Jaye’s Week…

November first and winter is snapping at our heels.

Fed up with the pervading chill, we gave in and turned on the heating yesterday and the warmth was very welcome.

The leaves are falling in earnest, but I refuse to sweep them up every blessed day as it seems soul-destroying to see them gathering again the minute I put the broom away!

Maple, Fall, Multicoloured, Nature

The bonsai seem reluctant to shed their leaves, but as the temperature continues to fall, I know they will join in eventually.

Christmas lurks at the back of my mind, and I hope it stays there a while longer. Everything is changing so fast, I try not to make any predictions, hopeful or otherwise as actually having a Christmas of any kind is looking doubtful.

This year has been difficult, to put it mildly. Plans have had to be put on hold or abandoned completely while life continues to mess everything up. I continue to do what I can when I can. Any kind of movement is good, I think.

Finishing the WIP is foremost in my mind, as Ghost of a Chance (Book Four of the DI Snow series) is turning out to be the hardest story to write. Although I am enjoying it when life leaves me alone long enough!

This post should have been a newsletter, as we have been derelict in this department for a while, but until I finish (trying) to switch to MailerLite, there doesn’t seem to be any point…

Here’s hoping November will be a good month for all of us…

What a Week this has Been!

What a week this has been!

At the beginning of the week and fed up to my back teeth with feeling so sick and giddy all the time, secretly wondering if a stroke might be imminent as my head felt both awful and wrong at the same time, I bit the bullet and rang my doctor.

I was probably wasting my time and wouldn’t get an appointment, or even the time of day if last time was anything to go by, but I was hoping for a conversation at the very least.

At our surgery, patients must first go through hoops with the receptionists. They are instructed to triage all calls, basically to judge whether you are sick enough to be blessed with a chance to speak to your doctor. They draw the line at dying though, as the recorded message tells you not to bother them; to ring 999.

I made it through the first hurdle and was told my doctor would call me that day. Oh boy, I must really be sick, I thought, but not dying though, which was good to know.

The verdict was an inner ear problem, and a prescription was sent to my local chemist. I was to take the pills for two days, but if the dizziness hadn’t gone to ring back, as she would have to see me (in person!)

During those two days, a very sad family disaster upset everyone’s apple cart, and we finally received notification of the start of Anita’s thyroid investigation at the hospital. We only waited for weeks this time, so that was an improvement.

I felt no better after the two waiting days, so I rang the surgery again. This time, they said my doctor was not available and that my name would be added to the duty rota list. Hopefully, someone will call me later.

Later turned out to be a synonym for never, apparently, as I am still waiting!

Despite such a terrible week, I have managed to continue writing in short bursts, I must admit, but worrying about my characters problems has kept me sane.

Hoping for a quiet weekend… and wishing the same for all of you!

Throwback Thursday… This Time Last Year…

Hell of a Week… Published this time last year…

It would be lovely if I could think of one thing at a time these days, but it’s not happening. I have been trying to publish shadows, Anita’s new book of poetry. Fate is conspiring against me, but I aim to release it next week.

And the more I struggle to think about writing, it opens the floodgates for a ton of ideas to jump into my head. I often wonder if I am on the wrong horse, so to speak.

Wrong house more like, as we have had major roadworks outside the house for two weeks. They have moved along the road today, but I can still hear their infernal noise. 

And now we have these temporary traffic lights right outside the front door!

So concentrating has been a mite difficult, to say the least.

Making sure we have enough medication for Anita is proving difficult too, as our doctor’s surgery is obviously being run by a bunch of idiots. That is probably a little unkind, as I’m sure they are doing their best. I keep sending them the updated lists from the hospital whenever the meds change, but they still don’t get them right.

Then today, the heart consultant telephoned to talk about the pacemaker/defibrillator and to reassure us that it will happen soon. This will be the last piece of the puzzle and will finally fix Anita’s wagon!

This afternoon, the family took us out to our local lake, affectionally called the Pond. We love this place, but it seemed as though the whole of Petersfield had the same idea! There was no room on any of the benches and the lovely cafe had removed all their seating, so I had to forego my usual mug of hot chocolate. 

All things considered, it was wonderful to see the water and the wildlife and the walk was undoubtably good for us both…

And now?

I am tempted to say, same old, same old, as on the surface at least, nothing much has changed since this time last year. In reality though, so much has changed. In very subtle ways its true, but I think we are in a better position than we were.

There have been some bad days these past twelve months, days when depression tripped us up and we landed on our backsides. Times when the delays got us down and we wondered if life was ever going to get any better. Days when tempers frayed and patience took a holiday.

But there were also days when laughter was heard around the house again and smiling faces brought the sunshine.

I am trying to write a current update post about where we are at the moment, so watch this space!

Jaye’s Week… Stop the World…

Stop the World – I want to get Off!

Life simply isn’t getting any better, and in some respects, it’s getting worse.

Tensions are running very high in our house, very much due, I’m afraid, to the slow-moving mechanism that drives the NHS these days. And before anyone jumps all over me, I will add that I think they have done an outstanding job coping with Covid. The rest of the system may never recover, however.

It has been a year since Anita’s devastating heart attack. A year of delays, lost results and what can only be described as apathy. So busy saving the world, some patients are falling by the wayside.

Not to mention the song and dance every time we attend the hospital on those rare occasions. At the moment, we are waiting for an appointment for a possible stent to be fitted, as although Anita is coping brilliantly with her reduced mobility and general fitness, she could be a lot better.

I wasn’t expecting to throw my own hat into the ring too, and tried very hard to wait until a shred of normality looked like returning.

It was probably due to the extra workload, and definitely caused by all the stress, but my arthritis has been severely showing off, crippling my knees, and reducing me to a shambling wreck.

When I damaged my knee once before, pre covid, I went to my local A & E, had an Xray and an amazing injection that enabled me to walk without pain.

Yesterday I had reached the end of my rope, and thinking we were as close to normal as we were ever likely to get, I turned up at A&E again, only to be sent packing. Well, advised to attend a Minor Injuries Unit which was miles away!

Apparently, our Accident & Emergency Department are only accepting Life threatening emergencies.

Time to have a word with our GP. Not that you can actually have a face-to-face appointment anymore. You must wait weeks for a telephone conversation and so on. I think I will write a letter and see what happens.

In the meantime, the housework and gardening can go take a running jump!

#Jaye’s Week…

Another week of waiting for news, and the lines of communication were strangely silent, right up until yesterday afternoon. I had tried to convince myself that this could be a good sign, and in a way, it was. The letter that arrived, was a copy of the formal (and very technical) notification that was sent to our GP. After googling all the jargon, I figured out that one of Anita’s main arteries is almost completely blocked and would require either a stent or a surgical bypass. A phone call regarding the consultants intentions will follow, apparently.

The trouble with waiting, is that it sets the tone of the week somehow. Despite this, I was determined to do something constructive. Gardening or bonsai was out of the question, for every time I walked out the back door, the heavens opened. I don’t mind getting wet, but not if I don’t have to!

The next job was cleaning the carpets. Out came my trusty shampooer, only to find all the water that I poured in, ran straight out of the bottom in a hurry. I joggled everything but it was obviously broken, so I threw it in the bin.

Now what?

Well, there are the windows to clean and a pile of sewing that seems to get bigger every time I leave the room. I could switch off the computer and write, or I could try to clear some outstanding annoyances. Seems to be the week for annoyances, so I decided to try to get rid of some. The biggest irk on my list, is trying to find out why some of my book reviews have been deleted. I mean, I didn’t have that many to start with! I had tried emailing Amazon with varying results and this morning I was informed that according to them, I had no such account with them. (turned out they were talking about a seller account)

When I double checked that I most certainly do have a working account on .com and uk.com, I noticed that my author central was missing from uk.com. It was large as life on Amazon.com though.

I think this is all because Anita and I share a computer. It seems to confuse the hell out of most of the companies we deal with. We have our own email address, but that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, as almost everything we do is questioned and needs verification all the bloody time!

Of course, if anyone has any clues about any of this, they would be very welcome as I am a short step from binning anything that refuses to work!

Jaye’s Week (Not the Best I’m afraid!)

The week hasn’t started yet, and I’m already worrying enough for six people.

You see, because I haven’t been posting about my sister’s health lately, most of you probably think she is doing well. The truth is somewhat sadder, I’m afraid.

Although Anita really did appreciate everyone’s good wishes last year, she said she needed to move on and concentrate on getting better, so asked me to stop the updates. The loss of her health has come as a shock to all of us, including Anita as she has always been the healthiest member of our family. We have since discovered that although she is the head of the family, always first with help and advice when we all need it, she is the worst patient in the world and exceedingly difficult to take care of!

Despite her will power, (and most of mine!) there are still days when she struggles to breathe and has very little strength. Her quality of life drags on the floor and some days we fear for the worst. We are constantly being assured that the pacemaker thingy is doing its job, but at the same time, they admit to the setting being very low to avoid straining her severely damaged heart.

Eventually, our concerns filtered through to the consultant, who rang our house and spoke to Anita at length, resulting in appointments for several tests this week. An Echocardiogram and an Angiogram, blood tests etc. A stent was mentioned, too, so all being well, we may eventually have good news.

In the meantime, though, I am having trouble concentrating on anything, but desperate to keep busy…

#Friday FlashBack: Jaye’s Week

After much searching, comparing and pulling my hair out, I finally found a PC that had everything I wanted at a price I could almost afford. I have this problem with shopping online, as I never seem to end up liking what I buy. Never been any good choosing anything and always get it wrong.

It arrived yesterday, and my old friend nagging doubt turned up with it.

Much smaller than I thought it would be, although I believe this is the new trend, and still managed to look pretty scary. Immediately, I found a possible problem. The activation label clearly said Windows 7, even though I thought I ordered Windows 10.

So, I might have done it again and chosen the wrong one.

Because of the Bank Holiday, I had to wait until Tuesday to telephone the company, for there was no way I would start switching over until they reassure me.

Switching over PCs is not something I enjoy or am any good at, as my tech skills are dismal at best, so at this stage I was still asking myself why I had actually volunteered to do this.

One of the reviews stated enthusiastically that all I had to do is take it out of the box, plug in all the cables and then switch it on.

That I just cannot believe.

The way things are going though, I may never get that far to find out.

While I waited, it was business as usual on my old less than faithful pc, despite the frequent crashing, freezing and crazy spelling games it plays. But it gave me a nasty moment this morning.

I switched it on, and instead of my pretty screensaver, the screen was plain blue. There was no icons and no Wi-Fi. I feared the worst. Had it beaten me to the punch?

That would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

A brand-new PC that I don’t want to install and my old one commits Hara Kiri on me!

After a reboot, everything was fine again, at least for the moment…

Moving swiftly on to the designated torture day…

I had been dreading this day for so long and was one of the reasons I delayed doing anything about it. I heard so many bad reports about Windows 10 and was more than happy with my old faithful Windows 7, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

The new computer came with it already installed, so I had no choice but to hunt for my thinking cap, put it on and see what, if anything I could do with it. There was quite a long wait for the new pc to load or whatever it had to do. They said it would take time but wasn’t expecting three hours of thumb twiddling!

What followed was one of the worst moments of my life. I stared at the alien screen, trying not to feel as sick as a parrot by the sheer enormity of what I had done. (and still had to do!) And what was rapidly turning into what I might not be able to do.

I retired wounded for the day, not having mastered any of it.

I have a book, aptly called Windows 10 for Seniors, so I spent the evening going further into the depths of insanity, reading anything that sounded helpful. But none made any sense to me.

The following day, inspired by my refusal to quit, I switched the offending machine back on and played around, pressing everything in sight and seeing what happened. I found help screens that weren’t very, then tried to connect using my Microsoft account password.

You don’t want to know how long that took.

One day on, and I have surprised myself. Things are magically beginning to work!

There have been a pile of things I had to fix, one of them involved the speakers, which for some reason didn’t want to work. The sound, when I found out how to turn it on, came out of the tower thingy and sounded as though there was an idiot trapped in there.

Basically, and this really hurts to admit, I think I like my new computer and can foresee a bright future. A poor future, for along with the cost of the thing, I had to cough up for a brand-new version of Microsoft Word too…

I’m off to start uploading thousands of my images and files, so not going anywhere this weekend.

I hope everyone else has a good one though…

FlashBack from May 2019

Jaye’s Week from 2018… Insanity

From the middle of insanity…

I think my brain needs seeing to, as I can no longer make it behave the way I want it to.

Mind you; it must be contagious, for my laptop and tablet are exhibiting similar tendencies.

I spent last evening, first with the laptop and then the tablet, trying to run through my emails from the comfort of my armchair.

The laptop was on a go-slow, so I switched to the tablet.

This annoying piece of crap decided not to respond at all. Patience personified, I kept trying, only for the battery to drain away faster than a chocolate teapot. Something it shouldn’t have been able to do, seeing as it wasn’t doing anything.

I can feel the day coming when I take a hammer to both, as I am not sure how much longer my brain can cope with these insanity-inducing contraptions.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t aware of all the wonderful things they can do. When in a good mood, of course.

But I ask you, is it asking too much to have a piece of equipment that does what it says on the tin?

We wouldn’t stand for such substandard performance from any other electrical object, so for all that’s Holy, do we put up with it?

The main desktop PC is not immune to such shenanigans; it’s just sneakier. Its favourite trick now is ignoring whole sentences while I am busy typing them.

I get no warning, no sign that something has gone awry. The first I know about it is when I try to read the work back, only to find great yawning holes where parts of my story are missing.

I tell you; it is beginning to feel like a conspiracy…

On the bright side, and I try to find this even on those grey days, nothing affects my pen and paper. Sometimes I am so glad that I can write, blissfully, as far away from technology as I can get. As happy as Larry, knowing that I am in total charge of the creative process.

So, to end on a much happier note, I must report that the mindset for the new WIP is firmly in place. I have enjoyed being away from all the technobabble so much that I shall be doing a lot more of it!

I wrote this post way back at the end of 2018, and not much has changed since then!

Jaye’s Week ( In the garden, not the Office)

Yesterday afternoon I had planned on writing and working on a trailer for one of Anita’s books, but the sun was shining, and I couldn’t be asked.

We sat outside, drinking coffee, surrounded by all the jobs I have been neglecting so far this year. Not really my fault, for the weather hasn’t exactly been conducive for gardening lately. It’s either been freezing cold, raining, or both. So, I wasn’t feeling too guilty.

Maybe a little guilty about some of my bonsai perhaps, as there are a couple that desperately need repotting as they have used up all the goodness in their soil. There was also an orange blossom that I bought earlier in the year that has outgrown its pot.

Before I knew it, I was hard at work, and enjoying every minute.

I was also promising to spend a lot more time in the garden in future.

My favourite, at the moment

They say you are closer to God’s heart in a garden, and all I know is I am always happier when up to my elbows in rich garden soil, surrounded by all the wonders of nature.

I thought I would close with some of my favourite bonsai, the acres. Especially the ones with different colour variations in the leaves. I love the Lacy ones too and have included the one that refused to be a bonsai. It outgrew every pot I put it in, and eventually I planted it in the garden.

I hate to say this, but in a way, I hoped it would rain tomorrow so I could catch up on my writing! (or maybe not!)