Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We've got piles ...

… of soggy kitchen towel following tonight’s wine disaster. We took delivery of two cases of wine today (stocking up for Christmas and all that) and unknown to us both cases has suffered damage in transit.

As I carried one to the cellar or “cupboard under the stairs” as we call it, the bottom fell out and one bottle shattered. All over the new hall carpet. Thankfully it was a bottle of WHITE wine.

As you can see, Marie set to work with kitchen towel and two rolls later the stain has just about gone.

I called Laithwaites, the wine merchant and they were most apologetic. We got a credit for the broken bottle and they have offered to pay for any cleaning that may be necessary.

So much for a certain blogger who says nothing exciting ever happens in the North.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Having A Smurfing Time

We had some problems at work today with a file server product called Pathworks.

Anyone who knows VMS will tell you that when you get a problem with Pathworks it can be a swine to fix. But not of you know Father Abraham – he of The Smurfs fame.

HP (formally Compaq formally Digital) have their Pathworks support in Holland and my contact there, Hans Hosang sounds exactly like Father Abraham. He even has the speech mannerisms. Thankfully he didn’t sing any Smurf songs. He fixed my problem though.

On a slightly geeky note, here’s a little something for those of you who want to test their mechanical aptitude. I scored 86.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


When we arrived back from Newport conference I found an envelope waiting for me from the General Records Office. It was a copy of my Nana Dinah’s birth certificate.

She was born on 8th May 1899 and her mothers name was Elizabeth Thompson. Her fathers details were left blank. Which means she was probably illegitimate.

I tried tracing her on the 1901 census but couldn’t find her so did a trace on her mother. It turns out that who ever had transcribed the details of the census had made a typological error and had them both down as the surname of Robson. The Robson comes from a William Robson who was a border in the household.

So this now leads me down a different route, as I had originally thought that one of the two Dinah Thompson’s I found who were both born in 1899 and living in Northumberland or Yorkshire, was my grandmother.

I’ve traced the Thompson family back to the 1861 census but that’s as far I’ve got.

I don’t have a problem with Dinah being illegitimate but I am frustrated that I have now lost one branch of the family tree as I will never know who her father was.

What’s more, at aged 28, my great grandmother should have known better ! ! ! ! !


Monday, October 15, 2007

Alive and kicking

We’re both still here only we are, and have been, pretty busy what with one thing and another – manly to do with conference…

I’m pleased to report that John has managed to fix my computer so it’s even better than it was before.

Regarding the Thistle hotel booking business. One week on and no payment has come out of my account so fingers crossed everything is fine.

I’m pleased to report that there hasn’t been another time of the month hormone episode. The chocolate and wine must have done the trick.

I’m still on the ‘totm’ (mine of late have been lasting over two weeks. They are hopefully about to change thanks to a trip to the family planning last Tuesday – that in itself is a blog but I think that might be ‘too much information’…), so lets hope I don’t need lots of chocolate and wine this weekend at Newport ! ! !

Finally received my Nana Dinah’s death certificate. She died at home on 14th July 1941 from ‘auricular fibrillation’ (in other words a heart attack) brought on by ‘mitral stemosis’. I did a bit of research on the internet and it seems that it’s a heart disease and the primary cause of it is rheumatic fever in childhood.

Must dash as I’ve still got a bit of printing to do for the conference packs…


Monday, October 08, 2007

A s***ty day

Apologies for the lack of blogs over the past week or so. There hasn’t been much to tell really.

Still waiting on the death certificate for my Nana Dinah (sorry for being a bit morbid but I need it to confirm her date of birth. Once I have that I can then obtain her full birth certificate …). Also no word from Beamish about the Pit Cottages as the curator is currently on holiday.

Without any actuate information I’ve only been able to do a rough trace of my family tree. If everything is correct then my ancestors on the Thompson side originated from Northumberland and from Yorkshire on the Archer side. I’ve yet to tackle things on my mam’s side.

Anyway about my s***ty day. Newport conference is coming up shortly so things are getting a little busy in the BOGOF household. Last night while the printer was busy churning away, I decided to look on the internet for some hotels in Heathrow as we have to have an overnight halt there when we go on our cruise next year.

I found the hotel we used the last time ‘The Thistle’ but following reviews from previous guests they only gave it 6/10. I did searches on other hotels near the airport but the other hotels were either too far out of Heathrow or were ridiculously expensive.

This morning while I was doing more printing I decided to have another look at the reviews of the Thistle. It turned out that the guests either loved the hotel or really slated it for piffling little things – the hotel didn’t provide toothbrushes or the hospitality tray in the room didn’t have their favourite kind of coffee, etc. So I decided to book it via one of the discount hotel websites.

By then the printer decided it needed a new toner cartridge so I move it forward a couple of inches to open the front and take out the old one. For no apparent reason my computer shut down, then rebooted saying their was an error with the computer. I tried switching it off but nothing happened. I eventually pulled the plug out and restarted it again. Yep, the error message came on again.

Now bearing in mind Newport conference is less than 10 days away having a dead computer isn’t really something I wanted…. Thankfully we have more than one computer in the BOGOF household so I fired up John’s computer to send him a mail asking for help or suggestions on how to bring back to life my computer.

Only one problem, I didn’t know his work email address as he’s only down in my address book as ‘John (work). B**** ! ! !

I know. I’ll fire up my laptop, connect it to the network and send him a mail from that. The network wouldn’t connect….. Double B**** ! ! !

All wasn’t lost as I now had John’s work email address on my laptop so could sent him a mail via his computer using my Yahoo email address.

I finished my email and started typing in ‘John’ in the sender box when it asked me if I wanted to send it to John at work… Triple B**** ! ! !

John came back to say sorry but he couldn’t help at the moment but would have a look at it tonight.

Back to the Thistle booking and I realised that I hadn’t been given a reference number or received an email confirmation to my Yahoo email address. Still on John’s computer I found the website again and rang the number on their website. It was a different discount hotel company…. Quadruple B**** ! ! !

I rechecked the website again and it still only had one number so I rang it again. They still had not record of my booking and suggested I contacted my bank to see if payment had been taken out of my account – I used my switch card as I refused to pay the 2.5% surcharge for using credit cards.

I rang the bank but they said it could take a couple of days for any payment to go through and there was no way it could be stopped. Quintuple B**** ! ! !

The website did have an email address so I sent them a mail asking if they would ring me. As yet no reply or phone call. Sextuple B**** ! ! !

As far as I know the booking could have been made and everything is hunky dory, however I simply don’t know. I’ll wait and see if payment has been taken then ring the hotel to see if we appear on their system. If it was a fraudulent company at least we haven’t lost that much money. Septuple B**** ! ! !

When John arrived home he was greeted with a hormonal woman (time of the month imminent) so ended up with a rather damp shoulder.

So what of my computer. John’s managed to get it up and running in safe mode to enable him to back up all my documents. He’ll then start rebuilding my machine.

After the day I’ve had alcohol and chocolate is a big must ! ! ! ! ! !


ps As I tried to log in to blogger, the laptop crashed ... Arrrgh