Elementally Exhilarating And A Cautionary Tale

Bodnant daffs cr5

A scene of things to come in the northern hemisphere – daffodil extravaganza. But not just yet. The leaves may be pushing up through the soil, even a few buds showing, but spring is on hold, as in icily gripped. We had more snow last night, only a dusting, but the temperature feels Siberian. So to brighten things up I’m reprising these photos from a visit to Bodnant Garden in North Wales, taken in early spring a few years ago.

I’m lucky to still have them.

Bodnant daffs cropped

Which brings me to this week’s moderate, though potentially horrendous disaster on the computer front, the bottom line of which is: do not put blind faith in an external hard drive for storage purposes! Back up the back up. And then back that up too.

I’ve had so many ‘lost file’ situations over the years – dying computers being the main cause. So I should have known not to keep my photo files on an external hard drive without some consistent backing-up routines. I’m also thinking that leaving the thing mostly attached to the PC was not a good idea – not least with Windows 10 wretched updates so often on the rampage. They seem to create total system muck-ups before and after they happen.

Anyway, the storage failure is not as bad as it might have been, and I have enlisted  the aid of an IT whizz to see if he can extract the files. I can also retrieve some lost shots from my blog though I’m not looking forward to doing that. In the meantime more cheering daffodils are called for. It was wonderful to see the effect they had as soon as people clapped eyes on them – and not just the children.

Bodnant daffs cr7

Bodnant daffs cr10

Life In Colour: YELLOW  Jude has given as a new colour to think about in February. Guaranteed to lift the spirits.

57 thoughts on “Elementally Exhilarating And A Cautionary Tale

  1. Tish, I spilt liquid on my keyboard not that long ago. Not much liquid but enough to disable certain numbers and some letters. (I didn’t think about using the hair drier because that would have cured the problem).

    I backed up documents, photos, music on an external hard drive. I back them up regularly and thought that I would do this one more time to capture the last year’s photos.

    I sent the computer to its manufacturer for a review of the keyboard. They replaced the keyboard and wiped out the computer’s memory.

    When I attempted to transfer my photos back to my computer, the external hard drive itself failed.It was 10 years old or so.

    This would have been catastrophic had the IT Whizzkids not been able to retrieve all but the last two years’ of photos from that little external hard drive. Not more lost, as far as I know.

    Their advice: if you cannot stand the idea of backing up everything on an I-cloud (I don’t want to do this because it further compromises our ‘privacy’), then make sure to back up your hard drive on a solid state external drive and one without solid state technology. Or two solid states, even better…….because solid states fail less by reason of their solid state.

    Don’t know if this helps.

    Sympathies, anyway! Thank you for Bodnant’s daffodils.

    1. Happy to bring you daffs in exchange for all that info and advice, Sarah. I’ve not been keen on cloud saving since I saved all our Toronto trip photos to a photo site cloud and it lost them. And at the same time the memory card they were on died. And the lap top I’d saved them to blew its battery and wiped itself. Talk about concatenation. More recently, before the external hard drive went, I’d also started trying to get rid of paper versions of research notes, but now I feel driven to hang on to the physical entities, which means back to the cluttering up I was trying to avoid. Technology is not all it’s cracked up to be, is it.

      1. Me neither. My kids look at me as if I’m a bit doolally when it comes to this stuff.
        Perhaps we are of the ”wrong” generation, my dear!

        I am being called for dinner and I need a minute or two to find my bib!

        Catch you later Miss T.

      2. No, you don’t need a bib. I think we’re old enough to know a dodgy thing when we see it, and said edifice is not interested in the public good, only in making us think that’s what it’s doing. I’ve had at least one of my books scanned by them, no permissions granted to them by me or even discussed with me.

      3. Google threatening to pull the plug on Australia and take away their search facilities😱 our PM is standing up to them and I think at this point google have backed off…

      4. They are like something that was dreamed up in science fiction stories a few decades ago. An all seeing, all knowing identity that takes over the world… 🤭☹️

  2. No it is not which is why – and this may be a nonsequitur but then again it’s winter and there is Covid and the never-ending Trump horror movie – we may well be ‘saved’ in some inexplicable way by our sense of smell – or that of some species other than us – because scents, smells, fragrances for reasons beyond me cannot be digitized or placed on media of any kind.

    Keeping paper is good. Sarah

    1. Yes, our senses. So important. Please now envisage me surrounded by sheaves and clouds of paper. I’m presently researching the family forebears – the lead miners and hatters of Derbyshire – what a stalwart crew they were, and boy, did they replicate – all major lines calling themselves Richard and William, or Mary and Hannah. Most dementing.

  3. Ahhh that is too lovely for words..

    I also have had problems with lost files and irretrievable images that I wish so bad I had triple backed up. Now I send them to my online storage space, save them on three different computers and an external harddrive and email my extra special favorites to my hubby just so I can (hopefully) find them again someday in the sent items folder.

    My biggest problem is I need to delete the bad and rename the good ones immediately so I can find them with a quick search in my picture files rather than scrolling through thousands of photos trying to find “the one”. 🙂

    1. That is the problem- creating a well named retrieval system that one can actually remember and not have replicated across the universe. I hate the fact that I’ve ended up with multiple versions of stuff that really needs to be junked. And when it comes to the story drafts it’s even worse. It could well drive a person completely stark staring bonkers,

    2. Then scanned onto a computer, page by page, and backed up will need to go on for the simple reason that you can then investigate the text by search and query using any name or noun or verb of your choice.

      Everything backed up at every step. And then , later, reorganize the text in separate files, person by person despite their ever-recurring names.

      Search and query may be fun, then and reveal hidden lines vertically across time and horizontally among people alive at the same time………….might be very exciting for you. Hopefully? Sarah

  4. Wow! Sorry to hear about the backup problems. We have an external drive with a mirror disk and pray they don’t both fail! I back up documents on another drive, but not photos. I’m happy you discovered these lovely daffodil shots.

    1. Yours sounds like a good system for storing. I shall pursue further. In olden times I used to save everything onto multiple floppies and CD Roms but then one could go mad trying to find things. It makes one realise that good cataloguing practice is both an art and a science. Glad you like the daffs. The ones in the Linden Field looked almost ready to burst open this afternoon despite their frosty surroundings.

      1. Daffs beginning to show their faces here too. Crocuses are already blooming, but this snow/cold has wrecked the winter camellias that aren’t sheltered.

  5. Oh, nightmare, Tish! I’d be in a funk for weeks 😦 😦 Lovely fields of daffs. Reminds me of some lavender field shots I have with a couple of youngsters playing. That’s much later in the year…. 🙂

    1. Playing in lavender sounds very blissful, Jo. I’m certainly up for it come June-July. And as for the funk, it was very hard not to scream and scream and scream. And then eat worms (if they hadn’t been frozen stiff). But happily the Bookbinding Man had saved a lot of stuff onto a big stick. And I think the most important of the lost things can be retrieved from my blog posts. All the old Africa stuff had been saved in many formats, so that was a very big something. Couldn’t cope with scanning it all again.

  6. Oh, dear, I’m really sorry to read that and it reminds me that I need to get a number of shots on discs as well as an external drive AND all photo files transferred from my old laptop to my “new” one. An aside: if you mis-type “files” due to flying fingers, you might get “flies”, not at all the same thing. 🙂

    Thanks for the beauty of the daffodils. What joy to see an entire field of them like this. (“Field”–“filed”). 🙂


  7. Thanks for the cheery daffodils Tish, what a beautiful view! And thanks as well for alerting us to make sure we back up our photos and files 2x. I use an external memory and sometimes wonder if they are really safe. I think I too need to look into this as all my travel photos are on this external disk and I would hate to loose them, so many memories!

      1. Thanks Tish, I will do so as well and I told my writer husband to do the same because if he would loose his files it would be terrible for him so he is going to back up his external memory too.

  8. So pleased the catastrophic collapse was fixed, but what a scare😱 I have mine double backed up (well most of them🤭) but don’t often check them🙄 I also put some of my best onto “Flickr” an on line storage facility , at a cost of course….
    The daffs are so beautiful, they took me back to 1991 when I spent a year in UK working on a property that had acres of golden daffodils, sadly we don’t get them here, not cold enough. So I love seeing the photos of them on blogs.
    Now I will put checking my external hard drives on my to-do list.

    1. Many thanks, Sylvia. I can’t tell you how very exciting it was to walk up a garden path and suddenly see that mass of daffodils. It was a bit like an electric shock, but in a good way 🙂

  9. Wishing you luck with retrieving all your photos! I have mine on an external backup that’s only attached to the computer when it’s doing a backup, and also on storage backup drives. I keep thinking I need to get copies of copies.
    Love the daffs!

  10. Beautiful photos of the daffodils! But I’m sorry to read of your hard drive problems. I back all my images on to one external drive, which I keep in a secret place for fear of having it stolen (we were burgled a couple of years ago). I also back up to One Drive but that only includes my edited best versions as the external drive isn’t linked to the cloud. Finally, I have copies of the edited best ones on another external hard drive which I keep attached to the laptop as I have too many for the laptop’s own storage. And periodically (but, you have reminded me, not often enough) I back that up to another external drive! Plus I put many of my favourite photos on Flickr as if the worst came to the worst I could download from there!

    1. That’s all good advice, Sarah. I’ve also been thinking that more regular self-editing would help a lot. It’s too easy to save everything (as well as too easy to lose it all). The joys of technology. All its labour-savingness actually creates a lot of work.

  11. Gorgeous yellow, but yikes on the back ups. I currently back up into the cloud, with some on external hard drive, and I know I need to do both more thoroughly and have a third option. You may have inspired me to get myself sorted!

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