Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Storm Before The Storm

I am not exactly talking about the weather here, although it is just as appropriate. We have been having Spring like weather conditions for the past few days. Days where midday gets so hot you forget it is August, believe you slept through Spring and went straight into Summer, but the weekend came along and chased the good weather away. We woke up to another awful day yesterday, grey, dull, drab; cold with even less than drizzle - just spits of rain. The kind that is wet enough to keep you indoors, but not wet enough to wash away the dust and grime from Winter. Needless to say, we had a relaxed day indoors doing very little - we needed it after the week we had. Last night the heavens opened and it rained and it rained and it rained. In fact at around 5 pm it started, but felt like 8 pm it was that dark all day. There was no lightning, but thunder so bad it felt like our window panes were going to fall out. This morning our wonderful animals woke me up before 7 am to go out and it was a lovely sunny day, but since then it has gone from sunny, to cold, to grey, to bright blue skies, to black skies; to blue skies. Who knows if it will rain later, but the garden does look lovely and clean and fresh after that well needed rain. It can rain again tonight - lets have some warmth and Sunshine today.

The Strelitzia In Full Bloom 

Strelitzia Flower Still Full Of Rain Drops

Mark has taken Chad riding and I am just going to stay at home. They have taken Spike with so the other dogs are sulking. Miss Piggy went to sit next to her sometimes new best friend the hippo. I don't know what she thinks it is or if she sees the similarity, but she often just goes off and sits next to the hippo.

Me and My 2nd BFF - Pluto is My BFF for Life

So why the storm before the storm? Well on Thursday, I needed loads of motivation to get through the week. We had a bad week of red tape and business frustration, which I hinted at in this post. I also said that we were having a quiet relaxed day, but who knows what can happen. When I fetched Chad from school and we were chatting about our day, which loosely translated means my day. He is not the chat-a-lot boy he used to be, I said we are having such a quiet and relaxed day it feels like the storm before the storm - what I meant to say was the calm before the storm; which Chad teased me about for the rest of the trip home and then to gym and back. The truth is we did have a lovely relaxed calm day. Mark and I were both relaxed calm joking just having a pleasant afternoon and just before we were packing up to go home, we received an email from our landlord to say that there will be renovations at the site, but they can't give us the 6 month notice as discussed earlier in the year as they are not even sure of when the renovations will start. This is a major annoyance and frustration, because it is a huge exercise to move all our equipment and we just did it in December when we moved from our previous premises and again in March when we opened the second branch again at new premises. This time I am the one worrying and Mark not - he keeps telling me everything will be OK and s$%t happens. However, it is still a downer although we knew it was inevitable and all the signs were there since last year.

After receiving the email and talking about it, I shut down my laptop and of all days I had 16 updates on my laptop. We chatted a bit more and these updates were taking forever so I just closed my laptop and planned on switching it on when we got home and of course my plans never work out. On Friday morning when I switched on, I remembered the updates as they started running. I spent the time whilst the updates were running on my laptop, searching for premises on the desktop, not really interested in working. Fast forward 3 hours and my laptop crashed. For an hour it just tried to run a physical dump and crash over and over. Now my laptop has everything on it - personal and business. It is my main workstation so to speak. After an hour and maybe more of just watching it try and run the physical dump and going into safe mode and over and over. I took the battery out and thought well I have nothing more to lose. At the exact same time that my Laptop crashed, my Internet stopped working on the desktop. I knew it was not signal or our service provider, something went wrong, because I tried three totally different devices and service providers and none worked. However, phoning a call centre to try and get help is worse than trying to pull hen's teeth. The day call centres were introduced in business was the day service in this country went down the tubes. There is no accountability anymore. Someone takes the call and disappears into a deep dark abyss - so my calls were fruitless to try and find out if it was possible that although we connect wirelessly that, because, the PC with the interface on crashed will it affect the other one's internet connection. The first guy I spoke to said yes and I must connect with a usb and it will work. It didn't!!! The rest of the calls were a waste of time.

Eventually after I took my battery out of my laptop and switched it on, automatic system repair came up and I managed to restore it to a previous time - before the 16 updates. Incidentally my laptop now works, my Desktop cannot access the internet or download emails. It connects, but won't access it, AND the Desktop has windows 8 which I hate and I have to now go find the CD's (packed away in a box from our last big messy move in December) to do a system restore on the Desktop to see if that will work or throw the dam thing away - that is exactly how I feel. I have OneDrive on all our PC's and I only save on OneDrive on the others except my laptop. My laptop (the one that has everything on it and I pay for extra gigs on OneDrive) I update sometimes - I never learn do I? I have to now remedy that, but I want a new laptop first. This one is finished now. I am not sure if it is the updates that caused the crash or a virus in an email. I use windows live mail and it is still not working that well it keeps hanging and I had loads of spam comments from my blog awaiting moderation so I deleted the whole account from my laptop, because I have important work emails that I just cannot lose. I hate SPAMMERS with a passion. You don't even want to know what I wish on them.

The good news that we have after all this bad news is that Chad is not going on the school camp. The school sent out indemnity forms that I refused to sign and told them that I will not indemnify them against any thing that happened to my child on a forced and compulsory camp. I do not believe in school camps, never have never will. Not when I was a child nor now as an adult. Clint hated them and Chad is so undecided, but he doesn't even like going on holidays (until he gets there) so why would he like going on a camp. I was told that I signed the code of conduct when Chad started at the school and I told them that for all the years that I have known that school and it is many many years, they did not go on camps, the reason Clint went to the school and the reason why I sent Chad there after first not wanting him to go there. Now there are all these camps and I told them that I never signed up for camps or prison visits.  Oh and they are not allowed cellphones so no contact only through the teachers. We were refunded the money for the camp not the bus fare. Money is not everything. It is a leadership camp to choose prefects - the prefects are normally the smokers and drinkers - go figure. I also mentioned that the school's ethos is to respect each child's individuality as each child is unique - well not all children enjoy camps. Four children are not going and believe you me, if they respected each child's individuality a lot more would not be going. I recall quite clearly during Chad's interview at the school that one of the reasons why we changed primary school was because of the school camps. Chad wanted to go, because of the pressure of the teachers going on about it, but he also didn't want to go and of course I did NOT want him to go, and both years he developed such bad boils. The doctor said it was not possible to get boils from stress - Chad has only had boils twice in his life and both times was when his grade was going on a school camp. Nothing was mentioned in his interview that the school now went on camps and to visits to the prison, so I signed the code of conduct with undisclosed information.

Well, that was my bitch and whine for the week, if you lasted this long. Here are some more photos I took this morning.

Garfield Loves Eating These Leaves - A Type Of River Reed

Small Windmill

I never managed to buy the windmills or wind spinners, what ever you call them that I was looking for last week to chase the birds away. Mark came home with this little windmill above, he got the big one below from his one cousin, he saw it and said he wanted one and they gave it to him. I hate them and took it out of Clint's Memorial Garden and put it by the other little bird bath thingy we have in the front garden. Mark suggested the other day that we put it back in Clint's garden to chase the birds, so I did very reluctantly, but if it keeps the Olive Thrush from making a mess then that is what we must do. It doesn't keep them away and neither does the other one, but in light of my appreciating and being grateful that Mark allows me to grieve in my own way, I need to allow him to also share in Clint's Memorial Garden. There was a time that I quietly seethed if him or Chad went and sat in the garden, which manifested into anger about a totally unrelated incident. Only Garfield and I were allowed in Clint's garden and only I had a say in what we put in there. Eventually the gardener had to plant plants and clean up and cut back the overgrowth and I was less hostile about Mark and Chad going to sit there. Chad doesn't really go in there ever though. So the windmills are going to stay.

Big Windmill

Garfield Oblivious To The Weaver Bird Above Her - As Always

The Weaver Bird - One Of Many
In all honesty, I cannot chase the birds for good - it is so relaxing listening to them and watching them flit through the trees, looking for food, whistling and chirping. AND....  that is the end of my VERY long post.

PS - I have just discovered that I have lost all my emails from the past week - some very important and even those that go directly into saved folders and as Murphy or my luck would have it - only my work emails were lost, no personal emails and no blog emails were lost only work emails, except of course the spam comments I went and deleted off the server - can you hear my screams.
PPS - This is my 400th post - not much considering I started this blog 4 years ago.

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