P is my hero, he has spent three or four hours tinkering with my computer over the last couple of evenings and - voila! - it's up and running again.
Not only is it up and running but he also managed to install Windows XP on it which is a huge improvement on the Windows 98 which was on there before. P is mighty pleased with himself (and so he should be) and I'm mighty impressed by P's computer skills. By 'trade' P is a solicitor and has had no training at all in fixing computers, yet this is the second time he's managed to coax the old girl back from the brink. Certainly this time the computer was completely 'dead' and I think we both thought that there would be no harm in P having a go at fixing it, if he had failed we'd have lost nothing. As it is it only cost about 12 quid and approx. 6 hours of work over a few evenings and it is even better than it was before. We both of us hate the idea of having to chuck something away if it can be at all helped so we are both really pleased with the result. If the computer only struggles on for another six months or so it will have been worth it.
Yesterday evening P and I were talking about some of the 'big ticket' items we have in the house and how it has paid dividends to have bought really good 'makes' as they do seem to last longer and work better than their cheaper counterparts. We decided this was particularly true of things like vacuum cleaners or lawn mowers where physical effort is involved.
For years I got by on second-hand vacuum cleaners and vacuuming was always a huge chore, about 10 years ago P and I invested in a fairly expensive Miele vacuum and I haven't looked back since. It is still really powerful and easy to use, especially if you fit the correct Miele dirt bags. On one of my 'cost-cutting' exercises I had decided that the cost of the Miele bags were just prohibitive and that I was going to use a cheaper alternative. I did this for a few years until one day I was forced to buy the Miele bags as none of the cheaper ones were available. What a revelation - there is a huge difference in the performance of the vacuum compared to using the el cheapo versions. And the difference in price was not that big anyway. Sometimes the old adage 'penny wise and pound foolish' really is true.
Completely changing topic - have a look at this lovely fabric I picked up in a charity shop yesterday.
Its wonderfully bright and psychedelic. There are two unused pieces which I think were intended as tea towels. I'm not sure what to do with it, but I did have a thought about trying to make some really funky baby bibs. It'd certainly be a change from the usual boring white bibs with teddy bears on!!