Good morning dear reader. I hope you are all well and staying safe during the terrible gales. Our garden is looking the worse for wear and it is gloomy and wet. Hey ho, just the weekend for us to go Christmas shopping then! Don't we choose our moments well. But there it is, we decided we would go and so we are going. All being well, I will be back with you next week, hale and hearty and probably skint! Have a good week and take care.
Good afternoon dear reader and welcome to a fairly pleasant afternoon in North Yorkshire. Sunshine and showers by turn and feeling a bit cooler, but very good for lateish November. The weather has been sunny and dry for a few weeks. Spouse even cut the grass yesterday, which was a great bonus as the mower gathered up all the leaves too. Great news for us, as we have at least two weeks grace before the next lot of leaves gather on the lawn and we might have to rake those up if the season turns more wintry.
My bookstall project is progressing well and so I have gone ahead and purchased a new phone, as technology has overtaken my old phone and it would not work in conjunction with my new card reader for the bookstall payments. Being a bit of a dinosaur where technology is concerned, it has taken me a while to get to grips with all the whizz bangs, whistles and bells on the new phone. In fact, now I come to think about it, I have somehow managed to silence everything. The phone asked me if I wanted it on silent when it sensed I was driving and so I said yes. It must think I'm permanently in driving mode now, as I don't get a squeak out of it when messages come through. Not that I can access email messages at all now, in spite of all the information allegedly having been transferred to the new phone. So ... what to do? Ask Siri, of course.
Me : Hey Siri, why can't I access my emails on this phone?
Siri : I don't know, Patricia.
Fat lot of help that is. O.K., never one to take defeat easily, I decided to have another go.
Me : Hey Siri, why can't I access my Gmail on this phone?
Siri : I've looked on the web and found this information for you.
So ... Siri disappears and two nono-seconds later so does all the web information he had put up on the screen. Grrr. I tried again and Siri provided the same stuff. Hurriedly, I clicked on to the first block of information, which was of no help at all. Doesn't Siri listen? I'll just have to look it up for myself I gave up on that subject and decided to try something else.
Me : Hey Siri, what is the charge for Apple Podcasts?
Siri : Your phone is at eight six percent charged.
Me : I didn't mean phone charge Siri ... Too late, he had gone.
You know what? I wish I worked his hours. He's worse than my Elfina - one strike and she's gone too. I tried again.
Me : Hey Siri, how much do I have to pay for an Apple Podcast?
Siri : O.K., I have found this on the web, "How much do I have to pay for an Apple Podcast?" Check it out, Siri says brightly.
I start to read the first block of information and then the whole lot disappears. Where does it go to? Am I meant to be the world's fastest speed reader? O.K., one more attempt.
Me : Hey Siri, what time is the first train from Scarborough to York tomorrow?
Siri : Getting public transport information from Scarborough to York.
Then my fingerprint symbol came up. I tapped on it to gain access and nothing happened. I tried this twice and still nothing. I have no idea what Siri has done with this information, but I know what I would like him to do with it! I give up
So ... in the interests of making use of the technology on the phone I tried the dictation facility on "WhatsApp".
'Hello Jenny, I'm just trying out the dictation on this phone seems to be working just been practising with Siri but he's absolutely useless who just like this dictation lark this is really good hello I didn't say hello why do you printed hello oh no this is maybe not a good idea'
Maybe I have to say the puncuation out loud, or will it print that out too! I think I might stick to typing messages in future, it looks a safer bet. So, that's quite enough of new phone technology for one day. Now I'm off to torture myself with online technology. I need to order new supplies of my books from the printers. It will be a miracle if my Password lets me into the site. It is always a challenge. And then there is the driving licence renewal on the DVLA site. Surely God in all his goodness will let one of these go right today.
I do hope so, or when we meet next week, dear reader, I might be as bald as the old coot, having pulled all my hair out by the end of this afternoon. Have a good week and stay warm. My new phone is showing the temperatures already dropping away, Time to be out with the horticultural fleece and tucking in the delicate plants for the night. Goodby for now see you next week.
Good morning dear reader and welcome to Rembrance Sunday morning in cloudy North Yorkshire. A sombre day when we pause and remember all our war dead with great respect and thankfulness for their sacrifices. Spouse and I are of an age to remember the effects of war on our parents and our grandparents, spanning the Second and First World Wars. The effects on these ordinary people were so profound that they rarely spoke about them. They witnessed terrible events that were never spoken about but made them keen advocates for living peaceful lives. We try to continue in that way that in our own small corner and try to be good stewards of the nature and wildlife on our patch.
The weather has been very mild and so I have been trotting about the village, clocking up the miles and clearing my head when the plots in my Mildred's Millions book have got too tangled up even for me to disentangle. I put a tweet out on Twitter the other day to say that I should join a circus as a juggler as I am getting so much practice in trying to keep all the balls in the air. A dose of fresh air and a kick up in the leaves works wonders and sometimes I come home with a problem solved.
This is a short blog today as what with writing Mildred's Millions and preparing for my bookstall I have much to do, but I wanted to update you on the bookstall venture. Oh, dear reader, I am delighted to say that I am nearly at the starting post. Maybe I should change the circus analogy - I could be a circus dog jumping through flaming hoops - I have jumped through so many hoops so far I would be a shoe-in for that.
TransPennine Railways have given their blessing and support to my project. I have Public Liability Insurance up to my eyeballs and just await my Licence Agreement with the Railway and I am up and running. So, if you are passing through Scarborough Railway Station on a Saturday, stop by my stall and say hello, or even buy a book! I love to talk books, any books and I look forward to seeing you.
Have a great week. We need to enjoy this mild weather whilst we can as I believe colder temperatures are just around the corner. Ah well, I suppose winter has to come sometime. I might keep warm by walking and juggling at the same time. Now, where did I put those tennis balls ...?
Good morning dear reader and welcome to a cold and sunny morning in North Yorkshire. I hope you are well and enjoying the beautiful colours of autumn. The colours of the leaves are spectacular at present and I love scrunching through them when out walking around our village. I try to restrain myself and behave as an adult should, but if there's no-one about I kick my way through the piled up leaves with huge enjoyment. Perhaps a second childhood beckons.
As you might be aware, dear reader, as an independent author, placing and selling my books is very much down to me. Yes, they are available on Amazon, but by the time the supply chain has taken their cut, my payday is derisory. So, the best way for me to market my books is to do it in person by giving talks to small groups and selling books afterwards. Pre-Covid, I enjoyed these events as reading and talking romantic comedy and 'Tales' made for a laughter-filled evening and who doesn't like that? However, we are not out of the Covid woods yet and I am reluctant to stand and give a talk in a warm people-filled room without wearing a mask. So ... what to do?
I had a brainwave. Sell books outside in the fresh air, from my own bookstall. And the venue? The local railway station. A busy place, lots of people passing by and I could catch the Christmas shoppers. So, I approached the Station Supervisor with this idea and, God bless his cotton socks, he was very enthusiastic about the project and supporting local enterprise. He suggested Saturdays as their busiest days and showed me where I would be best placed to set up shop. He was 99% certain the project would be approved, but would have to check with his boss when he returned to work after his man flu.
I was rejoicing and went home to try out book displays on my tables, etc. A week later the boss returned to work and thankfully, he too was enthusiastic about the bookstall idea. Only he would have to check with his boss!! Aye, and there was the rub. The next boss up uttered the fateful words, "Health and Safety". Firstly, I would have to get a Traders Licence from the Council, (fair enough), and also Public Liability Insurance for five million pounds, arranged through the Railway Company. As the Station Supervisor wryly pointed out when breaking the news to me, 'What are you going to do, drop a book on their heads?' Obviously book selling must be a dangerous activity if I have to be insured for five million pounds. The very act of passing a book to a customer and receiving cash in return, or worse, they hold their bank card over my card reader ... Mmn, yes, I can see a risk assessment excercise must be carried out and sharpish!
I suspect the Insurance costs may be prohibitive, but, as the saying goes, 'when life gives you lemons make lemonade'. (Actually I prefer the one that says break out the tequila and salt). I am not giving up hope yet and have begun enquiries with the Railway Company. I hope that one day I may have my stall at the Station and in the meantime I am studying form, spending some time on the platform with my notebook and pen. Passengers probably think I am trainspotting. Of course, I'm not, but I'm having a high old time gathering up new characters for new books and sizing up the potential market for future sales. Fortune favours the brave. I hope it also favours those half freezing to death on the railway platform!
Ah well, I will let you know if anything comes of my endeavours. At any rate it is very heartening to find there are still good people in this world, willing to help. Mr Station Supervisor I salute you as one of the good guys. In the meantime, my dear reader, have a good week and have a good kick about in the leaves - very satisfying. No risk assessment or elf and safety in sight.