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Panic over – my laptop’s been repaired. A Dell engineer phoned me from Ireland this morning and talked through the problem, after which we set up the machine so that Mohan could take remote control of it and run through a series of diagnostics that identified and fixed the issue (a software glitch with Windows 10). I’ve done this before but it’s still weird seeing your computer take on a life of its own as someone else controls it and you become a bystander. At least it was a bona-fide Dell engineer and not a hacker!

I can now breathe easy and spend time backing up all my pictures off the machine and filing them away as I’d been intending to. Whilst the process was going on I had a chat to Mohan who told me he’s been working from home for 2 years now. I guessed as I heard his Golden Retriever barking in the background! Of course, his is the ideal job to have for working from home. Let’s face it – if he can control my computer from Ireland he can control it from anywhere. That’s one of the things that people who claim we should all be working from home don’t quite understand. Mohan is a man of Indian descent living in Ireland, being paid an Irish salary, but he could be in India being paid an Indian salary, which would considerably reduce Dell’s overheads. WFH could potentially mean a migration of jobs away from the expensive Western nations with their rates of personal and corporation tax – and don’t think that very thought hasn’t occurred to some corporations, so be careful what you wish for when you call for people to WFH. This is not what Brexiters think of when they bluster about ‘Global Britain’, but it is the reality, not the theory. Building barriers isn’t very clever in this day and age.

Now I’ve a fully working laptop again I can concentrate on getting ready for Christmas and finish all the jobs I need to do before the festering season – which may be just that due to the increase in Covid infection rates. I certainly won’t be attending any large gatherings for the foreseeable future – especially indoor ones. I may be double-jabbed and boosted, but I’m thinking of others as much as myself. The people I feel for are those in the hospitality and travel trade, for whom this new variant couldn’t have come at a worse time – just as they were hoping the Xmas season would help boost depleted coffers. Only now they’ve got to face events without any government support. I’ll be doing what I can to give them support whilst still being careful.

Tech panic over I finally managed to get out for a walk today and get some exercise although that wasn’t without a surreal moment. Just as I left a large ‘Peppa Pig’ balloon appeared from the valley below and floated over the house before getting snagged in the trees beyond. I’m sure it’s a metaphor for something, although I’m not sure what! Maybe it’s an omen for the by-election which is being held in the Tory safe seat of North Shropshire today. As well as that Parliamentary seat there’s also 12 Council places up for grabs today. You can read all about them on the excellent ‘Britain Elects’ website as they analyse the make-up and history of each seat – and also provide the results via their Twitter feed at @BritainElects. It could be an interesting night…

Right, on to the picture of the day. This one’s yet another from the Indonesian slide collection but also quite simple. Whilst I was there in December 1994 the Lotus flowers were in full bloom. Almost everywhere we stayed had a water feature of some sort, from simple urns to huge ponds. This was one of them.

Taken on slide film with a 50mm prime lens, I’d love to go back and play around with similar shots now the technology at my disposal is rather more complex and flexible. If you want to see the rest of the Indonesian collection (which is still having new pictures added) you can find them by following this link.

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