I had a very jolly Christmas Eve down at V---'s in Brighton, and an equally jolly Christmas Day at my sister in law's in Gosport, and a post on it all may follow, once I have processed the many photos. Lots of pix always indicates an enjoyable time!
But Boxing Day has been a comedown. Most Boxing Days are. This one is no exception, despite a cheerful exchange with a family walking their dog this afternoon, while I was getting some local fresh air, and some light-hearted texting just now with J--- my next door neighbour, who, with husband and two dogs, has been spending Christmas (and will be seeing the New Year in) on their narrow boat somewhere in the Midlands. Perhaps J--- and K--- have a romantic stretch of canal all to themselves, like this:
But I expect they are actually moored with a lot of other like-minded boat-owners, and making a party of it:
These pix are from my own archive: I quite like narrow boats, and canal life has a certain appeal - provided that you can keep snug and warm. My neighbour J--- assures me that their boat is presently so warm they are roasting.
In the distant past - I mean in the mid-1970s, when Mum and Dad still lived in Southampton, and I was still at home - we would drive out to the New Forest on Boxing Day, almost always to the The Old Beams pub at Ibsley, near Ringwood - a thatch-and timber-frame sort of place - and have a drink there, sometimes a meal too. It was practically an annual ritual. I liked doing it. The Old Beams is still going strong, and seems unchanged externally from how it looked forty years ago. Here's a summer shot, taken off the Internet:
Now why am I really not so joyeuse today?
Well, the social life has been turned off for the next few days, partly to preserve funds. It's expensive to party every other night! But I'm already starting to miss seeing friends. I'll almost certainly relent by Saturday.
And there's precious little to interest me on TV. We did watch Toy Story 3 yesterday in Gosport, but as usual I found the storyline hard on my emotions, tears running down my cheeks at the end. My niece was very sympathetic! Well-loved toys do seem to have an inner life of their own, and whether that's completely imaginary or not, it feels true, and I can't understand people who sneer at the devotion children often give to their favourite toys. You hear of people throwing themselves into rivers in spate to rescue a dog. Well, I'd do it for my teddy bear. Anyway, if a toy comes to harm, I personally find it upsetting; and my goodness, the toys in this latest Pixar tale have a lot to contend with before the happy ending!
The only other film I have watched on TV was a bleak and scary Vin Diesel thing the other night. Set in deep space, it was called Pitch Black, and like all these attacked-by-unseen-aliens films, it goes too far and isn't at all within my definition of 'entertainment'. Tonight's film was Independence Day, which - OK - has a happyish ending, in the sense that the aliens get defeated, but the devastated cities and zillions dead can hardly be overlooked. Are the TV companies trying to depress us all?
But the major issue today, the one that got me down most, was my Sony tablet not accepting an SD card in the slot provided for it. It was time to backup my important files onto an SD memory card, something I do every three days; and if home I then copy the backup onto my PC as well. Call me 'backup mad' if you will, but these are essential Word and Excel files which I fear losing.
The SD card slot is obviously a key element in the backup. It must work. But for some reason, the card wouldn't stay in when inserted. I couldn't believe that the slot had suffered mechanical failure. After all, the SD card slot on my camera has been used hundreds of times without trouble. I've never heard of one going wrong. I struggled with the problem for two hours, and then suddenly the card slot was functional again. Just like that. The delayed backup then went smoothly. The problem was somehow solved, although I do not know what exactly made the thing work again.
But, being a Thinking Girl, I reflected on the episode and found much to feel unhappy about.
I thought it was sad that the Digital Age had made making backups so essential. However achieved, it was vital to copy and preserve one's data. Modern life depended so much on it. Losing all one's data was a calamity, and I had a lot of it to lose. And yet, my parents hadn't had such worries.
I was surprised how panicky I felt when my usual backup method - not the only one I could use, of course, but the one that was the most convenient - seemed to fail. Panicky with real emotion. I was upset. And actually, it was only the backup that couldn't be done. I hadn't lost the data itself! What a state to get into...
I had actually wondered (after two fruitless hours of trying this and that) whether I should immediately junk the tablet - an expensive one, incidentally, that had been working faultlessly since purchase in 2012 - and buy another tomorrow. And to hell with my New Year Savings Plan. Well! I thought I was proof against hasty impulse buys! Not so! That really is awful.
It's now time to cook something, so I'm not going further with these reflections, but honestly it says something very disturbing about myself and/or modern life, that a temporary SD card slot malfunction can transform the mood of the day from mild anti-climax to outright panic. That's bad.