Hello there! Yes, I'm back! I can't tell you how pleased I am with myself for having fixed the problem with Picasa. It nearly drove me to distraction. Numerous hours when I could have been doing something more useful have been wasted. The computer went into the computer repair shop - the man said he couldn't help but charged £70 anyway! Not to be beaten I set about trying to sort it out myself - I finally managed to sort it out at 1.00 a.m. one morning I wanted to shout "I'm a genius!" all over the house but that would have woken the OH who had gone to bed early with a horrid Winter bug that he's now kindly given to me! I'm really chuffed with myself. I had to go into My Computer, then onto C drive, then onto Google - delete some stuff, then uninstall Picasa and then re-install it. This may be a simple instruction to most of you out there but to me, a technophobe, it was a daunting task.
The only problem is - that I now seem to have four copies of everything! It will take me a while to go through and delete most of the stuff but at least I'm back in the saddle again.
It seems strange but the fact that Picasa crashed on me meant that I took far less photos. In fact I have taken none this New Year and only took a few on Boxing Day when we went to see the local hunt setting off.
What I will do is make this an extra long post to get rid of what we got up to in December and then start afresh. Sorry if I bore you to bits!
The above and below are two prints from a recent trip to the vintage area in Bridport. They now hang in KP's bedroom. I loved them for their retro feel.
So - what have we been up to. We went to Barrington Court - a National Trust property on the outskirts of Ilminster.
We have visited this property on several occasions and so I only took a few photos but we also ventured into the house which is something which we haven't done before. The house does not have any furniture inside it is bare walls and the only thing of interest is the numerous delft tiles in the many bathrooms and the wooden staircase. The house was a complete ruin when it was taken over by the Trust.
We love the gardens and the orchard.
I tried taking some artistic shots?!
We were amazed to see that some of the trees in the orchard still bore some fruit - in December!
This photo was taken from inside the house, through the window. I like the distortion caused by the old glass in the window.
Part of the ornate staircase.
We had a trip to Beer in Devon with the dogs on a bracingly cold December day.
We espied a number of fishing paraphernalia - lobster and crab cages and colourful buoys.
The sea was as calm as a mill pond.
Blues and reds.
Someone had pestered us into buying her a pair of giraffe gloves!
We collected scallop shells that had been abandoned by the fishermen.
It began to rain but we weren't daunted.
It just meant that we had the whole place to ourselves.
Just us - the sea and some boats.
George was in his element - sea and rain, the more water the better.
Whilst Charlie, just did a bit of exploring - no getting wet for him. He took himself off for a walk near to the beach huts where it was driest.
Then another weekend in December - the OH's aunt booked two large holiday cottages, next door to each other for 21 family members to celebrate his dad's 70th Birthday. The sky really was this blue when we awoke on Saturday morning.
There was an indoor swimming pool so whilst the children swam, the OH and I went for a walk.
On the way back we caught KP and her six year old cousin on the way back from their swim.
In the afternoon some of us went to Kingsbridge to do a bit of shopping and the children got blasted with bubbles.
KP and her cousin went charity shopping and spent their money on cuddly toys. KP on another giraffe!
Meanwhile I spotted this cute spaniel patiently waiting for its owner to return.
I had to take a second photo!
As we walked past one shop we saw this pretty cat having a nap in the window.
During the evening the girls put on a show. They had been busy rehearsing and making and selling tickets at 5p a head for the show! There was an on site shop with an honesty box which sold sweets. So I think, dear readers, you can imagine how the money generated from the ticket sales was spent!
The play was all about a Queen who was lazy, spending most of her day in bed ordering her servants around. Why KP had to have a vest on her head for the part, I don't know!
Nor, did I get to know why socks had to be used on her hands!
Saturday night was a good night but Sunday proved to be anything but. KP ended up in hospital having fallen off a window sill and banged her head on the floor. She had been sat side on and had somehow toppled over, head first. She had banged her forehead and had a large carpet burn to an area around her eye. At the time of the incident she had been in the dining room with her 9 year old and 6 year old cousins.
KP was concussed and didn't quite know what had happened. She said that she didn't feel well and wanted to go to bed, which is unlike her. I said that she couldn't go to bed as she'd hurt her head and that we'd have to keep an eye on her - she went to sleep on the sofa in the lounge but an hour later said she really wasn't feeling very well.
I took her outside for some fresh air and she vomited. I had thought of taking her to the hospital but a family member - a nurse, said that it had been nothing to worry about. When KP threw up she said "Take her to the hospital." I wish I'd listened to my instincts as she would have been seen sooner. We drove to Kingsbridge - KP being very quiet. At the hospital in Kingsbridge we were told to take her to Torbay Hospital and did they want us to have her taken there by ambulance.
I felt sick to the stomach. We decided that it would be quicker and less traumatic for us to take her. We arrived in the Accident and Emergency Department. Some people do misuse the place. There was one woman who came in - with a cut to her finger, which looked no worse than a paper cut. They seemed to operate a first come, first serve system. I said to the OH, "That woman with the paper cut to her hand surely can't take priority over a head injury." He went and spoke to the receptionist and we were ushered through to see a doctor.
KP was examined and told that she might have to stay in hospital overnight to be observed. I think that as a parent a head injury is one of the worst things to have to face. We stayed in the hospital a number of hours. A doctor eventually said that she was fine to go home but that she should stay off school for the next few days. This brought the first smile of the day to KP's lips.
So, the Sunday which we had planned celebrating the OH's dad's Birthday was spent at the hospital.
Luckily, KP has now fully recovered but it just goes to show how within a matter of seconds life can change forever.
Just before Christmas we went up to London to see "Goodnight Mr. Tom." It was an evening performance so during the day we went to Brick Lane to photograph the latest street art. This is something that I really enjoy and we normally travel to London for this very purpose about four times a year. Due to my being so ill this was the first trip to London this year.
I am really impressed by the quality of the art on the street. I know that some people call it graffiti and that it is vandalism. Some walls however are dedicated to street artists - they can legitimately come there and do their stuff!
This one was on a door.
On shop shutters.
This is an area which is scheduled for re-development. I'd rather look at artwork than a derelict site.
More owls - the work of street artist - Dscreet.
There seemed to be an abundance of work by Paul "Don" Smith.
More street art.
More work by "Don".
We like visiting Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
"Don" had been busy celebrating the Olympic successes.
Bradley Wiggins with his Gold medal.
More art by "Don".
I loved the vibrancy of this one.
Del Boy Trotter by "Don".
Some more art.
A closer look.
I liked the colours and the simplicity.
KP liked the tiger. This was on the wall of a car park.
The work of C215 - a street artist from France.
This one is painted in pastel colours and is a take on the impressionist movement and similar in vain to the work of Georges Seurat "the apostle of painting with small dots."
A closer inspection.
The work of Malarky and some collaborators.
KP borrows the OH's i-phone to take some photos.
Some more work by "Don".
KP said, "Mum, this looks a bit like you!"
These artworks are not small.
A closer look.
Another large scale piece.
This one made me stop and think. A malnourished child in an expensive bag. It says it all about our priorities - people with money and influence would rather buy luxury goods than save children from dying in Africa.
And finally, this massive art work by Roa of a hedgehog.
Shortly after spotting this one we went and had a super curry in the restaurant which had been voted "Curry house of the year 2012." The food was delicious.
Having had our fill, we caught a taxi to Covent Garden before returning to our hotel to get refreshed before going to see "Goodnight Mr. Tom."
The following morning we went for a walk along the Thames Embankment to the Christmas Market.
It was raining fairly heavily. I felt sorry for the stall holders who must have paid high prices for their pitches as there were only a trickle of would be customers.
In the skateboard park there was some more artwork by "Don" of Jimi Hendrix.
One of the street artists was at work - you can just about see his ladder to the left of the man holding his head.
More artwork on a nearby building.
A closer look.
More of the same.
A rag rug take on a Christmas tree.
And still it kept on raining.
We walked back towards our hotel, to collect our bags and to catch the train back home. En route we passed the London Eye.
And saw Big Ben in the distance.
Christmas Day was a quiet affair. There was only the three of us which is how I had wanted it this year. Every year for so many years I have wanted a small family Christmas and this year I managed it.
On Boxing Day we went to see the horses and hounds before the Hunt set off. One of KP's friends was going to be following the Hunt.
I tried taking photographs but it was really quite difficult as there were so many people about.
I really don't know which side of the fence I stand on in relation to foxhunting but I enjoy seeing the horses and hounds.
Some of the horses.
Showing his teeth.
Why, it's Rudolph!
The leader of the Hunt tells the crowd that the Hunt will be setting off in a certain direction.
Tally-ho and they're off! The crowd had already dispersed to a trickle, running to the roadside for a better view.
Meanwhile, we returned home with Grandma and Daniel with KP wearing her sweatshirt Christmas present.
If you're all still here and not fallen by the wayside - Thank you!
Also, Thank you for your comments on my last post and in particular to Helen from Purrfect Haven who really went out of her way to try and resolve the Picasa problem.
I also seem to have a few more followers so - a big warm "Hello!"
Now all there is to say is - Happy New Year Everyone!
Until next time,