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Sunday, July 12, 2009

You know it makes sense, really . . .


I know that they have been around for some time, but I have always assumed that they were a good idea which would always be let down by the hardware.

When you have been the proud possessor of a Sinclair QL then you know the hard reality of the difference between stated potential and reality. Those QL programs (Quill word processor, Abacus spreadsheet, Archive database, Easel business graphics – ah memories, memories) promised much but were constantly let down by glitches and the notorious micro-drives.

So when for a mere €20 I saw three plug-in programmable remote switches for things like lights I bought them while trying to suppress QL-type memories from telling me that I was wasting money.

Wasting money I might probably have been doing, but work they undoubtedly do. Thanks to Clarrie outbidding Martin Shaw at the termination of a West End run of a play, I am now (and have been for some years) the owner of two elegant up-lighters that graced the set of the production in which Mr Shaw starred. They have followed me from home to home from Cardiff to Spain and have looked good even if they were rarely called on to give forth light.

The shameful reason for this was that the switches for them were at floor level on a little switch on the cable which was often hidden behind furniture and in spite of the memory of Malvolio’s words “if it be worth stooping for, there it lies in your eye” I rarely stooped and so the lights remained elegant but dim.

Now everything is changed (including their British 3 pin plugs to the unconvincing continental 2 pin variety) and they are connected to plugs which respond to a remote, so that with one click of a button both up-lighters up their light. With another click of the remote the fan comes one and with a third click two occasional lamps become bright.

I have bought another set of devices for the studio and, as another of Our Bill’s creations once said,
I will plug such things -- What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be Subject to the remotes in Catalonia.

Such things please me.

Sections of the Family arrived today and Toni’s sister promptly started being practical by fitting shelves; cutting door coverings and building bookcases – while looking after two small children. I sat near and tried to take an intelligent interest in what was going on. I even looked after the smallest of the children (he was sleeping after all, but he still drained all of my nervous energy!) and made ineffectual attempts to help with the bookcases.

Three of the six new ones are now partially built and the empty spaces are crying out for released books from Bluspace. I am determined not to bring a single book from the prison where they are languishing until I have fully fitted out the room which is supposed to take them. I think that I will be able to fit another two bookcases in the centre of the room making a total of eight new storage spaces of double extended bookcases. It still is not going to be enough but I will worry about that lack when I still have boxes left in storage.

When do the holidays start?
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