That is to say that while it wasn't the whole of the visit it did occupy rather a lot of it.
Apparently, or so Mum says, Dad had been considering a new harddrive for a while and he'd definitely tried to get a CD-Rewriter but some annoying co-incidence of components meant that it didn't work in his machine - I ended up googling for it and came across someone with the same problem. But I'd thought that that was the end of my poking at my parents' computer - but that was not to be. We went out for lunch (to The Barley Mow, Clifton Hampden, which was very nice) then on the way home Dad suddenly stopped off at a computer shop and we picked up a drive (120Gb, a vast improvement over the 6.4Gb he'd got), and CD-Rewriter. I spent the rest of the afternoon fitting things and making it all run smoothly with the new bits (which involved Dad and J returning to the shop to get an IDE card as the motherboard was too old-fashioned to see the whole of the new drive). Then the following morning I got them Firefox, Thunderbird and a firewall (after much chat about whether or not this was wise - we prevailed in the end) which was more than a little painful on dialup. It was regarded as successful all round - Mum much prefers her new email client and web-browser as she'd read quite a bit about how crappy IE/Outlook are on the security front and Dad likes his shiny new toys (particularly the increased space for photos from his digital camera and the ability to back them up).
We did eat well, and drink well, too - as well as the rather fine pub lunch we also had pigeons for dinner last night :) And plenty of time to relax and read books (book update to come this weekend, I've not forgotten about it) including a rather fine book about George III's daughters I got from J's parents for Christmas (he was the mad king who lost us the American Colonies - though the politics wasn't much commented on).
The only journey that went totally smoothly was the one home today, which was nice as we got to get the cat back slightly early, and we've spent the afternoon chilling out and are now about to move on to the eating and drinking part of the evening - Braised Chicken with Leeks for dinner, accompanied by red wine (yes, should be white really, we wanted red anyway) with (I think) dessert wine and whisky to follow.
Oh, and on another note, my brother's engagement is listed in The Times (and apparently the Telegraph, but I couldn't find it) - you're looking for the Stewart and Page announcement, for those who are curious but don't know appropriate names.