Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Recent Posts:
September 2005


Battle of Britain

Fertility Treatment

The Plumber's Tale of Woe

Learning to Read and Write

Bureaucracy Gone Mad

What is Really Happening in New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come!!!

August 2005

More Surgery!"

How I Met Michael Rennie (1909-1971)

"The Sixth Lamentation" - An Excellent Book

French Onions

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

I'm Recovering Well

Well, I'm Glad That's Over!

Just Me Prattling

The Russian Mini-Submarine

Amazing Animals: The Sturgeon

The Tower Subway

Surgical Pre-Assessment

July 2005

The Coal Delivery

Spyware and Anti-spyware"

Getting Enough Sleep?

An Insidious Cancer

Americans First on the Moon

"The Lion King"

Update on my Biopsy

Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?


Animal Intelligence

Fl./Lt. Dennis G. Hornsey, D.F.C.

The English Language

London Bombs

Marriage Advice?

My Biopsy

A Message for the World's Leaders

June 2005


A 'Perfect' Day

Amazing Animals: The Emperor Penguin

Crowned on this Day in 1509

A Sweet for a Special Occasion

King Solomon's Mines

Father's Day

Tiger, Tiger....


Cockroaches and Human Fertility

World's Best Character Actor

Computer Decisions

Food for Thought


World Ocean Day

Daft as a Brush (or Two)

Douglas Jennings, RAF Evader During WW II

Lord of the Rings

Driving Me Mad

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Wednesday, 1 September 2004
Accessible Web Pages
Topic: Web Design
I found another very useful website,, last Saturday. Their 'LIFT Online' trial will provide you with a free 5-page sample report on your website which stays on their server for five days. These reports evaluate your pages for accessibility and usability and provide loads of links to all the W3C guidelines. I have been busy making notes on all the comments. However, so many possible problems were thrown up (all my images and links, for instance) that I feel like the old woman who lived in a shoe! I still have not caught up with all the results from CSE HTML Validator. I had to really rush through the last few page checks before it disabled itself!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 11 August 2004
A Very Useful Web Authoring Tool
Topic: Web Design
I am currently checking my pages with the trial version of a program called CSE HTML Validator Pro 6. You can use it for 30 days or 100 validations, whichever comes first, after which it deactivates itself and you have to purchase the full version or delete the program. It is absolutely brilliant at spotting all sorts of coding and spelling errors and gives advice and tips on just about everything. It has also pointed me in the direction of Dan's Web Tips, another excellent website to add to my favourites. At present, I am halfway through the trial period, so I am being kept rather busy! I must admit that I was actually using the Validator last December but didn't have time to finish the trial period because of Christmas. I did delete it (and some clever coding somewhere prevents you reinstalling the trial version!) but then my computer crash last April wiped out any remaining traces on the hard disk, so I was able to install it again as I still had the csesetup.exe! Very naughty! I have got a magazine cd somewhere with a free early version of the program - will have to install that later or perhaps buy the full program.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 4 August 2004
A Trip to London
Topic: Family Days Out
We went up to the National Archives (Public Record Office) at Kew again last Monday. I have been several times to browse through WW II Escape and Evasion Reports, which are very interesting. You can order up to three documents on line in advance of your visit so that they are waiting for you.

Photo of Andrew sitting on his chair eating some cucumber
From Kew, we went over to my son's for the evening. A thirteen mile journey which took 40 minutes in the London Traffic! Andrew is progressing by leaps and bounds and enjoyed his slice of cucumber! However, he was a little bit off colour - not surprising, as my son emailed me yesterday to say his first tooth had finally appeared!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Tuesday, 27 July 2004
Old Browsers (and I don't mean me!)
Topic: Web Design
Came across a website called on which you can view a page as it appears on various old browsers. Ugh! Virtually all of my pages were a real mess! Very old browsers don't read style sheets at all and it appears that Netscape 4 can't read internal style sheets on a page. So, I am now linking my pages to the main style sheet plus another one specific to that page. (Will have to tidy that up when I have time.) Also, my table backgrounds don't show up. That means that a dark page background makes the text completely unreadable. How many people still have old browsers?

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 21 July 2004
Happy Birthday!
Topic: Grandchildren
The twins were 6 years old today! Took their presents over - they were very excited and very pleased to get some money, too. They are both saving up for special toys they want!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 8 July 2004
Topic: My Web Pages
shockHad a shock on Monday (hopping mad, too!). Found a webpage which had copied all of my words from my first Tribute page and from the story of the Traitor, several family photographs had been taken as well. It all looked particularly awful, too. Why? Well, he had not copied my external style sheet information - probably didn't know how to. I followed his link back to his personal pages and found he had listed a number of pages about people with his family name! All copied direct from the original sources (which all had copyright notices). Two or three emails later, he agreed to remove the stolen content.

Earlier in the year, someone I was corresponding with also took family photographs from my site without asking. It is the 'without asking' that is hurtful. The result of this episode was to make me frantically update all my pages in early April with a JavaScript 'No right click' program. I know this won't stop anyone who is determined but it will put off some people. People should realise that a published web page has automatic copyright, just as a published book does. Downloading an article for research or to read later is one thing but, if you find something you would like to include in your own website, you should ALWAYS ask permission first and, if permission is granted, give the source the appropriate credit. After all, would you think of visiting your local library, photocopying entire pages from various books, putting them together and then publishing the result as 'your' very own book?

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Saturday, 3 July 2004
The Twins' Replies to the Tooth Fairy
Topic: Grandchildren
Yesterday morning, I was thinking about Elliot's tooth and I thought it would be great fun if the children received emails from the "Tooth Fairy". I searched the Internet. Found a poem about the Tooth Fairy, found a picture somewhere else (which I admit I nicked!). Put it all together for Elliot with music. Decided to use the same picture with a letter from the Tooth Fairy for Stephanie: "Congratulations Stephanie. You have a loose tooth!.....". Sent them off. Hopefully, they would get them before they went to bed. Well, they did. WOW! Were they a success. I think they went to bed rather late again last night - two late nights in a row, good job it is the weekend!

Here is Elliot's reply: (dictated to Mummy)
Thank you for the money. I was excited when my tooth was coming out and Grandpa pulled my tooth out and I was very brave and I didn't cry. Then Grandma took a photo of me. What time did you come last night? Did you come at 10 o'clock? I was in bed at 9 o'clock. I was very tired so I didn't want to stay up. My sister called Stephanie is a chatterbox and when I want to go to sleep she always chatters to me and I wish I could have seen you. Next time are we allowed to leave you a little present? I told people my tooth came out and I am very pleased. When my tooth came out my tongue could touch the gap and it felt very funny. Thank you for your e-mail.
Lots of love from Elliot xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I hope you have a nice time at your house. Where have you put my tooth?

Here is Stephanie's reply: (also dictated to Mummy)
Thank you for not leaving me out and I'll put my tooth when it falls out in a tin foil with salt and it will be in the same place as Elliot's. What do you make with the teeth? Do you make houses and do you make furniture? Do you make beds out of teeth? Do you only take good teeth or do you take good and bad teeth? I have a fairy watch so I can remember you all the time and do you have a name? I like your letter and I feel happy about you and I love you so much. I'll never forget you. I won't be sad if you don't reply because I know you are very busy.
Love from Stephanie

My daughter's reply: You made their day sending those e-mails. Stephanie in particular is so happy and they both said to me 'so they really are real'. they 100% believe that your e-mails came directly from the tooth fairy and asked questions like 'how does she know my name, will the computer know where to send the reply'? Stephanie has been looking out of her window...

They wanted to reply because they were so pleased? All from them (although I changed some of the grammar). I did say that the Tooth Fairy may not have time to reply so don't get upset and they were fine with that.

The Tooth Fairy did find some time to reply. Seems Grandmothers have lots of different purposes in life!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Thursday, 1 July 2004
The Tooth Fairy will be coming!
Topic: Grandchildren
Elliot looking really happy and showing his new 'gap' where his tooth came outElliot's first loose tooth was getting really wobbly. So, Grandpa asked him if he wanted him to see if it would come out today. He did! Elliot wiggled it himself for a while and then Grandpa got a tissue and... out it came. One perfect small white tooth. Elliot looked amazed and then delighted. Excitedly, he announced: "The Tooth Fairy will be coming tonight"! Stephanie had a loose tooth also but not anywhere near loose enough to come out. I could see she was every so slightly jealous! Grandpa got some warm boiled water and put a pinch of salt in it for Elliot to rinse his mouth. He was so happy he didn't mind at all. I decided to take a photograph so that I could send it to Uncle David.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Wednesday, 30 June 2004
Unwanted Nuisance Calls
Topic: Miscellanea
I smile now every time the telephone rings! I was SO fed up with all the marketing calls we were getting. First it was junk mail, then spam emails, and then intrusive, time wasting telephone calls. It seemed like hundreds of them every week! I registered with the "Telephone Preference Service" but it takes a while and depends on business using their 'don't call' lists. I could have had 'caller display', but why should I have to pay to know that 98% of my calls are unsolicited marketing calls? Our old analogue answering maching had packed up about three months ago and I had not been able to find a replacement. So, I was using British Telecom's free answer service for when I was on line or out of the house. I even thought of buying a new telephone. Then last Saturday, when I was not even looking, there it was, a stand alone digital answering machine sitting on the supermarket shelf. It gives us great satisfaction to hear it saying, "Thank you for calling"!

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

Monday, 21 June 2004
Father's Day
Topic: Family Days Out
A view of Hampton Court Palace from the gardensYesterday was Father's Day - my son's first. We all decided to have a day out and meet at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey. The original palace belonged to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief minister to Henry VIII, who lived in it for eleven years. He added hunting lodges for the King but eventually he was forced to hand the palace over to King Henry VIII in 1525. I went there as a child but the only real memory I had was of seeing the famous old grapevine. I went again when my children were around five and six with my sister - on that occasion we tried getting lost in the maze but didn't go into the Palace. (The maze was planted in 1690 and is 2 miles long, so you need plenty of time!) We had a lovely day together wandering round the gardens and the Palace, despite a drop of rain in the afternoon. We just managed to see everything and, because of Baby Andrew's pushchair, we were privileged to use the lift instead of climbing all the stairs to view Henry VIII's state apartments! Afterwards, we all visited my sister, who lives very near to Hampton Court.

Posted by Noviomagus at 00:01 BST Post Comment | Permalink

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