You have to laugh

So Ross Brawn’s FI car is given the green light. Thank heavens for that; it’s brilliant and is giving Jenson Button the opportunity he needed to show what he can do with the right set of wheels.

And the arch-complainers, the Ferramoanies, call Ross Brawn “supremely arrogant”. Well, they may be right; maybe he is. Certainly he doesn’t come across as being a very likeable person. But after all, he did engineer victory for the Ferramonies for almost ten years; they didn’t seem to mind his arrogance then. 🙂

Last night, I had ants in my ….

…. computer. Not falling-to-bits Old Faithful, but sturdy-and-slow Understudy.

While he waits for Old Faithful to finally give up the ghost, Understudy lives in the living room, only coming out at night to check emails or look up something on the Internet. Last night, as I booted him up, I noticed an ant on the screen. Then another one.  And another. Then dozens. They were swarming all over the machine, running in and out of every crack, crevice, port and socket.

Now what on earth would attract an army of ants into a computer?

Leave no stone unturned …

… but be very gentle. While relocating a paving slab this afternoon, this is what we found beneath it, all within an area of about 10 sq. in.


And don’t worry! After photographing them they were put back where they came from, with a curved tile over them for protection while they re-established themselves.

It’s a safe bet that if we lift any flagstone, we’ll find colonies of newts and/or salamanders living beneath them.  Once we found 42 under one flag.

Every year literally dozens of these tiny creatures make their way into our house in the evenings, and each night before going to bed we tread warily over the whole ground floor of the house, hunting them down and removing them to somewhere safe, away from clumsy feet and paws. Occasionally we do find a sad little dessicated body, covered with fluff, but we manage to rescue most of them. I don’t know what brings them in, unless it is historically where their ancestors lived, before we bought the house and converted the barn and manger from dirt to tiled floors.  These creatures are so tiny and delicate – the fire salamander above is perhaps 2.5″ in length at most.

If you’re squeamish, don’t look


Cracked hinge

A few days ago, Karen Harrington at Scobberlotch posted about her angst at saying farewell to her faithful old laptop, whose place had been taken on her desk, if not in her heart, by a new model. She asked if there were others who felt that way about machines.

Well, yes. There’s me for one. Despite having a netbook, PC and second laptop, I still cling to the sad specimen in these photos. The keyboard did not survive the cat honking all over it, followed by the attention of the infra-red lamp that melted a whole clutch of keys. As you can see from the photo, some of them fell off completely, and most of the adjacent keys are curled up or buckled. The screen became unusable nearly two years ago when huge cracks developed in the lid because the hinges were too tight, so that if I raise the lid to the vertical the crack opens to almost half an inch. Obviously the machine is no longer portable as it cannot be closed. Oh, did I mention that the battery died after a paltry year? So, no keyboard, no monitor, no portability, but somehow I still love it. We’ve travelled a long way together. With an external monitor and keyboard, it still serves its purpose, and as long as it continues to do so, it will stay with me.


Useless keyboard

The poor quality of these photos is due to the fact that the laptop lives like a leper, hidden from the outside world on a shelf beneath my desk, making it difficult to access with a camera.

Style, SA, Honesty