I spent hours yesterday and another three today – why, to get rid of that stupid ‘VIRUS’ named ‘snap.do’ which when it gets a hold it’s a devil to get rid of. It puts up its own tool-bar and comes up telling you your disc space is low and you must do this, that or the other. It also put a block on my antivirus programme so I couldn’t even use that to get rid. Trouble is, I understand many people do not realise it is a virus. Where it came from I’m not sure, but I do know that I’ve been busy looking at various writing sites to join as an alternative to WriteLink, I won’t mention names, but, to all my good friends, be warned.
We drove cross-country from Leicestershire into Nottinghamshire one day last week. Once again, it struck me what an under-rated county Leicestershire is. The rolling fields, gentle hills & valleys; the small, unspoilt villages, and the tucked into the scenery farm buildings, all add to its beauty. I lived here for many years, working and bringing up a family, but until we returned in 2011, I am quite sure I did not appreciate our surroundings. Today, I took a picture of the glorious berries right here outside my window and once again I am reminded of the beauty of Autumn in this country.
I have never been a Harry Potter fan, I found the books quite difficult to read and I sat, very bored, through the first film. It amazed me that one of our grandsons, at the age of seven when the first book was published, became an avid fan and understood every word that was written. He has a collection of first editions that will be worth a fortune at some stage. However, the Sunday magazine, Event, has an interview with J.K.Rowling in it, in which she expresses her feelings about the atrocities to children, either orphaned or removed from their parents, in the Eastern European countries. Having been at the bottom of the heap herself, she knows all about poverty, but as she says, ‘living in this country’ is a key phrase, we have welfare, they don’t. This is a problem very close to my own heart, I cannot watch the TV ads that show all the suffering children and I know, from my time in Mexico, the number of orphaned, or unwanted, children living, or being worked, on the streets. As a world wide known author, Joanne Rowling can draw huge followings. She will shortly relaunch her charity, LUMOS, to which she has donated millions of pounds, at the Harry Potter centre in Hertfordshire. The charity is named after the ‘lumos’ that glows on the end of Harry Potter’s wand as fans will know. Apparently, for a number of years J.K.R. has been visiting to see, and work with, her charity in Moldova, the Czech Republic. I hope she gets loads of support for LUMOS and I think I might very well go out and buy, The Casual Vacancy, and, The Cuckoo’s Calling, after all.
The success of the minor operation my husband had on his ears this last Monday, after nine months of being deaf, has brought great joy not only to him, but to me and the rest of his family and friends. He can hear what we say – and there is no need for shouting, or sign language, any more. This has led us to talk, and think, about what it must be like to be permanently deaf; not to be able to hear the voices of loved ones; no pleasure in music; not able to hear the birds singing; not hearing the wind or the rain – the list goes on. On the other hand, we know people who are deaf, and have hearing aids, who are quite happy to be able to ‘switch off’ at times. One thing that worried my husband a lot was when he was driving, he couldn’t hear the sound of the engine and changing gear was by speed. This led us to wondering which sense would be the worst to lose permanently , hearing or sight? They do say that if you lose one of your senses the others become sharper, is this true? I think our decision was, after a long discussion, that it would be easier to be deaf than blind. But to try and imagine either is, well. – to never hear the words, “I love you,” or see the faces of loved ones, unimaginable. Except now hubby knows exactly what it is like so there’s no wonder he’s over the moon.
After a five month wait, Hubby went for a minor op. on his ears this morning, he had to be there for 7am – I’m not a lot of good so early in the morning. However, we were on time and left him in the good hands of the nurses. Waiting back at home, I didn’t feel much like breakfasting, my mouth was dry and I paced around wondering what to do for the next ? hours. I kept telling myself this is your husband, not one of the kids in the family, everything will be fine, it made not a scrap of difference. Relief finally came five hours later to say he was ready to be picked up, so off we went. The miracles of modern medical practises are astounding; he had a general anaesthetic and is now sitting reading the paper as if nothing has happened – and sheer bliss, he can hear me again, I trust he thinks it is bliss also! Plus, we shall no longer need the volume on the TV at something like 52 and I shall not have to act as a translator when in company. It is a sad fact, and I hate to say this, that a deaf person is often treated as if they are not fully with it and until you have to deal with deafness this is not something you realise happens. It has made both of us very aware of the problems that a permanently deaf person faces.
Whoever was responsible for putting pedestrian crossings immediately before, or after, a roundabout must never, ever use them. They are so dangerous! This first hit me when we returned from living out of the country for 21 years. The light was green as we approached a huge island so we sailed on through – blasted like mad from all around. Fortunately, the traffic coming from the right hadn’t quite reached us. How many visitors/tourists driving in the UK have faced this same hazard, I wonder.
Yesterday, we travelled back from Southampton to Market Harborough; skirting round Northampton are ‘n’ number of islands, some large, some small, some with traffic lights and yes, some with pedestrian crossings shortly before or after them. On three occasions cars, all in the usual hurry to get away, screeched to a halt having gone through green lights at the island only to be met with a red pedestrian crossing light as they rounded the curve. My husband and I now always ask when we approach an island, “Is it a pedestrian green light?” Surely these pedestrian crossings could be put further away from an island – if people are using them they are walking, or using some mobility aid, and the extra distance walked could be a life saver.