Thursday 30 December 2010

Congratulations to........

Amanda!!! Her suggestion for a basketmaking kit was:

"How about a letter/post basket? We usually end up leaving our post in a pile by the door for people to sort through to find their own. It looks untidy and often gets knocked onto the floor."

Yes, we have the same problem in our house, so I'm going to play around with a few ideas and hopefully design a kit to make a useful and attractive post holding receptacle!!

Many thanks to Amanda and everyone who took the time to enter our competition. A little berry basket full of goodies will be winging it's way to Amanda next week.

Meanwhile, we wish everyone a peaceful, happy and prosperous New Year. Noses back to the grindstone on Tuesday!

Thursday 23 December 2010

Happy holidays everyone!

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas break and a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

It looks like most of us in the UK will have at least a bit of a picture postcard white Christmas, even us here in deepest, darkest Dorset! So I for one am going to make the most of it and I hope you all will too! I wonder if snow sticks to the beaches..... perhaps a trip to the coast with the camera beckons.....?

We will be in the office until tomorrow lunchtime and then we will re-open on the 4th January 2011, but if you need to leave us a message urgently, our answerphone will be on and we will be checking it from time to time.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Word of the week:


Subject to, led by, or indicative of caprice or whim; erratic:

Wisdom of the week:

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. -Terri Guillemets

Sums the week up really!

Sunday 19 December 2010

A Winter Solstice story of snow and woodland

Some more photos taken in the local woods yesterday. For the Winter Solstice, with it's promise of longer days to come and an eclipse of the moon due on Tuesday, I thought this would be the perfect poem

 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Saturday 18 December 2010

A snowy surprise

In thirty years of living in this village, I think we have only seen about thirty days of snow and incredibly four of those have been this year! We were supposed to be visiting members of our family 150 miles away this weekend so awoke at 6.30am all set for the journey only to find that about two inches of snow had fallen during the night. After quick phone calls we all decided that it would be daft to try driving so far in snow and abandoned the idea, which was just as well because two hours later, four inches of fresh snow had fallen along our route and locally several trucks had blocked the main road on a hill, it was too slippery for them.

So we went shopping locally instead, (just in case we get REALLY snowed in) and I went for a lovely walk around the edge of the village with a camera. Here's a view of the old railway track that is now a public footpath.

this is a copse just a little walk from the path

And my favourite, the field where our old dog used to have a good gallop every day.

It's cold, but we really are lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Word of the week:


Very careful, meticulous.

Wisdom of the week:

"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude" - Zig Ziglar

Thursday 9 December 2010

Hackers - a cautionary tale.

So you do everything that you're told. You've known the internet since 1997, kind of grown up with it, you were lucky enough to learn about computer programming on a binary system at school in the seventies. As a result, you never open any spurious e-mails and you certainly don't click on any links in mail, even when you know for sure where it came from. No, you open a new tab and type in the full address of the website you want and log in there - like any good sensible person would. You never give out your passwords, you change them regularly and you always make sure that they can't be easily guessed, they contain a good mix of upper and lower case letters with a sprinkling of numbers. You don't "do" free wi-fi and you always have up to date virus checkers, spam detectors, anti phishing software, malware scanners and every other device available to mankind to take away the fear of theft via the internet through your computer. And day you get genuine e-mails fom your very own Paypal account, one congratulating you on opening an international account and a second confirming your transfer of all of your funds to this account. But you know that you haven't logged into your account for three weeks or more and this has all happened when you were asleep at 2am this morning.

Once your heart has settled back comfortably into the left hand portion of your upper chest and you can breathe freely again, you analyse what has happened. You log in through a new tab and take a careful look around your account. Sure enough it's all true. How? How can Paypal have allowed a US land based dollar account to be set up by a UK resident with a sterling account? How was the account accessed in the first place? So you fill out the statutory report forms, print off the details for your own records and wait. Three reports later and still no cases are showing up in your "resolution" folder, then suddenly you get an e-mail that starts:

"During a recent security check, we found that someone tried to access your PayPal account.........."

No mention of any reports filed, but there is apparently one resolved case showing in your "resolution" folder with no details available. The money, (still in dollars) has miraculously reappeared in your account, but it isn't the amount in sterling that you had before, charges have been taken for the exchange rate. The international account has been deleted.

Then it's on the radio. Lots of big name internet sites have been attacked by cyber hackers for their removal of support for Wikileaks, but it's only a Ddos attack so obviously the hackers just want to bring the sites down for a while to prove that they can cause some disruption. Coincidence? Make your own mind up.

We've decided that perhaps claiming 100% security is a red rag to a website hacking bull and maybe the clever people who write the highly complex security programmes also have more than enough intelligence to break into them whenever they like. We never did trust the internet with financial information, this has just confirmed our doubts.

So apologies to everyone if it causes inconvenience, but we have no choice but to remove the Paypal option from our websites for our own sanity. It's just one thing too many to think and worry about.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Word & Wisdom of the Week

Word of the week.


Extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous: a nefarious plot.

Wisdom of the week.
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. - George Orwell.
All I have to say is "Paypal" the reason for this weeks word and wisdom! All will be revealed.....

Friday 3 December 2010

Word of the Week. (bit late this week, sorry - blame the snow!)
Come upon or found by accident; fortuitous: serendipitous scientific discoveries.
Wisdom of the Week 
Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for. - Lawrence Block
I'd like to do that all the time.