However, on having the choices arrayed before me, I was intrigued. I didn't know there were so many. Sleipnir immediately appealed, with its Norse mythological equine associations, but on examination looked strictly for the geeks. Greenbrowser claimed to be, well, green, and we all bite at that bait, don't we? But how is it green? I read somewhere the other day that even medium-sized server farms are using the energy of small cities, or something like that, and while we all think we're being good sitting at home not going anywhere and reading on-line instead of chopping down trees (not that I would necessarily be chopping down trees if I wasn't reading on-line, but somebody might in order to provide me with books and newspapers), and only worrying a little bit about our stand-by lights, when the chips are down on our energy supplies, the internet isn't sustainable either. (Guess where I read that, on-line!). Flock promises to help you 'get the most out out of Facebook and Twitter', so they can flock off somewhere else, but Opera looks quite interesting, as does Avant ...
So here I am, in the second week of our winter holidays, and it's raining ropes outside. I've attempted to make a couple of business calls and sent a business e-mail, but everyone seems to have headed off to the mountains for winter sports. Dog-walking is pretty much out of the question, despite the recent arrival of Molly's new raincoat - I'll feature this with a photo another time - so I have the afternoon ahead of me, I could spend it researching, installing and learing how to use a new browser...
Or I could do a number of other things.
I shall put my reviewed options before you (yes, yes, I know by the time the votes are in the afternoon will be over anyway, and probably our internet will go down in the wind and rain anyway, as it does, but this is a flimsy, thumb-twiddling kind of post not rooted in any spirit of serious enquiry). I did consider finding one of those free on-line widgets to offer you a multiple choice questionnaire, but they all look complicated and likely to involve me in some Faustian bargain, and probably it would take me all afternoon to work out how to do it. I could:
1) Mess about installing a new browser, experimenting with which might lead me to catch up with some of your blogs, a desirable bi-product.
2) Read Jane Smiley's 'The Greenlanders', which I first read years ago, and which being snowed in last month reminded me of, so I bought a penny copy on Amazon to read it again.
3) Cut up the last of the old sheepskin coat to make soles for the slipper socks I've made out of a felty old sweater. Maybe make some pompoms to adorn them. Mmm, this one's looking quite good, doesn't require too much specialist equipment, unlike...
4) finally making up the cushion covers I knitted at least a year ago but never got around to sewing together. Tom complained that his pillow was getting lumpy from washing, so I bought some new ones, which frees the old ones up for sofa cushions. Involves making available large surfaces, heating my room, getting out the sewing machine, and probably quite a bit of head-scratching. I could listen to something while I was doing it, though the sound of the sewing machine is a bit intrusive, and my room would like to feel useful again, I'm sure.
5) Watch the DVD of '84 Charing Cross Road' which I got for Christmas. In fact though, I find it very difficult to sit and watch a film on my own of an afternoon, unless I'm ill, or ironing, but then really one misses bits. Might be better to save it and persuade the Saturday Film Club they want to watch it.
6) Ironing. Enough had accumulated that really needs it, especially in the damp weather when it serves to air things too. I could listen to Proust, which I've recently taken up again and am enjoying all the more for the break. The Balbec interlude in the middle of the first part of 'Sodom and Gomorrah' was so haunting, and I've had that dream he has about his grandmother being still alive and abandoned somewhere, and what must she think of him...
7) Bake something. Flapjacks - we've gone off porridge for a bit so oats and syrup are available -, scones, soda bread (I've a mix) all spring to mind. It will warm the kitchen and downstairs, fill it with sweet aromas, and generate unnecessary carbohydrate which we will eat and then we will get fat.
8) Write a ghazal. Haven't done that for ages.
9) Draw/paint something with Inktense pencils, like the pigeon that sat in the eucalyptus tree on a misty day and I photographed it with a view to this, being all subtle blues and greys and greens and mauvey colours, and very pleasantly shaped. It wasn't any good as a photo, the composition was all to bits and there was a branch across the pigeon's body. Haven't done that for ages either.
10) Where sackcloth and ashes and mortify myself that my life in this Vale of Tears is currently so easy and pleasant, and that although it contains all these wonderful possibilities, I fritter it and achieve so few of them.
Ten is quite enough to be getting on with. Your votes please, brothers and sisters.
And because you shouldn't have to labour through a daft post like this without some pictorial reward, here are some competitors in the Tredaniel Seagull Winter Olympics figure skating.
And now it looks as if the sun will come out and the rain may stop after all.