Technology the Damned
Many frells. Many, many, many frells. Outlook has comprehensively failed at the mews—and Pooka keeps saying she can’t pick up the server rather than just going to back up, sod it, that’s what back up is FOR* you . . . object.
I have four pieces of semi-functional technology scattered around the table here. First there is this laptop, the original elderly mews laptop which is where the trouble began, since it appears to be losing the battle with entropy slightly faster than I’m finishing SHADOWS** and as I keep saying, more and more wildly,*** I do not want to tackle a new operating system while I am trying to finish a novel. Which means the octuply-damned new laptop is still sitting on the doodle desk at the cottage being a very, very expensive paperweight.† However, the old laptop fell lethally off the air last Friday and has remained obstinately grounded since. I have been filling in, irritably, with the knapsack laptop, because the carrying size is right††, but it has got used to living out its twilight years in the kitchen at the cottage and rarely being asked to do anything more strenuous than look up a plant whose unhelpfully stark name label is producing no memory whatsoever of what I should be doing with it.††† It is not enjoying the rigours of being my chief mews source of on-line. It sulks and hangs, crashes and, on its way to fiery death, throws up arcane error messages‡, and when it doesn’t quite manage to dive off the air waves completely, molasses in January in inland Maine would be faster. I am not enjoying its lack of enjoyment . . . so some time today because I was getting too much knitting done‡‡ I came up with the brilliant idea of using Astarte as back up—speaking of back up—on line. While I waited for something to download on the little laptop I clicked a Twitter link on Astarte. So that then made three—old laptop, knapsack laptop, and iPad—and now, this evening, I’ve got Pooka going as well, texting wildly to the archangels . . . and her latest trick is that while I’m getting a big blue error message across the middle of the screen saying server not available if you look down at the bottom you will see the little spinning dial that says ‘downloading’. So I am getting mail, so long as I pretend not to.
Tonight was one of Wild Robert’s occasional rogue bell practises, and at Ditherington, furthermore, which I can find and get to. Nostalgia. Oh, the halcyon ringing days when Ditherington practise was a going concern, and Wild Robert ran it. We only had seven show up tonight—and of the seven only Wild Robert and Roger knew what they were doing—so while we had an enlivening evening it was fairly ramshackle. And then I hung around afterward to help Wild Robert lock up and we had an intensive hair-tearing session about ringing in this area‡‡‡ I’m not just a miserable git. It really is frustrating. Siiiiiigh.
And tomorrow . . . is Gloriana’s funeral, here at New Arcadia. There will be ringing both before and after . . . and I have been specifically invited to come and pull one of the ropes. And I will—I want to. But I am not looking forward to it for all sorts of reasons.
* * *
* When I buy that toggle for Astarte I’m going to get the special, whine-free edition, where your gizmo just gets on with business. But that’s really expensive, right?
** Although I had a very good day today.
*** I am going to get my high C back at this rate.
† I don’t need a paperweight. I have rocks. The velvet-with-pink-peonies laptop cover is some consolation. But not enough.
†† My only other option being my also rather long in the tooth desktop. Its ancient ‘tower’ is bigger than a Smart Car and would not fit nose in to the kerb. If you put wheels on it, you’d have to parallel park like a Volvo estate/station wagon.
††† It’s been positively hot today, with the sun belting down^. Which doubtless explains why I twice came back to the cottage to find a live-plant order being turned into ratatouille on the front step. ARRRRRGH. And in both cases, directly beside the street address—which, unless the deliverer is into reading tea leaves, presumably had to be applied to for location—is the instruction in large black capitals: PLEASE LEAVE BEHIND GATE . . . which is in the shade.
I’d been worrying about my frost-free geraniums last night, sitting somewhere in an unheated warehouse and curling shivering up together for warmth. They have a few dubious leaves but I think they’re fine. I potted them up today . . . and will have to bring them indoors again tonight. With the sweet peas.
^ Hellhounds in spring spare me. They gimp around looking miserable and abused during the day, their tongues dragging on the ground for several yards behind us . . . and of course mealtimes are epic.+ But it’s still cooling off drastically at night++ and since I’m trying to use all spare+++ hours of daylight in the garden, our final hurtle is usually late, and they tend to regain their joie de vivre. Way too much of their joie de vivre. They nearly knocked me over—twice—last night, which hasn’t happened in a long time. The first time—arrrrrgh—there’s a local cat that has taken over the churchyard as its personal domain. I comfort myself with the thought that it’s not going to last long since it has a major death wish, but meanwhile its antics are hard on the shoulders. Last night I saw it crouched in the MIDDLE of the pavement fractionally before hellhounds did, and even having hit the brakes on their leads they nearly knocked me over++++ going after it. Then walking down the wide leafy stretch of road that used to belong to the Big Pink Blot when it was a great country house and not a lot of flats and mews cottages, they found a stick, and took off—which they often do. They know where the ends of their leads are. I had a split second to realise that they had forgotten, and to go pelting after them at the top of my paltry speed, so when they did, in fact, hit the ends of their leads they wouldn’t knock me over—quite. YOU. GUYS.
+ FOOD? You’re kidding, right?
++++ There are skid marks on the tarmac.
‡ The jeeperstix vk7r!!!!!!!!zongril cannot find the connection dingadingadinga subclassification B+2ykrq. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
‡‡ And furthermore I finally cast off the first leg warmer . . . and botched it. It came off the needles in some transference of the Mobile Knitting Unit from one knapsack to another ARRRRRRGH. But I am a resourceful bad knitter, and I bodged all the frelling little loops back together somehow . . . I think. Meanwhile . . . I have begun the SECOND LEG WARMER.
‡‡‡ Everyone I have spoken to about the difficulties of ringing at the abbey, when asked for advice, have said ‘Ring somewhere else’. Wild Robert at least agreed that I had a problem because the abbey is pretty much what there is.
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