OK, it's like this. I downloaded some new browser versions; Chimera 0.6 and Omniweb 4.1.1. Chimera's a tabbed browser, so I was writing an update all about Mac Expo and Center Parcs. I kept looking things up in another tab. And at some point, I found out what I wanted, closed the window, and whoops, there went my update on the other tab. I had to write it again and I had to write it fast so it wasn't as good. It was kind of... a bummer.
Short versions: Mac Expo was fun, but wasn't enough like a proper computer fair. Instead, there were acres of white space with people demonstrating high-end software on beautiful screens. The odd stalls that had big piles of cheap boxes were mobbed. And the games section made me laugh. Somehow I resisted the opportunity to buy three-year-old games, priced as if they were new. And there were several different titles! Maybe as many as fifty. I spent lots of money though, on a special show bundle, theoretically OEM, of Photoshop and Illustrator, the two teeth-crunchingly expensive applications I use regularly for Plokta. But at least I now have entirely legal, up to date, mine all mine, copies. Austin can relax now.
Center Parcs, meanwhile, sells the middle classes a myth of the countryside and a 'green' holiday. Having decided that we wouldn't take the bikes because we were only going for two days, we found ourselves walking for miles, repeatedly, often in the rain, with a five-year-old who hardly whinged at all. Why not? Because the places we walked to, in particular the pool, were so stupendous for five-year-olds.
I found the walking vexing; although the site is in the middle of woodland, the volume of traffic means that all the paths are tarmaced, paved, or board walks. I heard tell of some proper forest paths on the edges of the site (ie, not connecting anything), but didn't see any. I did see lots of nature in the form of bunny rabbits, mice and squirrels, and Steven spotted some deer in the distance. Sadly no picture of Bambi the extremely blurry pixel.
I love swimming outdoors; swimming outdoors in a large hot pool in November in the middle of a forest was really good, and I enjoyed all the water slides, hot tubs, bubbly rivers, waves and so on. We took lots of photos of the pool with an underwater disposable camera, but, er, I have to remember how to get photos processed now.
The restaurants, with the laudable exception of the Pancake House, were home-grown versions of the sort of identikit restaurant you find on an industrial park (think Chiquitos, Old Orleans, Bella Pasta), and were slightly more expensive and slightly less exciting than those. So when we go back (and we certainly will), we'll take much of our own food.
Our accommodation was a comfort villa; silly me, it hadn't occurred to me that it might not have a phone, in this no-mobile-reception forest. No video or DVD either, and the TV was set up to resist retuning so I couldn't get the Playstation working. We'd forgotten to bring books (serious mistake number two), and the quality of the books on sale in the shopping area made me long for the highbrow delights of the average station bookstall. This all meant that after despatching the kids we watched the first episode of Andrew Davies' much touted Daniel Deronda. (Cue Dr Plokta reminiscing about A Very Peculiar Practice.) Anyway, I doubt I'll see the other two episodes so it's probably time to go and download the book. I've proofread three hundred pages on Distributed Proofreaders, so I guess it's not unreasonable for me to read something.