Thursday, 25th January, 2024

[Day 1410]

This has been a very interesting couple of days for a variety of reasons but first things first. Whilst we were in Worcester yesterday, we took the opportunity to pick up another late Victorian captain’s chair, very similar but not identical in style to the one we picked up in Birmingham just before Christmas. This latest chair will complememt beautifully the one bought earlier and although evidently not from the same ‘stable’, the two of them form an interesting pair in our hall. I had negotiated a special price about three quarters of the price I paid for the first one as this exemplar had a little flaw in a decorative band that runs around under the main back of the chair and has straight, rather than turned legs. Nonetheless, the seller (who was raising funds for his ‘Men in their Sheds’ project) accepted my offer and his address was very easy to find but it was just around the corner from an acupuncturist that Meg used to frequent in Worcester whn we first moved here sixteen years ago. Once I got it home, I gave the chair the ‘grade 0000 steel wool and beeswax’ treatment which should gave the chair a patina that lasts for several years. I have put a couple of matching cushions on it that I just happened to buy the other day and they make the whole ensemble in our hallway very attractive in my opinion) But as well as this purchase, another parcel arrived to which I had been looking forward for several days. I am evidently on the email list of a firm that specialises in reconditioned laptops and, several days ago, I received an offer which I felt I could not resist as it was a ThinkPad machine with a pretty modern processor, a 500GB hard disk and 8MB of ram, complete with Windows 11. Last night, after Meg was in bed, I decided to just open up the parcel I had received during the day with the intention of just unpacking it and then plugging it in to make sure it was not DOA (dead on arrival) Upon unpacking it, I thought that the model and screen size was larger than the one I had ordered and indeed, I had been supplied with a different but markedly superior model to the one that I ordered and paid for. (I wonder of the supplier had run out of the model which he had advertised and had one of these machines available and thought that his customer would not object to a superior model) So I have finished up with a laptop built by Lenova to IBM standatds and officially classed as a ‘workstation’, which I can well understand as it was pretty heavy and I would not like to lug it around very much on a train or what have you. The new model has a superior processor clocked at a higher speed (an ‘i7’ rather than an ‘i5’ for the cognoscenti), Windows 11 Professional and the MicroSoft 365 suite of applications. As you might imagine, one thing led to another – after switching it on, the first thing that Windows 11 demanded was the password to link in with our router and I managed to get this installed at the second attempt. You then needed to uilise a MicroSoft account but I had a copy of Outlook credentials installed on my main system so these had to be resurrected, complete with passwords. Then, of course, I had a mouse to install instead of using the inbuilt trackpad but this proved to be relativey simple. So what started off as a simple little session ended up as being up for about an hour and half later than I would have normally have gone to bed whilst I played about with a new toy. I had already got the two utilities I am using the most (a text editor for which I had paid a subscription years ago and which the Swiss form involved supplied me with a brand new and up-to-date copy once I had interrogated my email program and found an order number from years ago, and also my favourite FTP transfer program.) So there is quite a big learning curve for me as Windows 11 has an entirely different interface and user experience from the Windows 7 on my previous ThinkPad and I suspect that I am going to need the faster processor and CPU power given the increased functionality bundled within Windows 11)

Today, we decided to do our weekly shopping when the Thursday carer had called around so I did a lightning tour around the big Aldi store in the centre of town, thinking it was going to be quite a light week but nonetheless doing something like a normal week’s shop. After we had got this unpacked, it was getting quite late so we made do with a light lunch of mushromms and ham on toast (which we found delicious and enjoyed greatly). In the afternoon, Meg and I decided to watch ‘Schindler’s List‘ which was first broadcast on BBC2 a couple of nights ago and was transmitted in anticipation of World Holocaust day which is tomorrow, Friday. Meg and I watched this with a combination of fascination and horror and whilst we were both generally broadly aware of the Schindler’s List story line, there were nonetheless some dramatic scenes to add twists to the story. Meg was able to concentrate upon this for the whole of the afternoon and it was one of those films where it was difficult to tear oneself away.