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New day dawning

New Dawn

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).

If I go to bed at my usual time and sleep well, I may wake up just as the sun is rising.  I do not look out of our east-facing windows, though.  Instead I sit next to the west-facing ones and have my quiet time.

Last Friday morning (22 Aug) I was surprised to see pink-tinged clouds in the west at around 06:15hrs.  I switched on my tablet computer and took a few photos.  Here is one for you to enjoy.

Reflected glory

Reflected glory

 

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What I had for Christmas

As part of Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day in November Challenge, I wrote about my hopes for Christmas presents.

What I received was far more.  There was the needlecraft kit, which I wrote about here.  As if that was not enough, from the same family, I received a book – 150 blocks to knit & crochet – The anything-but-the-square collection.  These two items were beautifully colour co-ordinated.

Last week I began to crochet one of the designs.  It is the first time I have crocheted motifs using more than one colour.

Hubby had wrapped my present in several parcels.  The first one I opened was a keyboard.

“Is it a computer?” I asked.

“It’s a kit of parts.”

I’m afraid I was very ungrateful.  When I opened the box containing a tablet computer, I said, “I really didn’t want this.”

However, he set it up for me and I took on the (unwanted) responsibility of switching it on every day and allowing the apps to be updated.  We are still laughing about the email address he set up.  He asked me what I’d like and I didn’t check before entering a password.  My pride would not let me use a wrong spelling for a “public” email address, so I now have far too many email addresses. Although Hubby cannot spell, he sometimes beats me at Scrabble!

Gradually I began to find a few things I liked better than on my Windows 8.1 laptop.  Using the WordPress reader and looking at photographs on Facebook are two examples.  (The screen on my laptop is very reflective.)  Hubby’s intention had been that it would be useful to take away with me.  At first I considered it to be far too heavy and that a holiday away from the internet would not be a bad thing.

I did an experiment to see whether I could post from it.

In July I decided to take it with me.  There was wi-fi available at the guest house where Mum and I would be staying.  All my blog posts and associated tweets were scheduled beforehand, but it would be possible for Mum to interact with her granddaughter on Skype.  (That was my excuse anyway.)  I also had an e-book to read on it.

It had not occurred to me beforehand that I might use it as a camera.  I wanted to show hubby how comfortable the guest house was and the beauty of the location.  Then there was the flower festival

…my decision to take my tablet with me led to three posts all written after I came home.

After our holiday I spent two nights at Mum’s and we had Sunday lunch with a mutual friend.  Her family had been trying to persuade her to buy a computer and she had been on a course.  However the tutors had not shown her what was available to her as a keen knitter.  I showed her some relevant websites including Etsy and answered all her questions about connecting to the internet and how I was able to use wi-fi at Mum’s.  (This is through BT’s unlimited wi-fi available to customers.)

On the way home on the train I used the word-processing app to draft my homework for the writer’s group I have joined, having used Christmas money to pay the subscription to ACW.

And the book I wanted for Christmas?  I bought it from the author and it arrived by post.  It contains much interesting information and I have read quite a lot of it.  As it is not the sort of book, which needs to be read in order from cover to cover, I am still dipping into it from time to time.

Unfortunately it suffers from being self-published.  It does not appear to have been edited.  There are grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.  I can only assume that the author was educated while the theory that spelling and grammar are not important was in vogue.

Looking back on my Christmas presents – the book I wanted was a disappointment.  The present I was ungrateful for turned out to be very useful.  My crafty book will be useful indefinitely and is helping me improve my skills.  Membership of a writing group could lead to anything.

I know Christmas 2013 is long gone, but how did your presents turn out?
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Book Review: Neither Here nor There

The author, Miriam Drori, set up a competition on her blog and I won!

She kindly sent me a signed copy of her first romantic novel, Neither Here nor There.  The paperback version, published by Crooked Cat, is well-produced.

I saved it to read on a long train journey and found it fascinating.  I had already listened to the first chapter, but I began at the beginning and was transported to a world of which I knew nothing.

Miriam writes well and the story progresses without unnecessary detail.  There is plenty of action, conflict and interesting characters.  Customs, which are not familiar to people from other cultures, are explained unobtrusively.  The humour is  gentle – it made me smile.

This is a book worth reading.

This review is also on Sue’s considered trifles under the Book reviews tab.