It was such a grey day that I did not fancy a walk. Not only that, but I’ve done quite a lot in the last couple of days and considered I’d earned a rest. So we went to Hedge End for yet more strip lighting, and dropped in on Elizabeth.
She wants to use some of my photographs for her web site. We discussed possibilities. Jackie watered some of the plants in the greenhouse and I wandered round the garden enjoying signs of post-winter life. Roses and shrubs are budding and some of the latter even beginning to bloom. We were particularly pleased with the winter flowering rhododendron that we planted last autumn in a newly created bed. The one drawback with this is that what was thought to be yellow and scented is actually pale pink and lacking an aroma. Elizabeth thought she may have picked up the wrong one in the garden centre.
After this we visited Mum who has a chest infection and hasn’t been at all well. Not wishing to disturb her if she was asleep, and being unable to remember the code for the keysafe, which allows people access to her house when she can’t get to the door, I rang the bell very tentatively. There was no reply. We peeped through the kitchen window. Fortunately the door to the living room was open and we could see Mum’s slippered feet resting on her pouffe. We could also see the television screen which had writing on it, but no moving pictures. She must be asleep. Craning to one side, Jackie spotted a movement. Mum was doing her cross-stitch. So I rang the doorbell again.
My mother apologised for not answering the bell. She had been feeling less well yesterday and had struggled to the door to be greeted by an electioneering canvasser. Thinking that if there was one there were likely to be more, she put up a notice saying she could not come to the door for political discussions. She removed it this morning but thought that maybe we were another such visitor. I said I was glad to hear that was the reason, because until we saw her twitch when we could see her feet through the kitchen window with an unchanging television screen , we thought she had popped her clogs. Mum had a good laugh at this and didn’t even cough. She had been listening to the radio through the television. Far too up to the minute for me.
I’m sure this nonagenerian would have more success with a computer than I do. I have written before about the problems with setting up my i-Mac, in particular my inability to upload photos direct from my camera. With an unaccustomed burst of optimism I decided to get down to the business of upgrading my machine. Trawling around the Apple on-line information I learned that what I needed was a Mountain Lion. But before I could even think of obtaining one of those dubious pets I needed a Snow Leopard. Whoever named the Berberis Darwinii photographed above would probably understand Apple’s system of evolution.
But, hold on a minute, no Mac purchased before 2007, can accommodate a wild cat. I needed to check my operating system. Non-vintage operating systems are all named after these beautiful endangered species. Not only endangered, they are dying out, and needing replacement, at an alarming rate. There were helpful instructions as to how to discover your operating system. My computer was purchased in 2006, so it is not even powered by a moggie kitten.
The time had come for me to give up trying to find my way through the on-line maze, so I telephoned Apple and, after the usual false starts because I couldn’t give the robot the right answers, I spoke to a very helpful man named John. One of the false starts was Jackie’s fault. Just as the machine I was being questioned by asked me something to which the answer was definitely not ‘No’, she called me from the kitchen asking if I’d like some coffee, which I didn’t. And I don’t think the young woman with the tinny voice is programmed to accept ‘thank you’.
John, of course, confirmed what I had come to realise. I cannot upgrade my Apple. And new i-Macs don’t have a slot for discs, which is what I need to upload the system for transferring pictures from my little Canon. Maybe I would be able to do that another way, but I’ve had enough head banging for one day. When I had told John the identifying number of my non-zoological operating system, he had taken a sharp intake of breath. During the conversation he told me that my six year old machine was classified as ‘Vintage’. Had it been another year older it would have been ‘Obsolete’. ‘Vintage’ starts at five. The term when given to wine might be considered positive. Not with computers.
In the evening Jackie drove us to Totton where we enjoyed fish and chips with tea for me and coffee for her at Goodies. Episode 5 of ‘Call the Midwife’ was for afters when we got home.