Digging

At 3 a.m. this morning, having woken up thinking about it, I tried the link suggested last evening by the WordPress advisor. It led me to clearing the Safari cache. This seemed rather frightening. I ‘[felt] the fear and [did] it anyway’. It worked. I was then able to reformat yesterday’s post with larger photographs.

Owls in the forest cheered me on.

Layered landscape

With another glorious day in the offing, I walked down to Seamans Corner, from which the layered landscape has always intrigued me, then took the Bull Lane loop.

Church bells rang out a fulsome melody, and small camera-shy birds filled the treetops with their bright and cheerful song.

DonkeysDonkey scratching

The trio of donkeys I had seen recently on Upper Drive were foraging in Seamans Lane. One, after nuzzling one of its companions, stopped feeding for a good scratch.

Further on, a pile of timber that was once a splendid tree was being burnt. A crane heaped it up and the flames were doing the rest. The small bonfire John had lit in our garden on 24th February still smouldered some days later, so I imagine this one will take a while to consume the remains.Horse on hilltop

A solitary horse was silhouetted on a hilltop.

Alan diggingAlanAlan and his wife Fran were beginning their spring work on their cottage garden opposite The Trusty Servant Inn. I had a long and convivial talk with this septuagenarian who greatly impressed me with the deep hole he had dug to take a new fencepost. Fran, who was cutting out a stubborn bramble from a rose hedge, quipped that she had the hard job.

Sandbagged ditchAn extensive ditch-digging operation is taking place in the most waterlogged areas of the road through Minstead. Deep trenches have been excavated to take the water that runs off the fields. Pipes, covered by sandbags, have been laid under the banks leading to farm entrances.

The whole of this lovely afternoon was spent on further moving administration. This time it was composing and printing a dozen business-type letters. Banks, pensions, utilities. That kind of stuff. Four hours on twelve similar letters? You might well ask.

Should anyone else consider purchasing a new and unfamiliar laptop without transferring data from the old one, at the same time as preparing for a house move, my advice would be not to even think about it. Firstly my correspondence folder containing all the necessary addresses was on the discarded Toshiba.Derrick Secondly the HP has a very different display. Thirdly, I couldn’t remember how to make a correspondence folder on the old machine, let alone the new one. Fourthly, sitting in an easy chair juggling with two different computers made for a certain amount of confusion over mice, and created an enhanced risk of tripping up. It wasn’t really reasonable to expect the mouse attached to the Toshiba to operate the HP, or vice versa. And one connecting cable stretched across your shins is fairly dicey. Two is positively careless.

Oh, and fifthly, some of these organisations were in France, so I was dealing with two languages. Sixthly, I had to remember to change references and account numbers each time I cut and pasted stuff.

Having managed to produce this vast collection and stick it in a folder labelled ‘correspondence’, I got to the really exciting stage. Printing.

This involved walking across the room, attaching the HP to the Canon printer, loading the paper, calling up each document in turn, and pressing Print. The first one took about an hour. I struggled with all the directions; icons; help sections; getting started; which printers could or couldn’t be supported by my new device, etc., etc. Eventually I found in ‘printers’ that my Canon didn’t seem to be connected. Then it dawned on me that I might have to load the original disc. Now where was it?

Eventually Jackie remembered seeing a couple of discs in the children’s bookshelves in the spare room. Well, of course. Where else would they be, but close to hand for the only people who might know what they were and what to do with them?

The disc was loaded and the job was soon completed. Unfortunately it was then too late to catch the last post.

But still in time for this one.

Red hot chilli con carne (recipe) with wild rice, peas, and sweetcorn furnished our dinner this evening. The heat was achieved by including six dried chillies I’d bought at least six years ago. From Jackie’s point of view, it was a good thing there was some natural yoghurt in the fridge. I drank some more Pomerol.

On A Mission 2

This morning I began the nightmare that is the administration attached to moving house. Most organisations prefer you to make the necessary arrangements on line, but I am of the generation that prefers to deal with real people. This is actually possible, but first of all you have to deal with a machine, You may use a keyboard, or in some cases speech, to answer the robot’s questions. At some point the mechanised voice will politely ask you to repeat either what you have said, or the number you have keyed in. If that happens more than once or twice over a particular point, you are advised to wait for an operator whilst you listen either to dubious music or advertising of the particular business’s services. If you are lucky you are told how many people are ahead of you in the queue or how long the delay may be.

Today’s experience wasn’t that difficult. It began with organising the removal service supplied by the admirable Globe removals who have moved us three times already. No problem. Once we passed the machine hoops, BT gave us a very friendly and efficient woman who sorted out the transfer of their equipment and account to be within four days of the move. Even New Forest Council had the decency to have their demands for council tax and consequent direct debits date from 1st April, to coincide nicely with our departure from Castle Malwood Lodge.

I’m bound to forget something, but at least I have made a start.

After lunch Jackie gave me a 90 minute start for a trip to just beyond Bolderwood. She then caught me up in the car and drove me to our destination and back. I walked to Emery Down by the usual route, turning right at The New Forest Inn. Had I not stopped in Minstead for a chat with Anne, I may well have reached our goal. As it was Jackie reached me just a mile from the Canadian Cross.

Peaty poolMy readers are more than acquainted with the huge corpses of forest trees and their crudely amputated limbs that littered this stretch of terrain. Pools of still water lay beside them. I suspect it was peat that lent its tincture to some of these glassy patches.

PonyA young and beautiful white pony ambled inquisitively across the dried bracken and  watched me walking past.

My Facebook friend, Barrie Haynes, who once lived in the area, had asked me about two maple trees planted either side of the Canadian Cross. Canadian Cross from leftCanadian Cross from rightJackie at Canadian CrossHe wanted to know how they were surviving, and I undertook to investigate. Rene FournierThe Cross is the centrepiece of the Memorial to Canadian Servicemen who lost their lives during the Second World War whilst contributing to the struggle, the outcome of which made my upbringing much safer than it may have been. Barrie wrote that ‘the story goes that two Canadians came back many years [after the memorial had first been erected], looking for the original  cross (which had rotted away). When the new cross was first set up, the maples either side were stolen’. They were subsequently replaced.

I am happy to report that the trees, although leafless at the moment, are thriving.

Please spare a thought for Rene Fournier and his compatriots.

This morning’s tussle with technology was a sweet dream compared to the nightmare that beset me when I began to draft the latter half of this post. iMac’s Safari would not load the page. The message they gave me was that the server had discontinued, probably because it was busy. I was to try again in a few minutes. I did so several times over the next hour. Then I had the first of my brilliant ideas. Perhaps it would work on Windows. It did. Oh joy. I could then write the text. But what about the photos? They were on the iMac. No longer on the camera so I couldn’t try to load them onto my HP laptop. I always delete them from the camera once I’ve put them on the computer.

Then I had my second brilliant idea. I could -mail the photos to myself, put them onto the HP desktop, and upload them to WordPess from there. I did send them successfully. But how, on my newest equipment, was I to transfer the pictures from the e-mails? I couldn’t fathom it.

But. Wait a minute. Do you feel brilliant idea number three coming on? I did. I still had my old Toshiba that Becky hasn’t yet collected. I knew how to do it on that. I thought. In fact I’d already forgotten, but I did manage it.

I couldn’t, however, do much with the image sizes, so I hope you will forgive me. In any case, I trust you will appreciate the effort that has gone into illustrating this post.

The superb bottle of Pomerol, La Croix Taillefer 2007, given to me by Shelly and Ron for Christmas, accompanying Jackie’s liver and bacon casserole (recipe), went some way to alleviating my suffering.

As did the WordPress support system. I had alerted them to my problem. Whilst I was completing this piece, David from WordPress came on to chat. He confirmed what I had been beginning to realise, which was it was an internet compatibility problem. He sent me a link which may help. I’m not up to pursuing this tonight. We’ll see what tomorrow may bring.

P.S. At 3 a.m. the next morning, waking up thinking about it, I rose from my bed and tried the link. It advised me to clear my Safari cache. This seemed a pretty scary thing to do. But I did it anyway. And. Blow me. It worked. The result is I have been able to reformat this page with larger photographs.