Current work: new nonfiction (written 20k of it in the last week plus half my talk for the RNA conference in July)
Listening to: Whitesnake’s new album (waiting for it to grow on me and as they’re one of my favourite bands I feel quite bad about that)
Reading: Carol Townend, The Novice Bride (enjoying hugely as I’ve just finished researching/working on my local area’s history in Norman times– the setting’s perfect)
Thank you to everyone who emailed me while I was MIA. I have just about caught up with replies… and I’m pleased to report here that, no, it wasn’t anything lifethreatening to me/my immediate family or my dad being rushed back to hospital.
In fact, the problem was rather mundane.
My computer blew up last Thursday. (Well, it didn’t blow up exactly. Just refused to connect online and everything else was running like treacle.)
And I’ve learned how over-dependent I am on my computer.
I backed everything up – and because I was panicking about getting the PC into the tecchy shop early enough to maybe get it back the same today, I backed up a lot of things to SD cards and memory sticks instead of burning CD-roms. Which would’ve been fine had my laptop not been so ancient that it still uses floppy disks and only recognises my oldest memory stick – everything else came up with the ‘cannot find driver’ message.
So then I decided to be clever over the weekend (most of which was spent loafing with DH and the kids because I had no computer) and copy files from one memory stick to another. Except... very stupidly, I did it the wrong way round (because I was rushing to get it done – yep, there’s a moral there) and managed to overwrite my latest set of accounts with ones I did last July. I could resurrect things with invoices, but could I remember every phone call or research trip I've made in the last nine months? Er... no.
Cue two sleepless nights. Called lovely tecchies first thing on Monday to see if they’d started fixing the machine (I was envisioning loss of data here and a real mess to give to my new accountant). They hadn’t, and yes I could come and fish my data off the machine. Phew.
No computer back Monday.
No computer yesterday.
So it’s been practically a week without internet access or email. Had to pay my credit card bill via phone instead of online (and explained to the bank that no, now was not the right time to talk to me about house insurance – I needed industrial quantities of chocolate). Grocery shopping delivered this morning has lots of gaps because I couldn’t do what I normally do and review my order Monday morning (sigh, will have to take the kids shopping after school – think I need more chocolate). Lots of gaps in my new book (square brackets with CHECK THIS and RESEARCH THIS covered in yellow highlighter dotted all over the place). Couldn’t check if my Amazon order was on its way when DH started nagging me. Couldn’t look up stuff for my stepmum when she rang me needing some urgent info. Discovered half my friends’ contact info is on computer not hardcopy, so I couldn't get in touch.
No man is an island, according to Donne. Well, I was, last week. A big, fat island.
Anyway. It’s fixed now. DH is nagging me to buy a laptop as my ‘backup’ computer. I know what he has in mind: sitting on the sofa in the conservatory with his feet up and a cold beer by his side, looking up Deep Purple and Nick Drake on YouTube and looking up every so often at the garden… So far, so rosy. Kids are backing him up: ‘We need it for school…’ (Eldest, possibly in September – and we know he wants lots of animation software too. Youngest – er, no, she’s trying it on.)
But after a week of having to type on an uncomfortable keyboard (my ancient laptop is too old to install Dragon) and swearing because said keyboard was really unresponsive and missed out half of the letters I’d typed - not to mention how difficult it is to cut and paste things on a laptop (at least, it is on mine!) – I am very, very anti the idea of a laptop. Plus there’s the issue of laptops being easy to drop, sit on and squabble over and play tug of war over (certain people claim they wouldn’t, but that’s what happened to one of the DS-Lites and I don’t believe they learned their lesson: when in a strop, my kids lose all rationality).
So my vote is for another desktop. Though if we have net access on it then I want it in a very, very visible place so I can keep an eye on what the kids are looking up. Currently arguing that with DH.
But, lord, it’s good to be back. I am never going to take this for granted again.