Life, photos but not the universe

New things

I’m getting used to the Kindle which Mrs Middle gave me for my birthday.  It’s not like reading a book I must say and will certainly never replace books for me.  Still, I’ve read a couple of free ‘books’ and noticing that the dictionary that comes with it is an American English one* I thought I’d see if there was an English English one.  There is but it costs £20.22 which, after the excitement of downloading lots of free books seemed like a lot.  So I started trawling through Amazon for a cheaper one but gave up when I got to “The Morphosyntax of Complement-Head Sequences;  Word Structure and Word Order Patterns in Kwa“.  I seemed to have gone way beyond the simple, homely concepts of ‘English’ and ‘dictionary’.

Fair enough.  I’ll pay for the English.  After all somebody must have spent a while typing it up or scanning it and they deserve to be paid.  (What an interesting task though; I’d never get through it)

Then the other night when it was very cold, I decided to fill up the hot water bottles.  Sadly, they hadn’t been emptied last winter and when I emptied them into the bath it looked as though some of the bottles’ insides were coming out along with the water.  Probably time to replace them.  I suppose hot water bottles don’t actually last for ever.

Word Press has added a big notice for me to read when I publish a post.  It says I’ve just published my 441st post and my next publishing goal is 445.  Is it though.  This is new and it appears every time I post.  Hmm.

A cold caller rang today and said we’d agreed to talk about getting a website designed.  Oh no we didn’t, I replied rather shortly, being pretty confident about this since Eldest designed our perfectly good website and I occasionally maintain it.  She argued a bit (incomprehensible Geordie) and I got a bit shorter.  Then she said “you’re rather rude aren’t you”.  Oops.  Perhaps I was.  “I’m not lying” she said “I have written down that someone agreed I could call back in a few months when you’d had time to consider”.  Then she put the phone down smartly.  Oops again.  Maybe I did!  [Note to self:  it’s no good sending them away if you can’t do it politely – and permanently.]  After all, the callers themselves aren’t at fault, even for their incomprehensibility.  Not an enjoyable job.

I remember Youngest worked in a local call centre at about the time of the foot and mouth outbreak and the job she started with was to call farmers and ask them how many cattle they had.  This did not go down well, especially when she was told by one tearful man that he had none left since that morning.  Some of them wanted to tell her all about it (she has a sympathetic manner) which she wasn’t allowed to let them do.  Some of them were angry and reasonably enough let her know in no uncertain terms what they thought of her call.  I can’t understand what sort of mindset allowed the job to continue.  It couldn’t possibly have provided any useful information at such a time and even if the call centre managers were callous enough not to care about burdening distressed people the commissioners of the job should surely have seen that it was at best a waste of time.

Anyway we have no less than three new items to be admired in the dining room.  I’ve whinged a bit about helping Barney create wonderful pages to display his stamps.  It really was quite a painstaking business even with Word.  And I was – tepidly interested when he showed me the final result with the actual stamps in their prepared spaces.  Quite nice, I thought.  What a lot of stuff.   So when I came back last night, from Mrs Middle’s bookclub I was vaguely aware of some more, and shiny, stuff in the corner but didn’t pay much attention till this morning when trying to clear out some of the heaps and piles and stacks, preparatory to a major cleaning session.  Then I thought oh, a big silver plate and a sort of cup thingie.  And some little post office vans on a piece of wood.  Now he’s chairman of the stamp club, he must be bringing things home to look after.  Hm.  where is he going to keep all that I wonder.

The answer is, on the mantlepiece.  He won them in the competitions at the stamp club Christmas meeting!  (And it seems I earned a lot of points for his presentation : )  We’re quite pleased with ourselves (not that this will stop me grumbling when we start on the next lot of pages).

I rather like the little post office vans.  And I might take this as an opportunity to throw out a lot of expensive tat which people have given us over the years and then the trophies can live on the dresser.

*Not that I have any prejudice against American English as such, just that there are times when I’d like to know which language I’m using.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments