Spring continues to be thrust aside by its hoary old relative. Why winter has been unable to enjoy an easy third age on the lecture circuit is a mystery to us all, except perhaps Michael Fish, the weatherman who infamously dismissed reports of the Great Storm of 1987. A solitary daffodil manages to defy the cold and to brighten the shrubbery opposite our dining area. Its companion probably isn’t going to make it.
Just as cold today, at least the wind had dropped. There was not much sign of life until I met the sheep as I walked the first ford ampersand. A couple of bedraggled, head-drooping, forlorn looking ponies jerked their slow way up the centre of the road through the village. A young woman relaxed aboard her pony at the end of a ride. The occasional car went by. Apart from the rider, the only other person I spoke to was a driver on my return journey who stopped and asked the way to the Study Centre. I trust Judith will be as impressed as I was by the detailed accuracy of my stunning directions.
Imagining being reliant on sheep for your day’s excitement should give the reader a better flavour of the day than yet more attempts of mine to find different ways of describing miserable weather. As I approached the sheep field in Newtown I was greeted by a very loud bleating chorus. This was emanating from the hedge through which it was just possible to see the vociferous ovine occupants. On turning a corner and drawing up alongside a five barred gate I felt like a London bus driver arriving at Morden bus station soon after school going home time. The parent sheep were already waiting at the gate baaing their heads off. It was then I saw the lambs. These small animals leapt, gambolled, pushed and shoved each other, and squirmed their way in front of the adults, determined to get to the head of the queue. The parents’ hubbub followed me as I continued on my way.
This afternoon I tackled the last of the challenges my new computer has set me. I connected the Canon Pro 900 printer to the iMac. Lo and behold, the software download was done automatically in about two minutes and I made an A3 print in a jiffy. The setup is now pretty well complete. The whole kit has to be confined to a fairly small space in our massive sitting room. Mac sits on the desk. The small Epson printer lies underneath on a ledge alongside the A4 printing paper, and the Epson V750 Pro scanner is perched on a small Sainsbury’s wine rack on its side on top of a little filing cabinet. There is no room in this arrangement for the enormous A3+ printer. Jackie, of course, came up with the ideal solution. This very heavy piece of equipment nestles in a laundry bag within a plastic box on wheels. All this stands at the bottom of her wardrobe. When I need the printer I open the wardrobe; pull out the box on wheels; open the box; lift out the laundry bag by its handles; carry it from bedroom to sitting room, where the kitchen trolley waits to double as a stand; place the printer on the trolley; and finally attach the plug in place in the trailing socket on the desk and put the cable into a USB port. I really think Heath Robinson, a superb draftsman famous for his drawings of complex and complicated contraptions for simple tasks, would have envied my lady her inventiveness. Not, I hasten to add, that there is anything ridiculous about Jackie’s simplification of my set up.
Today’s test print was of trout taken at Mottisfont on 7th September last year.
This evening we took a trip to Imperial China in Lyndhurst, where we enjoyed the usual excellent meal, and both drank TsingTao beer.