Thursday, 28 November 2019

Festive preparations

Last Christmas was particularly relaxed and easy, and very much appreciated by me. All of the main tasks towards the day were undertaken by one of my DiL's, but this year the job has fallen to me. In order to try and reduce my never ending Christmas list, I decided that now would a good time to make a start 
The cake is made - it just requires a layer of marzipan, then icing, and decorating. The pudding is ready, and all of the cards and gifts have been bought. Because the grandchildren are no longer young we give them money in order to buy themselves whatever they prefer together with just a small gift. A few days of attention, and I now feel so much more in control than I did at this time last week.
My computer woes continue, it keeps crashing on a regular basis. I know that I need a new one as it is 10 years old, but I do require help from one of my sons when he can spare me some time to help with the transfer. 
I recall that years ago our printer was playing up, and a chap doing replacement windows for us at our home, suggested to me that I unplug it for a while, which I did, and it has worked ever since. My almost new washing machine suddenly stopped operating, and the telephone advice was to unplug the machine for at least half an hour, and curiously it too has worked perfectly ever since. I have now tried the same trick with this computer, all of the plug attachments were removed for an hour, and then reattached. Surprisingly, for the past three days the computer has not crashed again - I am now touching wood, and tightly crossing my fingers!!!

46 comments:

  1. Time for a complete backup if you have not already done so.

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    1. Fortunately I do have backup David, but your advice is an excellent one for everyone to heed.

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  2. Well I just wrote a comment and it disappeared! Probably my fault though not your blog.
    I seem to be having WIFI problems here at the house, along with big BLOGGER posting problems daily which I can't get help with! This laptop (MacBook Air) is less than a year old so should be OK for a while - I'll be checking out its workings at the coast!
    You are way ahead of me regarding Christmas preparations. . . . .and a real homemade fruit cake, yum! I used to make one and need to get back to that because I love marzipan and thick white icing, haha!!!!! I did buy a small Christmas pudding -Walkers - which should be OK for us on Christmas Day.
    Thanksgiving today and so late this year. Christmas already overwhelming me - will get going with all that after this coming beach weekend!

    Is that your doggie? Gorgeous!
    Mary x

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    1. Dear Mary - I suddenly realised that we were rapidly entering December, and panicked, but with just a bit of work on my part and some shopping, I now feel far better prepared.
      The doggie isn't mine Mary. He was lying on his bed, in the hot mid-sun, snoozing, in a small Cretan town, earlier this year.

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  3. Hello Rosemary, Perhaps you can gently hint to your family that what you want for the holidays is a new computer and help setting it up. I also second David Gascoigne's suggestion about the backup--First Priority!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - the truth is that I would really like this computer to just keep on going for as long as it can, but I realise that is not feasible. I have been told that a ten year old computer is now considered to be ancient, but I know where everything is on it and how it works.
      Fortunately I have always had a back up, but that doesn't negate from the fact that it is very good advice for anybody who doesn't.

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  4. Dear Rosemary,
    I finally had to give up my old computer. Now I have to get used to Windows 10. The real problem is that Windows 10 is not compatible with some of my older programs, programs I love. So, hang on to your computer as long as you can.
    In the meantime, my niece, who is a computer engineer, has introduced me to "Team Viewer". It allows remote control. We both log on to my computer and she takes over. I can follow what she does on my screen.
    My local man will be unavailable during his convalescence so my niece has taken over. Maybe you and your son can try "Team Viewer".
    Who belongs to that four legged little fellow?

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    1. Dear Gina - when the time does arrive I shall make sure that I get the same computer using the same system. I am sure that I would find Windows confusing too. Curiously, at the moment, the computer seems to be happy. - removing the plugs and letting it stand without anything happening does appeared to have help - the question being how long will it last?
      I have done remote work on the computer with my son where we exchange screens, but when the computer crashes there is nothing you can do as everything goes black.
      The dog was one seen snoozing in the sun during our trip to Crete earlier this year. He was so far gone that he didn't even know that I had taken his photo.

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  5. I knew about unplugging the computer, but the washing machine ..didn't know, thanks for the tip. You baked the Christmas cake already , does it really remain fresh for a month ?

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    1. The older it is, the better. The dried fruit has all been soaked in brandy, and each week the cake will be given a small feed of more brandy inserted by making small holes in the top, then in the final week it will be covered in marzipan, and soft icing.

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  6. My computer recently gave up the ghost and I'm using my school tablet version these days. I don't like it nearly as well, and hope to get a new computer soon. I think it's terrible the way technology needs to be replaced so frequently. What a waste of resources, and time, too.
    Christmas preparations are beginning here in earnest this weekend. My worktable is piled high and I hope to whittle things down a little. Getting lists made and then ticking items off contributes to great relief at this time of year.

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    1. I know that I should get a new computer, but I like the one that I have, and I find it so simple to use.
      Whilst it continues working I will stick with it, but I think it is rapidly reaching the end of its life. Having said that it hasn't crashed now for four days since I uplugged it for an hour.
      It's such a great feeling getting a Christmas list ticked off but now I too have another one ready for this weekend.

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  7. We all need a rest sometimes -- even machines and appliances!

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  8. It's a conundrum to deal with our techno devices, and rely upon them, and then find doing the unplug thing seems to work. Who knows why? Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. I hope you enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving Barbara - I don't understand the unplugging trick, but having used it on three items now, it does appear to work. It must be 8 years ago now that I unplugged the printer, and the washing machine was almost new, but the girl on the end of the phone was right, it has worked, hope the same is true for the computer!

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  9. Dearest Rosemary,
    You are well prepared for your Christmas this year! Good feeling, no doubt.
    Well, tomorrow late afternoon I will have tackled the mega task of digitalizing all our home videos and some International ones as well. So we can really disperse of a lot of things; great feeling!
    Hope your computer will soon be getting attention by one of your sons.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - the computer is working perfectly at the moment, I hope that by saying this, I am not now putting a jinx on it!!!
      You must be feeling great to have achieve such a mega task - well done to you.

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  10. The year has gone so fast - I have just got all my Christmas cards in the mail to U.K., Canada and Australia. One minute I seemed to have plenty of time and then suddenly realised I had better get cracking and make the calendars and get them posted.

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    1. That is a big task for you to have to do each year, and no doubt the post is expensive too, but I know you must be feeling relieved to have it all done now.

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    2. It costs twice as much to post the calendars to U.K. as it does to get them printed.

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    3. I am not surprised, mail costs are prohibitive these days.

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  11. Gorgeous photo of the dog there Rosemary.
    You are going to be very busy for Christmas doing it all by yourself - I too usually do that for all of us both meals. Hope all goes well for you.
    Amazing how those 'things' work better after you turn them off. My computer plays up, my desktop one and it's not very old, will have to take it to the computer shop down the road next year and get it looked at. My laptop is doing ok as it's not that old.

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    1. Good luck with your preparations too Margaret - there is such a lot of work involved, but maybe someone might give you a break this year.

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  12. Well you are good prepared already!

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    1. Even better now as today I wrapped a load of gifts too.

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  13. While it has not crashed, my computer has been acting weirdly for several days now, so I think I will take your suggestion and unplug it to see what happens. Worth a try :)
    What a busy time you have for Christmas, and well done on all the advance preparation. We will have family here also, and I think I had better make a start on a cake or pudding too. It is a lovely time of year, and I like to have the house decorated too. Did you paint the little bird? It is very cute and pretty.

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    1. I am pleased that I made my mind up to get cracking Patricia - feeling much more relaxed about it all now.
      The little robin is on the front of a festive menu card. We are treating our youngest son and his wife to a Christmas lunch out when they come to us next weekend, as we won't see them on the day. It is a surprise, so I hope they don't see this.

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  14. I read of your machine woes with a wry expression on my face. The trappings of modern life are a mystery to me. We had an air source heat pump fitted a number of years ago and the engineer tried to explain it's workings to me. "I'm going to drag you into the 20th century," he told me. He obviously realised that bringing me up to date with the 21st century would be a task too great!

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    1. I have decided that I am far too old for this world, and want to hide away from all that is going on at the moment. However, whatever I have done with the plugs is pleasing me even though I don't understand why, but so far the computer is performing perfectly - fingers crossed.

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  15. Getting a sense of control back is a relief, isn't it? I make lists just so I can have the satisfaction and reassurance from crossing off items.

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    1. You are right Susan - this week I feel much, much, better than I did last.

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  16. I recently got a new laptop. My old one was very glitchy and would cost more to fix than buy new!! Best, Jane x

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    1. It is surprising just how many people have commented on this post saying that they too are experiencing computer problems.

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  17. A lot of times I thank my lucky stars I do not have a large family, especially at Christmas. One time of year I do not have major expense costs. Happy days. Most electrical goods nowadays are designed to last 3 to five years- otherwise you would never buy another one. I still have a 1980s tape/LP/radio deck working good as new 40 years later. Not get one today like that.

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    1. Preparing for Christmas is hard work, but I try to keep things as uncomplicated as I can these days.
      I actually think that my computer has done remarkably well considering it is 10 years old, and since I unplugged it, it seems to be back on form again - says she crossing my fingers tightly.

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  18. Maybe I need to unplug myself! When I start marking things off of my lists is when I start to enjoy myself...seriously if I could unplug my brain maybe I could get more done. Love the dog picture.

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    1. I think perhaps many of us may feel a bit like Janey during this Christmas season.

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  19. My computer is over 20 years old!!! Love my Sony! I guess I have to look for a new one soon...
    Best wishes for a happy sunday Rosemary!
    Titti

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    1. That is very interesting Titti - it makes mine sound like a baby. They must have built them well when yours was made.

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  20. My computer is not very old - just 4 years! BUT - Microsoft has announced after mid-January it will not support my Windows 7 program. Anybody have any suggestions on what software to buy? I had originally purchased a computer with Windows 10 but everyone I ran into said to return it and choose Windows 7. I have been told, (and that's what I have done!)one need only turn the computer off and one could turn it back on almost immediately. None of that hour wait!
    I am an oddity among my friends; I LOVE fruitcake and I can only dream about a marzipan topping! That sounds divine, Rosemary!

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. Dear Mary - I would suggest that you return to the shop where you purchased your computer and ask them for some help or assistance.
      I have been without any mail for several days as I think that it crashed as the result of a corruption. I have had the computer man here for the last 90 mins and fortunately he has managed to get it back. I couldn't have done it myself.
      Next week I must make the marzipan topping and decorate the cake with little Christmas trees and tie a big silver or red ribbon around it.

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  21. I have two laptops, a very old Acer running Windows 7 and a seven year old Asus running 8.1. I like my old one because it has Word, Excel and Powerpoint but I think the cooling fan has stopped working because it keeps switching itself off. I use the newer one now and google documents are ok, but occasionally it has a bit of a wobble and I think maybe I should get a new one, then it's ok again. I back everything up though.

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