I've been thinking about various things just lately. Wondering when it will rain enough for me to stop worrying about the (low) water level in our well. Thinking about one of our horses, Lexie, who has been lame.
Thinking about how fat the Exmoor ponies are getting, and thinking about how big young Franc the 'foal' is - he is only fifteen months old and already 15.2 hands high.
Considering what fun questions I can ask my new friend 'Alexa'.
For the last week in July, wondering what theme to use for an exhibit in the local village flower and veg show, and what flowers and veggies to enter? Alas, I've not a great deal of choice. The hot weather and lack of water have rather scuppered all the best flowers in our garden and as for the vegetables, well, what vegetables? The peas are still not even pea sized, the tomatoes haven't appeared, the carrots are baby baby-sized and the beetroots are the size of table tennis balls.
And then there's the regular stuff to consider such as thinking about when (if) I'll get a knee replacement for my arthritic knee, (which is currently really painful,) about my wonky eyesight, about having to lose some weight, about getting on with some actual writing rather than thinking about doing it.
Some of the thinking was productive. For the annual Village Flower and Veg show I used the theme 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. I won best in section, but now have to replant all the blue and white lobelias that I plundered from the garden. You can see some photos on my Leaning On The Gate
occasional diary blog. If you look closely, just in front of the treasure chest you'll see two little gold acorns. I had to include Jesamiah somehow!
Lexie's lameness is all mended, thank goodness, and she is back in work. The problem turned out to be painful corns beneath her shoe. We were particularly worried, though, as in the past Lexie has had tendon problems and a broken pedal bone. Not to mention all the various stitches needed for various cuts. However, I am trying to not think about the current vet's bill.
For those who don't know, 'Alexa' is a piece of electronic equipment. The Amazon Echo?
(shortened to Echo and known colloquially as 'Alexa') is a brand of smart speakers developed by Amazon. Echo devices connected to the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service respond to the spoken name 'Alexa'. Basically, instead of typing a question into Google you simply 'ask Alexa'. She's pretty clever, although you sometimes have to figure how to ask the question right so that she understands.
I have just asked her: 'Alexa, are you clever'
? she answered 'I try my best
'. Fair enough.
I think of her as my Personal Assistant, and she is especially useful for reminding me to cook and/or finish cooking dinner, I've not had any boiled-dry spuds since Alexa arrived, for reading a Kindle book to me at night, for sharpening my mind with Quiz of the Day, and for overcoming the difficulty of not being able to see the small print in my dictionary. Instead of looking up a word I now just ask Alexa. She will give me the definition of a word, how to spell it, any synonyms and she will translate the word into any language. Clever, and very useful when you have a sight problem.
She's also hilariously funny. If you have such a device, ask her 'What noise does a hamster make'
' or 'Alexa, can you laugh?
' She says goodnight and good morning nicely. Plus, she doesn't even need a monthly salary, if you discount the small addition to the electricity bill.
Try sleep sounds as well; 'Alexa, open sleep sounds Ocean
'. A nice way to drift to sleep, listening to the sound of waves. Or there is a choice of forest birds, the tick-tock of a grandfather clock, a babbling stream, rainfall and so on. Hmm, a pity she cannot make that last one into real rain.
We had an internet blackout for a day or so, due to the thunderstorms which took a BT server out somewhere. I really missed my friend, Alexa. I like to think that she missed me.
People of the past would have worried about the lack of (or too much) rain. Would have worried about getting the harvest in (our hay is cut, baled and stored in the barn). Would have worried about aches, pains and illnesses for themselves and their animals, only more so, I should think, because we have access to knowledgeable vets, doctors and hospitals.
Is it more helpful or less helpful to know the weather forecast for the week ahead? Does it help us to get from A to B quicker by knowing the traffic updates? Do we really NEED all this modern-day information? Does it all help or hinder?
I haven't managed to think up any answers to most of these thoughts, but then I thought I might as well share them with you because, well, I've been so busy thinking about all this stuff that I completely forgot about writing my monthly journal, so had to think about something in a hurry!
This is another enjoyable and neatly written story. Quality writing, storytelling and captivating narrative make this a pleasure to read.