A major Dolly the Mega-Cat cuddle session

Wednesday March 30, 2005

Graham’s back was sufficiently recovered today for us to make our postponed trip to the dump.

“Are you sure?” I demanded.

“Yeah. Got to keep moving.”

“Well, how’s about we take the lightweight stuff today and leave the heavy bags over for tomorrow?”

“Nope. They’re full of garden waste and starting to ferment already. We ought to get rid of them soon as we can or the bags will biodegrade on us.”

“Ah. Well, just take it easy, and don’t forget your back for a millisecond, ‘cos that’s all it takes.”

And so the little blue Ford was laden with bags of compost, a few bits of cardboard for packing, and the old kitchen sink to cover it all up. Twenty minutes later the cardboard and the sink were in their appropriate recycling bins and the garden waste was being munched up ready for municipal composting.

“Shame we couldn’t compost it ourselves,” Graham said. He likes making compost heaps, and digging the resulting stuff into vegetable and flower patches.

“Yeah. I know. But we’ve no way of composting and using it here before we leave.”

“It’s still a shame. Perhaps we’ll have our own compost heap again one day.”

“You never know.”

It is a pity, though. There’s nothing quite so good as a nice, well-ordered utility corner of a productive garden, complete with a pair of compost bins and an incinerator for the stuff that is best reduced to ash. Come to that, there’s nothing quite so good or satisfying as a well-ordered, productive garden altogether. Mr McGregor had the right of it, even if Peter Rabbit did have to keep a careful eye open for the old codger.

Not content with breaking the rules on back care at the dump, when we got home Graham decided to cut our grass, aiming to bag the clippings up and take them on our next trip, tomorrow. Sadly, our mowing machine has seen better days, and needs to be replaced. It still works, though, reluctantly, and so Graham perseveres with it.

“Look,” I said, taking a mug of tea out to a slightly pink-faced gardener. “Why don’t we just buy a new one?”

“Can’t. We won’t need a mower at all if we go to London, and there’s no telling what kind of mower we’ll need if we go anywhere else.”

“If this poor old beast dies on us before we move then we’ll have to buy a new one regardless.”

“Let’s face that bridge when we come to it. And hope that we don’t.”

So, slightly shame-faced because he’s right, of course, I made my way back to my desk and resumed the task of transferring files over to the new host. When I began the job, yesterday, I was rather disappointed to discover that it was a slow process, interrupted by line problems. My first reaction was, horror of horrors, to suspect the new host. It wasn’t them, though, it was my ISP playing silly buggers again. This morning, when I started CuteFTP Pro up, the transfers went through lickety-spit, as fast and reliable as you’ve any right to expect a dial-up connection to be. It was the same when we got back from the dump, and again when I woke from my afternoon nap and started going once more. Similarly, when I checked pages at random on the new server to be sure they’d loaded correctly, I found the response all that I could reasonably expect. I suspect it’s pretty darned good over broadband/ADSL or cable but that’s another thing that’ll have to wait until we’ve moved.

With a big sigh, I announced at about 22:30 that the job was done. A complete copy of the entire website is spinning merrily somewhere in Chicago and, sometime in the next few days, the oldgreypoet.com domain name servers will be propagated across the Internet and, as if by magic, the switch-over will happen, hopefully without visible impact except that pages may well download faster, especially for readers in the USA. I’ll announce it here when the switch-over is complete.

Ye gods and little fishes, though, but moving the website has become a big job. And, when I look at it closely, I’m more than a little ashamed of the sorry state of the photo galleries. Like someone or other who’s name I have completely forgot, they have just growed. I see that my new hosting service offers free installation of image management software, name of ‘Copper’-something, backed by ‘Image Majick’, whatever that is, or how it’s properly spelt. I think that, next winter when I’m in need of a heavy project, I shall set that up and create a properly structured gallery section to see me into the future. The present setup is a mess, and I’m wary of trying to add to it, or to modify it in any way. I can still post pictures into journal entries, of course, but formal galleries need careful design and implementation, and time which I’d rather spend out of doors now that the weather is clement enough for leisurely walking and cycling once more.

And that was it for my day, really. Somewhere late in the evening I overheard Graham as he commiserated with Dolly, saying that I’d been staring at the computer screen for ages and ages. “He’ll finish soon,” I heard him say. “And then perhaps he’ll make it up to you with a big cuddle or something.”

Which is what I did. Ending the day with a major Dolly the Mega-Cat cuddle session is no bad thing.



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