For reasons I am still not totally clear on, but that I suspect could be down to poor coding, my Apple Time Capsule and Apple Time Machine became unworthy of e-trust.
The dreaded words "Preparing Backup" being the harbinger of doom for many, and for those who enjoy console logs the still scarier words "Node requires deep traversal" tended to signify a VERY long wait for the backup to prepare, my record stint of patience being over two weeks! This is not one users experience according to various forums. However those same forums hold some gems that helped me regain control of my errant backup processes, while I wait impatiently for Apple to figure out that they really do have a problem with their Time Machine and Time Capsule.
So for those who have the same problem I will be placing in this blog a few of the gems I have gleaned from the various fora.
I will also be attributing the finds, but for now some quick pointers
1) Use the Console (iashton in Apple Support Forum)
Try starting Console - its in Applications/Utilities
Click on system.log in the left hand pane and then type backupd into the filter box in the top right of the window
Click the Time Machine icon on the top menu bar and select Back Up Now.
A backup should start and you can check its progress in the Console window.
2) A Fix (Patty Patty in Apple Support Forum)
1) Turn Time Machine off
2) Trash the com.apple.TimeMachine.plist in /Library/Preferences
4) Full Spotlight reindex of the Macintosh HD
5) Added a bunch of folders to the "Do Not Backup" list in Time Machine
6) Turn Time Machine on
3) A Great Tool The Time Machine Editor
I used this to reduce the number of backups