Slowing Everything Down

It’s my second day off work, and the world finally seems to be slowing down. Yesterday was spent washing and drying clothes, fetching children from holiday activity clubs, and running here, there, and everywhere. The dishwasher is finally empty, and the washing baskets are nearing empty too. Of course we know this is a false dawn – Miss 17 spent the last two days in her room with a friend – I looked in this morning and glimpsed a pretty good version of “The End of All Things”, complete with dirty clothes walked into every part of the floor space that you might walk on.

She vanished mid-morning with no more than a “see you later Dad”. After two years out of the school system, she suddenly has friends and first love, and is experiencing everything at a hundred miles an hour. As long as she gets college work done, we’re not putting too many obstacles in her way. Yes, it’s odd suddenly losing a huge part of her like this, but then we had all got used to having her around the house all the time – which isn’t normal at all. She’s 17. If we try and slow her down now, I imagine she will rebel spectacularly.

The younger children were on a rugby camp for the last couple of days, run by one of the Premiership clubs a few miles up the road. They were completely and utterly worn out last night – Miss 12 fell asleep on the couch at 8:30pm, woke with a start, and put herself to bed. That *never* happens. We are taking them to see the new Thor movie a little later – hopefully they won’t complain too much about not buying snacks at the cinema – we really can’t afford it at the moment.

While looking at the archive of my blog this morning I noticed all the curly quotes and em-dashes were missing from the text. Thankfully I kept the programming that performs the export, and after a few minutes had re-generated all four thousand or more files again. I read a few posts here and there to check – it all looks ok (har har, famous last words). I keep wondering what to do with the archive – it’s kind of a pointless exercise, but at least I have a backup of the writing, right ?

I’m writing this on the old iMac, if you were interested. The fifteen year old computer sitting in the corner of the junk room. Tori Amos is playing on iTunes, and Textmate is pretending to take note of the words I write. I also have an old copy of TextWrangler installed, but haven’t really tried it yet. I wasted an hour late last night trying to get the Mac to run “Mutt” (a command line email client that I use on the netbook). Turns out the Mac is just too old to get away with such things, even if you re-compile them from source.

While waiting for code to fail compilation last night, I started thinking about the various blogs I post to again – about the places my writing lives on the internet – and given my propensity to change platforms every time the wind changes direction, if I should really have a fallback blog somewhere – something similar that’s just the text. It’s probably a stupid idea. If I didn’t change platforms every ten minutes I might even end up with an audience.

There is a Raspberry Pi sitting on the shelf alongside me, doing nothing. I bought it with the intention of teaching the children to code in Python, but neither of them have shown much interest. It hasn’t escaped me that it could take the place of this old Mac. It would take up less desk space, and run silent. It would also run all the things that fail to compile on the Mac.

Do you see how good I am at procrastinating? I suppose some might call it curiosity. It’s procrastination though, isn’t it – tinkering with things rather than doing something even vaguely useful.

I guess it’s time to go and put a rocket under the children – to comb their hair, brush their teeth, and wear something vaguely presentable to the cinema.

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