Wednesday, August 10, 2005


No, that title wasn't a typo for Estimation.

And no, of course we're not actually reptiles who need to estivate (here's a good definition of the word if anyone's unfamiliar with it). But I feel as if I'm estivating at present. Two months with little physical activity, to escape from the heat of the summer. Part of me feels I 'should' be doing more that's constructive, but another part of me is counting down the days till September. I know there won't be much temperature difference between 31st August and 1st September, but somehow September makes me think of Autumn, and new school years, and time to start new activities.

We need to remember for future years what we've learned every summer, and promptly forgotten: the boys are not going to work on home education curriculum work in July and August. Tim planned to, while Daniel's away. He was hoping to spend a couple of hours every day working through several workbooks, so he would not have much left by the Autumn. But he hasn't done any at all. The mornings are too warm, the climate too sleepy, and once we turn the a/c on we also tend to turn the computers on and then the day rushes by.

Jigsaw update: I completed the first one in less than a day. It was a good start. The second was also only 500 pieces, but it was an impressionistic painting of a cat and a lot of flowers. It was remarkably difficult. Eventually we had to abandon my normal method (ie no looking at the cover picture at all while the puzzle is in process) and opt instead for the opposite technique: picking up a random piece, then finding its match on the box. Surprisingly successful, and it enabled us to get the puzzle done, though it took nearly a week.

Thirdly we tried a panoramic 1000-piece puzzle with a photo of windmills in Poland. A nice puzzle, easier to do because of its shape (I could reach the whole thing sitting down) and although about a third was sky, it was interesting with clouds. I think that one took about three days.

Most recently I started another cat one, this time we think it's a photo, although I'm not entirely certain. Three black-and-white kittens on an orange rug, with some flowers in the background, and 1500 pieces. For some reason it's MUCH easier than the impressionistic cat picture. It was one of my jumble sale jigsaws, and I was quite pleased to find the pieces roughly sorted into plastic bags when I opened the box. But as they weren't all sorted, I think someone must have started the puzzle, then got bored and put it away in partially-sorted state, then decided to get rid of it.

I've had quite a lot of progress on this kitten puzzle today, not helped by two of our own cats, Cleo and Sophia, who are determined to sleep in the box halves where I have the remaining pieces. Oh for a digital camera! I've taken several photos of them but by the time they're processed it will be a bit late. Richard is now in the UK and will - we hope - be returning with our new digital camera next week.

After this, there will only be room on the dining-room table for one more big puzzle, and I'm going to tackle a 2000-piece one, a photo in Venice. I've only done this once before: when we were living in the USA in about 1993. It took weeks, and when I'd completed it I left it for ages before taking it apart again. I think it's about time to try it again.

(Ha. Updated later. Memory is a strange thing... I went to check the photo we took in 1993 and it was a TOTALLY different jigsaw in the USA, 2,500 pieces in all. I wonder what happened to it; maybe it's packed away somewhere in our UK house. The 2.000 piece Venice puzzle has a note on the back saying we completed it in 1999. Oh well.)

Sim Tower: On Sunday we bought some zip-up cases to store CDs in. On Tuesday Tim sorted through all their games, discarding a few which either didn't work or weren't any good. Today he's been trying to play some of them. Unfortunately many of them are quite old, bought when we had Windows 95, and won't necessarily work on Windows 2000. Or else they run so fast they're unplayable. But Tim likes older games better than modern ones, and was sure there must be SOME way of getting it to work. As indeed there was. He installed a MAC emulator. Now he's busy playing Sim Tower, a game to which I was horribly addicted for a few weeks, about nine or ten years ago.

Hmmm.... I wonder if Theme Hospital would work on Windows 2000.


Anvilcloud said...

I think that September is the real New Year, the time when we start a new round of whatever it is that we do. Even in retirement that tends to be true.

Jodi said...

Hi Sue,
I can hardly believe how fast you did a large jigsaw! 'm rubbish at them but my Mum is very good at them.

I've turned on the RSS feed on my homeschool blogger blog now. The default was off and since I didn't know what it did I left it! Anyway maybe it's sorted now but I also used the default of 10 and I've no idea why I had to pick a number. I could choose between 1-20 I think. Hopefully it will work. I will look at it better after we get back from swimming. It's hot here today but not as hot as your area!

Deb said...

Completely OT to this post, but I can't remember you mentioning getting your new camera. If you are still looking, Polaroid have a decent one at a very good price on their website - 5.2 megapixels for under £90.

Sue said...

We decided to go for a Canon camera having checked out the various options and compared features. Our last one was Polaroid, and OK, but we decided to spend a bit more and get a better lens. I guess I should blog about it...