I haven’t enjoyed the last few days. As I explained, in my last post, on Sunday evening I realized that I was starting a cold. I hoped it would be one of those light ones that take only a couple of days to clear up but on Monday I was feeling quite uncomfortable and even worse on Tuesday. In fact, I felt bad enough not to go down to meet Tigger from work. Wednesday was the worst day. I felt really ill and spent much of the day lying down, alternately snoozing and trying to read.
Because I’m a bloke, you may be tempted to dismiss all this as “man ‘flu”, that is, an exaggerated male description of a simple cold, but in fact at one point I did begin to ask myself whether it was the flu.
On Wednesday evening, while Tigger was working at the computer, I sat on our diminutive settee (re-upholstered some years ago by Sidney when he came to London and attended an upholstery course) and fell asleep. When I woke up I felt a bit better though I didn’t dare hope that the improvement was real. This morning, however, I felt a lot better and know I have turned the corner. Tomorrow is Omelette Day, an appropriate moment for me to make my grand entrée into the world once again.
The picture, by the way, is a night scene at Angel, looking down towards Kings Cross. Rather pretty, what with the lights and the moon, I thought.
While suffering the cold – or virus, as we say nowadays – I was finishing off La Peste, Albert Camus’ story of an imaginary outbreak of bubonic plague in the city of Oran, in what was then French Algeria. Just the sort of thing you want to read when you are feeling ill!
It is a remarkable book that can be read on several levels. You can simply regard it as a story about a city imprisoned with the plague or you can see it as an allegorical tale which explores human psychology pushed to extremes. Where Camus obtained his knowledge of the plague itself and of how people, individually and collectively, behave under pressure, I do not know, but there is a ring of truth to it throughout.
In odd moments, I played with the computer and my latest exploit has been to download and install the U3 version of OpenOffice on my USB flash drive. Don’t you think it amazing that this formidable chunk of software (it took over 5 hours to download on our dial-up) fits on a flash drive? I haven’t given it a good run for its money yet but I did load a Word file and an Excel spreadsheet into it and it seems fully compatible.
While I was writing this, Tigger came home, bringing a new toy. This is called Free Loader and describes itself as “Portable solar energy”. Apparently, you start it off by charging it up from the USB port of your computer and thereafter you charge it by using its own solar panels. It is supposed to be able to recharge your electronic devices such as digital cameras and mobile phones. Just imagine how annoyed you might be if you found yourself in the middle of the Sahara Desert wanting to make a phone call only to discover your mobile battery was flat. Well, here is the answer! (Can you get a signal in the middle of the Sahara?)
By the way, OpenOffice can produce HTML documents. I tried writing this post on it. It produced a very creditable result although I had to edit the code relating to the display of the picture. Unfortunately, although the result displayed perfectly in Firefox, it looked awful in WordPress which doesn’t use standard HTML. So I had to edit the text extensively before it would display properly.
I suppose there is some reason why WordPress doesn’t use proper HTML (or is that an unwarranted assumption?) but it does annoy me when applications either use only a subset or use special forms of HTML so that you have to waste time learning what these are and working around them. Is The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) labouring to no purpose?