Thursday, 9 February 2017

My Kindle Saga

Well after much debating, thinking and trying to decide, I finally agreed to have a new Kindle, even though what I really wanted was mine working...  

But with a screen looking like this, and having phoned the Kindle support people I was told that it was not repairable.

So the new one duly arrived.  Yes it is smaller, but it felt almost too small.  The screen felt 'rougher' and when I actually turned it on the screen was too bright to read, so I had to turn the brightness WAY down which then seem to affect the clarity or ease of reading. It certainly didn't feel like reading a proper book, whereas my other kindle was easy on the eye to read and much like reading a book.

I discovered it was not at all easy to use the touch keyboard, the d often came out as an f despite being very careful how I touched the key.  I didn't like how you had to swipe the screen to turn the pages.  That means you HAVE to hold on with one hand and use the other hand to turn the pages, which partly defeated the object of me having a kindle which was to be able to use it completely one handed which I could do with my original keyboard kindle.    It also didn't always recognise my touch - perhaps because of the problem I have with my hand?  I am not sure but I have similar problems with other touch screen items.  

Then to add insult to injury some of the features didn't seem to be available.  The help desk person couldn't work out why either, just suggested it was perhaps because I wasn't connected to Wifi, just using the 3G.  Well later I managed to connect to Wifi and it still didn't make any difference.  Three features, including 'collections' which was obviously one I wanted, was blanked out.  

Now this Kindle WAS NOT cheap and I also had to pay extra to not have adverts on the screen.  I was not happy.  In fact I was very unhappy with it.  I just wanted MY kindle.

Well my husband then discovered there was a repair service offered on Ebay.  The listing showed screens just like mine, it was for a very reasonable price and I figured what did I have to lose?  I packaged the new kindle back up and returned it - even before mine was fixed, that was how much I disliked it.

I sent my kindle off on Tuesday and got it back today!

The screen is perfect, and everything works just how I want it to.  I can hold it one handed and turn the pages with that one hand at an easy click of the side buttons.

I can't recommend the service this person does highly enough and I am so very grateful to have my kindle back again in full working order.   For anyone who needs a screen fixed on their Kindle, this is the Ebay user name of the guy who did mine:  steve15r  

Friday, 3 February 2017

Smashbooking and Decluttering!

Next month I have a 'big' birthday coming up, although of course I am still only really 36 years old!  At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.  I am away for my birthday visiting my parents in New Zealand so my friend thought she would surprise me with an early birthday present which arrived today.

A scrap/smash booking journal.

She knows just what I like and picked the 'botanical' theme.  

Love this - on so many different levels.  Of course 'Come Fly With Me'  written for Frank Sinatra is pretty well known and I have played it many times with various bands I have played in. 

Books and a cup of tea - the perfect combination!

Butterflies - I love butterflies and we have a couple on our house.

Beautiful pages with flowers and designs.

I am going to have fun with this journal.

It has been years since I have done any scrapbooking, and this is a slightly different, looser approach and might give me the inspiration I need to get creative again.


I am taking part in a 'Minimalism Game' for the month of February with some friends.  

The aim is to help them finish their decluttering projects and for me to start, getting rid of at least one item on the 1st, two on the 2nd, three on the 3rd and so forth.

I am finding this very difficult and quite overwhelming and never know quite where to start.  Today I had the 'bright idea' to clear under my side of the bed.  Goodness knows why as most of what is under there has no where else it can go so will need to go back again.    I promptly burst into tears at what on earth I was going to do with it all.  There was music, photo albums, books, and other 'stuff'.  I managed to pull myself back together again and made a start.

I emptied one of the plastic boxes and discovered three of the older albums that had belonged to my grandparents were unused, so they have gone in a box for the charity shop along with a plastic leaf folder and a little pencil & pad 'thing'.  

A load of papers went into the recycling and other stuff went straight into the rubbish.

The music has been transferred from an open top plastic box, to the one with the lid (that held the above stuff), so now it is protected.  The remaining photographs and slides fit in a smaller photo box I already had.  So that is one less big box that needs to go back under the bed.  Only small progress, but progress, so I guess it has to count for something.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Gold Finches

Glancing out our rather dirty patio window today I was delighted to see a couple of beautiful Gold Finches visiting the bird feeders again.  The murky wet and damp weather must have brought them in.

The photos aren't brilliant, I had to zoom in quite a bit to take the shots, and it is pretty gloomy out there, but they give a good idea of how pretty these birds are.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Whole30 - 31 Days in

Well yesterday was the 30th day of doing this 'Whole30' way of eating.  Do I feel any different?  NO Have my energy levels increased? NO    Have my pain levels decreased? NO  Have I lost weight? Marginally, although this wasn't a goal, just a nice bonus.

Well either most people who embark on this must be on REALLY BAD diets to begin with or I am just immune to the effects.  I have read of people having such amazing results, it has really been disappointing not to really experience any.

There wasn't a huge change in the way I eat, just the complete elimination of some foods that I had already dramatically decreased in my diet years ago.

My energy levels are still at an all time low with lack of enthusiasm to boot.  Not so bad if it is a sunny day, but as most of winter is grey, that is somehow reflected in how I feel, no matter what I try to improve it.

I guess if I REALLY think about it, I have had less severe headaches and also of far less frequently during the course of the last month. That is a GOOD thing.  As for the rest of my pain, I haven't noticed a difference...perhaps a very small one, but I could be just imagining that as it isn't significant enough to think wow, look at the difference in my body pain chart that I coloured in 'before' and 'after'.

In fact today after vacuuming just one room, my levels are as high as they ever have been, the burning sensation all down my right side and to be honest I am feeling very despondent with it. I am just so fed up with hurting all the time.  This is my only place to really have a good 'moan' about the pain so this is where it has to be.

I was so hopeful.  Seems it doesn't really matter what I try to do, I am destined to have pain and I guess with that comes the lack of energy and enthusiasm for doing things.

This week is the re-introduction of some of the key foods eliminated.  I will go through with this as that is the whole point of the programme.

Legumes are first - I only really eat peas out of this food group so I don't think they probably have much effect, but I will go through each stage to just be sure.

Day 4 - Non gluten grains are re-introduced

Day 7 - Gluten or Dairy

Day 10 - Dairy or Gluten.

The days in between you return to the Whole30

It will be interesting to see if any of the above bring on the headaches as I have seen a general reduction in those so that is one good thing.

It has been suggested with chronic inflammatory pain conditions that all soy and nightshades also need to be eliminated.  I haven't had any soy during the last 30 days, but perhaps at some stage I will also try eliminating the nightshades as well for several months.  It will have to be after my trip to NZ now.

Just so this post isn't completely picture free I thought I would post some photos of my whimsical Wentworth Wooden puzzles.

Kitchen Cupboard

Books shelf

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Five on Friday - on Saturday!

Yes a day late to join in  with Amy's  'Five on Friday

I have had a pretty rough week health wise coming down with the dreaded lurgy.  Generally I never get ill, and yet this is the second time in four months!  Not good.  Anyway I think I am on the mend now so hopefully can get back to my 'plan' of things to get done before my trip home to New Zealand to visit my parents and family.

1:  Knitting

My week has been spent either in bed, or sitting in the lounge with a blanket round me while knitting and watching Netflix!  What have I been knitting?  Dolls clothes!

2:  The Garden

The little Blue Tits were very active the other morning and I caught this one while sitting in the lounge - not the best of pictures as taken through our very dirty patio window.  

The NZ Magnolia has buds on it.

3: Books

I finished another book.  I really enjoyed this.  Written in a time where children could really be children, all the bells and whistles and hoops and 'health and safety' rigmarole was not yet in force this couple offered holidays on their farmlet for young children.  They say it how it is and as such it is quite a laugh.  I understand a TV programme was produced lightly based on it.  I have never seen the TV programme and don't think I would want to as I would imagine the BBC or whoever would produce it would 'PC' it.   I picked this one up in a charity shop.  Toying with whether to get any more in the series or just lave it with having read this one.

I'm currently reading this book:

I had to venture out today to get some groceries.  Our supermarket has a second hand book rack and they ask that you donate £1 per book you choose for a local charity.  Sometimes I am able to pick up a book or two that looks interesting. I haven't seen any for a while, but I did pick up two today.

4: Snacks!

While on the Whole30 way of eating my husband has been bemoaning the fact that he has been missing crisps (potato chips) and so I made him some - the healthy way.  

Very simply done in the microwave they turned out surprisingly good.

I also made some sweet potato crisps as well.  Needless to say they soon disappeared.

5: Dinner

Finally I decided to cook something a little different tonight:

Cod with citrus-ginger glaze
Grilled Asparagus with lemon zest
Baked sweet potato
Glazed carrots & parsnips
Broccoli - to add some green!

Okay so I am not so good on the 'display' part of the meal, but it tasted pretty good.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Three Weeks In

Well three weeks in to the Whole30 and I can't say I have noticed any difference at all really, apart from less headaches - and the two I have had have not required medication.  I think for those that live a diet rich in sugar, wheat, dairy etc, would notice a difference, but in all honesty we aren't eating a lot differently from what we normally do.  

Pain levels are still the same.

Oh and I have caught some virus - a kind of cold I guess, the throat is not the best.  I never normally get ill and this is the second I have had in six months, so not impressed!

I finished 'The Outrun'  I wish I could remember which blog I read who recommended it, so could say thanks as I really enjoyed it, but I can't seem to find the post among the blogs I read regularly. Strange as I was sure I knew who did recommend it.  Anyway in the off chance they may read this (I don't think my readership is especially high), thank you.

Beautifully written, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the nature and wildlife on the islands.  A completely different book from what I normally read, but very lyrical and gentle in many ways, despite the gritty subject matter cleverly interwoven throughout the book.

I can't believe this is the only photo I have taken so far of the garden this year!  Mind you it could be something to do with the fact the garden just looks a mess at the moment!

Stanley is growing up fast and is quite the character and he just loves being outside and getting into mischief!

One month today I will be home in New Zealand again and I am looking forward to seeing my family.  A year between visits is way too long, but then so is the journey, and at least I am able to get back.  I am certainly looking forward to some warmer weather!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Day 11

Well I am over a week into my Whole30 programme and doing pretty well with sticking to it.  Not had any major cravings really and enjoying thinking about what to cook for a change rather than just choosing what is easiest.  Although to be honest not a lot is different to how we normally eat, just some of the things that we use such as butter, tomato sauce etc...have had to been cut out, but you can make your own tomato sauce substitute pretty easily and it is nice to know it hasn't got any chemicals, additives etc in it.

No real difference to my pain levels.  Haven't had a headache since Day 1 so that is an improvement. Oh and I have actually lost a little bit of weight - the bloating I was experiencing has gone.  One very strange thing though...since Saturday I have had this gross, almost metallic taste in my mouth.  It doesn't affect the taste of things, but it is there all the time otherwise. Not sure if that has anything to do with the change in diet or something else.  I hope it goes as it isn't especially pleasant I can tell you!

The sun is out this morning, but it is blowing a gale out there...hoping to go for a walk, but looks like dark clouds are fast approaching so will see.  I have a few 'chores' that need attending to first.

Currently reading this - I just wish they wouldn't make the font so small!

I seem to have pretty much lost my blogging mojo for this blog at the moment, so it is not especially exciting, but not a lot is different, the days drift into each other, and it seems despite my best intentions, I don't achieve what I hope to achieve in the day.  Not sure if I expect too much of myself, of it is just the time of the year.