Expect the unexpected!

ccnancyjardineThis post is by Nancy Jardine.

Something Unexpected.

With regard to my Christmas gifts, that has been my mantra for pretty well all of my married life since 1974. My lovely OH buys me bunches of flowers randomly and regularly throughout the year – so I don’t expect them at the traditional Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc. What I can never anticipate, or guess at, is what my Christmas gift might entail!20170109_121708

Personally, I’m rubbish at thinking up exciting gifts for him so I’m totally surprised that he still thinks ahead and gets extremely unexpected things for me. In 2016, I hinted (strongly), probably from October onwards, that I needed a new phone…and I got one! But I also got a very long, fairly narrow brown box. It wasn’t too heavy so what on earth was it, I wondered as I ripped off the wrapping paper. Could it be something for my neglected garden?

Christmas of 2015, I got this dinky but excellent little projector to use when doing my PowerPoint presentations on Roman Scotland, and/or my novels to various types of local groups.

20170109_1200101Having my own little projector connected to my laptop means that I can present my information anywhere, so long as there’s a blank wall that I can use to project onto.

Having my own projector is infinitely preferable to borrowing equipment at the venues since it always takes time to work out the connections etc to my laptop from different paraphernalia.  The Miroir projector is small but it works really, really well.


There was one of my engagements when the best ‘wall’ to project onto wasn’t actually very blank. It was a textured papered surface that wasn’t a single uniform colour- even though the organiser had claimed it was a ‘white’ wall – so my images weren’t as sharp as I’d have liked them to be. Generally, I go to these appointments on my own but it just so happens that my OH went along with me since our car was a ‘bit sick’, with coil problems or some such issue, and was on a go-slow. (It was booked into the repair garage but not till the next day and OH just wanted to be sure I’d not break down in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire) When we arrived, eventually,  I got set up and he went off for a wander and a coffee.

I didn’t notice him sneaking in at the back of 40 plus audience near the end of my presentation- but he had made a mental note!


Yes, that lovely long cardboard box contains a small portable table-top screen so that my presentations don’t depend on a dodgy wall. Brilliant! What a thoughtful present and I love how light the screen is to carry and so easy to erect.

My main problem, now, is a technical one. I’ll need to work out how to ensure the image size from my PowerPoint slides fits the screen when the projector is on a nearby table along with my laptop (There’s a very short connection between laptop and projector) At the moment the image is way too large and overlaps well up the wall behind the screen and all around it. To make the image fit the screen, the projector would need to be at the back of the room and that’s not very practical! I’d either have to have a huge long cable to join projector and laptop or I’d have to go back to a ‘class’ situation where I’d be giving information from the back of a large room. That doesn’t work well for the kind of talks I give where I need to make direct eye contact with my audience.

My next presentation is to an approximately 50 strong audience on the 2nd February. Do you think I’ll be able to work out how to make the adjustments before then? If you know how to do it—PLEASE SHARE!

Have a lovely week! 

Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Series of historical romantic adventures is set in first century northern Roman Britain whereas her contemporary romantic mysteries are set in fabulous world-wide cities, Topaz Eyes being a finalist in The People’s Book Prize 2014. The Taexali Game, her Teen time-travel adventure, is set in third century Roman Scotland.

Her week vanishes in a blur of regular grandchild-minding, gardening, reading, writing, social media marketing and blogging—not necessarily in that order.  She keeps up with Roman Scotland archaeological developments which are invaluable for the local presentations she gives on her novels, and on Roman Scotland. Regular book signing & selling sessions at local Craft Fairs are great fun. Watching TV Drama and the news is a luxury – as are social events with friends and family but she does a creative job to squeeze them in. An ex-primary teacher, she continues to learn something new every day and recently completed a fantastic course on Hadrian’s Wall! She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Scottish Association of Writers.


Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere

Blog http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk  Website http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Facebook http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G  email nan_jar@btinternet.com  Twitter @nansjar





20 thoughts on “Expect the unexpected!

  1. My laptop has an option hat allows me to ‘percentage’ increase or decrease the image size of an Internet page on my laptop screen. Right now I have it set at 105 percent. Maybe there is something similar for fitting your new screen?


    1. I’ll try to have a look at that, Mike, and see if it will solve the problem. Thanks! Everything’s worth a try till I get it right.


  2. Very cool presents, indeed. Husbands do pay attention, even when you think they don’t. Try searching on You Tube for an answer to your problem. That’s my go-to place. Mike has a great suggestion. I use that option too. I often increase it to 125 or even 150 when I’m reading something difficult to see.Are you a historian or why are you giving presentations? Cher’ley


    1. Ah, Cherley, I’d love to say I’m a historian but I’m really just a very enthusiastic amateur with a history degree! Because I write about Ancient Roman Britain/ Roman Scotland in my Celtic Fervour Series, a lot of local groups have asked me to give talks on what the Romans got up to in my neighbourhood, c. 2000 years ago. Other groups just want me to talk about my books and I use images to make the talks more entertaining- eg photos of the cities I’ve included, or images of what I think my characters look like. If I use PowerPoint presentations, I can have basic talks set up and then tweak the talk for the group I’m visiting. I can scale up or down the timings and info given, depending on how many are in the audience and or if they want a ‘questions’ session at the end. I want to get my projector and screen permanently set to a fixed distance so that it’s ready for go when I arrive at any venue, regardless of how many chairs are set out.


  3. Love that little projector! What a thoughtful OH you have! And how wonderful you are able to present these talks and educate people as well as let them know about your books. What a talented lady you are! Thanks for sharing. I can’t help you with the size of projection however.


    1. Yes- it’s a great little projector and easy to use, Neva. I might just ahve solved my problems but I’m going to get my slides ready very early and see if I’ve cracked it! A friend told me she uses her remote mouse at her presentations and mine works! Now to prove it. 😉


  4. Nancy, if the remote mouse doesn’t work, you might try bluetooth. You could place the projector at the back of the room and stand with your laptop at the front. There are devices out there that can transmit and receive bluetooth signals, and they aren’t that expensive. Good luck.


  5. What a thoughtful husband! How wonderful to have the tools you need for your presentations. I’m no help on the technical side of things but I’m sure you’ll get them worked out and your presentations will be the better for it. Congratulations!


  6. What a thoughtful gift. While I’m not tec savy, I will say I have faith in the answer coming to you. It sounds like others are on the ball with options. I know you will continue to be a hit with your presentations. Doris (As you know I love me some history)


    1. Thanks, Doris for the encouragement. 🙂 I think I’ve got it sorted out now, having used the great ideas from internet friends. I’ve learned a few new techniques re using PowerPoint so that’s also a plus!


  7. Your hubby is certainly very thoughtful and resourceful — wonderful gifts!! I run into similar situations as you, Nancy — I usually prop up the project and move a table back and forth to get slides to cover the screen, that’s how tech savvy I am! LOL Best to you with your new equipment and upcoming presentations!


    1. You’ve done plenty as well Gayle and know how frustrating it is when the images aren’t quite clear, or not fitting the screen unless you are taking up the whole aisle space.


  8. Thanks for posting this. I’m going to tell the officers of my Sisters in Crime chapter about your projector. We sometimes have to provide one for a presenter at our meetings, and yours looks a lot better than the one we lug around. As to husbands who think ahead–aren’t they wonderful?


    1. Thanks about my husband! The projector is now more than a year old and is a Miroir MP50M. That’s probably been updated by now but hubby got it on a good deal at half price from a store called Maplin that he buys a lot of electronics from. It was over £100 in the sale, so probably quite expensive but it’s so easy to use. (I’m looking at the details and see it was made in China.) Good luck with finding something.


  9. I am sure you will come up with a solution on the size of your images using the projector. My only advice would be to zoom out on your laptop so the image is smaller before it is projected.


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