It would appear that I am ignorant about matters of the firewall. It makes loud noises and blocks things a lot. Ugh. I hate setting up new computers, as there's alw [at this point, computer makes a loud noise, as programs compete for whatever it is that programs want. Blogger clicks on the button which makes the noise go away, and hopes not to regret this display of ignorance in the future] ays such a long time between new computers that I always forget what I did last time. What I did last time, of course, was leave everything to my then boyfriend, who had an up-to-date grasp of what was going on in the worlds of hardware and software, and probably still does.
Still, it is lovely to have an iddy biddy little laptop with a keyboard, which is pretty new, and should provide a few years of lightweight (physically and metaphorically, predominantly)
I think my firewall just ended my virus protection. This is not what I was aiming for, particularly as it turns out that my virus protection already had a firewall. It was a much quieter firewall. I am thinking of switching to Linux.
To continue from where I was when I last got distracted: I hope to get a few years out of this laptop, and to use it in the ways I haven't been able to use my technology recently.
My technology recently has not been as useful as I wanted it to be. I've had a laptop for a very long time, but about two years ago its hardware started to fail to the extent that it was clear that it wasn't going to last forever. I nearly bought a new one, but the shop got the address wrong, and when I tried to correct it, the whole page stopped responding. I gave up in frustration, aided by the fact that I couldn't really afford a new laptop.
I fell for the tablet thing, though. I thought it would be wonderful to have a device I could use anywhere to browse the Internet, and take pictures and input data for work, not to mention writing stuff on it. Alas, although its Internet browsing is mostly excellent (when the screen isn't too small to allow me to see, say, the box into which I must input the input), the keyboard I finally managed to find for it was initially unreliable and difficult to use, and went downhill from there. The word and spreadsheet programs are more buggy than anything else I can remember using (my memory is unreliable, though), the camera is terrible in a small variety of ways, and I detest using the keyboard on the screen.
As you can see, I've built myself a list of technology-related reasons for not updating my blog. There are other reasons, though. You see, I have been very busy. It would probably have made for great blogging, had I had the time and technology. And skill.
What have I ben up to, then? I bought a house. It's a bit of a wreck, but I'm doing it up. I'm not going to talk about most of that, I'm afraid (it's been a struggle, and it remains a struggle), but I might talk about my garden. And interior decoration. What an interesting blog this will be! If you're really lucky, I might make a nice lampshade.
I'll start with my gardening chronicles, though.
I bought the house with actual tomato plants growing from the ground (supposedly tarmac) by the back door. The back yard had a "decking project" constructed from some stuff laid upon some pallets, which is doing an admirable job of supporting the rubble heap I have been working on for the past few months. In addition to this lovely adornment, there are large grey gravel pieces and paving slabs. The weeds are not ones whose names I know. The back gate has been newly re-hung, and I now have an idea why they gave up last time. The outbuildings are a riot of carpet and brick, with a side order of old kitchen units.
My front garden is a picturesque wasteland of large grey gravel pieces, strewn across a weedproof membrane through which weeds are growing. There are large rockery stones, bricks of dubious origin, and fragments of my actual roof tile collection, from my roof, which set off the polystyrene and I-don't-even-care-to-guess-what, and the large upturned green armchair, upon whose cushion (liberated, upon a wooden pallet) a ginger cat which leaves the garden when I approach likes to sit. The armchair is its original green (standard issue armchair), and has developed a richer, more mossy green upon its loose fabric arm-flaps.
When I bought the house, one of my first acts was to paint the fence as a sign to the village that someone lived there now. The hedge at the front of the property, though was beyond me - taller than I could reach, and stronger than my secateurs wanted to manage. My parents gave the hedge a good seeing-to, and I spent the next few months chopping up hedge debris and putting it in the green bin for disposal by the local council. It is still tall and overgrown, and a bit of the tree we removed is too thick for me to be bothered sawing, so it lies on my side of the hedge. The fence at the base of the hedge (which is not included in my initial fence painting boast because I couldn't reach it on account of hedge) leans a lot, and is not very tall. Its time will come.
A surprise greeted me this spring - bulbs! With the sort of leaves bulbs have. Snowdrops had come and gone, as had crocuses and daffodils, before I realised that these were bluebells. I might let them stay.
Most of my gardening so far has been damage control. Apart from the rubble heap. That was just damage. I've sprayed weedkiller, painted wood before it rots, lifted up debris, fitted bolts. On Sunday, though, I did some real gardening. I took my scissors and some seeds, a fork and trowel I had forgotten about, and some gloves, ditto, along with my new kneeler pad, and made a small border among the slugs and snails. Into this border I planted some sweet pea seeds (sowing season - outdoors - April - May), then, as an afterthought, some pink poppies (sow outdoors - as soon as the frosts have finished) and some Nigella (sow outdoors - springish, and a few times after that). Yesterday I bought a blue watering can with such a high opening in the top that I surely cannot spill the water everywhere on my way to the garden (I don't use the front door because there is a fried in front of it), and some blood, fish and bone meal. I might have a narrow line of fragrant beauty later this year. Or some better-fed weeds.
This year, I do plan to empty the gardens of items which are clearly rubbish. Next year, I plan to make the front garden into the beginnings of something productive and beautiful, and the back yard into somewhere clean to dry clothes. Wish me luck!
The front garden