In with a bang

Added on Thursday 29 Jan 2009

Courses in Salignac 2009

Photo: barry paton. 2009 certainly came in with a bang, or more like crash I would say. At the beginning of the year we started getting rather frequent power cuts that only lasted about a minute or two until we turned the power switch back on. Unfortunately the computer didn't like this but always seemed to manage to cope after a little bit of tweaking. However, after a week when another cut came along it completely went mental and no amount of persuasion would bring it back to life. Phoning up our 'tame' computer expert he came along the next day to have a look at the situation and after a few hours decided that the hard drive had been completely corrupted.

Photo: computer cartoon. A couple of more visits later he decided that he would take the hard drive away and see if he could recover what was on it. A few days later he informed me that some stuff was recoverable but a new hard drive was needed so that was ordered up. In the meantime I'd brought out our old computer and started to set it up, needless to say this was going a bit crazy and would not connect at all. Quite why this was happening I could not figure out at all as it had been working fine last time that I used it last year. In between times we had been up to the multi media centre to send and receive any e-mails and basically just keep in touch with the outside world. Incidentally they only charge us 3O per day for the use of their facilities which I think is great value for money. In the meantime and between visits to the hospital I then spent many weary hours burning the midnight oil, accompanied with the odd glass of wine trying to sort out the problem, I just new that it was possible as it had been working fine a few months ago. Finally, after 10 days, I had it back up and running, even better than before! The only problem is that I have grown so accustomed to the speed of an ADSL connection and to go back to a dial-up situation was terribly slow and frustrating but at least we were connected and did not have to rely on anyone else. Some three weeks later we still do not have the new hard drive installed while our expert is still trying to salvage what he can. God knows what that will be like having to re-install the operating system on to the new one. The mind boggles!

A moment of tension arrived last Saturday when The Dordogne area, southern France and northern Spain was hit by a huge storm which cut all electricity for most of the day and I was concerned that all my hard work in re-instating the old computer would have been in vain but fortunately when the power came back on all was well. It somehow goes to show that the old ones are best! Who would have thought that a 12-year-old computer would still be working? And what is more. Just after I finished this paragraph the power cut once again!

Out and About

My recent visit to the hospital has confirmed that at long last my ankle is improving and I don't need to go back for another consultation for two months. This has greatly improved my humour and now means I can get out and about without my stick, even though I still take it with me, I had no idea how useful the stick is. Everything to chasing dogs and cats, hailing people from across the road, pushing things out of the way, pulling things down from supermarket shelves etc. I don't care if I look like an old man but it is immensely useful, I had never realised the benefits! With weather improving, despite the storm last week, Salignac is in the usual state of torpor for late January. The tabac and filling station closed on a Sunday, the local cafe closed in the afternoons during the week, shutters closed on many houses while people scrimp and save until the end of the month. And yet the weather generally has been nice and sunny, if a little cold, but at least the birds have started to twitter and the wind is not blowing it has given me a new lease of life with the thought that spring is not far away. I hope! All we need is for the trees to come into bud. The only downside is that my poor old car is now showing its age and I need to come up with an executive decision as to what I do next, do I send for a few repairs or do I just cut my losses and sell it (for washers) and buy another one? Decisions I have decided to leave for another day..or month. As you can probably tell that as a business person I like to make clear my objectives! I don't think! The one thing that I do know is that I enjoy life when the sun is shining and lighting up all the wonderful stone work on the houses all around.

Rural France! I love it.

(c)Barry Paton. January 2009.