Yesterday’s rain was magnified today. Looking out of our windows I thought the limited visibility was mist. It was the deluge. All vehicles on the A31 had headlights glowing, falling raindrops adding hazy coronas. Undeterred, I walked the loop taking in the two underpasses.
Pebbles on a beach revealed by a receding tide gain, until dried out, an enhanced depth of colour. So it is with leaked petrol, as seen yesterday, and with leaves, lichen, and moss, not that these latter fruits of the forest have much chance of drying out at the moment. Gravel in the beds of streams glistened invitingly.
Roads and footpaths were again flowing with water. The uphill stretch of the A31 was a torrent. Ducking to avoid dripping branches as I walked along its verges, simply meant that spray thrown up by lorry tyres hit my face a bit sooner. The extra gusts of wind these vehicles created as they rushed past seemed more unsettling than usual. My choice of route was beginning to seem a less than good idea. However, to borrow from Magnus Magnusson’s ‘Mastermind’ catchphrase, I’d started so I would finish.
In 1978, Denis Healey, Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, famously said of his friend and opposite number in the Conservative Shadow Cabinet that ‘part of his speech was like being savaged by a dead sheep’. Geoffrey Howe was not dead, but he was certainly Wet in political parlance. Seeing a wet sheep this morning attempting to gain some shelter, I thought of these two amicable rivals.
After lunch I attempted to start a new life with my new iMac. The first step was to sort out a password problem with our Broadband. We managed to get our Windows laptops connected to our Home Hub when we first arrived here, but now are often automatically connected to Wi Fi, requiring us to disconnect from that before connecting to the Hub. Recently the password has been rejected. This did my head in because we had written it down. Maybe we were looking in the wrong place. So I rang BT and had the man take me through resetting the password, choosing the very same one as the old one for the replacement. It worked. When pressed, the adviser admitted that there had been an internal problem with BT Yahoo. That annoyed me even more.
I then tried to get on the Internet with the new Apple machine, and kept being told I was inserting the wrong password. So I rang the emergency support line which comes free for 90 days. The technician confirmed that the password required was the BT one and not something specific to iMacs. I put it in again. Three times. It was rejected. Three times. I couldn’t bear to go through the BT phone system again, and settled, for the time being, for the insecure Wi Fi route. So I moved on to the second problem I had discovered. The scroll bar for moving up and down the text of this post disappeared as soon as I looked at it. This was a comparatively simple adjustment, so I was able to edit this document on my new toy. But why does the M on the keyboard look exactly like an upside down W? After a thoroughly frustrating afternoon, my head was already spinning enough. I’d rather face any amount of dead sheep and savage terriers than go through that again. But I guess I’ll have to do so tomorrow. Robert the Bruce learned from a spider that one must try, try, and try again.
My final effort today was to stick My Passport into the back of the computer and try to look at all the pictures I had transferred yesterday. This needed all my willpower. But, surprise, surprise, it was achieved in seconds. Elizabeth’s set of ‘Derrick through the ages’, does not appear chronologically, but I have decided to leave it that way. Today’s offering is from 1958. This was taken by Mick Copleston during one of our billiard sessions in his front room at the top end of Amity Grove. Since he always won, I can’t think what I was looking so relaxed about. Maybe I was just trying to look dreamy.
Speaking of relaxation, it is quite amazing how getting one process to work reduces the tightness around one’s head and lengthens the temper.
Feeling more optimistic, I decided to go for broke and transfer 1263 pictures direct from my camera Scandisc into iPhoto. No problem. As if this weren’t enough enough to lift the spirits we were able to watch a full-screen slideshow accompanied by gentle modern jazz music on a loop. Magic.
Tomorrow is the grand rugbyfest day, which will be fully explained then, and for which Jackie has been preparing food since this morning. It therefore seemed only right that I take her out for a meal this evening. Her choice was Imperial China in Lyndhurst. We enjoyed a marvellous and plentiful set meal, accompanied by T’sing Tao beer in her case and a Georges du Beouf red wine in mine.