I hate wallpaper designers, but LOVE wallpapering


Someone who was reading my last post (over my shoulder whilst editing) said when they had finished reading “Anyone would think you hated wallpapering!” Well it did not come across like that to me, but then I’m reading it from my perspective not a readers. So to clear up any confusion, especially for those ‘over the shoulder’ readers, I admit that I do rather enjoy wallpapering.

Love is probably too strong a word, but it comes close pretty close. It’s the intricacies I enjoy. The fine detail. Ensuring that the pattern matches exactly down the seams between lengths. The difficulty of fitting the paper around light switches and plug sockets so it does not show is one of the challenges I like. I don’t always get it perfect, but it is what I aim for.

I suppose I’m like that in other jobs too. I hate the phrase ‘it will do’ when I know that it could be improved. Jobs like designing a new form document at work. It has to be exactly right. Margins an appropriate size, best font type, that kind of thing. Which is often the reason it will take me longer to produce this stuff than others. I won’t accept second best. There is probably pyscho/medical condition that covers this. Maybe a mild form of OCD, but I’m not looking for a diagnosis (how did this post get this far?) I just enjoy it.

I hate wallpaper designers


I am going to have a bit of a rant, so you are forewarned. I shall endeavour to explain the reason for my rant.

For the past two days, I have been decorating my youngest sons’ bedroom. Now it’s not a large room by any standard, but he seems to like it. R*** is Autistic and with that in mind we had decided to redecorate the room using the same wallpaper as before. We just wanted to refresh the décor, but not to change it as change can upset him. I had measured up and estimated (and this is where the title of my post begins to show its face) that “depending on the pattern” I would need three rolls of wallpaper. As is usual, we bought four rolls with the intention of returning one roll un-used.

Our house is fairly modern. It’s around twenty years old and one of ten built by the same builder. You would expect that the height of the rooms would be of some form of national standard and I understand from the brochure, that we received with the house that this is the case. So to my simple mind, it should be blatantly obvious to wallpaper manufacturers that this ‘standard height’ exists. However it would seem that this is not the way wallpaper designers/manufacturers think, as my rant below will show.

To the job in hand. I measured and cut the first length of wallpaper, leaving a two centimetre trim at both ends. The said length was pasted and hung to the wall without any issues. This is where the problem began. I again measured and prepared to cut the second length only to discover, that because of pattern repeat I would lose over 1 .2 metre of paper before the pattern matched. A quick calculation on the smartphone app, showed that I could only get three full lengths of paper, with a length that was twenty centimetres short. More smartphone calculations showed that I was not going to get away with only three rolls. At £12.00 per roll, it is not a cheap option to use four rolls. I guessed that had the pattern been, say ten centimetre shorter, three rolls would have been enough. Or if the roll had been another thirty centimetres longer, three rolls would have been enough.

I am now angry about this! Surely I shouted, to nobody in particular, it would be a simple enough task to ensure that wallpaper sizes complement standard wall sizes. But of course, if that were to happen, then I would have only spent £36.00 rather than the £48.00 that the wallpaper designer/manufacturer wanted me to spend. So it is my belief, that these people design wallpaper, so that we mere mortals have to purchase more than we really need. Thus increasing their profit and thereby causing me grief!

Rant over!

(I suppose I could always use plain wallpaper and add my own designs……hmmm food for thought there!)

Is there a ghost?


Firstly, at the risk of advertising my age, I am no David Bailey when it comes to photograpy.

Now that’s out of the way, I took this picture some time ago. It was captured in the churchyard of All Saints Church in Bramham. It was quite a bright sunny day, so the original looked quite bland and boring, even in monochrome. Before anyone says ‘Photoshop’ it was edited in Google Picasa. It was taken with a Panasonic Lumix camera, but I won’t bore anyone with any more camera specifics. As I say, it started life as a black and white, or monochrome image. It was then edited to make it sepia and look aged. Still not looking great I applied a few special effects. First one was to enhance the highlights of the image, which made the central headstone a lot brighter. I then used a soft focus filter to soften the edges added a bit of film grain effect and there we have it. Spooky!

This my first real attempt at using a photograph to stimulate or inspire me to write a post and I think, at this early stage that it works up to a point. It’s a photo and I’ve written something, so job done. Now I need to decide whether I write about the image/photo or just use it as a reference for the rest of the words I write. I’m still not sure which would be the best way to go, if in fact I carry one with this. I’ll stop now, as I may be on the point of rambling.

Great support


For some time now I’ve had an issue with accessing WordPress. It was not a big issue, it was more annoying than anything else. What was happening was, whenever I shut my browser down, I seemed to get logged out of WordPress. It did not matter if I checked the ‘”Stay signed in” box, when I clicked on my toolbar icon to open WP, I had to log in. As I say, an annoyance rather than an issue.

I was starting to get used to it when I read that someone else was experiencing the same problem and that WP support had sorted it out for them. However, there did not seem to be any details that I could see, so I decided to email WP support with my ‘problem’. Then I waited.

Well, the next day, I got an email from a guy from the help-desk. He went through a few options for me to try. None of them worked, as I had tried them all before, but this person was not going to give up. Three or four more emails ensued, with different things to try, all of which failed. I was beginning to think that it was a problem with my computer. It wasn’t going to get fixed and that I was wasting this helpful person’s time. So after his last message (which also failed) I emailed him back saying that the fix had worked, and that I was most grateful. Resigned to living with this pesky annoyance, I closed the support call. About an hour or so later, I was checking my emails and there was message from a colleague. He had seen my support call (they get uploaded to Google unless you object) and offered some advice as he had “suffered” (his word) the same problem. His answer was to check the shortcut icon for WP and see where it was pointing. When I did that, I suddenly realised what the problem was. The shortcut was pointing to the login screen for WP. This meant that it was always going to open that screen and not log me in. Once I changed that shortcut path, almost all my problems were over.

I say almost. I was now in a quandary as to whether I should re-open the support call and explain what the problem had been and apologise for “wasting their time” or just keep quiet.

So, I have chosen not to re-open the call and hope that they would understand my embarrassment if they read this post.

As near as vegetarian as I get …..


I am a carnivore! I enjoy eating meat! And fish! I have no conscience with regard to meat or fish, so I’ll get that out of the way first. Also to put to bed is that I have no issue with anyone who doesn’t eat meat. For whatever reason. I’m not a particular fan of vegetables as a food choice. Saying that, there are some vegetables that I   really do enjoy. I like broccoli. I don’t mean that tasteless woody Calabrese that is seen by the basket load in supermarkets all over Britain. No I’m talking about real broccoli. The purple sprouting type that actually has some real flavour. I’m also a fan of Swede, but not Turnip and there are many people that do not know the difference.

My original idea for this post (before I got into the broccoli v calabrese thing) was to explain that I can have food that does not have meat in any form. This delightful looking dish was a Leek & Mushroom risotto. We had some chestnut mushrooms and a stick of leak left over from last week that needed using up. Actually, if the truth were known, they should have been used up before the weekend. Mrs H had spotted them on Thursday, with the ubiquitous ‘best before’ date of Saturday 14th. Too good to miss and too good to let go to waste. We all know what happens to food that exceeds at least one of its dates and if any of our food is going to go to waste, then it will go to waste in our hot composter. I did not have a recipe for the risotto, so it was an amalgamation of three or four different dishes. Unfortunately, I forgot (sieve-head that I am) to make a note of what I used and how I did it. But never mind, it was really enjoyable.

 

Theme Change Alert


Nothing of real interest here. I have finally taken the plunge and changed my theme. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and it came to a head this morning, when I tried to add an image to a post. Everything I tried seemed to show the image with a solid grey border around the edge. It was not a good look, but I could not find anyway of stopping it from happening without editing the text and changing some the coding that was in the background.

Now, I was intending to have an image in each new post as a motivational prompt for writing. Having to mess around with coding, was not going to make life easy, and I was resigned to having to make do with what was on offer in the theme. It was only later this evening, whilst reading another blog, that I noticed the images in their blog looked exactly like the images should look. A bit of detective work and lo and behold, I’m now using the Penscratch theme as opposed to Twenty Ten. I suppose I really should have done some research and found a theme that showed images properly, but I felt sure that there was something I needed do to the image is the setting to make it look right. Unfortunately in twenty Ten, there was nothing I could do, it was either ‘like it or lump it’ as the saying goes. The only downside that I can see with this new theme, is that I cannot add an image to the title bar. However, a small price to pay, to get the right effect. I have to say though, it’s been good fun trying to get this new one looking the way I want it, so keep watching this space ….. it may change again.

 

Motivational photo ….. 1st go


Well it was my intention to start this thing on Monday 16th, but I have a photo and it’s given me something to say, so why wait?021515_1605_Motivationa1.jpg

The photo is the beginnings of my lunch for Monday. Basically it’s pasta with some bits of beef, mushroom, onion, carrot and mixed salad leaves. There is a boiled egg to add later, with some kind of dressing, mayonnaise or maybe even oil and balsamic.

There is a point to this. Mrs H and I tend to watch these cooking programs that seem to be on every channel at the moment. It kind of annoys me a little when the presenter (quite often not a chef/cook) tells the viewer that they ‘should not buy’ the pre-packed food from the supermarket. Then they go on to explain how much cheaper and more beneficial it is to ‘make it yourself!’

Here is the reality! From start to finish, the whole dish took just over 30 minutes to cook and assemble. It would take me just over 10 minutes to call in at the supermarket (at the top of the street where I work) buy the dish and get back to the office to eat it. As for the cost, in the supermarket, it would be around £2.00 – £2.50 for something like this. Of course it is a great deal cheaper to make it myself! Of course it is, but only if the ingredients I used are to hand. To purchase the ingredients separately would amount to a lot more than the £2.50 it would cost ready made. Aha, you exclaim ….. you have all the ingredients now to make another salad for the next day and the next day and the next day ……. and then what’s left goes in the ‘hot composter’ because it has gone out of date. See my point?