Looks like the Macbook is going to need moving on.
The flickering screen fault in back and getting worse, though only when first starting, but I worry that something is failing inside just like it did when I first had the machine. Applecare finished 2 years ago too.
The fans now whizz up when I'm doing undemanding tasks, as they've been doing for the last few months (though they've just wound back down again as I typed this - maybe it was just Time Machine backing stuff up for the first time?). There is now no arbitrary software on here - just microsoft office, Lightroom, kindle and apple's 'entertainment' bundled apps.
As mentioned earlier, I've dropped Firefox, and am currently trying Safari since it's a) an integral part of OSX and b) has been more energy efficient when running on batteries than FF, so presumable puts a lower overhead on the whole OS. Safari's spell checker has been driving me nuts - why change doddle to doodle : for that matter, why is doddle in the UK English dictionary? At least it can be turned off, but naturally, not in 'preferences'. And the fans started going again while looking briefly on Apple's site - no burdensome Flash there, surely?
So now I'm debating which way to go for real: Windows or Apple?
I need to have a play with a current Macbook running lightroom, but that's looking very much less a viable candidate down to the lack of upgradeability/excessive price for a decent spec, and the version that is still upgradeable is already a 2 year old design (2012 models) that was weak to begin with all the disadvantages that brings. A current MBP of the right minimum spec for use in 2014 is £1249, but there's no way to raise it's game in a couple of years.
As mentioned before, a Dell from their outlet is really good value, and I'm also considering a machine from Chillblast (who?) since the spec : price ratio is very good. I'm not a fan at all of the looks & ergonomics of any of these machines, and then there's the pain of moving emails across (data is a doddle) but that can't be insurmountable.
Looks like I'm going to have to talk with the company secretary about this. ;-)