Monday, 21 August 2006

Black and White

A weekend of opposites.

Saturday morning we headed over to Morrisons where I treated myself to a cooked breakfast (bad!). Saturday afternoon we all went out for a swim for an hour (good!).

Sunday lunchtime we (Alice and I) went on a 10km cycle ride (good!) - 5km each way to the pub in the next village, where we met up with Jacqueline (in the support car!) and ate Sunday lunch (bad!).

Alice is thriving on her new bike, and insisted on riding both ways to the pub, despite intermittent rain and even though a lift was on offer for the return journey. She has really got the hang of riding, and this was pretty much the first time she'd been on a road where there was anything more than a slight chance of traffic. As it was, her attention wandered a couple of times - for example when she noticed something at the side of the road, unconsciously letting her bike drift into the middle, and not noticing the car coming the other way - but on the whole she is very good.

The journey highlighted how much we miss when we travel by car, when we passed over the old railway bridge at Breamore. (Until Dr Beeching swung his axe, there was a rail line running from Salisbury down to Bournemouth, which passed through many of the local villages. In fact there was a station in Downton, and our house stands on what was once a coal yard.) Anyway, as we crossed the bridge at Breamore, right by us was the old station house (now somebody's home), complete with an almost-perfectly-preserved platform including the "Breamore" name plate. The platform now forms part of the garden, and despite the paving of the platform itself there was a lot of colour courtesy of a good stock of potted plants. Marvellous - We've been using this bridge quite regularly for seven years or so now, and this was the first time we'd ever noticed what was underneath!

A portion of the weekend was also spent being a computer geek. Remember from last week I had this problematic disk I wanted to install? Well, I finally sorted it. It took a long time to find this out, but incredibly it seemed to be a problem with a dodgy jumper in the end. Anyway, it took  a very long seven hours or so to copy the data from the existing disk to the new disk, but by Sunday morning this was complete and the machine was ready to use. However, the upgrade wasn't finished, since the plan was also to upgrade this particular machine (my main office machine) to Windows XP. After overcoming several obstacles (needed to upgrade bios, floppy drive would not read, had to get bios onto bootable cd, had to repair MS Office, had to completely reinstall ZoneAlarm), the actual upgrade itself went very smoothly and the machine now has a moderately-recent operating system on it. Should be good for another couple of years...

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