Monday, 19 September 2016

Sunrise at the beach

Having woken at first light, I was too restless to doze for another hour, so I went out and walked eastwards along the beach towards Benalgobion. The sky was rich with red orange and yellow clouds,  precursor to an overcast day, but most spectacular as it changed.

The beach is oriented east southeast, so the sun emerging on the horizon at eight wasn't visible, but to be glimpsed through trees half an hour later. Already there were scores of walkers and joggers out enjoying the cool still fresh morning air.

Sand on the foreshore, up as far as the parasols and sun loungers, had been flattened by a plough similar to those used for making snow pistes. I guess it's a good way of trawling for rubbish, especially broken glass and cans, as well as giving a fresh impression to holidaymakers, although numbers are now starting to dwindle as high season finishes.

Offshore, half a dozen small fishing boats were out, either laying their pots or casting their nets or hauling them in. It was hard to tell in low light a hundred metres away. It was still too early for gulls and pigeons to be active when I set out, but on my way back, the starlings, sparrows, blackbirds and even noisy flocks of parakeets were on the move. There wee few signs of life in the restaurants or shops too. Most tend to open after nine, except the panaderos.

It was a delightful way to start the day.

After breakfast I looked at the photos taken earlier and edited them ready for upload when I next go to St George's, but not today. I have often started thinking about next Sunday's sermon on a Monday, and the discovery of a Common Worship app called Sunday Worship, which delivers just next Sunday's Anglican readings and collects is proving to be an asset, as you don't have to mess around with lectionaries, the necessary text is right there for you to ponder on. So, yet again this week, I'd made an early first draft before lunch.

The preliminary to this was searching for a stand alone Chromebook app which would enable me to do word processing and save files in a useable format without ever needing to be on line. Google Docs apps work well, albeit in a rather convoluted way with different file formats, offline as well as online, with the rigmarole of syncing between the two governed always by connection speed and reliability. But often I want to write and save a text to a flash drive not to the device or the web. This process is not straightforward enough, and I have lost material accidentally in doing so. An app that sits on the device and does offline only what you ask of it is desirable. But how to find the right one?

I wasted an hour trying apps called Writer and Ain't with no satisfaction and in the end resorted to performing the simple task of sermon writing on the office Windows 7 laptop. It's got a nag to update to Windows 10, but now it's too late. The connection speed is too low even to enable it to do Toshiba system updates, apart from pop up reminders. 'Everybody ought to have fast enough internet to run our software' is hardly a realistic design requirement. Consequently, there's a gulf between marketing expectation and mundane reality. Such foolishness.

I wondered what using just my beloved Chromebook for a month might be like, aware there might be risks of poor connectivity. Now I wish I'd brought the spare MS Surface RT along as well. Despite its many software limits, this works better offline. Even better would be a small portable with Linux Mint installed. That would cover my travel needs for offline work. Maybe I can find a second hand machine for a reasonable price, and convert it for another tour of duty.

Lunch, siesta, evening walk under an overcast sky, quite cool really. A surfing class going on down the end of the beach near Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Children youngsters and adults all wearing Malaga Bahia matching sweatshirts, out jogging, dozens of them, spread out over a kilometer of the paseo maritimo, with men on bikes at either end of the group shepherding them. Old people chatting with friends, strolling at a leisurely pace or sitting together in bars or on benches. Fewer visitors now, more space for locals to socialise, and enjoy the coming of autumn.

I have taken an old pair of dark blue 'cargo' shorts acquired a few years ago in Vinaros and now looking very tired, and soaked them in bleach overnight. The result is a rather interesting shade of red. Certainly a revival of fortunes for them. It's better than throwing them away. They are taking a long time to dry in this weather. I look forward to wearing them in their new guise.

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