from The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
" Don't get your knickers in a knot just yet Tiff," she said briskly. "It won't solve anything an' will just make you walk odd."
"Cryin' helps sometimes," she said. "No shame in tears for them as you've loved. The memories are there to be treasured, and it's no good to get morbid-like about it."
"She was cleaning things already clean, but the algebra of mourning required the effort of getting all the death out of the house; there was no shrinking from it; you cleaned everything, regardless."
I think I've worked out why so many elderly, or even just older people, shuffle around taking such small steps.
Okay, maybe not worked out, but this could be one of the reasons.
It's because we've downsized our homes, our living areas. Sometimes out of financial necessity, more often because it's more convenient to not have too many rooms, too much space, that needs cleaning. So we (not me, but many) sell off the family home and move to smaller accommodation.
We take our furniture with us.
Furniture that once graced lovely large (or just bigger) rooms and now must be fitted in wherever it can.
In smaller rooms.
Leaving us much less space to actually walk in.
So we start taking smaller steps, the beginnings of the "elderly shuffle".
And I believe this may be one cause behind the losing of balance that older people suffer from.
I noticed it myself in my previous unit and now, here in this even smaller flat, I find myself having to be extra careful. I got rid of a lot of furniture before I moved here, (A LOT), but the pieces I have left almost fill the rooms. The two rooms I have available. There is furniture in the kitchen except the fridge.
The first year I was here I bumped hips into the table, and the edge of the bedside chests. I knocked knees into the coffee table. I scraped up against walls, bashed my toes into so many things.
I learned to take smaller steps. I regularly bash my elbows on the edges of the bedside chests while making the bed. One is jammed into a corner, and the other can't be moved over a bit because then I can't open the wardrobe....
Just recently, well, last Monday if you really must know, I was carrying folded laundry from the table into the bedroom and misjudged the width of the doorway.
It's a standard doorway as far as I know, so that was rather silly of me and now I have a swollen, bruised finger. Don't worry, it isn't broken. Doesn't even hurt.
But I think it happened because there are only three good sized steps between the table and the doorway into the bedroom, and I took those good sized steps instead of five smaller steps.
My bedroom here isn't much smaller than my previous home, I think I've lost about a metre in width, but the living room is smaller by quite a lot and still has to accommodate a couch (only one small two seater, where I previously had two, two-and-a-half seater couches); the TV unit which now only fits into one corner and cannot be placed anywhere else; plus my coffee table, my dining/working/everything-gets-done-here table, and a chair. To sit in while I'm at the table.
There's not a lot of room for striding about.
Dancing in the kitchen when I hear a favourite song is risky, the steps will overflow into the lounge room and sometimes through to the bedroom. Mostly now I just tap my feet while drying the dishes or mixing up the spaghetti sauce, or whatever else is going on in there.
In an ideal world, where we downsize our homes to have fewer rooms, we wouldn't have to downsize the size of those rooms.
Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world.
Moving on.....I took my laptop and a new ipod to my daughter's home because I was having some trouble getting the new ipod to work. She took over the process and got it all sorted (thank you K), then asked if I wanted to upgrade to Windows 10, since the free offer was right there on my screen.
I said no, I'd heard bad things about Windows 10 and didn't want to touch it.
K said she'd upgraded some time ago and had no problems.
I said I'd think about it, but if I decided to go ahead and ran into trouble I was going to be on the phone to her every five minutes.
So I brought all the gear home again, turned on the computer and there was the free upgrade offer again.
I did it. I upgraded to Windows 10.
When it was (finally!) finished installing itself, it told me not to worry, all my files and folders etc were still in the same place.
And they were.
But the buttons (icons?) that take me to those files and folders are in a different spot and they look different.
So I'm giving Windows 10 a fair chance, working through things and trying to get used to it. So far it isn't too bad, most of the problems are simply because things are different and I don't like change.
The system seems to be apps based, so that you can interconnect between all of your electronics, smart phones etc, none of which I have or want, which also all run on apps. Instead of choosing a setting for something, you go into settings and choose the app which seems to be most appropriate for what you want the computer to do.
There is one major difference, the preset volume of the inbuilt speakers is lower than in Windows 7. I've found the settings where I can adjust the volume, and boosted it right up to 100%. The sound icon on the taskbar is also set at 100%.
The sound is still too low.
No problem, says me. I'll plug in my lovely new external speakers which make my computer sound like a movie theatre.
THEY DON'T WORK. (just pretend you can hear me wailing over here, okay?)
Windows 10 seems to not recognise them. I've searched through the settings panel to see if there is any way I can connect these speakers and can't find any.
They plug in via a headphone jack and with Windows 7, as soon as I plugged them in, the sound would switch from the small computer speakers to the external ones.
Now, I plug them in and the sound still comes through from the small computer speakers. I'm Not Happy.
I've asked K and she doesn't know why they won't work. *~*
Anybody out there have any ideas to help me with this? Please?
Almost out of our hands
1 hour ago