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31 Days of Gratitude – this has been an interesting exercise so far. When I started this theme I thought for sure I’d be focusing on the material rather than the intangible….but it seems my mind had other ideas.

I started off with my creature comforts; then to my job, from there I swung over to another creature comfort, and then I hit the material stuff…and from there it’s gone in the direction of love, experiences and the intangible. So far I’ve been grateful for indoor heating, my job, being able to cook, my laptop, learning how to invest, parental love, walking the Camino, experiencing snow, the love of pets, experiencing enchantment, having opportunities, being able to read….

Today I find myself leaning towards being grateful for awareness. It’s a scary old world with all the new technology we are exposed to; mobile phones, the internet, AI developments, gestural interfaces and now crypto-currencies. Although the latter is not new, in comparison to the others it’s still wet behind the ears, as am I. Since joining up and buying Bitcon my mind (and nerves) have gone through a range of emotions the like of which I’ve never experienced before. This is the only time in my life that a graph has held such a fascination. I need one of those screens like they had in that film with Tom Cruise; the Minority report. LOL

Besides being aware of all the new technology, we have to be aware of the ‘dark web’ so to speak; the scams, and hacks, and viruses that abound along with all that’s marvellous about all these new aspects of life. Daily we read about a new bank scam, or a major hacking attack, or fraudsters making off with millions of dollars. The sheer number of scams that abound today are bewildering and frightening. You have to be super aware. In order to protect your internet browsing you have to pay out large sums of money to keep your equipment safe. You can no longer be polite to someone on the phone who calls purporting to be from your bank (or receiving an email). Someone I’m close to was recently scammed by a very slick operator who managed to deceive her into thinking she was actually dealing with her bank. He had all the right protocols, the right questions and details that only the bank should have known about…..and she was scammed out of £13k+. Thankfully due to a total cock-up by the relevant bank they had to reimburse her all the money, but a great number of other people were scammed in the same way and they haven’t been refunded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/08/scam-victims-fail-take-reasonable-care-will-not-get-penny-ofcompensation/

Being aware and keeping abreast of news for anything to do with the internet or the latest scam is vital if we are to be safe in our adventures on the web.

Which brings me to a current bug-bear of mine…..plastic. I’ve become very much aware of the devastating effect plastic is having on our lives. Having access to the internet is brilliant at being able to keep up to date with what is happening with raising awareness of this pernicious product. I joined the Plastic Pollution Coalition facebook page last year and have kept myself aware of the latest news; both good and bad. If you watched Blue Planet 2 a couple of nights ago you cannot fail to see how devastating an effect our lifestyle is having on the world’s oceans and our future.

We, as humans, are already eating plastic in our fish. Those microscopic bits of plastic are going to be our undoing.

Although programmes like Blue Planet 2 and organisations like the Plastic Pollution Coalition are doing a terrific job in raising awareness, it is not enough. We have to educate ourselves. We have to become more aware of why so much plastic is ending up in the oceans and what we can do about it.

Disposable plastics are made to last forever. A plastic water bottle takes 450 years to break down. Where does it break down to?Boomerange Alliance - Plastic Doesn't Go Away resizedScreen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1 It goes into the oceans. It’s killing the sea-life that the health of our oceans depend upon…..and finally it is going to kill us.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

Shared via @nomoresingleplastic #nomoreplastic #breakfreefromplastic #plasticpollutes #marinelitter It’s frightening the amount of single use plastic that we humans use that ends up in the ocean and rivers. What are your thoughts on single use plastic? And what do you do to avoid it? It’s incredibly difficult to find foodstuffs that don’t come in plastic.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

I’m grateful for these types of organisations and programmes that are bringing the plastic pollution battle to the forefront of our awareness and especially to those companies/organisations that are actually doing something about it.

plastic pollution. raising awareness, blue planet 2, plastic pollution, no straw november, raising awareness

Edible Six Pack Rings

If only our Governments weren’t so fixated on making money, then they would do something rather more drastic about firstly raising awareness of the huge problem we face and secondly, actually doing something about it.

The most important thing to do now, is to ban the use of disposable plastics unconditionally. By doing this, the huge disposable market will disappear. But Governments are slow to act…..this has been a problem for well over 2 decades now and still they are acting sluggishly about actually doing something drastic to curb the growing problem. Organisations are hugely responsible for the production of single-use plastic; bottled water, fizzy drinks (no huge brand names are mentioned here….think!!), plastic straws (Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States), plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plastic plates, plastic wrapping, plastic toothpicks, plastic ties, balloons, plastic toys (usually cheap rubbish from China that breaks within a day or so anyway), bubble wrap, plastic bags, plastic carrier bags, plastic milk bottles etc etc etc.

Once I became aware of the huge problem, I started looking at where I could cut plastic out of my ‘diet’. The first thing to go were bottles of water. Then I signed a pledge to never use straws again (last year), I joined the #nostrawNovember campaign,

I stopped buying take-away coffees, and take-away food that comes in polystyrene containers.  It is essential to me that I keep myself aware of these issues and hopefully share my findings with others in order to raise their awareness. The internet is brilliant for research and for raising awareness of the issues we face. Platforms like google, twitter, facebook, instagram and pinterest are excellent sources of information and for raising our awareness of the issues and some of the solutions.

Today I am grateful for awareness. I’m grateful for the technology that allows us to raise our own awareness of the issues that we face in the world today, and the awareness of others.

I’m also grateful to people like this wee lass who at the age of 9 is super aware of the problems that plastic products impose and is not only raising awareness of the issues but actually doing something about it http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/nine-year-old-wants-to-end-plastic-pollution/

Be aware http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/42309891/six-simple-ways-to-cut-back-on-plastic

#nomoresingleplastic #nomoreplastic #breakfreefromplastic #plasticpollutes #marinelitter

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 12

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31 Days of Gratitude and today I’m grateful for learning.

inspirational quotes

You are not too old and it is not too late

I was never a very bright scholar at school. I remember my sister usurping me when I was doing homework. When my Mother schooled me in arithmetic my sister would always pipe up with the answers before I had a chance to even think about them. She had a bent for math, I didn’t. I was 7, she was 4. I was pretty average at school, usually scraping through with 60% or so, my favourite subjects were English, Geography and History. They still are. But I can add numbers in my head…impresses my daughter no end. LOL

I left school very young at 16, and started work just before my 17th birthday. Even at work I wasn’t very bright, but I learned as I went and eventually over the years I progressed from being a very bad typist (using 2 fingers which gained me a lot of raps on the knuckles from my manager), to gaining a Distinction in Credit Management when I was 47…only took 30 years!! Nothing slow about me at all LOL

I stumbled into my career and the fact that I ended up in Credit Management had nothing to do with my math skills, but rather my ongoing learning….every new job I got, I took on more duties and learned more and more. My success in Credit Management came from my OCD when it comes to keeping things in order and being specific and having a winning way with people on the phone; persuading them to part with their money (I loved that aspect). I learned a lot over the years and went on to attain a position as a Credit Manager managing the Debtor books for a group of 5 companies and a staff of 10 ladies. I loved every minute of that job (except when my boss was being a shit).

And then just for fun I gave it all up (the company closed down), and travelled to Ireland which is where my real education began. I learned so much about history, lifestyle, and freedom. I loved living there so much I only returned to South Africa long enough to get my Ancestral Visa and head straight back to the UK never to return to SA on a permanent basis (I’m now a British citizen).

My mind has expanded beyond my comprehension and more recently I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of learning about Crypto Currency. Jeez. If ever you want a learning curve on a big scale, try getting involved with Crypto Currency. My brain!!!! I had such a headache last night when I went to bed.

My daughter recently bought into Bitcoin. Now I had and have been very sceptical about Bitcoin and although I had been invited to buy into it last year when it was still at $200 a coin, I refrained…mostly because I didn’t have a clue what it was and I was afraid of investing in something so new…my loss as it turns out.

However, as mentioned my daughter sprang a surprise on me last week by sending me a message to say she’d bought into Bitcoin. I was like wft?? Seriously!? Anyhow, long discussion/discourse short, after many messages and discussions back and forth and because I trust my daughter implicitly, I decided to take the plunge and buy into it. Especially now that it’s at $8,000 + HAHAHAHA The story of my life. I always end up watching the bandwagon heading off into the distance saying ‘I wish I had of….’ Like the time in the early 1990’s when I had the opportunity to buy shares in a newly fledged Mobile phone company (whose name shall remain unmentioned), and I said “No! They’ll (mobile phones) never last” or when Facebook launched their shares…I was like nahhh. Well the missed lessons of the past haunt me still and I still miss out on technological happenings.

So when Bitcoin first arrived on the scene…I was like “Nope, not for me thanks”. I remember one of my now ex Facebook friends said to me “I can make you rich”. Well alarm bells went off in my head (a carry over from the Tony Robbins era), and I just said sorry not now. He unfriended me. His loss.

But, since I trust my daughter explicitly, and since I know she is very careful with her money, after she invested I thought…okay how much can I comfortably invest without feeling too much angst. I settled on 3.5 days of work and that’s the amount I invested.

All fine and good….and with her help and guidance and downloading apps I’d never heard of, I bought a VERY tiny portion of 1 Bitcoin. And then the learning began. Now I recognise most of the words they use, I understand what they mean individually, but in the context they are used in relation to Crypto Currency, I’ve said ‘wtf’ a lot this last few days!!! LOL. I may as well be reading Russian for all that any of it means anything to me…..

But I’m learning. And it has been fascinating. I learned about how to buy a TINY portion of a Bitcoin, about opening a ‘wallet’, about ‘selling’ (and how they charge a commission that makes my heart skip a beat), about watching the graphs (if you want to have a nervous breakdown…..that’s a good place to start), about buying another up and coming Crypto Currency using a Bitcoin. Holy Moly. Talk about a curve…those graphs have nothing on this. It’s scary, and thrilling and invigorating and I have learned once again that I have seriously latent issues with and about money. Most specifically the loss of money. The ABBA song ‘Money, Money, Money’ springs to mind.

I’m quite happy to take on more difficult jobs, to work and save up £1000 over 18 months so that I can take a walk across Portugal and Spain, but as soon as I watch the graphs and see my investment going down….eish. Painful. Red is bad, Green is good!!

So I’ve now I’m ‘learning’ to not watch the graphs…they change by the second. I check at 8am and make a note of the value (I had a spreadsheet up within hours of buying my first coin), and then at 10pm I make a note of the values and that is it. I’ve learned how to set ‘alerts’ and what a good alert is. I’m now learning about the terminology and how it applies to this crazy world. (okay, so I lied…I check at 1pm too 😉 )

There are apps galore; crypto news, crypto trackers, coin market, binance, crypto signals, bitcoin news, ico market….and on and on. Who knew? It’s a whole new world. I’ve only just learned how to operate instagram for goodness sake!! Oh and if you look at the apps on google play…right next to the crypto currency apps you’ll find an app for ‘meditation & relaxation’ – someone knows their market LOL

Meanwhile I’ve been reading as much as possible on Crypto Currency. Did you know there are over 750 different Crypto Currencies?? With names like YOYO & EOS & QSP & ADA & QTUM and yeah TNT!!! There’s even a SALT!! LOL I mean seriously, it’s insane. But I’m ignoring the lot except for the 3 I’ve invested in.

At 62, there’s only so much excitement a brain and heart can take.

Ever feel like you’re living in a Matrix?

Today, even though it’s doing my head in, I’m grateful for learning…..who knows where it will take me this time!!learning about crypto currency

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 4

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Today I’m grateful for my laptop. It seems like a fairly trivial thing to be grateful for, and yes I realise it’s not only a non-essential for life, but it’s also a staple of a consumer society.

However, my laptop has been invaluable to me. I remember when I got my very first one…about 14 years ago. I was living in London, working as a Carer then as now, and between my sister and I we decided I needed a laptop rather than going into internet cafes all the time.

I’d started blogging by then and it was a pain having to download my blog to an external hard-drive, then walk to the internet cafe during my break, then login and download over an insecure connection and finalise the blog. Time consuming and not very secure.

So the decision was made to buy a laptop. My sister suggested a Dell and since I had nothing to compare it to, and had no knowledge of laptops and how they worked, I said go ahead. In due course they delivered the laptop, and boy was it heavy….it still is.

And then the fun began…..first I had to learn ‘how to do set up’ ergo charging the battery, setting up the account, and going through the set up process….this I had to be talked through by my brother-in-law from Ireland. That is how much of a novice I was. I used it for 3 years till it began to go so slowly it may as well have gone backwards. Since then I’ve come leaps and bounds.  Once I decided to get a new computer I took out a contract with my network provider and I’ve upgraded my computer contract twice in the intervening 10 years. I try to make them last till they collapse (which is what happened to the last one 3 years ago). My current model has lasted well over 3 years……touch wood.

The reason I’m grateful for my laptop is that it has allowed me to reach into the wonderful and sometimes scary world of the internet. I’ve since learned to build a website, download, edit and upload photos and videos, create videos from images and progress to the various photo-sharing apps. I’ve learned how to use Google to find out just about anything I set my mind to, even sometimes incredibly obscure questions…I use my laptop to plan my Caminos by using Google Maps and accessing relevant websites.

My laptop has allowed me to create a 2nd website (which is where you are reading this article) and yesterday I managed to ‘crack a code’. If you look at the top right hand side you’ll see a button for the SA Blog Awards…well, when I tried to paste their code into the wordpress ‘widget’ it kept telling me that there were 6 errors I had to fix first before it could save. I was like ‘wtf’ ..seriously!!!

Anyway after about 15 minutes of stress, I hopped onto google and within 30 minutes I had fixed the errors and voila the badge was up.  I was well pleased 🙂

I have learned so much since those early days when I lifted the lid on my Dell in 2003, I have travelled vicariously through reading other peoples blogs, created relationships on Facebook, Tweet for China, loaded images via instagram, flickr and pinterest and as a result of this one of my images was chosen to feature in a book about the Queens of England. 🙂

I’ve learned how to create spreadsheets (I’m the spreadsheet queen) LOL, how to edit images in powerpoint, how to create videos using movie maker, I’ve written and created 3 books on Bookwright and so much else it’s staggering.

Having my laptop has stopped me from going crazy when I’m in a stressful position at work by allowing me to be creative, to write and to communicate. I am able to keep up with world affairs, with latest trends in politics and travel and investments. It’s allowed me to share my stories and photos of far-flung places and taken me on the road to Project 101.

I am grateful for my laptop. It is my most ‘prized possession’

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 1

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 2

31 Days of Gratitude – Day 3

 

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London is truly my absolute favourite city in the world….I’ve had a love-affair with this city since the day back in March 2002 when I cautiously made my way from London Bridge station and stepped tentatively onto London Bridge looking downstream. Instant love!

hello london and magic lantern festival

View of the River Thames towards Tower Bridge from London Bridge

After a wonderful adventure on the Isle of Wight I was in transit on my way home in Kent. But first I had to stop over in London, there was much to see and do – 1. go see the fabulous Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House and 2. meet my best friend Valy at Guildhall Art Gallery where we were to see that extraordinary and totally amazing sliver of history: William the Conqueror’s London Charter dating from 1067!!! I mean seriously!!

The train hurtled up the line from Portsmouth to London Victoria; 148.6 km’s 🙂 I had mapmywalk on just for fun and it was weird watching myself walking 1 km in 1.20 seconds!! If I had actually walked the distance it would have been 108850 steps!!! Crikey.

Before too long we arrived at Victoria Station. I lugged my bag below ground and onto the Victoria line to Earls Court where I had planned to stay the night at the YHA…my favourite choice of accommodation. I checked in, located my bed (which had been ‘acquired’ by a young lady, whom I very kindly informed had to move to the top bunk.) We swapped bedding, I made sure to put my stuff all over the bed to indicate that it was in use and headed out into the cold and dark to Chiswick House for the Magic Lantern Festival.

Wow!!! What an extraordinary exhibition! when I told my daughter I was planning on going she was aghast….I loathe those lanterns that people tend to send off into the air for arbitrary reasons and various events, and she initially thought “what??? but you hate those things!!” I do and it wasn’t.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick House, London

This is the 2nd year that Chiswick House has hosted this amazing festival. The beautifully sculpted and decorated items shone out like a beacon and I’m sure could probably have been seen from space 😉 It was fantastic. My jaw literally dropped at the splendour as I gasped in wonder at each new exhibit. After passing through security the path wove and meandered around the grounds and gardens of the house, weaving between hedges, past the lake, over the bridge, past the house and lit up the night with wonder! I can’t even begin to describe how exquisite each piece was. Lifelike figures, delicate flowers, bold horsemen on charging mounts, magnificent palaces, temples and towering ships in full sail. Magnificent.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

lifelike figures – exquisite

Despite the ticket sell-out, the venue wasn’t over-crowded and people tended to thin out and then gather in a group at each new wonder. The path was muddy of course and in order to showcase the full splendour of the pieces, there were only intermittent low lights on the ground to guide the way. But seriously there was so much light from the exhibits you hardly needed anything else to guide the way.

Magic Lantern Festival - Chiswick House, London

Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick House, London

The only downside that I can think of were the food stall sort of half way round and the ‘fun-fair’ and tent and stalls at the end. But even though they were a distraction, they were necessary of course for the venue to generate income to offset the costs of hosting such an event. Well worth the ticket price…which may I add was exceptionally cheap considering the stunning stunning exhibition. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Sunday dawned more or less bright and of course, being the YHA…quite early. People have no idea how to keep quiet LOL.

I lugged my bag downstairs to the luggage room, prayed it would be okay and stepped out into the then sunshine. I had planned on going to Hampton Court Palace but frankly I was just wayyyy too tired so instead I meandered about the area, just exploring the streets enroute to City of London and Guildhall Art Gallery to view the charter given to the City of London by William the Conqueror soon after he was crowned at Westminster.

colourful houses in london

scenes of London

On the way I visited the V&A Museum…where I saw a fantastic exhibition featuring Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard Kipling’s father), and his time in India…which seemed rather congruent as how I had just the day before visited Osborne House where you can see the influence India had on ‘Empress’ Victoria.

a magnificent Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the V&A Museum foyer

a magnificent Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the V&A Museum foyer

Then I popped in at the Science Museum to see the capsule the Tim Peake travelled back to earth in after his stint on the ISS International Space Station last year. Wow!!! Amazing. The Science Museum is a particular favourite of mine and I love to see all the amazing exhibits they have there.

Tim Peake's Capsule at The Science Museum

Tim Peake’s Capsule at The Science Museum

You could spend days and not see everything…much like the V&A and the many other fantastic museums in London. From there I meandered through Kensington Gardens and popped into Kensington Palace. My Historic Royal Palaces membership was due to expire and I really wanted to make one more visit before that happened. It was perfect really as I had visited Osborne House on the Isle of Wight just the day before.

The young Queen Victoria at Kensington palace

The young Queen Victoria at Kensington palace

I met my lovely Belgian friend Valy there at 12noon and we immediately went to have a look. Extraordinary! It’s just mind-blowing to see these treasures. How these things survive is incredible. I often wonder that if people had had more ….I suppose respect for things in the past few centuries, we might have more such treasures. Nevertheless, those that we do have are a wonder to behold and I appreciate every one of them.

On till 27 April 2017: A celebration of the 950th anniversary of the 1067 charter, the oldest item from the City of London Corporation’s 100 km of archives.

The charter was given to the City by William the Conqueror soon after he was crowned at Westminster, but before he entered the City of London. It is key to how William won the support of London and how the City itself began to gain its special autonomy.  Written in Old English, the Charter is tiny, less than 16cm x 2cm in size with one of the earliest seal impressions of William I.

Enchanting!!! Extraordinary!! Amazing!! Incredible!! Ancient!!

We spent another 30 minutes or so in the art gallery…oh those paintings….just stunning. Sometimes I look at them and just wonder at the skill and patience and love the artists must have had…very often you can look at a paintings and it is so finely executed you thinks it’s a photograph.

Procession of Sir James Whitehead, Lord Mayor 1888-1889

“The Ninth of November, 1888”; shows the Procession of Sir James Whitehead, Lord Mayor 1888-1889, passing the Royal Exchange. – artist William Logsdail (1859-1944)

From there we set off across the City of London intending to walk all the way back to Westminster but unfortunately it started to rain so we jumped on a bus instead. On our way to Leicester Square we briefly  passed by the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square.

Chinese New Year 2017 - Trafalgar Square

Chinese New Year 2017 – Trafalgar Square

For the very first time in a very long while I lost my beatings and ended up taking the LONG way round to Leicester Square. Urgh. I can blame lack of sleep LOL.

new LEGO store at Leicester Square

The huge new LEGO store at Leicester Square

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and Valy headed over to St Pancras for the Eurostar back to Belgium and I onto the tube to Earls Court and then back to the mainline station for my train home.

What a fab end to a wonderful trip to the Isle of Wight. I’d SO love to go back there sometime, but the chances of that are pretty slender. I love to see new places and have so many travel goals to achieve on my wish list, that it’s improbable. Although The Needles are calling for a 2nd look 😉 so who knows…..

Next time I’ll be in Surrey working in what I was to discover was one of the Domesday Book towns and………blog coming soon….the place of the oaks.

 

 

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We had such a laugh today with my current client. We were reminiscing about washing machines (yeah, I know)… LOL She was relating something about her life and suddenly a memory popped into my head…..so I related something about mine….like how for a few years we didn’t have a washing machine. My Mother used to put the weeks’ washing into the bathtub on a Friday morning, fill it with soap-powder and hot water and leave it to soak.

When my sister and I got home in the afternoon after school, right after lunch the first thing we had to do was ‘stamp’the washing!! Shoes and socks off, into shorts and tops and into the bath! We would then, amidst gales of laughter and a good deal of splashing about, stamp the washing. That was my Mother’s answer to a washing machine. hahaha

We would move the washing about from one end to the other, stamp, stamp, stamp, up and down, trying our best to push the other over as we passed on our way from one end to the other….then rotate the loads over and over…and stamp, stamp, stamp.

Then the water would be drained and cold water run in, again and again as we went stamp, stamp, stamp until my Mother was satisfied all the soap power and dirt had been rinsed out.

Finally after about an hour or so we were able to climb out the bath dry our feet and then the worst part started….squeezing the water out the washing! OhMyGosh. If you have ever had to wring out a sheet, you’ll know how tedious a job this is. But we had great arm muscles.

We also had the cleanest feet in the neighbourhood.

science museum london

our first washing machine – we got one almost exactly the same as this…hooray for the rollers

Then it was out and onto the wash-line. I’ll always remember the sight of our sparkling white sheets, gleaming and whipping in the wind. Luckily for us, unlike here in the UK, we could depend on the weather…..summer was a breeze…no pun! The laundry dried in no time at all and then it was time to fold and pack it all away.

stash slash project

sheets blowing in the wind

One of the things I remember too is that my Mother didn’t believe in ironing sheets! Most sensible in my opinion…especially as I don’t iron ANYTHING if I can possibly avoid it. She always said that if we ironed the sheets, we would be ironing the sunshine out!!! Perfect!

My client feels we were hard done by!

I saw the washing machine in the above image at the Science Museum in London in their The Secret Life of the Home Exhibition. A must visit…they have some of the most astounding items! Visit The Secret Life of the Home to see how the design of household gadgets has changed over time.

 

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Just over a month ago to my absolute dismay I banged my hard-drive and damaged the reader. Essentially this meant that my computer couldn’t ‘see’ the information. I spoke to my computer person who after looking at the hard-drive said that the data was still there but that it needed an expert to recover it. He did some research and after I had followed up on some of the testimonials I decided to go with a company called R3 (or Tierra) of who do data recovery. They arranged with UPS to pick up the parcel (my hard-drive) and there endeth the tale….or not. UPS have in their own words ‘lost’ the package and after a number of requests to please continue looking for it, have pretty much said “sorry but….”

received-7

I’m sure that this is what UPS would like me to do…….

Now it may not be important to them, and as they say they handle thousands of parcels every day, but this little hard-drive is vitally important to me. It contains the photos of all my adventures, travels and events that I have attended for the last 10 years, as well as so many documents, spreadsheets and downloads and information that I can’t even begin to remember it all.  The hard-drive was my back up because I keep being told to not store everything on my computer and after the last computer crashed and I had to pay to have the data recovered from that, I bought the hard-drive.

However……

I have spent the morning trying to not lose my equilibrium about this, but frankly it is just devastating. The documentation I can live without, it sucks, but cést la vie, I’ll just have to start all over again (like I have decades in front me y’know LOL), But it’s my photos I am most distressed about. 10 years of places that I have been to, events I have attended, special celebrations and things I have done….in essence, all my memories are on that small piece of plastic (can’t rely on my brain anymore).

Fortunately I have downloaded many photos to facebook and have those albums which I am now going to download and I recently made this video, but oh my gosh….

So, here it is….a youtube video of places I have been

I guess I will just have to visit all those places again…… LOL

Meanwhile I am so totally unimpressed with UPS. They really just don’t care, much like most big corporations, they grow to a size where the customer no longer matters.

One of their replies which really is no reply at all:

“UPS has an automated sorting system, and packages are rarely handled by people in transit facilities. Our investigation team has already thoroughly worked on this and were not able to locate it. I apologise about this, but a claim has been issued for this already.” ….. Uhmmm, Okay, so who will benefit from this claim?

or

“Hello Cindy, I’m really sorry if there’s been trouble with your delivery. If the package is considered lost it just need a little attention from the shipper and our investigation team would start working on locating the goods and getting them to you. In some unfortunate situations when the goods cannot be found a claim is issued.” Again…would UPS please come to the party and tell me who is going to benefit from this claim?  I’m guessing it’s not going to be me.

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mmm, so here I am back online!  and what is so special about that? well I have been without a computer for the last 5 days. Nothing major, just upgrading from one package to another, sending one back and ordering another.

No big deal, except I had to live for a whole week without a computer!  After a day I was beginning to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and became real edgy with the frustration of being unable to communicate.   This gave me pause for thought and with time for reflection I had to ponder on the absurdity of life where in order to remain connected to the wider world we need (and I use the word ‘need’ quite seriously) a computer or some such similar device.

I had time to think about the fact that before I ever had a computer, I had a life.  I used to read books a lot, I used to play games with my daughter (ok well she’s married now and lives in another house, so that’s a moot point), I used to build jigsaw puzzles and knit a lot and go for long walks.  My life now consists of yahoo, twitter, facebook, youtube, google, hootsuite, and so on and so forth.  I never move more than 2 feet without my phone, which has twitter, facebook, skype and yahoo.  If at any time I am unable to connect I get stressed and annoyed.

Have I become a technology junkie?

Having said that, I love the internet, I love being able to connect with the wider world and I love that I am able to find out just about anything I want at virtually the stroke of the keys!  I enjoy blogging, posting photos to the internet, reading other people’s thoughts and posts on twitter, finding out what’s happening thousands of miles away, sometimes before it’s even on the news. I love that I am able to email folks back home and friends in countries far far away.  I love being able to chat to friends and family via skype, for as long as like and at no cost. I love reading other people’s blogs and have learnt so much more about the world than before.

I would not want to go back for anything. 🙂

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