........................is out of action so I'm having to use DH's laptop. I've been without my computer now for about a week, perhaps a bit less. The first thing I noticed was that my Outlook Express had stopped working. After a lot of messing about I realised that Internet Explorer was out of action too, apprently this was what was causing Outlook Express to stop working. Usually I use Google Chrome so I hadn't noticed this problem with Internet Explorer. After a lot of messing about trying to find out what the problem was I decided to do a repair in safe mode but the problem was beyond my capabilities. I got in touch with a computer engineer and he came and collected the tower and my disks. It could be after Christmas before I get it back. I'm lucky to be able to use this laptop but none of my software is on it, that means no pictures for my blog! I have my computer in my craft room and it is my constant companion - I miss it very much. While I'm doing my crafting it is there humming away and telling me when an email arrives. During my frequent breaks I sit at it and visit blogs or read the online newspapers. I get a lot of inspiration and motivation from the sites I visit and I've 'met' a lot of really lovely people. Having pen-friends was never something I could get into but having email-friends is a different matter. I've sent gifts and swaps to at least eight different countries and have received many lovely swaps in return. I want to do more of this next year and have already 'spoken' to Marion about a New Year swap. I'm also on a PIF list of Karina's. I've never participated in a PIF (Pay It Forward) so I'm looking forward to that, not exactly sure of the rules yet but will find out from Karina exactly what to do. Really I prefer RAKs (Random Act of Kindness), I get stressed easily and deadlines make me panic a bit but with RAKs I can just make and send when it suits me.
I'm almost ready for Christmas, just a bit of tidying up to do and a few gifts to wrap. This evening we have friends coming round, I'm taking the easy option with food this year and have bought in lots of finger food, I don't have the energy anymore to do all the work a buffet entails. All I've made is mince pies. Then on Tuesday we have another set of friends coming and I will do the same then too. Life if much easier these days now that you can buy in all these lovely, fancy foods, it would have taken days to prepare all the different savouries and sweets I've stocked up with - that is if I could have got all the ingredients! I still find it amazing the variety of foods you can buy these days, when I look back to when we were first married in the 1960s I'd never heard or seen a lot of what is in the supermarkets today. I love it!