Norman’s Parrot

This morning, after very early delivery of my NatWest Your Points vouchers, Jackie drove us to Curry/PC World in Christchurch where I bought a new laptop and collected my older cleaned-up one. This time I have a Hewlett Packard Pavilion. Never having used Air Miles or Your Points before, I was rather amazed to learn that we could obtain cash vouchers for them. So that was very handy.
From Emery Down to a long way along the A35 we followed an open-topped Triumph convertible from a previous era, driven by a white-haired gentleman with a blonde hoodie passenger. For most of the time this car exceeded the speed limits, occasionally emitting blackish clouds from its exhaust pipe. As Jackie said, turning off the switch which allowed our car to inhale ‘fresh’ air from outside, ‘It reminds us of what cars used to smell like’.
We were in the store for a very long time, firstly because they were short-staffed, and secondly because the explanation of the pros and cons of the various machines was doing my head in. For example, Mike, who was the very patient salesperson who helped me, said Curry’s recommended one security system that I had once used but changed when told it was no good. Towards the end of the process Jackie took part in a customer survey. She said, on my behalf, that the absence of a customer toilet was a serious omission. I had already pointed out that this lack seriously affected my concentration, and was therefore escorted to the staff facilities. Otherwise, we had no complaints.
Taking a stroll round the grounds after lunch I investigated Eleanor’s abandoned den. Until late last year this young lady and her friend Henry spent many happy hours building a home of their own, somewhat appropriately within the branches of a vast rhododendron. Jessica and Imogen had enjoyed playing in it last May. When Eleanor moved away with her family the abode fell into disuse.
My friend Norman, now unable to perform his priestly activities, is possessed of a beautiful Welsh singing voice which he used in expected and unexpected ways. With a great sense of pageant Norman is a brilliant writer and deliverer of sermons. He would on occasion burst into song from the pulpit. He would also, when it seemed helpful, bring along a prop, such as the parrot a mutual friend Janice once gave him. As he mounted the pulpit steps and gradually emerged into his own delivery perch, the congregation was treated to the sight of this bird upon Father Norman’s shoulder.
Norman's parrot
When preparing for a down-sizing house move Norman asked me if I could find a home for his parrot. I was sure Eleanor would love it to join all her other embellishments to her den. That is where it ended up. Today it still guards Eleanor’s discarded wind chimes. When we change our own dwelling place we will take it with us.
I needed that little diversion before wrestling with the new laptop this afternoon. The first hour or so seemed quite smooth. Then I came to installing Microsoft Office. I can’t bear to detail the problems on the way. Suffice it to say I forgot a password I’d given at the beginning and had to reset it, which brought its own complications. Then I couldn’t find it in the pc. How was I to know I wouldn’t get an automatic icon on the screen? After all there are ones for things like e-bay and Wild Tangent Games which I will never use. All in all the Office installation took about two neck and shoulders stiffening hours, and I’m afraid I did utter the odd expletive.
I seem to be secure; am in a Cloud somewhere; and if I am not very careful I’m on a webcam, looking extremely perplexed.
Five year old Malachi, where are you? I need your guidance and assistance.
When I eventually tore myself away from the new laptop, on which I am finishing this post, last night’s superb jalfrezi meal was reprised. As always, this involved additions to the time-improved base, in this case supplementary freshly cooked chicken and chickpeas, which seemed quite a pleasing choice. I finished the cabernet sauvignon. Jackie abstained.


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