2011 — 9 May: Monday

"Mild, windy, and with a risk of thunder"1 doesn't sound like the perfect feather warcast for our walk this morning but, hey, it's only water.

Here's another picture of my little family, taken almost exactly 30 years ago (shortly before we moved down here from Old Windsor):

Christa and Peter in 1981

Right. Time for breakfast and to assemble a packed lunch.

The first time I really even half-understood transistors was while tinkering with individual devices big enough to grasp between your fingers in a home electronics Xmas present kit in the mid-1960s (one product of which being an intercom that I concealed under Big Bro's bed for a late-night jape). Now we have FinFETs to contend with.

Never let it be said...

... that Barclays is a charitably-minded institution. There was a letter from them to dear Mama waiting on my doormat when I got back from our pleasant country ramble. Now, dear Mama has been in their clutches for at least 50 years. But by my taking two weeks longer than they liked for me to respond to their "final sum outstanding" notification on her home insurance policy (I stopped payments on the day I sold her house) I've not only had to pay an extra 8 pence on the charge but would have faced the possibility of "legal proceedings" from "my insurer" (erm, that would be them, actually) within the next seven days from, erm, eleven days ago. Let them try! Personally, I left Barclays the day they started paying Dad's Institute of Directors subscription fee from my account. That was 40 years ago.

Still, after navigating three multiple-choice menus on their phone-from-hell system, and listening to their crap choice of music (interspersed with recorded reassurances of how important my business is to them) a nice lady with a charming Indian accent claims to have sorted things out. Mind you, a chap from the same office in Perth also claimed to have sorted things out several weeks ago. We shall see. At least it demonstrates that shutting off the direct debits was quite an effective strategy.

A swift cuppa, and it's time for another round of supplies shopping. Just time to note the arrival of 640 minutes of quality TV from the lost world of 1969:


Four Blu-rays for less than £18 — remarkable value.



1  Unquantified, of course.