Saturday, 7 November 2009

Ditching the preload

Have spent a leisurely morning reconfiguring the new L510 and getting rid of all the extraneous stuff manufacturers like to clutter up your hard drive with. First was the security 'trial' software. Replaced it with Avast! Which doesn't seem to slow your machine down quite so much as it's more heavy duty counterparts. Got rid of a lot of the other stuff including Microsoft Works, and replaced it with Openoffice. Added Skype, checked the connectivity and applied for my free Windows 7 upgrade. Configured Mrs S's job related software and everything is whizzing along at a pace that makes our reasonably quick desktop seem positively slothlike. Job done.

Interesting discussion with In-laws last night. They live in Minnesota, USA and are planning to wrap up their affairs there and head north of the border to our locale within the next year or two. The wine flowed, and talk loosened, and I recall the following conversation before it all got too blurry;
"So Bill, would you ever go back to the UK?" Said Brother in law.
"No. There's nothing left there for me." Quoth I "Only my mother, and she's happy so long as she hears from me once a month. I've nothing I want to go back to. What about you?"
"Ever?" Tests brother in law.
"Not really."
"Mmm, me too."
"I don't miss England at all, apart from the odd wistful longing for a quick blast down the old Fosse Way down to the West Country."
"Really? Yet you wouldn't ever think of going back?"
"No. One of the things that always makes me smile is that the Welsh refer to England as Lloegyr; the lost lands."
"Your meaning?" Asks Brother in law. Mrs S tweaks my leg, she knows I'm about to 'go off on one'. I take the hint and wind my neck back in a little.
"When we were traveling the trans Canada in 2007, we kept on coming across ex-pat English truck drivers who all said more or less the same thing; that England isn't England any more." I explained.
"Well not for you, you haven't been back there in over two years." Observes Brother in law. "It's like the past being another country."
"There is that." I conceded. "You certainly can't get there from here, nor would you want to."
"Mm. Everything changes. England never really was England anyway." We shared a philosophical nod and the booze got passed again. Tonight Mrs S was driving, so I could indulge my thirst in a modest little Okanagan Pinot Noir. We have vinyards in Canada, so we're quite not the cultural backwater some might think. Ice Wine is the big favourite, but we get some nice dryish Reislings and there's a very pleasant Cabernet-Malbec we bought on Saltspring Island last year.

There was a slightly awkward but thoughtful expatriate silence and we watched the rain for a while. I found myself thinking about the UK's slide into becoming a mere province of the EU, and how preventable it all was. However, the politico's of the UK want it that way, and short of armed insurrection that's what is going to happen. Everyone in the room seemed aware of that acutely unpleasant possibility. The girls weren't too happy about their husbands discussing politics, however obliquely, and for a minute the social temperature dropped.

"Good chili." I remarked about our evening's repast to break the disquiet. "Superb stuff."
"You're hired." Joked Sister in law.
"Damn. I was hoping to get Sunday night off." Was Brother in law's rejoinder. Chili is his signature dish, and he does it exceptionally well.

The bonhomie surged back into our conversation, and talk turned to other matters. Shortly after this point my normally video-like memory skipped a track due to alcohol fueled misalignment, and my recollection became no longer trustworthy. Any further conversations of this ilk will have to remain unreported to the commissars. Thoroughly pleasant evening though. Doing it again tonight, although without the Chili. It will be Mrs S's turn for the odd libation this time, as we take turns to drive.

1 comment:

Scoakat said...

Cheers Bill! No kidding, I'm getting drunk celebrating a rare evening, but you sound a whole lot happier than 'walking the streets' times.
I'm happy for you and thanks for sharing it with us! All the best!

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