It’s been a while ( as the Bishop said to the actress) but at last the chains are broken and the keyboard is all mine again. Melodramatic nonsense I know, the real reason I haven’t put pen to paper is that there was really nothing to say of any note, worth or meaning. I couldn’t actually be arsed if the truth is known. For some months now the hypochondriac in allatsea has been on watch and a few concerns with respect to his ample and well fed tumtum have taken precedence over just about everything else. Fretting and worrying isn’t the way to spend your days and no mistake, your honour. Anyway, that aside, plus a few developments on the work front coupled with a dim realisation that it won’t last forever, (thankfully), have resulted in a much lighter mood with the silly old sod.
Even the Westbrook Towers don’t seem so daunting lately. Hip hip hooray old chap.
Memsahib allatsea certainly looks a lot happier too and that dear friends, can only be a very good thing.
Instead of trying to tell a little story encompassing all the trivia and minutia of the writer’s (that’s actually referring to me rather than pretending to have a noble occupation by the way) tedious and dull lifestyle, I’ll just bung down the salient points as they come to mind. No order of importance should be attached to the resulting sequence. It’s just how it comes out, madam.
The only ‘branded’ computer the howell household ever bought was a Dell desktop. It cost top dollars and because of that and the brand name, I assumed it would last for ages. It didn’t. After two and a half years it died and the local PC butcher had to put a new motherboard in it (plus a disproportionately noisy fan). Last week, on it’s third birthday, it died again. Fortunately not dead enough to prevent taking a complete backup to a mini hard drive but none the less Dell, bad show, bad show.
Got our first pooter on March 19th 1992. It was a Packard Bell 386SXand it cost me about 6 months wages (I was a publican at the time and times were, sadly, hard) and I loved it. It needed some attention from the local techy shop a few times but it lasted 6 years. The next one was a mail order Maple. Anyone remember them? They were quite a big concern at the time and gave value for money but weren’t ‘top drawer’ by any means. You got a lot for your money. Anyway, that lasted for 5 years without any hassles at all until it just stopped working one day, never to be used again. I had backed up all the data stuff on it though, on around 2 dozen floppies.
The Maple was followed by a Mesh (still going I believe, somewhere in Norff Lundunn) and that lasted 6 years (without any outside help although I did have to put a new optical drive in it and hit it with a large hammer a few times) before the Dell was proudly acquired.
The Dell’s short and hassle filled life was a salutary reminder to not take things on trust, so to speak. It’s been replaced by a very highly specced Acer with enough storage in it to contain the entire British Library several time s over and it cost, effectively, a day’s pay. And that doesn’t mean I earn a lot per day, just how cheap these things have become. How things change !!
A new chap has started at work. He’s an assistant. That’s his title. He’s as sharp as a sharp thing that’s just been whetted on a wetstone and it’s great to have him on board. Don’t want to tempt fate by speaking too soon but since he’s been there, it does seem to have become more bearable. There were times when putting my head in the oven seemed like the easier option. I joke not and it was far from pleasant at times. Not the thing to be doing if you can avoid it.
Dear old ‘voice of rock’ Jim Marshall died the other day. As tribute to him (ahem, in my very modest way), the Laney and Line 6 amps have been retired at the towers and the little 10 Watt Marshall practice amp has come out of storage and put back in use. Goodness it sounds good. Being solid state and low powered it’s not, sadly, loud enough to rattle the neighbours windows but crikey it does sound lovely in that gorgeous Marshall crunchy sort of way. Rock on!!!
The cooker at the towers needs attention. Two of the ceramic ring things won’t regulate. We’ve got a maintenance contract but getting round to organising a chap to come round and twiddle with the knobs isn’t as easy and it should be. Thanks for not very much Homeguard. Actually, I say that, they have been quite helpful really, it’s just I don’t want to stay in and wait for said chap to turn up.
Times are hard and we’re all in it together, the government said. So, as means to an end and for something useful to do, the household has taken up winemaking. All from kits, none of that first principals approach for us. So far all is well. Inebriation has never cost so little (well, not for a long time anyway) and it’s been good fun. The kits vary in price quite considerably but even the cheaper 7 day kits produce a very drinkable result. Lovely.
The garden here is slowly, very slowly, recovering from its stint as home to the chucks. I fear it will be a long process and one that will require the intervention of someone who knows what they’re about and I also fear that they won’t come cheap. Whatever happens, it’ll never be the same again. Sigh (out loud).
I’ve managed to shave for a whole week, with a straight razor, without cutting any bits off of the old boat race. This is good news, thank you lord of shaving. Favourite soap at the moment, Mitchells wool fat. Made in Bradford by Bradford folk to an old Bradford recipe, they say. It’s divine to use, there’s no other word for it.