TTOT – Cars, cooking and the mysterious other!

Right now, this second, I’m in the passenger seat while Mr G drives us on a 200 mile round trip to look at a car he wants to buy.
200 miles!

For a car!

Seriously, it must be a man thing.

What’s more annoying is  that none of the 4 numbers I found for the dealer are being answered, so we aren’t even sure they still have the car, or are in. Knowing our luck they’ll have gone bust just this week, we’ll lose the £250 holding deposit we put on the car and I’ll have a right grouchy husband for the rest of the weekend.

Right now I’m thankful for 2 things.

1. Family, that can have the kids for the day so that we don’t have the added irritant of two grumpy, bored kids moaning about being dragged all this way just to sit in another car!

2. Ipads and bluetooth keyboards, so at least I can use this time I suddenly have to catch up on some blogging! Thank you Apple – I love you!

Well – sometimes I do. I have a macbook. It’s a white, plastic, 2007 model. The hard drive was 80 GB and it was rammed full of ‘other’. Anyone with an Apple device of any type will know how frigging irritating that mysterious ‘other’ is. The memory display shows that you have 8GB of music, 3 GB of videos, 4 GB of photos, 7GB of books and 50 GB of OTHER. What is this bloody ‘other’ and how do I know whether I can delete some of it to make space?

After a good year of moaning about it, moving thousands of photos onto separate hard drives and basically working from GB to GB, I finally took my old, banged up, filthy macbook into the bright shiny Apple store where some nice man on the Genius Bar informed me that it was so old it was considered ‘vintage’. Cool – the first antique I’ve ever owned!

Still, he removed 20GB of ‘other’ for me in about 5 minutes, explained what it was and all about how to install a new, bigger hard drive so I could continue building up my virtual hoard of junk.

3. Apple service – pretty darn good. Even after 7 years they still help you with products you buy from them and with no charge. I really do appreciate good customer service!

There follows a week of total frustration, complete with epithets and what we call in this house ‘grown up’ language, for which you must be over 18 and hold a driving license to be allowed to use. Installing a new hard drive – easy. Reinstalling an operating system, when your laptop is so ancient you actually need to go through 3 upgrades – not so easy. It involved ordering a new disk from Apple, downloading more upgrades from Apple online and a lot of emails with their customer service team (who were not quite so good as the lovely man in the store). But I got there. My system is up to date, my laptop is full of space and my fan no longer hums at along like a spitfire propeller!

Except I’ve lost my Office for Mac – which I kinda need for work. And because I can’t remember how I bought it (disk or download) and don’t have a product key, Windows want me to pay for it all over again.

Apple good – Windows fail!

Unless I can work it out, it looks like this little ‘upgrade’ is going to cost me around £200! Ouch.

4. I am thankful that my problems this month have centered around a vintage laptop and nothing more serious! Life is good, when we look at the bigger picture.

In other news, my beautiful new bookcases have arrived and been installed. It’s my personal extravagance – and something that I’ll be paying for over the next year. But hey – look at them!


This is as close to a room lined with books as I’m going to get – and I’m happy.

(I also have 2 bookcases on the opposite side of the room, you can’t see in the picture – and another 2 boxes of books upstairs that are yet to be sorted . . .  may yet need more room.)

5. Books – and the space to keep them.

In other news, it’s almost the end of January – a twelfth of the new year is gone already.


Just gone.

I meant to get a load of things done – I had a GOYBADS list all prepared.

It’s gone a bit out of the window. But then, that’s why I have GOYBADS and not resolutions – because I’m all about flexibility.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my new client.

“Can you pop in now?” she says.
“Yep, I’m on my way.” I say

“Can you write this now?” she says.

“Yep, I’m on it. I am nothing if not flexible.” I say.

“Can you put this first, then do this asap?” she says.

“Yep – I am totally flexible. I can re-prioritise, I can do your jobs. Call me last minute, I can fit it in. I am totally flexible, I am always ready to help.” I say.

“Can you do this every day at 9.30am?” she says.

“Nope” I say. “I cannot do anything between 9 and 10 am, that’s when I walk my dog!”

6. Flexibility – and being self-employed. How fab is it to be able to work hours I want – day and night – to offer flexibility to clients. And how even more fab is it to be able to say no, because I am self-employed and I can choose my own hours.

I am thankful for being self-employed and . . .

7. I am thankful I have this fab new client and I’m off on my journey of being a fully paid up copywriter.

Last night we went to a friend’s for dinner. My pal is, much like me, fully capable of following a recipe in a cookbook however totally unable to ever think of what to cook and when to make it. So we came up with a kind of plan that we would take it in turns to cook a meal and try out new recipes.

Last night my pal came up with a delicious chicken curry from the Hairy Bakers cookbook – I don’t know which one, but it was delectable.

8. Being able to cook and try out new meals – it’s a skill some people just cannot do, you know. Cooking is a mystery. I’m glad my mum made me cook dinner for the family every so often as a kid – even though I didn’t like it at the time – because I do at least know how to chuck stuff in a pan and hope it’s edible.

9. And having friends who have kids the same age as mine – so they all play together real well and we can have a relaxing evening together without worrying about babysitters, or what they are doing to someone else’s nice clean house.

10. The car seller called – the car is still waiting for us, they just had problems with their phone lines. Phew – one happy husband for the weekend!

Connect with me!


TTOT – Cars, cooking and the mysterious other! — 20 Comments

  1. Love your flexibility. You are a willow….

    The bookcases are beautiful! I love bookcases in a room. They make everything seem so cozy. One wall of my family room has built-in bookcases and they are filled to the brim.

    I have zero tech skills when it comes to my laptop (which is not an Apple) or my phone (which is). I just want to turn it on and have it work. So far, so good with the phone (it’s 9 months old). And fortunately, my husband’s cousin has his own IT business, and he will fix our stuff for free if we need him.

    So… did your husband buy the car?

      • Hah – yes, we got the car!

        Now we can continue the hunt for one for me – except there is nothing I like as much as my Mini, which is too small. 🙁

    • Flexible as a willow – apart from when the dog is about. 😉

      After all that . . . he was going to argue and quibble over a small discount, but after all that driving I told him I had spent that much on fuel already! Imagine 3 hours of driving followed by low blood sugar – makes me a tad grouchy!

      Upshot of it all is – he bought the car!

  2. By your Apple dealer’s definition we have probably around 5
    or 6 antiques in our house! Most of them no longer work. My husband
    even bought a second hand Classic in case it ever becomes a real
    antique. With a floppy disc slot it’s that old. Sounds like you had
    a good week and I am very impressed that you could do this post
    while in a car. (I’d probably be sick if I tried to do it so I

    • We have an old BBC somewhere – that must be one of the first every home computers – god knows if it would even start now.
      That’s what I would call an antique! Vintage after 7 years – blimey, I am positively archaic.

  3. I LOVE YOUR BOOKSHELVES! Wow! Beautiful colour of wood, there, too.

    Congrats on the new car and new memory in your laptop.

    I don’t get on well with Apple – I find their systems frustrating in the extreme, and nothing makes me more frustrated than trying to operate Husby’s MacBook (also an antique) because the system *tries* to be intuitive and it just ISN’T! Not to me. It confuses me and then gives me that spinning beach-ball of doom.

    I’d love to know what was in the ‘other’ though! Did the Genius ever say?

    • Oh I love apple – they are so much smoother than Windows, except windows 7 is quite good (probably because it appears to be an Apple in disguise!)

      They did – Other is everything in a format the apple doesn’t recognise – so if it recognises a .jpg as a picture and you have a .png, it classes .png as other – that’s an example, I don’t know what the settings are, but basically anything it can’t immediately label. Kinda like feminism I suppose! 😉

  4. Love the bookshelves. I have a wall of books around our fireplace.

    It is my favorite room to nestle into. Sorry about the tech problems, but in the end it is good to have problems like that. Hoping they all work out.

    Glad to hear about the car! Cranky husbands are not fun.

    Friends, kids and family…. so many good things.

    • Yep – can’t really complain about the little issues when there’s so much more going on in the world. I love my new ‘library office’, although the hubby keeps trying to call it the dining room.

  5. Love the bookshelves. I think we have more bookshelves in our house than any other furniture. They look awesome!

    #4 is good, right? If those are the worst things in life, it’s not a bad deal.

    I am completely envious of your freelance scenario. That is precisely what I would prefer to be doing with my days. Reached a point where I realize it’s the right answer for our family…now how to make it happen.

    January did whizz right by, didn’t it? I guess that’s something to be thankful for if it’s super cold where you are!

    Have a wonderful week!

    • Definitely a good thing – so long as we concentrate on the great thins we have, the rest becomes less of a headache.

      Taking the leap to freelance was scary, but as it was kinda pushed on me by redundancy I found I could take the step without panic and it was easier than I expected.

  6. I recently rearranged our great room such that I could add a bookshelf from another part of the house. I, too, have a wall of books 🙂 What are you reading now? I just started a YA book called, Wonder. It’s my book club selection this month.

    I am finding it much easier to try new recipes now that it’s just my husband and I at home. I recently made a Black Bean Enchilada Casserole that we really liked. I love curry, but I haven’t stray far from a tried-and-true recipe I’ve used for years.

  7. Your new book cases are gorgeous and YAY for Apple. I’ll never buy a computer that is not made by Apple. Well not now anyway – I hate Windows. You’re right too – Apple service is incredible. Glad they got you fixed up. And 200 miles for a car? Men are weird. Wha-hoo to being a flexible (except when you walk your dog hahaa) PAID copywriter! That’s awesome.

    • I hate windows but I have to have one for my ‘other’ job as the program only runs on there. Still – I keep a cheap windows laptop for pounding on and use my ‘vintage’ apple for playing.

  8. Beautiful bookcases! I love having my books on shelves. I would have a library in the house if I could afford to. So glad the car was still available. I asked about it in your most recent post, but I know you’ll share all that later.

    Good for Apple making things so much nicer for you. My husband sent an email to me just a few minutes ago and told me we needed to buy a new computer for me. Mine is an antique and could die a terrible death any day now. I have thumb drives full of writing in progress.

    I’m so glad you are happy with your copywriter work. 🙂

    • I have a desk top hard drive rammed with photos, a wireless hard drive personal cloud dooberry full of work and writing and still it’s never enough – lol. When did we all become so technology reliant? When I started work no one could turn a computer on.
      Well – I recommend an Apple for being an all round use friendly intuitive piece of kit, but on the money scale, you can get a perfectly good Windows based computer for at least 1/5 of the price. Ridiculous really.
      Copywriting – love it but it makes me nervous. I feel I am rushing too far ahead, but also that I need to push or I will settle and not get better.

Speak up and tell me what you think!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge