Anyway, I find the yoof of today undemanding, and rather rewarding, when it comes to the food department. It fair warmed the cockles (St-Jacques, as it happens) of my cynical old heart to see how rapidly it all disappeared - yea, even unto the bretonne aux fraises that followed the cheese - and I'll spare you the comments, lest you think they've gone to my head. But I did find the sight of all three of them getting out their cameras to take photos of the food before they ate to be somewhat - alarming.
I remember reading an article in The Register by Alastair Dabbs, the gist of which was that he couldn't work out why it was that mentioning that you're in IT seems to make you irresistible at parties. Women still avoided him like a six-months-dead otter with psoriasis, but males he'd never met would come up unasked and engage him in serious conversation about the merits of this that or the other hard drive, which would inevitably lead to the confession that their PC was running rather slowly and did he think he could spare a moment to come look at it?
The Dean of Education hangs on his every word, senior lecturers fawn at his feet, and elegant faculty wives invite him around for the afternoon, when they excuse themselves for only being able to offer him whisky but every time they plug the kettle in to make tea the fuses blow all over the house ...
The point I was getting to here was that old Neville around the corner picked himself up a PC for 80€ at Emmaus the other day, and was having one or two little problems with it ...
Which is where the first hiccup occurred: their twisted little house has two entirely separate power circuits, one for the ground floor and the other for everywhere else. So much for the easy connectivity solution: I told him to go off and buy a USB Wifi dongle and read the manual.
And he did, and got it installed and working and everything, no small feat considering that he's in his seventies, speaks sod-all French (although trying his hardest to learn), and was doing all this on a PC with the French version of Windows 7 installed.
Oddly enough, as I sat there waiting for it to boot I could not but notice that the boot logo was a Compaq one. Anyone else remember them? I thought they got borged by HP back in 2002, but I guess they must have kept the name going - out of respect for the dead, maybe.
Around midnight I finally worked things out, more or less: the thing hadn't been used for some time, a backlog of Microsoft updates had built up which needed to be loaded and installed, and one of them seemed to have gone into an endless download/update/fail loop, and the update task was eating about 90% of the CPU time, and all the band-width.
You know, the life of a tech-support person is not really that sexy: in fact, re-reading that lot it looks, even to me, to be rather boring. I cannot see why we're so popular at parties, it can't be because of being good in bed.
When I finally convinced him that it would be a Good Idea to spit it out it became evident that the poor beast had not been of this world for some time: I can only assume that the cats had been out foraging earlier and, coming upon this mummified carcase, had brought it back as a special treat.
Very thoughtful of them, I will admit, but I could wish that they had not done so. Disposing of surplus-to-requirements fleshy envelopes is not really part of my job description, and even if it were I would much rather not have to do it before I'm set up for the day.
And as it is - according to tradition, or an old charter or something - a grey rainy Easter Sunday over in these here parts, and as I happen to have a couple of excellent pork fillets on my hands (don't know why, but Lidyl - a German hard-discount chain - has splendid meat. I wouldn't touch their vegetables with a barge-pole, but the meat - and the butter, and the bûche de chèvre - is above reproach.) I have just, following his instructions, trimmed them, rubbed them well with a cup of gros sel mixed with 2tbsp of brown sugar and a bit of saltpetre, and put them in the fridge.
Anyway, tomorrow I shall take them out, dry them, and rub them with a bit of cognac, cracked black peppers and some herbes de provence before wrapping them and hanging them somewhere cool and airy to dry for four or five weeks. I'll let you know how that turns out.