Never surrender

Sunday April 9, 2006

17 days to M-day

“What are you going to do today?” Graham asked when we spoke on the phone this morning.

“Sleep. I have to go out for provisions at some point but mostly I’m planning on a lot of sleep, followed by more sleep.”

“Good. You’ve earned it.”

I don’t know about earning it but I certainly enjoyed several naps, long and short, during the morning and afternoon. Finally, I woke in the early evening, refreshed and fully charged. I take a lot longer to recharge than does my new laptop computer but then my batteries are about sixty-six years older.

About mid-day I told Dolly the Mega-cat I’d not be long, hopped into the little silver Ford, which seemed very much smaller than normal, and drove over the country roads to the Boston Tesco’s for a three-day provisioning. I didn’t hurry—it took me a little while to get used to the pedals in the car after the great clunky things in the van.

As I drive around on my local messages I make notes, observing the small places and objects that’ve become part of my life in the past two Lincolnshire years. I keep my notebook and pen to hand, and my camera, and stop when I can to jot down a few lines and, possibly, snap a record. Sometimes the notes and the observations spark a small snaphot poem, which I generally work up in the evening:


Hubbert’s Bridge
On the blank black brick wall
of the signal box at Hubbert’s Bridge
there are two small windows high up
in the right hand corner. Arranged without
obvious reason their purpose is hard to tell.
John Bailey
Lincolnshire, April 2006


Hubbert’s Bridge spans the South Forty Foot Drain as it heads towards Boston where it joins the River Witham. It carries the B1192 road on its way over the fens. There’s a cluster of buildings, and a tiny railway station—hence the signal box. There’s a photo here, taken from the bank across from the station. The signal box is the white construction to the left; on the opposite side of the building, out of sight, is the blank black brick wall.

My own photographs are going to have to stay in the camera for a while because I’ve yet to learn how to transfer them to the laptop. I don’t suppose it’ll turn out to be at all difficult but there’s only so much I can do with the available time just now.

I did work my way through the process of burning a data DVD this evening, however, and made a successful backup of all my files. The DVD programs provided with the HP Pavillion work flawlessly and are easy to operate; the backup, of about 2.7 gbytes of personal files, took about 30 minutes from start to finish and so is an ideal candidate for a Sunday evening when, normally, I’d be relaxing in front of the TV.

I told Graham of my success with the DVD when we spoke late this evening.

“Well done,” he said. “But it’s not a laptop. They’re called notebooks these days.”

“Don’t think I can do that,” I said. “A notebook is what I write in with my pen. It’ll have to stay as a laptop in my language.”

“But you don’t use it on your lap.”

“I may have solved that one. I’ve discovered these lap cushions with a board attached to the top. Just right for my lap, and my laptop.”

“You never give up, do you?”

“Nope. Surrender is not a word in my vocabulary.”

“Yes it is. You just used it.”

“Don’t be clever. Time for bed?”

“Oh, yes. Time for bed. Speak to you in the morning.”



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