Wednesday 30 May 2018

The latest update to Windows 10.

I have just received an email informing me that there is an update to Windows 10 and I'm wondering if I should be filled with joy or dread as I don't always have a happy relationship with Windows 10. When Windows 10 first came out there were two schools of thought, the rather gung-ho approach favoured by the younger members of the family or the more staid and reserved attitude taken by older folk like myself.

One had heard rumours that it wasn't quite ready and one should wait until all the problems were sorted out and then download the latest version, conversely it was also said that if you didn't have the latest version of Windows 10 the entire world as you knew it would grind to a halt. Unfortunately I was swayed by the younger element and decided to download Windows 10 whereupon my computer ceased to operate and I had to get a man in to unload it.

Some time later I risked uploading Windows 10 again and low and behold, it worked and has done so ever since, including recently when I purchased a new computer and had everything transferred. Am I pushing my luck with this latest upgrade, who knows.

Having just reviewed the information concerning the new Windows 10, it seems it will upload whether I want it or not and it will enable me to do a multiplicity of clever whizzkiddery all at the same time and be able to share it with other people in close proximity wirelessly.

It has timeline, which seems to allow you to go back to projects from earlier in the day, week, or month, stop and pause and jump back, which sound more like some modern jazz dance combination to me, than anything that will be remotely of any use to me.

I am delighted to see that I will be able to right click the audio button to mute or unmute a tab playing sound, which will no doubt do away with the icon which is in the bottom right of my screen, as they obviously thought it was too easy for me to find.

Windows 10 update will, it says, "expand my creativity" which is marvellous as all this time I have been racking my brains trying to think of witty and amusing things to write about and now in the future I will have Windows 10 to do it for me. My favourite apps and features will be improved and I can explore the updates to Microsoft Photos, 3D tools and Windows Ink, none of which I use.

One can choose a star and Microsoft Photos will automatically create a slideshow using relevant images and videos, all of which sounds rather childish. I will have the ability to boost my PowerPoint presentations by adding 3D animations, which, yet again sounds all very clever except I have never done a PowerPoint presentation in my life and I suspect there is a distinct possibility of hell freezing over before I am ever likely to.

So, just to recap, Windows 10, loads of stuff that I am going to get whether I want it or not, most of which I have no idea what it does and that I shall never use.

I must try to drag myself into the 20th century, and for those of you who thought I had made a typing error and should have put 21st century, I say, one step at a time.

Tuesday 29 May 2018


Have been busy just lately hence the lack of blogging so I have no option but to ask you to encamp to my other blob to read my latest exploits.

Having been away for the weekend watching our grandchildren playing in a football tournament I find myself too shocked by the experience and without the strength to complete two blogs today, as you may have guessed I am in a small bunch of chaps who absolutely hate football.

Please see for the full story.

Monday 21 May 2018

Medicine repeat prescriptions.

My local GP surgery has a pharmacy attached which dispenses prescriptions, "what a brilliant idea, I hear you all cry," and in theory I have to agree with you, however in practice it doesn't work as flawlessly as one would hope.

I don't want to be overly critical but standards are slipping everywhere and sadly the repeat prescription system at my doctors is getting worse and worse. For the benefit of those of you who may be reading this and be lucky enough not to need any medication, I shall explain how the system works, or doesn't as the case may be.

One places a repeat prescription slip in a box at the surgery, where I assume a pharmacist dispenses the required potions, pills, or unctions and some time later one goes back and collects the medicine, it couldn't be any simpler.

When I first signed on with the doctor this system of requesting repeat medication was working like a charm, one would place the prescription in the box, three days before it was required and low and behold upon returning three days later, as if by magic, your medication was ready.

However over the years, even though the time specified for repeat prescriptions stated on the surgery website is still three days, it is never ready when you go to pick it up. I used to think I was a patient man, but unfortunately they have finally driven me to despair, no matter how much time you give them the prescription is never ready, I now put my request in with over a week to spare, still to no avail.

I'm wondering if there is something fishy going on here, has the pharmacy made a terrible faux pas and ordered sufficient high blood pressure pills for the next seventy years and in a vain attempt to shift the vast over stock, have devised this cunning plan. For every time I go to the surgery to collect my prescription I can feel my blood pressure rising and eventually when at the counter remonstrating with the surgery staff, it rises even further.

If the system for picking up repeat prescriptions continues to worsen, eventually they will have enough patients with high blood pressure to deplete the overstock of pills, I could, of course be completely wrong with my theory.

It may be that they are telling the truth when explaining why the prescription is never ready, as it's the same excuse every month, "oh, they've been very busy." 

All I can say is I wish they had been "very busy," doing my prescription.

Thursday 17 May 2018

Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world.

I have just successfully uploaded my latest children's book for sale on Amazon and I have to say I'm quite pleased with it, thank you to Oksana Basarab who did the illustrations for me.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Oh dear.

I have very little to say except, please see the previous two blogs and try to contain your laughter, it all seemed perfectly sensible to me at the start and I am confident that there are a considerable number of people out there who's solution to a computer being too stupid to do what you want it to, is to shout at it will understand completely!


<a href="">Pedigree</a>

For those of you who usually read my blog on The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, I am trying some computer whizkiddery, which as I am writing has all the look of an experiment about to fail dramatically. As you will know my knowledge of computer stuff is pretty thin on the ground as this experiment is about to prove.

Now please don't laugh when I describe my thought pattern for today's little experiment as, to me at least it contains perfectly logical and reasoned argument for it's success. When one takes part in the daily word prompt, which I do on my other blog, one is encouraged to insert a piece of text in the blog, although when I reviewed it just before starting to blog, it appeared to ask for the text to be inserted in the HTML tag of the post editor, which I in my ignorance just stuck it at the start of the blog and hoped for the best.

I was under the impression that the piece of text was a "ping thingy," which would work rather in the fashion of World War Two Sonar, which was used to detect enemy submarines by pinging back the sound when the submarine was detected. Assuming this to be the case, I attempted to apply logic to the situation and place the "ping thingy text," in my other blog, Joe Wells, of whom it has been said, in an effort to assist people to locate it, although should that happen I don't want to be attacked with depth charges as in the war.

Assuming anyone receives this blog, there will be some who will be laughing out loud as to my foolishness in thinking this plan had a hope in hell of working, but as they say, if you don't try, you don't get. The thing that makes me think this is doomed to failure is the fact that as I am typing the text is being highlighted which doesn't normally happen and this is my second go at this as I noticed when I started it was perhaps, not going to plan.

The original idea was to be able to blog on each site on alternate days thereby saving me valuable time and effort, but I'm rather worried that my efforts may have damaged this blog irreparably, should that have happened so I can no longer use this blog it would have halved the amount of effort I was putting into blogging, but not in quite the way I had intended.

Right, I've wasted enough time on something that seems doomed to failure, but should this work, please consider this to be my effort for pedigree, although I fear the result may not be pedigree material.     

Clever computer ping backs and whizkiddery!

Some of you who read this may know I have another blog site, although in all fairness I'm wondering why on earth I would want two blogs, when it's hard enough to find the time for one. The problem is, of course that I am a creature of habit and some time ago I started one of the blogs and in a state of utter confusion I started the other which seemed like a good idea at the time.

I am no spring chicken which means I am somewhat set in my ways, so I am completely unable to shut one of the blogs, even if I knew how to do it, which leaves me back to square one and finding time for two blogs.

Now this is where the clever computer whizkiddery comes in, my other blog called, The Diary of a Country Bumpkin  has morphed from my original idea of telling of my surprise and confusion having moved from town to the country, to an almost daily blog the subject of which is dictated to by the random choice of a daily word prompt.

Here's the clever bit, (I think), one has to copy and paste a piece of text which I think is something to do with ping backs but I couldn't be absolutely certain of that with my limited knowledge of computer technology. However my intention is to wait until I am sent the choice of word to blog about and copy the "ping thingy," but to paste it on this blog, together with whatever I write about.

This could be a clever way of making people aware that I am slaving over a hot keyboard to produce two blogs for your edification and delight, or on the other hand, it could throw a complete spanner in the works, causing utter confusion to both blogs, I am hoping for the former, but where computers are concerned I am frequently let down by their inability to be as clever as they should be.

Should this cunning plan bear fruit, whereby I have made people aware I have two blogs and they both work with the "ping thingy," I can then take a more leisurely approach and only have to use each blog on alternate days.  Don't hold your breath waiting, I will get back to you as soon as I can and we can see if it works, if nothing else you have to admire my ridiculous optimism in the face of computer technology.

Monday 7 May 2018

I'm getting hints of Elderflower.

This is a blog was originally posted on my other blog, The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, but with the change in the weather recently it seemed suitable to re-post.

My how versatile the Elderflower appears to be; one can use it in beer, Champagne, liqueur spirits, cordial, Vodka, Gin, Tea, and also surprisingly make Elderflower wine.
In cooking it can be used in Summer Pudding, Honey Cake, and Cheese Cake and in Fritters to name but four, however Wiki do dah says a fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep-fried.
Quite how this equates with the Scottish habit of deep-frying Mars bars, or how even with the addition of the magic ingredient Elderflower, I still fail to see how a deep-fried Mars bar can become an edible foodstuff.
Apparently one can use Elderflower in a pudding called Panna Cotta which I’m led to believe comes from Italy, although it looks to me to be nothing more than good old-fashioned British Blancmange.
It’s strange how even the mention of certain things can instantly transform you back in time to your school days, ah yes, school dinners; happy days!
How pleasant some times can be; a beautiful summer day, a picnic by the river, Radio Four playing quietly on the wireless, a glass of chilled wine and, yes I’m getting creosote with hints of Elderflower.
Such a shame that the Elderflower seems to be so versatile and yet in the countryside all it seems to do is congregate on the trees in enormous quantities whilst waiting for sufficient wind so that it can float happily on the breeze.
Yes, vast quantities of the Damn stuff, like snow falling, eventually landing and covering everything in a fine white powder, like an explosion in a Cocaine factory.
In the mean time I and many like me are sneezing as if we are auditioning for one of the Seven Dwafts, eyes red with irritation, this never happened when I lived in the town.
I must say though, even with the attack of the Elderflower I’m still preferring my new life as a Country Bumpkin.

Friday 4 May 2018

The Nobel Prize for Literature.

It seems the Nobel Prize for Literature is not going to be awarded this year and was reported in the press, thus; the prize will not be awarded this year over concerns that a "crisis" in the Swedish Academy is so serious that a prize decision would not be perceived as creditable, according to the organisers. Well, that being the case it hardly seems worth bothering to finish this blog if there's no prize at the end, however I feel I owe it to you my dear reader to attempt to fill in the blanks on this "crisis."

One is quite taken aback as the last time it wasn't awarded was in 1943 and in all fairness, I think having to deal with World War Two and all that entails is a fairly decent excuse not to have to award the prize, especially as the Germans had burnt a considerable number of books, who knows if they burnt the one that would have won?

Allegedly and one has to say allegedly as no charges have been pressed at the moment but suffice to say Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer married to one of the members is at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations.

It seems the Academy commissioned a law firm to investigate the matter and it found unacceptable behaviour in the form of unwanted intimacy from the man had occurred, but this was not generally known within the Academy and the investigation will be turned over to law enforcement agencies.
Needless to say Mr Arnault denies all allegations of sexual harassment.

Shock horror, it gets worse, brace yourselves, it seems a second scandal engulfed the prestigious institution when it emerged that names of some previous winners had been leaked in advance, which led to the resignations of Academy members Sara Darius and Katarina Frostenson, who is married to Mr Arnault.

So, unless I'm over simplifying this, a man has been accused of sexual misconduct and a separate scandal has caused the resignation of his wife and one other woman, there being no suggestion that their resignations are in any way connected with the allegation of sexual misconduct.

I'm led to believe there are some eighteen people on the judging panel, which, doing the simple maths still leaves sixteen people who might have managed to come to a decision as to who should win the prize for Literature.

I certainly hope there is considerably more to the story than the known facts at the moment for how can an allegation against one man and the resignation of two women not connected with the offence cause a further sixteen people to have been so overcome they are unable to make a decision, at least in 1943 they had a decent excuse.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Hospital visit etiquette.

I had occasion yesterday to visit a friend of mine in hospital, he was in the Intensive Care Ward, or something of similar name, which sounds worse than it was but still not a happy place to be.

There seems to be a certain etiquette which is observed in hospitals when visiting, one pays due deference to all the staff, the nurses and doctors etc, who are working themselves into an early grave for nowhere near enough money.

Having checked in at the nurses station, myself and the friend who came with me eventually found the whereabouts of the friend we had come to see who was in a bed with tubes coming from all sorts of places and a machine next to the bed which seemed to be taking care of all his bodily functions, short of farting for him.

Initially, quite a shock, for although our friend is getting on a bit, to see him in such condition is not what one would prefer, I rather like the Carry On image of hospital treatment, chaps smoking in bed while nurses in skimpy outfits flit about the ward attending to the patients every need.

After the initial hello's, starting with the most stupid question that everyone asks, "and how are you." "How do you think I am, I'm stuck in this bed, tubes coming from every orifice of my body, I'm in Intensive Care and you ask, how am I?"

Things generally go downhill from here with a full explanation of your friends illness including the gory details of bed pans, enemas and a full explanation of the function of each and every pipe and tube emanating from his body.

Then to top it all, the nurses arrive to encourage the patient to sit up and if possible to sit in the chair, however all this movement triggers a different type of movement which necessitates the drawing of the curtains and the arrival of the commode.

Some time later having stood about rather awkwardly listening to the bodily functions of our friend the inevitable waft of warm excreta fills the small side ward leaving said friend somewhat embarrassed upon being revealed after his exertions.

Another ten minutes or so of awkward conversation and finally one feels it is safe to depart without looking as if one is shirking one's responsibilities.

How very peculiar hospital visits are, for under normal circumstances when meeting this fellow we would be able to converse all evening on any number of subjects, without feeling in the slightest bit awkward, so effected by our experience, my friend and I had to seek solace in a real ale bar near his home where I was encouraged to try a pint of Squeaky Cats Bottom and all was right with the world.