An explanation of the title of this blog...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

The New Double Word Verification Box

I'm posting this on all my blogs because I have different readers on each. I apologise if you are one of those who visit more than one and read this more than once.

There has been a lot of complaints recently about the new double word verification box on Blogger. People who run Challenge blogs and have to visit lots of blogs have been making pleas for bloggers to turn off wv. I thought I had complied; I turned it off on all my other blogs a couple of years ago. Recently I have read many more comments and complaints refering to it, I have even had a comment myself today.  I have visited other blogs written by the very ones pleading for its demise only to find that they have it in place themselves. I decided to check my settings and found that the option to turn wv on or off has disappeared. Not only that, but in blogger help, the link to an explanation of wv led to an error notification page. I Googled and eventually read the suggestion that one try clicking on the question mark at the side of the wv box...and this is what I learnt:

Helping the World One Word at a Time
By entering the words in the box, you are also helping to digitize texts that were written before the computer age. The words that you see were taken directly from old texts that are being scanned and stored in digital format in order to preserve them and make them more accessible to the world. Since some of the words in these texts are difficult for computers to process, we are using the results of your efforts to help decipher them.

There followed a link to another page with more information. It made interesting reading, but I was still no nearer to finding out if wv is now compulsory or not. I searched on and found the answer eventually. The only way to have the option to remove vw is to go back to the old Dashboard interface! So there you have it. Write on an all singing, all dancing new version of Blogger and you are stuck with wv.....but you can click on the cog, go back to the old version of your Dashboard, change and save your settings, then go back to the new version and hopefully the new settings will stick!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fill-in

1. When it comes time to make a decision, I go with my instincts.
2. Keep your word, that must be the rule.
3. Ma says, you make your bed, you lie on it.
4. I often read a book at the same time as eating and drinking.
5. I never saw an elephant fly.
6. Necessity is not a new invention.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to tomorrow, tomorrow my plans include collecting family from the bus station and Sunday, I want to enjoy their company!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Fill-in

1. Go ahead, don't let me stop you, there's some polish and a cloth somewhere.

2. Procrastination? I'll get that soon!

3. Don't worry, at least not until it happens, and then there isn't any point, it's too late.

4. I have carried enough wood up for the day....but still have to haul enough up for the night.

5. Pretty much anything anyone else cooks suits me fine!

6. Your secret is safe with me.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to being warm, tomorrow my plans include staying warm and Sunday, I want to be warmer!

It's Cooooold!

The Siberian "ola de frio" has reached Castellon, Valencia and now Alicante. Not quite Siberian temperatures, but -11ºc is cold enough, thank you very much. Luckily, that is inland from Castellon in the North of the Province.  Here on the coast the temperature only dropped to 2ºc overnight and now the sun is trying to break through we are basking in a salubrious 6ºc. The local press are searching their records and bringing out the "coldest since..." stories. In fact it isn't that long ago since we had weather like this, we had ice on the fishpond one night last Winter, and if you happen to be browsing my FB photofiles there are photographs of snow on the mountains taken on my birthday in 2009. What is different this time is the "wind chill factor". The air is really icy, there is a stiff breeze and the sun doesn't seem to be having any warming effect.

It is to be hoped they have opened the doors and windows of the Diamante Beach and Spa Hotel down the hill and let the icy blast blow through. Not that it will make any difference to the poor sods who have died of Legionella, but it might wake up the hotel management who have been doing their best to cover up the outbreak. Saga holiday makers were informed by a note under their doors that they were being moved to another hotel. When they enquired at the desk why they were being moved they were told that it was because Saga would not pay the extra cost involved in their staying in a four star hotel as a opposed to a three star! Saga, it has to be said, seem to have acted in an exemplery manner. As soon as it was confirmed that someone had died of Legionella they transferred all their clients to another hotel in Calpe and explained the position to them. Many of these people come out for a month at a time, and they were given the option of staying in the alternative hotel or returning home. My 'source' had conversations with 6 different guests and they had all decided to return home, not because of fears of the disease, but because the alternative hotel, the Ifach, was poor in comparison with the Diamante and they would prefer a refund. Scruffy rooms, unpalatable food and surly staff was the opinion, not a patch on the Diamante.

The UK press has been reporting the outbreak, but only as it applies to UK citizens. No mention of the four local waiters and cleaning staff affected, or a local resident, a hotel pool user, who is also in intensive care. The first case occured on the 14th January. We first heard rumours about the outbreak on the 16th January. When was the hotel closed to guests? Last night, Thursday the 2nd of February, and it was only on Wednesday that the Health Authority were forced to come out and admit there had been a problem. I don't suppose the fact that our dear Mayor and his Councillor for Tourism have been doing the rounds at all the European Travel Fairs promoting Calpe as a holiday destination had any bearing on the delay.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday fill-ins

1. It's time to put my feet up.

2. Dish up the Coq au Vin ... and don't forget the vin!

3. I'm trying to ignore the ironing.

4. "Are you going to the disco tonight?", was the last funny comment I received.

5. Please send sherbet dabs.

6. Get me some shoulder padding 'cause I'm in it for the long haul.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to not watching the snooker, tomorrow my plans include not watching the football and Sunday I want to go for a walk!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A quiet, hazy Saturday morning...

...with no need to slog around the shops, but not wanting to sit at home all day, we decided that a quiet stroll along the Paseo filled the bill. Quiet being the key word; we hardly saw a soul apart from a young woman in running gear loping along accompanied by a panting, tubby Shitsu and an older couple sitting in the sun. She was on a mobility scooter and we noticed it was sporting a numberplate on the back, a similar size to those on motorbikes. We surmised that she had brought it from some other European country where stricter regulations are enforced.

Here there seems to be no National norm, each town's police force has its own ideas. An acquaintance, struck down by polio as a child and left with one child size leg as the rest of him grew normally, drove out from the UK with a specially adapted car that allowed him to be as mobile as he needed to be in his new home. Some years later, through no fault of his own, he was involved in an accident and his specially adapted car was a write off. His Spanish insurance company was only prepared to cough up the value of a normal car of its age, and this did not cover the cost of adaptation let alone replacing the car. His solution was to buy a sturdy mobility scooter with a large battery that promised a good mileage. He lived in a residential complex a couple kilometres outside town, and he would trundle down the hill to do his shopping, go to church and even go out at night for meals. As he grew more confident he even went as far as Moraira, holding up the traffic as he followed the winding coast road. All went well until he decided to change his living arrangements. He was finding it increasingly difficult to manage at home on his own, but he could not afford to pay the cost of residential care where he was. Someone at his church told him that she had a friend in Altea who took in elderly PGs and was a much cheaper alternative to a large residential home. The upshot was that he made the move and was very happy in his new home, but the new local bobbies were not very happy with him. As he began to explore his new environment, he found his scooter was too wide for many of the very narrow footpaths in his new town, and often he had to take to the road. He was informed, very politely, that if he was using his scooter on the road in their town, that he needed insurance, lights front and rear and he would have to apply for a numberplate at the Town Hall, then pay road tax and get his vehicle MOTed...

It seems that the UK is considering new rules for "invalid carriages" as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fill-ins

I found this Friday Fill-in link on Hazel's Blog and she found it on Suzie' can play along by going here.

1. When I looked out the window this morning it was still dark.
2. Jealousy doesn't make sense to me.
3. Remind me to get gas tomorrow.
4. Reading is something I love to do!
5. TP is a North American tent?
6. I cleaned the refrigerator recently and I found saffron.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Sicily Unpacked, tomorrow my plans include lighting the log burner for the first time this Winter and Sunday, I want to finish the scarf I am knitting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Tidings...

"You tell her", "No you tell her, you're a better Arbinjo than me..." Malcolm cleared his throat. "It's the Monkey Bus lot, they've taken a vote on where to go next, and they would like to come and stay with you for a while."

"So where are they now?" I asked, wondering how much time I had to prepare myself. "Benidorm" said Malcolm, "Ruby-Lou has got work as an extra on the filming of Benidorm; she's playing the mascot on Madge's scooter, but that finishes this week, and Pointy Kitty and Bracket were giving rides on the beach, but Bracket got accused of looking up a Dollybird's skirt and got banned. Clooney is busking outside The Talk of the Town, Munkima and Bossman are looking after the youngsters and the others are wheeling and dealing on the markets."

"And what have you been up to Earl?" I turned to EG, and he looked nervously down at his hands and swung his legs.  "Mmm....this and that....please Mrs T....can we come home?"

Monday, January 09, 2012

Who should turn up today but EG and Malcolm.  "We are the Arbinjoes" he said, as he climbed through the cat flap after Malcolm.  I raised an eyebrow and turned to Malcolm for elucidation. He rolled his eyes. "He means Harbingers" he said, in his best Stephen Fry voice. "We are the harbingers of tidings, but whether glad or bad is a matter of opinion."

"You'd better come in then boys and give me your's been a while since you paid me a visit."  I settled them at the table on the balcony and waited....

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sunny Saturday

On my way into town this morning I pulled over to look at the birds on the Salinas. I think someone must be feeding them, because as soon as they saw my car stop, a small flock of Sooty Terns started to circle and then swam around looking hopeful...

Friday, January 06, 2012

That tree... as big as ever...
and it is not the only thing growing. All of my orchids are making new flower spikes. Some of them are rebudding on last years stems as well as producing new stems and I am fiddling with them every morning trying to get the new stems to grow towards the supports.

My favourite method if the new stem is fairly close to a stick is a rolled up post-it note slipped over stick and stem; as the stem grows I move it upwards, the stem grows straight up towards the light coming in at the top of the tube,

and as it gets longer and stronger I use squeezy hair clips to hold it in place.

This one was some distance away, so I have been coaxing it into the right direction with a strip of folded kitchen roll. You an see where this plant is sprouting from last year's old bare flower spike as well as making a new one.

Specialised orchid pots cost an arm and a leg; my solution to growing on babies is to use plastic water bottles...the bottom half of the bottle holds water and the neck of the top half rests in the water. The new roots grow down towards the moisture and it is easy to see their progress.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I Lost a Year....

...and I shall be very happy if I don't find it again. Things are now improving, Bossman is walking again, no longer needing morphine for his back pain, PSA levels are rock bottom, and we just need to wait for the hospital to send for him to sort out his eyes. The left is a straightforward cataract operation, the right eye is slightly more complicated. The TIA in May left him unable to move the eye to the right, only to the left, and he doesn't seem to be able to move it in co-ordination with the left eye either, so he has constant double vision and balance and co-ordination problems. I have cobbled him up a cardboard eye patch from a bit of Christmas card, packing tape and soft paper tape and at home he covers his cloudy left eye so he only sees one TV screen, plate, wife etc., and when he goes out he has a black paper patch on his glasses, or else wears his wraparound sunglasses. The major problem with only using one eye is the inability to judge distances! Cups miss tables, plates miss shelves and boiling water is just as likely to end up in the sugar basin as in the teapot...but who am I to complain? At least he is now able to walk into the kitchen and make himself a drink, and by moving my office chair in there for him to use, he can even cook a meal if I get the ingredients out of high and low cupboards, as he can whizz himself around without any danger of him falling over. He has fallen out of the chair once; he tried to get the potatoes out of the bottom cupboard while I was out shopping and he leant so far forward the chair rolled away from him and he landed on the floor. At first he thought he would stay there until I returned, but he said he was getting so cold that he crawled into the living room onto the carpet, and once there, he was able to pull himself up using the coffee table and the back of the couch. Maybe he needs a safety belt!