Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008...

...and good riddance.

Those of you who visit regularly will know that many members of our extended family have had to face huge challenges this year, mainly health related. Things are not back to normal, indeed never will be back to how they once were, but have at least improved and I appreciated all your support. I know that we have not been alone in facing such a difficult year, far too many of my online friends have also been struggling in various ways.

We don't know what 2009 will bring, financially it is likely to be difficult as Hubby has already had to take a pay cut to try to keep the business, for which we both work, alive in the credit crunch. But we will get through it somehow.

I'm not going to make New Year's Resolutions, in the current climate I think I would be far too likely to fail. But what I would like to achieve in 2009, circumstances permitting, is to complete my OU studies and at least the first draft of the novel, to become a more consistent blogger again and also to find more time to look after myself. Everything else will just be a case of wait and see where life takes us...

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Season's Greetings... all my blog friends.

( image by

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Christmas

I'm starting to feel Christmassy at last. Only a teeny bit though.

School has finished and my last OU assignment of the year was sent off yesterday. Now I can focus on other matters in hand. The presents are purchased, with due consideration to the credit crunch. The cards are sent. We have no tree, as son 2 has been very upset by the tree over the last few years, too much of a change to his usual environment. Perhaps we will have another go at sneaking it up at the last minute this year. Son 1 is ill with a nasty gastric upset and had to miss work yesterday. It wouldn't be Christmas without some sort of illness here.

So for the next few days I will be house tidying, present wrapping and food shopping...

Three notable things:

1. The X Factor - the right result. But I hope JLS do well too.

2. I now have four versions of Hallelujah on my computer. Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, KD Lang and Alexandra Burke. Yes, I like that song...

3. I'm feeling sad about Woolworths closing, even though it has been rubbish in recent years.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Of music and other things

So it is almost the final of The X Factor and I have hardly blogged about it at all this year. For many weeks my favourite has been Alexandra, who has been classy and consistent, but after last Saturday JLS have really come back into the picture and in many ways I think they have made the most progress ( or perhaps Louis just made bad song choices for them in the past?)

I'd be happy if either act won on Saturday and while we are on the subject of The X Factor, is it really WRONG that I get an overwhelming urge to mother Aston of JLS everytime he gets emotional?!

Son 2 has surprised everyone with his latest choice of favourite music, moving on from nursery rhymes and Disney to Snow Patrol. Chasing Cars is one of my favourite songs too, though how long will that remain the case after Son 2 has driven us mad with repetitive playing of the track?

Three notable things:

1. Son 1 has started two weeks work experience in the self-serve warehouse at IKEA which he is enjoying, though walking miles each day in new steel-capped boots is exhausting for him and his feet are very blistered.

2. I can't get at all enthusiastic about Christmas this year. I'm sorry but I just can't.

3. I received the result of my OU E301 course yesterday. I got the grade I had hoped for, so am very pleased.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A Warning

There seems to be a new virus around called Actns/Swif.T which comes through embedded YouTube videos in blogs and elsewhere.

I first came upon it this morning on someone else's blog, when my antivirus highlighted it and deleted it. I was shocked to find my blog was also affected this evening.

I am gradually working back and removing all the YouTube embeds, fortunately I don't have too many, but it is possible you may encounter this virus on an older page here or elsewhere. Google it for more info, I'm not techie enough to understand the implications should it get past your antivirus.

Update: It appears that the situation is not as serious as it seemed. Although it is a very real virus and nasty if you click on the link it delivers, apparently yesterday Computer Associates antivirus, which I have, was throwing up false positives on any page containing embedded YouTube videos. They seem to have fixed their virus definitions now. But still watch out for the virus!