Fixing stuff – part two


The new tablet and dog (she doesn’t need fixing she is perfect)

Just to recap – I broke my tablet while trying to fix it last year – check out Fixing it part one for the whole sorry tale)

I was totally lost without my tablet because I use it….. well, occasionally in truth but I was used to having it around and it had a new SIM in it so I had to come up with a plan. The obvious thing was to buy a new one, and never being a very subtle person that is exactly what I did. I got on Amazon and checked out suitable replacements, the exact version no longer exists so I looked for alternatives. As usual when it comes to buying stuff I carefully considered all the options over the period of about 10 minutes and made my choice pretty much at random

Having ordered the new tablet, a case and a screen protector I sat back to wait for it to drop through the door (well actually I did a bit of gardening at Dad’s, went for a walk, went to the pub, read a book, general holiday activities). Just a couple of days later, while out, I got a message to say my tablet had been delivered. Excitedly I went back to Dad’s to get it, but it was not there.   A level of panic hit me (after all this was not a cheap bit of kit) and I went around looking for it. None of Dad’s neighbours had seen it but were all most concerned, a white van had been spotted – not the usual postie, perhaps this had delivered it? However if it had where was it now? There was quite a stir in The Close.

My next option was to phone the delivery people, never a good option and while they were most concerned and very lovely they could do nothing, it was recorded as delivered.

I was perturbed. My brother pointed out that this being Cornwall it would arrive d’rectly and it was best not to fuss (he can be quite annoying – I was doing a good job at fussing and saw no reason to stop).

I got on with quietly fretting and doing a bit of pottering as well (yes I can multitask). Then I saw some activity in the Close, the door bell rang, Dad went to answer it and came back with my tablet. I was now less perturbed but a little confused and a lot relieved.

It took a bit of sleuthing but the story seems to be…. because we weren’t home when it arrived the neighbour next door had signed for it and noted it was for Helen. When Helen (from across the road) arrived home the neighbour handed it over and then went off to do something. Helen from across the road hadn’t really looked at it but had put it aside to open later. Meanwhile I went next door to ask I had asked the wrong half of the couple who knew nothing of the previously delivered parcel. Finally Helen from across the road went to open it, realised it wasn’t for her, remembered that Dad had his daughter staying, and delivered it to Dad. Confused? Well it is Cornwall.

And how does this get my original tablet fixed? Find out in the next gripping instalment.



Week Five – Week 11 Missing the Buzz? and the Hedonistic Treadmill


Les at 4 Pillars

Goodness I seemed to have dropped the ball rather with the diary side of this endeavour – I am not Samuel Pepys and I am certainly no Edwardian Lady…

That being said I have certainly not given up on my quest – it just turns out that once you start on something like this all sorts of things come up, lots of fascinating leads to follow, more to come on that very soon.

In the meantime I thought it would be good to check in on how this whole thing is going. A few people have asked if there is anything I miss buying. In truth I have so much stuff I often find things I forgot I had – which is a bit like shopping but without the crowds and credit card. So generally, no I don’t miss buying stuff.

In fact one of my friends introduced me to the concept of the Hedonistic Treadmill. Wiki (pedia not links) defines this as ‘is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes’. So going out and buying that piece of stuff gives us a fleeting moment of joy before we go back to feeling just as we were before. I will try and remember that next time I head for the biscuit barrel.

Fixing Stuff part one

2016-08-24 15.20.02

When you commit to not buying stuff for a year the issue of what to do when something breaks arises.   As previously noted I could be accused of jumping to the – ‘buy a new one’ option a little too quickly in the past. Now that option has been taken away from me (by me) I have to think a little bit more laterally.

Obviously most stuff can be fixed, some stuff I can even fix myself (I am an excellent darner though I do say so myself) but most I can’t. This means that when something breaks I have to either:

  1. Learn how to fix it
  2. Find someone who can fix it
  3. Put it on the ‘to be fixed’ pile and leave it there until I next do a big clean out.

Learning how to fix tings can be fun, YouTube is amazing for showing you how to fix things. In fact it was down to a YouTube video that I found myself at the back of a house in rather a dodgy housing estate thinking – I might not make it out alive.

This little adventure had all begun about nine months ago on a station in southern England. The train was late getting in and I ran like the clappers down about four flights of stairs and up about four flights of stairs to see my ‘connecting’ train pull out. I threw my bag to the floor in a bit of a strop and cursed the useless railways – how hard is it to hold a train for 30 seconds?

When I got back to Dads house a couple of days later my tablet would not boot up. After a quick search online I found that this was probably due to ‘being dropped’ and had a simple fix. I needed to open up the tablet and reattach some wires, how hard could that be? So I had a glass of rather nice Cornish gin and got to work. In retrospect the gin might not have been the best idea. It was not as easy as suggested but I did manage to open up the tablet. Once inside reattaching the wires was easy and having done that I snapped it all back together and hey presto it booted up a dream. I felt rather pleased with myself until I realised the screen would not work – it had a tiny crack and was completely unresponsive, the sad thing was that I had done this while ‘fixing it’. Google suggested this was also easily fixable but I was a little more circumspect this time so what was I going to do now?………to be continued….

Week Fourish Unsubscribe (but not from my blog)


Most of my email inbox is people trying to sell me stuff, I delete the majority without even looking at them. A couple of times a year I go through and unsubscribe from most of the lists but they just seem to come back. So when I am feeling weak it is so easy to click on the link and find myself in the wonderful world of stuff. I don’t even need a credit card – most are linked through PayPal so a couple of clicks and I can expect a package at the front door in no time. I love those packages, I love the knock on the door, the box, the pleasure of opening it and pulling out the stuff…. And then, well it is all a bit of an anti climax and the stuff gets put with all my other stuff.

So this week is the great unsubscribe, remove those tempting emails and clean up my inbox to boot – with the time I save trolling through emails I can actually get to read some of those books I own, use some of that stuff I bought or just sit in the sun.

I unsubscribed from a heap of shops with no drama and then I came to Bonds – I seriously never remember actually subscribing but I will remember trying to unsubscribe. I clicked the button and got the ‘we are sorry to see you go’ (no you are not, we have never even met, you are just a computer program and if we had met you would probably be glad to see the back of me… I digress). Great, I thought, job done. But no, another email arrived, so I unsubscribed again thinking I must have done something wrong. This second unsubscribe was followed by another ‘buy our stuff’ email, I unsubscribed again, with the same result, and again, and again, and again, and a few more agains, until I got grumpy. I emailed bonds, did a ‘chat’ message and when they ignored them I left a Facebook message. Finally I got a response and touch wood I am free of Bonds and will never buy one of their crummy products again – stuff pushers.