curiouswombat: (Anya)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:10pm on 27/04/2014 under ,
A young man whose family attend our church is a teacher in Nottingham, and his school is involved with a charity in Uganda.

We have asked what we can do to help; raise money perhaps? Actually, said Richard, a collection of clothes really would be useful. He is going out in July, and others also do, regularly, and they take a suitcase or two each.

Whilst football kit for young boys is greeted with glee, there are actually two things that are especially useful.

The first is basic school uniform, as parents have to pay school fees and send the children in uniform, or the child will be sent home. So plain black or grey trousers and skirts, plain white school shirts, and school shoes, are very useful.

That is more or less as you would expect. But there is something else which is really prized, and much needed. Before I tell you what, think back to how they get these clothes there...

They need bras. Many of the women in the poor areas cannot afford bras. And as those of you who are female will know, unsupported breasts can be downright uncomfortable, to say the least.

So I have just been checking my underwear drawer so that I can help to, literally, support Ugandan women!

And I still get the giggles at the idea of this rather serious young man carrying a large suitcase full of bras as his main luggage :)
Mood:: 'amused' amused
curiouswombat: (Noggin)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 09:13pm on 26/04/2014 under , ,
I seem to have been out almost every evening this week, or had someone here - and mostly it has been a week of being a very committeed Christian - and yes I did mean committeed!

But on Thursday D-d and I met up to do something purely for pleasure. (Poor S2C was at work that evening).

We went to the cinema within The Manx Museum to see the live broadcast from the British Museum of their Vikings Exhibition. Our island was a central part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, and there are even a couple of pieces on loan from our museum to the BM for this exhibition.

The whole event was very interesting - and made even more so by the prominent position, in the crowd of reenactors at the end, of one of our local guys; noticeable by the three legs on his shield!

We completed our evening with an Indian take-away eaten at her flat; a good evening all round.

D-d and I are off, on Friday, to meet up with [ profile] dougalsservant on another part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles; Skye. And I can tell you that not only was it was probably a lot easier to plan the journey when the Vikings did it, but it was probably much faster to simply row, or sail, up the great highway of the Irish Sea than it is going to be for us using modern day transport!
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
curiouswombat: (Galadriel 2)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 07:31pm on 15/04/2014 under , ,
I have three things to share with you - One is inspirational, another makes me just want to beat someone's head against a wall, and the third is a gloriously silly WTF moment!

Thing 1. The first thing is an article posted by the BBC World Service. It just wonderful, inspiring, fascinating - and also has some of the most wonderful photographs I've seen. I could just look at THIS for ages.

Also - I have just got to include something like that into a story somewhere.


Thing 2. This is about a very, very, ignorant man who actually managed to make it to being Mayor of Swindon. There have been reports in a number of the newspapers, and on the BBC, about him being asked to apologise for something he said in a 'semi-public' place - i.e. a training meeting for councillors.

What he said was shocking in itself - what was worse was that he really didn't seem to understand why he was asked to apologise. Read more... )

And Thing 3; Today I got an e-mail from Amazon about something that was part of an order I made a couple of days ago, explaining that

Unfortunately, due to delivery restrictions on such items, we won’t be able to send you this item and have cancelled it from your order. This is because this item contains flammable, pressurised, corrosive, environmentally hazardous or otherwise harmful substances classified as dangerous goods under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air.

Although the amount of these substances in these products is usually quite limited, these products need to be transported in a certain way to ensure that they are handled with care and are therefore assigned to a specialist carrier. Unfortunately this means that we can’t dispatch this to any destination outside of mainland UK.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope to see you again soon.

What do you think I might have been ordering? It sounds dangerous, doesn't it?

Actually it was a bottle of Avon Skin so Soft in a non-pressurised pump action bottle. I only added it to the Amazon order as there wasn't anything else I wanted from Avon at the moment.

That seems pretty silly in itself - but the rest of the order arrived in the post this morning - including this... Which is a high pressurised container of a rather more likely substance to be any or all of the above!
Mood:: 'confused' confused
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 04:22pm on 25/03/2014 under , ,
I've got a whole week off! This is just to use up my annual leave before the end of March, which is the cut-off point for our work 'year'. So a week to do things like spending an hour in the dentist's chair, this morning, and having my hair cut on Thursday. I didn't do the weekend shopping as usual, as I knew I'd be able to do it when the supermarket was quieter on Monday.

As it was a lovely morning yesterday I decided to go for a walk up Douglas Head before going to Tesco (very close by). And I remembered to take the camera so I have a few pictures

Under this cut... )
Mood:: 'lazy' lazy
curiouswombat: (Chaos and Panic)
OK - this is a quick résumé of my week at work starting last Friday.

Friday; computer in community hospital won't let me access my patient notes. Techie is nice middle aged lady who understands why this is a problem, recognises the cause of the problem, gets someone else to remotely fix it. Hurrah!

Monday; encounter identical problem at main hospital - however I was prepared, had written down name of person who corrected problem remotely on Friday, and managed to contact them so they were able to do the same fix. Cause is, apparently, a system update.

Tuesday; into my own office to find I can't log onto the system at all. Neither office-mate is in so I eventually try one of their computers to find it isn't just my lap-top... ring our own admin support to discover entire government system has crashed. Can't even ring patients as I can't access notes or schedule for the day - do some sorting of paper stuff, and some shredding. Finally enough of system restored for me to do some proper  work about 10.30 - good thing our bit is regarded as a priority - other bits, like the courts, were down much longer, D-d tells me later.

Wednesday; into office to discover the programme that handles my patient notes is down - something to do with Tuesday's 'fix' I gather. However, I knew where I was going and who I was going to see, so just went. Called in at Mum's at lunchtime as I was nearby - she is convinced, after conversation with GP surgery (also on government computer system...) that the receptionist blames everything on computer problems and actually doesn't do anything. Reassure mother there really WAS a computer problem. She is unimpressed; a bit of paper was all you needed in her day...

Today; into office, everything works! Until about 9.30 when we get a message via the intra-net to explain that the main Isle-of-Man internet link to the rest of the world has been damaged and we are, basically, cut off from the outside world... Takes until 13.40 to mend, and then there is an enormous backlog - but at least it didn't really interfere with work!

Goodness knows what it will be like tomorrow....
Mood:: 'cynical' cynical
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:35pm on 16/03/2014 under , , ,
I don't seem to have written much about life in general here for a little while.

It has been proceeding. I wrote about my day on Wednesday in [ profile] monthlydiaryday here - it was a fairly ordinary day.

I have written about 6,000 words for my Back to Middle Earth Month story - but I can't post it here yet (or any of the other places I post stories), as it hasn't been revealed on the community yet. It has slowed down the next chapter of The Valinor Trail, but that is under way now, and the B2ME story is a Returnverse tale as well.

Yesterday D-d and I went up to Mum's and took her for lunch for the first time in a couple of months, as her arthritis and gout have been playing up so badly she hasn't felt like coming out. Then we took her for an optician's appointment. Fortunately the disabled parking space outside the opticians was available, and she had her rollator, so this went fairly smoothly.

The optician is, however, very worried about the blind spot that has developed in the middle of Mum's right eye (which was why she made the appointment), so she is asking Mum's GP to refer her to the ophthalmologist. It is one of the vagaries of our local services that the consultant ophthalmologist will only take referrals from doctors, not opticians.

My sister told me today that Slightly-goth niece has just been told she is to be made redundant later this year, a month or so before her wedding.

Brits who have been hearing so much stuff on the news about whether Big Banks will stay, or not stay, in Scotland if it becomes independent, will be somewhat amused, or possibly bemused, by the fact that this is because 'Barclays Wealth and Investment Management' are transferring her entire department's work to Glasgow.

Also - I've just been at our fortnightly on-line meeting to organise WriterConUK's event this year.

And people, friends of mine, if you didn't already know that this year's event will be in Coventry in September - then you do now - just GO HERE and sign up!

You get to see me! And these wonderful people - we are a really friendly bunch - why not just go for it? :)
Mood:: 'busy' busy
curiouswombat: (CrabbyLucy)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 04:32pm on 22/02/2014 under , , ,
I feel like Lucy in my icon. I am fed up with winter now, I would like spring. If we can't have spring can we at least have a week without winds gusting to 70mph - which are due tonight and tomorrow again? At the moment it is just beginning to blow a hooley again, but at least I don't have to go out any more today, so that's of the good, I guess.

Poor S2C has hurt his back. It was improving, and he'd even walked down to the shops before he went to bed for the afternoon. But he must have moved awkwardly in his sleep or something, as it is very sore again.

I know this because I heard him yelling at me from the landing. I went as soon as I heard him, only for him to berate me because he had, apparently, been calling for me to help him out of bed - but the bedroom door was shut, I had the living room door pushed to because the tumble drier is on, and I was listening to the rugby on the TV, which had a lot of crowd cheering, whilst also concentrating on what I was doing on the computer.

But, it seems, he believes firmly that I had heard him and was ignoring him... So he's crabby too.

As for what I was concentrating on on the computer...AAAARGH! D-d and I are going up to Skye in early May to meet up with [ profile] dougalsservant and another friend from my uni days. It should be straightforward to organise. After all, 1,200 years ago there was regular traffic between her island and ours. But these days it takes 2 days.

First attempt was to leave here on a Saturday morning, go to Heysham by sea, then train to Glasgow, stay overnight and get a train from Glasgow to Mallaig on Sunday morning, and a boat from Mallaig to Skye. Except that the morning train doesn't run on Sundays, and the afternoon one only gives 10 minutes to get the boat at Mallaig. If the train is late you are stuck at Mallaig overnight.

[ profile] dougalsservant came up with a fix involving hiring a car at Fort William, rather than once we got to Skye.

Then we find the train from Heysham/Lancaster to Glasgow is not running on the Saturday because of track works. There is a detour which adds 5 hours to the journey.

D-d manages to get an extra day off work, we bring everything forward by a day and it all looks smooth. The lady at the car hire place says it is fine to have the car for an extra day, so the only thing to do is change the hotel booking made for the Saturday night in Glasgow, before we found out about the train problem. Finally got this organised this afternoon. Good job I did, as it seem the hotel website had assumed that when I booked a room for the return journey, just after booking for the one on the outward journey - that it was instead of the first one, not as well as it... WTF?

However, hotel all organised now, tickets all bought for the travelling, everything is fine. Except that now they have changed our boat times between home and Heysham... The big boat is going into dock, despite it being a bank holiday weekend, and the fastcraft is doing the route instead; so we can only hope for good weather. And then D-d and I will be stuck in Lancaster, with our luggage, for about 3.5 hours because our Lancaster-> Glasgow tickets are non transferable. Don't ask about the trip home.

However - we will get there, come hell or high water! And at least I am in the house, warm and dry, and have comfort food - toast with black cherry jam. And hopefully S2C's back will be better when he wakes up. But I still feel crabby...
Mood:: 'cranky' cranky
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 09:14pm on 05/09/2013 under ,
D-d is enjoying herself in Guernsey. A slight mix-up with the taxi sent to collect her at the airport found her at the wrong hotel briefly, but it was easily sorted, and she is now settling in. The office staff are all very welcoming, and she is already making new friends.

Dishwashers? Well our 10 year old Zanussi was getting past it - various bits had broken, or dropped off, and we decided it was time to replace it. I went to a local showroom carrying something very important for this task - one of our dinner plates! When we got new crockery for our 25th wedding anniversary we made sure the dinner plates were no bigger in diameter than the old ones - mainly so they would fit into the cupboard. But the angle of rim to base was different - and they couldn't stand properly in the old dishwasher without the rotating arm hitting them. We've had to basically lie them down, and it meant no more than three dinner plates in any wash.

Anyway, the lady in the showroom was surprised by me bringing out a plate - until we tried it in the first dishwasher and... ping, the same thing happened! But the plates fit into the rather cheap and basic Baumatic perfectly. So it is now in situ and working well.

But this led to a discussion at work about dishwashers - and I was surprised to find others saying their dishwashers scratch their glasses - and these are newer dishwashers than our late Zanussi. Neither that one, or the new one, in any way scratch the glasses.

We use Fairy all in one tablets, no salt, no rinse-aid or anything else - and I genuinely didn't realise that anyone still got scratched glassware from putting it into a dishwasher.

So - does your dishwasher scratch your glassware? I am genuinely curious.
Mood:: 'curious' curious
curiouswombat: (Kitchen)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 12:14pm on 27/04/2013 under , ,
Firstly - the back; it is much better - just the odd twinge on standing from sitting and if I am not careful bending or twisting.

Secondly - the fridge magnets;
I was asked for some close-ups and I have put them below this cut... )

And a final picture, taken this morning to amuse you, of the contents of the fridge...

A bit Mother Hubbard....

Yep - two plain yoghurts, two corner yoghurts, a small bowl of cooked rice, a small amount of cheese, a jar of goose-fat and a Co-op ready cooked mini beef-joint, which is my emergency food for putting with veg from the freezer, or making hot beef sandwiches... other than that it is really a bit like Mother Hubbard's cupboard!

You have to bear in mind that I was going to go shopping after work on Thursday, but didn't because of my back, and didn't do any shopping yesterday as S2C and I were going out for a meal - I really am going to go to Tescos in a few minutes, honestly.
Mood:: 'busy' busy
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 08:52pm on 14/04/2013 under , , ,
A few pictures to illustrate the week.

Actually the first one is from last Sunday. It was the church AGM - and like most such, it is necessary, but not a lot of people want to be bothered attending. So we have the bribe of a free lunch... home made soup, with bread, and dessert - under the cut is a picture of the pudding as it was very pretty.

Meringue... )

On Tuesday I was on my way to do a couple of home visits down south, and stopped in Castletown to eat my sandwich lunch.

This is the view across the harbour to the castle -

More pics... )

Wednesday evening and my sister e-mailed me with the news of my niece's engagement - a nice thing. But it must have distracted me because within ten minutes of getting that news I had managed to break the catch on the back gate when I went to take the bin in, and then snap the handle on one of the kitchen cupboards!

The cupboards have been there for about 15 or 16 years - S2C fitted them himself. So getting a matching handle was not an option. I must admit that a couple of times I have thought that new handles would 'modernise' the whole kitchen, but I never got further than a vague thought. But now it has to be done - because one odd handle would look very odd. So I have been to B&Q and bought 14 new handles... 13 to use, and a spare.

I have taken a picture showing the first new handle in place, replacing the broken one, with the old one on the next cupboard -

what do you think? )

It was a tiring week at work because I had another nurse with me - and somehow explaining what you are doing, as you do it, is twice as tiring as doing it - even though I do really quite enjoy explaining, too. So,; the last clinic of the week was on Friday, in Ramsey. The other nurse headed back south when we finished, but I was meeting friends for an early evening dinner in Ramsey.

I thought I would sit and read for half an hour before going to meet them - and I managed to fall asleep! Just shows it was a tiring week. I was only about 15 minutes late, thankfully, and had a very nice meal at The Harbour Bistro. Had I been more alert I would have taken a picture of my rum-flavoured creme caramel so that this post would be bookended by puddings - but sadly I forgot...


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