Monday, 20 March 2017

Future travel prospects

Another wet morning. I was collected at ten for a funeral service in Pidgeon's chapel, and this was followed by burial at Western Cemetery. Light rain persisted throughout. I felt sorry for the small band of mourners at the graveside, huddled under umbrellas on waterlogged clay terrain. The water table on this site is a couple of meters below ground, but in wet weather, open graves frequently flood giving undertakers problems and mourners additional distress. It's not always possible to pump all the water out of a grave beforehand, and water can seep in again within fifteen to twenty minutes.

I was home and dry again by noon. After lunch I paid the balance over the phone on our Rhine cruise in May. I couldn't get the web payment facility on the website accept a card transaction, but a lady on the end of the Riviera Travel enquiry line was able to put it through, and it didn't take any longer. We're both looking forward to this greatly.

Then I did some more long drawn out Windows 10 computer updates, as each of mine at different times comes to the top of its particular queue. I also updated Libre Office on all my machines, the least onerous of tasks. Each new update brings improvements, some of them take a while to discover if you don't look at the published change-log. Improvements in speed however, are immediately noticeable and welcome every time. It's rarer and rarer that I ever have to use MS Word these days. 

This weekend I bought a copy of Linux Format magazine fro the first time in several years, as it had an up to date Linux Mint 18.1 distribution disk with it. These days I find that less and less of the technical content of the magazine is material I can understand. There's much about web computing and content management I have not kept abreast with, and have become less interested in how to do new things than I am in issues like user friendliness, or the social and cultural impact of media on life today. I still can and do troubleshoot computer problems for ordinary users, but that's now the limit of my expertise.

I whiled away a little time trying to run the live Mint distribution CD on a laptop with UEFI boot software, but without success. I am so nervous of making an irreversible change, which requires me to find and pay a real expert to put right. Progress, if it is progress, is leaving me behind, I admit.

By late afternoon the rain stopped and the sun shone, so I went for a walk to Pontcanna Fields before cooking supper, collecting a dozen pieces of litter on my way. So far, rough mental calculation still indicates that I pick up an average of half a dozen for each kilometre I walk. There's more than this on the ground for sure, but sometimes after rain, it's difficult to retrieve.

Just as I was getting ready for bed, I had an email from a churchwarden at St John's Montreux asking if I was available at the end of the summer. That's when I next have free time so I emailed my availability to her, and found myself quite excited at the prospect of an all new assignment, as I attempted to relax into sleep. I can hardly believe that it's nearly five years since we last visited Switzerland. My focus has been mainly on Spain since then, so the prospect of returning to a familiar and much loved part of Europe as a locum, and bringing my French back into use is going to be another challenge.

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