of characters mixed up but we knew who they were talking about and it was warmly received.

I could go out tonight and see a music show but it doesn't start until late(ish)I'd have to leave early or book a taxi to get home so I'll pass. The same is true late tomorrow night but again I will pass.

I have a day of mainly free(ish)music. I may have to buy a coffee or a few drinks as the music happens in a licensed venue. However, as I won almost all my money back last night at the bingo and I am not buying the buffet for Sunday, also missing Sunday's usual get together and no bingo on Monday afternoon nor next Thursday night,

I can either save some money which I would've spent or divert it to my other plans. I still may not win but we have a last number called after the first house(50p a number)I usually take two. Seeing I am missing, I am risking four numbers that's cost me £2 but the prize is standing at £60 so its worth a go. Also, they were going to have fish and chips before the bingo this week but as a few of us are missing, we're having that the week after. So I haven't missed it.

If the weather is kind and I am feeling OK, with no bingo on Monday I may have a day out and perhaps travel to the coast. Its all about pacing myself.

Should the tablet's battery last, I may try and tweet whilst I am on my travels at the weekend and Monday. Also perhaps get some images and videos up online.

I have remembered another site I may have to try and rejoin after my recent issues on here...I sometimes take part in surveys but that site is also linked to my previous e-mail account so they are probably sending invites for me to take part and I cannot see them.

I feel a little down but knowing I have a busy weekend ahead I am luckier than most and can accept I'll be mentally entertained quite soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I Have My DAB Adaptor...

so my radio is working again :smiley:  I have new software installed too and thanks to the helpful people on the ISP's forum and someone in the technical dept my internet speed has increased(and no I don't know what it all means)by 6mpbs so I now have a speed of nearer 14mpbs rather than 8mpbs as it has been these past days and drop outs on the line seem to have ceased.

There is a possibility I may gain a little more speed in the days to come but I will happily accept any extra I can get.

Interestingly enough(and they computer experts don't always get it right)the suggestion is that my repairman is wrong to suggest the reasons he did for the slow speeds I am getting. So you do wonder if some of what I have purchased in recent days were necessary. But now I have them they will not harm my use of the internet and eventually I will absorb the costs. They may even enhance the experience.

So on top of the expense of my laptop and tablet...I spent an extra £87 on a router, power line adaptors, an internal power pack and a tower to plug all the computers and drives into. For his time(and many visits and installing of software)he's charged around £99.

And I added an extra £114 on extra's myself. By buying some cordless phones(I can remove the old handsets now if I so wish)a laptop case, a wallet for my tablet, a wireless mouse of an old desktop, a wireless keyboard and mouse for this desktop, a wireless mouse for the laptop.

As I may've said the line phone rental is due soon but luckily I had money originally meant to pay last year's TV license sitting on the credit card so this year I'll use it to pay the phone and I only have to find another £25. I'm still paying but its almost like getting it for free.

I did not need the virus software the shop sold me when I purchased the laptop and tablet so the money I spent on that paid for some of the above and that cancelled some of the expense.

I guess overall I have done OK. And in reality all the internet is costing me is around 51p per day. Its just the initial cost. What can you do for such a small amount of money?

I've already paid my TV license for the year too.

Hopefully I will stop going on and on about technical issues now and get back to the blog(maybe get some images up on it again)tell you about any trips I have out and save the site so I don't have to start it all off again.

I am debating whether to go and see a play tonight in Durham. I usually go on opening night(you get a discount on the ticket price)but I was at the Bingo on Sunday, Music Clubs Monday and Tuesday, tomorrow its Bingo again, Weekend Big Bands, Jazz and Food Festival possibly music on Friday so I only have tonight to see it.

I'm A Little Tuckered Out With The Internet...

I probably could use it 24/7 and yet I'm surfing for no particular reason at present. That does mean I am getting sleep though.

The repairman is here again in the morning with my DAB radio adaptor that he ordered  for me and to put some software on the computer(s)

As yet I still have not used the laptop. I am working between the desktop and the tablet.

Laptop is useful if I am downstairs in the lounge but if I am honest if I am tweeting whilst watching the TV the tablet is fine and its portable, even more so than the laptop.  It can also be used in bed...If I am up I may as well be on the desktop. They'll all be used though.

It was another music night...the band is well known around my part of the North East The John Wrightson Band(I know some of their material is on line)and we also had four songs between sets by Flossie Malavialle(she's French)but lives not many miles from my town and she appears across the UK and the world. Again she has a website and also you can access her music too. :cool:

I did not do much but may start to pick up in the coming days as the weather improves(?)and this weekend its the busy one with jazz, big bands, food and possibly looking around the Bishop of Durham's official residence in County Durham. If I can get my little legs to behave :smiley: I need to allow plenty of time.

What is crazy is...a bus to Bishop Auckland on a Sunday runs only hourly then stops around 6pm from my town(approx 7 miles)The same going to Durham but they run until 23.15. However, if I get to Bishop before the last bus from my town there is a bus to Durham every 30 minutes via this alternative route. And on a Sunday all my town has after 6pm is one bus that runs between Darlington and Durham.

I guess therefore I better stay in and around Bishop Auckland to make everything work easily for me because I can do the Food Festival, the visit to the Bishop's Residence and then get to the Big Band Concert in Durham.

The last bus that does come through my town terminates here so if anyone lives in Darlington they cannot get home and until perhaps a year ago it did not arrive here. So you if you want to complete the journey you need to hire a taxi. For now that last bus stops near my home. May it always do so.

Does that make any sense? :huh:

Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm Off Out...

An act is travelling from down south to play at a little folk club on the town and its quite an inexpensive night. I won my money back for last night's look out so I will just transfer the money from then to tonight.

The weather isn't bad...the sun is shining and its not raining. So I shall go and get shaved and make tracks. Hopefully a review may follow later.

Update:Louise Jordan is a singer who lives around the New Forrest area so to come all the way to my town is quite a journey and a commitment. Approx 320 miles. Sadly the club sadly only had around 20 people in the audience. Their loss, our gain.

She has a websites and you can access some of her music on line. It is an intimate venue. I very much enjoyed listening to her. She sang some traditional songs, some of her own, played a guitar and also brought a keyboard. I would review but if interested I suspect it is easy to search her details on the net.

Before the show, I was eager to see how easy it is to use the tablet away from the home and what access there is to the internet. So I hoped on a bus just to try it out for myself.

It amused me...I found on the bus away from the town(I had chosen one without internet access)but as we traveled and passed by houses I was seeing the connections of so many properties that were connected to the internet.

Then in the town when I arrived I found a fair few retailers and pubs offering internet access and when a bus passed by I was able to access briefly its internet wifi connection.

Then I boarded a bus back to my town that did have internet access and it was a very good signal. It was difficult because of bumpy roads to write tweets/messages. As in hitting the wrong letter on a keyboard but you could call up websites and read and watch everything you do at home.

There was a free internet connection at the pub I was at and I connected easily but I could not send or receive anything which as it said the connection was good I don't quite understand.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I Now Have Someone Online Helping Me...

with speed issues and thinks some of what I have spent I need not have, thinks I may be able to up my speed from what it is at present. Even though I am not using a fibre connection. I'm stuck though because I cannot get into the router to find out the info he needs to know. The password(them again)what I am sure he gave me does not get me into the router but he is due to visit again tomorrow or Tuesday so I'll ask him then.

In the meantime I'll keep flogging away at trying to sort out this blog. Its still the only problem that remains sorting.

Painful night in bed...knees hurting and toes on the right foot. I tried to avoid going out but had to in the end just to the supermarket for a few items. Was only there 10 minutes but a ten min walk(both ways)took 50 minutes.

Bingo tonight. Otherwise I've had a lazy Sunday afternoon. I dressed for a bad weather day and found it was quite warm and sunny.

I treated myself to a laptop case whilst I was out.

Going to have a coffee anyhow.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Was Thinking Of Going Out...

but the weather ain't great and the same act will be appearing on my own town in approx 19 days in(surprise, surprise)another church. I can avoid a late night travelling on the bus home and they'll probably play the same selection of music. And next weekend is busy so I'll make this one a lighter relaxing time.

To be honest I am trying to understand the new cordless phones I now have and some of the features may not work(?)without another bit of kit. But as I don't get many calls or phone out I'll survive. I may've managed with a cheaper set up for all I know. I do however think I can still store my most used numbers and screen/block some.

And now I have them they'll last me for years I suspect. The initial cost is less than I would be paying for the service from the care company approx a third less. And within a couple of years the cost will be cancelled out. I would even prefer to be sure that the money I save keeps my internet going or the cost of the phone line. What I save can go towards other luxuries or bills and if income drops that could be very useful. I can store most used numbers and upto nine speed dial numbers. I will be lucky if I can find enough numbers to fill that. I would be lost without access to the internet and computers now.

The phones will mostly be used to block as many nuisance calls as possible. You know the ones...selling boilers, solar panels and the like. Or the others that don't leave any details. I received a funny one yesterday before buying the phones. The caller had my name and said you own a Hotpoint washer don't you(I do)without thinking I said "yes" and the line went dead. What was that all about?

Its annoying that I thought the purchasing of the laptop and tablet was reasonable. Even what my computer repairman charged for all that he did(and three visits)wasn't bad but its the extra bits I had to buy that made it costly. But being no computer expert I will always wonder if I needed all that I now have. But I have them now and they seem to be working(Much better than it was a few weeks ago)

I probably said what else I had to buy...
  1. A new keyboard and wireless mouse combo(the writing was off many of the keys)
  2. A wireless mouse for the laptop.
  3. A new router.
  4. Powerline adaptors.
  5. A new tower for putting all the plugs into.
  6. A case to put my tablet into.
  7. A new power unit for an old computer.
I found out what the power unit cost and if you take that out of the fee my repairman charged for his time and work, it was pretty decent what he charged me. I am fortunate that he lives only a few streets away too. I have one other item I have to pay for, the mains adaptor for my DAB radio failed showing bare wires and he's ordered one for me so that's an extra little cost but at least the radio will work again. That's come in at £7.99(I think)better than discarding the radio. 

I think I would like to buy a case(more like a wallet)to put my laptop in for extra protection even though it will only be used in my home. Also the main reasons for the tablet and laptop only being used indoors is to avoid signing up for another internet service which adds to the cost. Sometimes you just have to say no. My mobile is basic on a pay as you go plan. I still have around £7.50 credit(after putting £10 on it)around Christmas 2014.

The laptop is too big and a nuisance for taking on a bus etc..carrying around it may OK if I was staying in a hotel or on a long train journey that's when I might consider taking a tablet/laptop with me as many services and venues offer free wi-fi. Also you can charge devices for free.

If I stop going out socially or some of the other things I do come to an end, I may change my mind but a really cheap option of a mobile phone with a limit of 1gb(a really small amount)internet access still costs around £12 per month(that's £144 annually)

My current internet provider gives "unlimited" broadband(free)I pay for the line rental and that's around £185 annually. That's frightening but then when broken down that's only approx 50p per day. What else can you do for 50p? Not sure that would buy a packet of chewing gum.

My ISP(and even the repairman)tried to suggest I consider fibre but that adds another £108-£144 annually(it varies)depending on any offers at the time. Initially I can have it for free for a year but what happens after that? 

OK the phones I probably could've waited to buy or done without but I have them now. Two well know retailers selling them for £59.99(but both claim they are worth £69.99)I think buy whilst you can and whilst in a spending mood, why not?

I don't want to cry wolf over my computer issues because it looks as though I have got away with less damage than I may have.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I'm Still Here...Just!

Cannot remember what I wrote last time so I may repeat myself...

Line is still dropping out. Router is now downstairs. I now have power line adaptors. Now its thought that the router is at fault so my repairman has got me to go out and buy a new one. He returns tomorrow to see if we connect again.

The only thing working reasonably OK is the tablet. I am hopeful that I may be able to continue the blog, connect to Twitter and Facebook*so if I can I get sorted all I have lost is my e-mail account(but I have access to two e-mail accounts now)And I could start a new one at the place that locked me out if I choose to.

I will write down the passwords from now on and being on my own they will be safe.

My line rental is due soon(but I have credit on a credit card)and enough to almost pay it.

We are also hopeful that the other old desktop PC will work again when a power pack is installed. But none of us know. Also some programs need transferring between the PC and the Laptop. And both desktops need cleaning out as they are full of dust.

Tomorrow I am returning the care connect telephone machine and paying off what I owe. It was free but now they are charging. Some companies even charge now if they come out to you and have to get you off the floor after a fall. Its a good idea but I can save the £145 and...I have phones in the lounge/bedroom and mobile on me all the time. And I am thinking of getting some cordless phones and they usually have enough range for when you are in the garden.

So it all starts again in the morning.

*I have saved Facebook and Twitter so just have to save my blog now. All new settings used but so far I have not lost access to those I have changed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Soon Going To Be Saying Goodbye...

Repairman and myself have tried all kinds of ways to access various sites like my blog(and because I have forgotten passwords)I can't access my e-mail account and websites are linked so I do believe this blog will cease. I can start a new one but if I cannot get a similar name anyone interested will not find it.

The same with Facebook and Twitter. I can only blame myself. I will try whilst I have access to my current e-mail account to post a link or tell what the new blog is called and I will also post a link to this blog which is no longer being used in case anyone would like to read earlier entries.

I can't get into it but for now as that is the registered e-mail address it is still allowing me to access those websites.

I hope that we don't lose contact but there isn't much that I can do about it. I know what I am going to do though...I'm going write my passwords down in future(I know they say don't)but as there is only me here I think they are pretty safe.

Thank you for reading and interacting with me for the last 6 or 7 years.

Up At Silly O'Clock...

I've done all that I can now...I've moved files to another drive, tried deleting items and defragged hard drives but still internet connections are intermittent.

So there is little that I can add until after the visit.

Gardening has been delayed yet again after another downpour which is sad because mostly the last two days have been sunny and warm(ish)but not enough to dry everything out. Perhaps I can still move some of the garden rubbish. That's one task.

I stayed in last night as the other music club was just having a singaround(and no way am I singing)but next week "We have a turn" who is travelling a fair distance to entertain "From down South!" Last time she attempted the trip her car let her down.

It gets a bit busy from the weekend and then there is nothing for a while. I may be at a murder mystery play by an Am Dram group(I haven't decided yet)then there's that mainly free jazz festival, a big band concert by a famous band and one by an amateur big band, a jazz concert, a food festival and I have discovered the local historic Auckland Castle associated with the Bishop Of Durham which will be open during the food festival for free. Usually there is an admission fee that is quite steep. So I may try and get in and have a look around. I never have and we're talking decades.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Still Having Issues...

However, I have my laptop(I just about killed myself getting to the store/retail park)to buy it. You are supposed to get help and advice. It was negligible. In the end I chose a model and make and hope I did wisely.

And yes I did buy a tablet. It will have limited use because the reason I have avoided a smart phone is because I don't have many people to phone(or people to phone me)I don't want to pay a charge for internet use when I get free broadband at home even though I love watching people use their phones anywhere to access the net.

However, I will be able to use the tablet on buses/trains or if I am near some venue that offers free access once I learn how you do that. Also it will allow me to take videos and images when I go out for the day. And if using a camera is difficult or the battery is running low I have another option.

I'm also thinking when I am only wanting to e-mail/twitter or read light text I can use the tablet in bed and avoid trying to use the laptop.

Using a laptop is not easy when in bed especially to stop it overheating or perhaps falling off the bed, my last one did un-beknown to me and the case was damaged. The laptop will not be used outdoors only in the lounge or bedroom. I need the repairman to set up all the new gadgets and if the desktop is taken away hopefully I can still stay connected.

OK whilst in a spending mood...I purchased a range of kitchen knives for preparing food and better meals. And three small(inexpensive kitchen gadgets)all guaranteed for 3-5 years. An electric grater with five blades to offer various ways to prepare vegetables slicing, shredding, grounding etc...an egg cooker that cooks up to seven eggs and they can be soft, light or hard boiled. I think that may be less costly than putting the cooker on. And a machine that will do noodles and spirals with various foods.

They cost me very little to be honest. And I have them now.

The weather is picking up so maybe in the next few days I will actually get into the garden. Its the right time of the year.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I'm Virtually Internet And Computer Free...

Unable to do much at all. I even wonder if should I get back on line I may be unable to connect to sites like my own blog so if I really really do disappear and anyone is bothered. Thank you for following all this time.

If I can find a way to point you in my direction I will.

All I can say for now is that all being well I will have a new laptop(I hope in the next couple of days)perhaps a tablet. This desktop may be repaired and the other one that has an old operating system(and is not used for the internet too)and if the worst scenario happens, it may mean giving in and finding another desktop.

I still like a solid well made desktop computer even though we are told everyone wants a portable device that they can take anywhere. They usually last longer and have more connections to enable doing what laptops do not. Now before anyone thinks that my computers are fancy and have all the latest features...they are second hand/refurbished.

I have been without a laptop for around 6 months(probably longer)before I purchased that one I had never ever owned a laptop.

I have purchased a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard and mouse today. They did not cost a lot. One will be used for the laptop and the other for the desktop.

Sunday is radio listening and tidying up the house. In the evening the usual bingo. I'd love to get some images up on my blog as promised on Wednesday but all the problems have stopped that for now.

Temporally I hope. Anyone I have the e-mails of they may be lost because I can't get into my online e-mail account and so if I lose track with you I am sorry. It could be I will also have to create a new e-mail account.

Tuesday is "D" Day.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Fun And Games...

My computer has installed Windows 10 and everything is "Topsy Turfy" I thought that I had lost all my favourite links.

Sometimes I cannot connect to websites or the internet. So if I suddenly disappear you know why. Well I hope its only a PC problem and nothing else.

There's been a fair amount of rain in the past 24 hours so that still does not help my plans for the garden. I managed to buy the saw I was after. It says its for cutting hard wood(I don't do much woodwork around the garden and house)so as long as I can do the small jobs I have planned I am happy that I did not spend a lot.

I could not find my brolly so when passing the pound shop in the town I purchased an umbrella, not expecting anything great but in an emergency at that price if it works a couple of times that will be fine.

I missed all the rain yesterday until a few hundred yards from where we play bingo and the heavens opened. And I was was well soaked with a mixture of rain and hailstones but wearing a good hat on and a thick coat I was quite dry once I removed them. They kept the rain out. Why didn't I put my umbrella up? I was so close to the building and already wet(because it came on so quickly)I doubt it would've made much difference.

I may still have to call on my computer repair man to sort matters out on here but if I do that may have to wait until next week now. Until I try and send this I won't even know if I can post on here, wish me luck.

Update:Still continuing. Hap Hazard connections. Been through a talk with internet provider. They say they've done something at "their" end which may have kicked in by now(I haven't seen any improvement as yet)I've been told to move the router and try connecting it where the line comes in. Another idea is it could be the extension. Another call to them they've suggested a wireless connection(the router does Wi-Fi)and my laptop used such a connection. The desktop is I now realise using the landline into the desktop via an Ethernet(?)cable so not using a wireless connection so perhaps that may be another option.

I may have to contact my computer repairman...it may be all too complicated for me.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Taking The Morning Easy But...

hoping to at least shift some of the garden rubbish this afternoon so its not so spread out and the garden will look tidier because of that task.

If by the weekend its not as wet, I'll start killing/digging out weeds with the new weeder.

Also I have a political meeting in Durham at the weekend regarding the "in" campaign for the EU Referendum in June and some people I talk to on Twitter may be there so we will meet for the first time. I say a meeting. It will be people handing out leaflets I suspect and talking to shoppers as they pass by. I'm not involved, I'll just be turning up.

I have a ticket for a jazz concert at the end of April taking place during the little Jazz Festival taking place. I remembered about it as I was coming back from the Music Hall Show yesterday so that was another good task completed.

I also found another little "Food" bargain to keep me going for the next few weeks(perhaps even longer)some fancy yoghurt on offer(Half price)and some Pork stakes. They only need pan frying and they look very lean. They'd been reduced in price(six in a container)and they are only around 40p each so there's six meals straight away. Again I could've taken advantage but decided just to buy the one.

The yoghurts I'll have either as little snacks or add to cereals at breakfast or perhaps even instead of cereal.

Think that my neighbour is starting to get into one of her strange moods again...I'm sure I heard her banging on my bedroom wall again last night. Funny how all seems ok for months and then she starts again. I'm behaving no differently and my radio is on as quietly as ever. I will see how things proceed and it may die down again. Unless notes come through the door again. And when the Housing Association visits I'll mention her again myself. I'll let them hear the radio so they can hear how quiet it is. As someone online said last night it wasn't even late only 10pm. I'd been out until 8pm myself.

I may contact them myself before then. The last time they called unofficially they said they could see I was a considerate person. And I should not live like a prisoner afraid to have a life in my own home.

Did I say? On Monday I may be getting a couple of kitchen gadgets(not very expensive)an electric grater which will take the effort out doing it myself and it has seven different types of grating)and an electric egg boiler(you can boil up to seven)in one go. And it may be as easy and cheaper than putting a pan on a cooker. Often unless you are frying or scrambling eggs its a good idea to boil a few then you have them for sandwiches or salads. An ingredient close at hand.

Update:Looks like the gardening is off thanks to...April Showers. I may go out and buy a saw. I've decided two or three shrubs need to be lost because they are growing not at the edge of a lawn but in the lawn. I can cut them down to ground level. Then possibly try and kill them off. Putting the new shrubs/rose bushes along the edges. I think I will have to use some kind of chemical to kill off the stumps. Otherwise they'd take a lot of digging out.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I'm Back...

The news is that the local theatre is going to be closed for up to two years as it is refurbished. I guess therefore I will not be out as much and when I am I'll be going to local entertainment that could be less expensive.

The Music Hall...The Bachelors did not turn up. I suspect therefore the artists that did, performed an extra routine. We were treated to approx three hours of entertainment. We had a magician/comedian and I know him from television and was determined to remember his name(and have promptly forgot)which annoys me.

The Grumbleweeds who are still able to do stand up patter and routines. I say the Grumbleweeds. We are really down to one original from the group now but it was a double act with a new straight man. They went down very well.

Anita Harris still looked good and sounded pretty good too. The producer of the show performed singing "Old Time Songs" and the MC was Mark Walsh who also had comic patter, sang and played the banjo.

I took some quick images in the foyer and spoke to a performer who was in the audience watching but not taking part and I saw him around 2 years ago(his photo is not as clear)I'll post what I have.

I saw him at the theatre in Durham at benefit night. I should've met him around forty five years ago at the theatre I was in today as part of a school trip but I was having a minor operation. It could've been done at a surgery to be honest but I was on an operating table. And it was too late to go on the trip.

That is another popular act during my growing up, he was on so many TV shows, made comic records and was also in a highly acclaimed film Funny Bones and that is Freddie Davies.

They Said Expect A Change In The Weather...

and rain. Well, that could still happen but as I rise the sun is shining and it looks lovely. A late light breakfast and then the unusual idea of attending a matinee at a local theatre. Not many shows to happen there for much longer because it has been awarded the go ahead for £5.4Million of a refurbishment(which considering the local council)has been closing/reducing services including an Arts Centre(that has been demolished)help being given from the lottery(and loads from the patrons)who have had to pay £1 extra on their tickets. And the same council is looking to close a large historic library and a buying for the towns covered Victorian Market.

I thought singer Anita Harris was topping the bill(and she's been the only person I have seen confirmed)but now it appears we have another 60's act and they are said to be the "Headline" act the trio The Bachelors. But that is questionable as two of trio are missing(the Brothers who played guitar)and sang and would be most known from all the hits and records that they made. These "Bachelors" have two members I do not know. The remaining original member is the tall one with a moustache who played a double bass.

Anyone else is a surprise.

I did a very small shop on the way home from the music club because of something I had seen earlier in the evening when there filling in time waiting for a bus to the music club. Then I had found a whole Rainbow Trout ok until Friday, worth £3.50 but reduced to 69p(I had to have that and do something special)but a range of Fresh Covent Garden Soup was on offer at half price and the size of the carton holds approx double the amount of most cans so you can get two servings from one carton.

That works out at around 60p per serving better than £1.17. Just occasionally you come across a bargain. Not as many these days though these days vegetables and some meat has reduced a fair bit. And many supermarkets do compete these days on basic items with the discount stores.

I shall decide if I need to  bother shaving. Have a coffee and head out around 11.30am and give myself plenty of time to casually arrive at the theatre.

I'll leave the garden until tomorrow now. The ground is not really suitable to be walked on and yesterday whilst filling the compost bin my shoes were getting clogged up with mud and the ground was being flattened.

I have been talked out of having a second compost bin so I will move the remaining bags of garden waste nearer to the house and the bin so they are nor spread out and as the compost hopefully starts to happen I'll just keep adding to the mix.

If we get a dry spell(not to be added to the bin)I'll have a go at killing off/removing the weeds that are showing themselves. Soon I'll look to filling the tubs and perhaps buy a hanging basket. I feel this year I can see a way forward.

Oh I won a box of chocolates at the music club raffle.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016


I got into the garden and filled the compost bin. Annoyingly, even though it has 220litres capacity I did not get as much into it as I hoped. Now wondering if I should invest in second one. Cannot do anymore gardening today as I am out in approx 90 minutes and at the theatre tomorrow afternoon.

If I do decide on another bin...I hope there are some still in the supermarket when I go in. Quite a lot of the rubbish is damp/wet so I can avoid catching rain water for the minute.

Off to get shaved and ready for tonight. At least the weather is quite pleasant outside at present and the sun is shining.

Felt A Bit Sorry...

the main performer at a music club tonight was struggling and forgetting the lyrics to many of the songs he was attempting to sing. We gave as much support as we were able but he was feeling bad.

I did win a bottle of wine in the raffle which I am now going to donate to another music club's raffle on Friday. Recycling items in a positive way. Looks a decent wine. A Chardonnay.

Going to have an easy day and do very little. The weather looks like its going to let any thoughts of gardening go by but if it rains I shall leave a bucket out to catch rain water to use in the compost bin. It rained overnight Sunday into Monday but I found out too late so missed the chance to catch some already. They say don't use tap water. Yet often we do when watering plants by a watering can or hose.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Much Of What Happens In Life Is Down To Luck...

I rarely buy lottery tickets(I'm long past the days where I purchased them every week, its been years)The main put off was when they increased the price and then decided to do both the Euromillions and National Lottery twice per week. After all that's £8 per week if you do both(£32 a month)£416 annually.

But hey, I did buy both at the weekend. I did not win anything on the Euro. So wasn't hopeful of the Lotto on Saturday. But I found that I matched 4 numbers so the cost of garden equipment, trainers and the jazz concert on Saturday and even the tickets plus a music evening tonight has been cancelled out and have become free.

You always think one more number and it would've been fifteen times as much. One more number and a star we'd be talking much much more. But no, I am not greedy and I have been lucky to have the win I have. I rarely win and usually we're only talking of enough to but another couple of tickets.

I don't know what the ratio of winning is if you do a lottery regularly, I could use my win and buy tickets for the next 3 months(as if they are free)but I'm not going to.

Its all helped(though the TV License dropped on my mat today)

Update:I won my money back at the bingo this afternoon so broke even again.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

I Was Pushing It Trying To Go Out For A Few Hours...

I got spotted down the town and ended up having a chat for an hour so I just popped into the supermarket and found some very lean pork mincemeat(Paid £2)saved £2. I left the third container. Stops being a bargain if you buy too much(Of course it could've been put in the freezer)

Been advised a bit more on the making of compost so purchased some Bonemeal and for natural water(they say don't use tap water)I found a cheapish bucket to catch the rain when it falls. Getting ever nearer to filling the bin.

Now I'm taking it easy, resting before the Bingo tonight. Not much to get together for the buffet. I can have that done within half an hour. I only have to get shaved.

Feeling quite chipper which is always a bonus.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Back From The Jazz Afternoon...

I'll post some images soon...Glad I went and I now know a quicker way to the venue. Brian Carrick's Algiers Stompers playing very much in the style of New Orleans jazz and the riverboats. All members being well seasoned and having played for many many years. Seven were in the band but one was hidden behind a speaker from where I was sitting. They have bookings already until November 2017 and some dates outside of the UK.

Bit tired now. I have just had two coffees and treated myself to two scones with jam. I may have soup later and a salad bun with prawns.

I found another shop today selling trainers but they all seemed to be lace ups(again)and even with the discount they were promising, they were still working out more expensive than those I purchased yesterday. What I paid for two pairs these were costing the same for one pair.

Mine are supposed to be worth £55(I paid £22.99 per pair)I doubt that they have ever been sold at the higher price.

The weather has improved as the day has gone on but its dull and cold. But it is nice to be home now.

A New Day...

I was so tired after my look out yesterday I climbed into bed at 7.30pm to listen to the radio and by 8.40pm I'd gone.

I awoke at 8am this morning. I awoke to a wet day but I think I will attempt to go out to that Jazz Music afternoon. I wish it had been on in the evening but...

So I will probably have to be away by 10.30am.

What did I get yesterday? Well the weeder that was being held for me(Really?)I got one but the assistant just went to where they were in the store and picked it up so in reality I'm not so sure it was being kept specially for me. But I have it.

Silly? Perhaps but I gave in and purchased two pairs of trainers. They were not cheap(almost £46)but buy whilst you may. I tried two more retailers before buying and could only find trainers with laces and they were very light on the souls so knowing I wear the right shoe out quite quickly, I had no choice. And having two pairs does mean I can avoid going into the retailer for a little longer and if they become unavailable I have some to be going at.

Now thinking to make them last longer I'll wear the cheap canvas shoes when doing a lot of walking and the trainers when I am generally indoors or stepping out of a taxi or off a bus and going straight indoors.

Weather and time means I still have to fill the compost bin(perhaps tomorrow)I have no plans for Sunday.

I found some fancy cakes on offer on the shopping trip so I treated myself(£1.50 is better than paying £2.65)I can share with friends at the bingo tomorrow night and have approx half left for myself. I made certain I found the latest dates possible. They'll last a bit longer that way.

I had small wins at the bingo and on a domino card so though out of pocket in one way because I got the money back I pay for my nights out it was like having unfound money so you could say I got the compost bin and weeder for nothing.

I was very grateful that I had my shopping trolley and small back pack with me. I also came home with some salad items too.

Now for the boring bit(Give the next five paragraphs a miss)

The trip took a little longer(sorry its the buses again)but not too bad really. I left home at 1.15pm was at the neighbouring town by 13.50pm called in at the discount store Lidl, then next door to Aldi(for the weeder)then to another discount general store(I was hoping I'd find my trainers there)then the walk to ASDA is a bit too much but there is a bus service every 12 mins going to another town but it stops nearby so I rested for the next one.

I realised I could not get home in time for something I wanted at Wilkinsons so that regular bus I'd used earlier I caught it in the other direction. This meant I could go to a branch there and I remembered the same town had a shop with loads of trainers nearby. Killing two birds with one stone. Even better these shops are very near the bus station. Great!

Unfortunately,  I saw the bus I wanted for home about to leave and I wasn't near enough so I had to hang around in the open air for 30 mins. So I did not make home before 6.30pm, no wonder I was worn out. Once you start to get near 6pm around here some routes are practically useless.

BTW the local bus company are starting another of those services where they run every 12 mins. Great during the day but sometimes you wonder if its a little too much. Its evenings and Sundays that are a problem. One bus an hour often means you have to leave early to get to an event or leave early to get home otherwise you are hanging around in a bus station for the next one. Or you don't connect to another service you need.

Just the addition of one extra bus per hour or every 45 mins would not mean adding many more to the schedule but it could make travelling easier for passengers because the wait between services would not be as long. I am sure this happens across much of the UK. It could even affect people who work in the evenings or go to work to start a night shift. I have seen a few using buses for that reason.

Friday, April 01, 2016

I've Missed The Bus...

well, the truth is I am not going to rush myself. Time is something I have plenty of. I have had coffee and toast. I do not need to shave. Just dress. So I will wheel the shopping cart back to the supermarket and board the bus for the weeder in the next hour.

Then go in search of the trainers.

If the weather stays as it is, this afternoon(perhaps into the early evening)I may start making compost. That will be an excellent task completed. It will make the garden look much tidier very quickly. I throw out little rubbish and much of what I buy doesn't have much packaging surrounding it, therefore my recycle bin is not used much either. If I start to make compost that will reduce still further.

Tomorrow, though it only fills an afternoon I'm on for the jazz club. Sunday, I may stay home.

Its not raining, its not particularly sunny but its not windy either so that's welcome.

Update:Still here...Going in the afternoon now...and changing the schedule of how and where I am shopping first. The cart can go back to the supermarket tonight or tomorrow now.

Been doing a little TV watching on line as tributes are being paid to an agony aunt that was well respected and liked. That term is so over used and not really fair. Denise Robertson had been a regular on ITV Morning TV for around 28 years but I go back to her start on the then new commercial radio station for the North East of England in the 70's Metro Radio. As I watch very little TV its quite something for me to have bothered to tune in.