Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A New Year with Changes

I just caught a glance at my signature photo as I came to write this note.

The desk is the same, the sweater was the one I was wearing yesterday, but the lamp is gone and, the really big thing, the computer is different. For Christmas my son gave me a new huge machine which he put together himself. Two disk drives, two DVD drives, Windows 7, and masses of memory into which I can put the whole of the Toronto census and all the links to other information about the people I find there. The only thing it didn't come equipped with was more human brain empowerment to figure out how to move all my data and photographs from the old machine. Gradually I am figuring things out. Yesterday I managed to install the two extra buttons on my mouse, the ones titled "copy" and "paste" which are a vast improvement on ctrl+c and ctrl+v. The mouse is long out of date and finding the driver online took an age. Today the printer must get installed. . . .

You may have heard that the UK has been swaddled in snow. We didn't have a white Christmas (i.e., it didn't snow on Christmas Day), but we did have two big snowfalls in the week before and more since the New Year. It is snowing as I write and two lads off school because of it have just knocked on our door offering to clear our drive. They were armed with homemade snow shovels--not the garden spades that most of us use. The past week has also been very cold and only main roads are clear to drive on.

The transcribing of St Patrick's Ward has been limited by the weather. We have lost three sessions at LDS so far and the one tomorrow will probably be cancelled too. I hear a thaw is on the way for which I am thankful. With the cold weather outside and the powerful fans of the new computer blowing cold air through the keyhole of my desk, I have had to wrap my legs in a duvet.

The 1861 census was taken on the night of 13th January 1861, 149 years ago tonight. There were people living on the wharves at the bottom of St Lawrence Ward! I hope they managed to get a good fire going without burning their shanties down.

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