Five years ago I lodged a book of poems and photographs with a certain online bookseller, and this week I received a substantial shock. Somebody bought one. I am now big in Worcestershire, but only in the sense that I am very, very small everywhere else.
Still, this would be quite a highlight of most weeks. In fact it is a massive highlight of the last few days, during which I have been hit by technological failures at an unprecedented level and have had to spend most of my time trying to put them right, or work round them.
I am not even including the television in this. It has been misbehaving for weeks, to the extent that we no longer attempt to watch HD or record it. Most of the time we can now record ordinary programmes, and if we can’t, we can usually find them on iPlayer or the equivalent. Sometimes, however, we are warned that our signal is very poor quality – and indeed it sometimes pixelates itself out of existence. Sometimes it tells us we don’t have a WiFi signal, when we clearly do. It’s quite annoying.
Is it our BT box, our TV, or something else entirely? Who knows? Maybe it’s just me.
In the last few days, other technology has been failing. My printer won’t work because it says the black ink cartridge is empty. It isn’t. It’s a new one. So was the one before it, which didn’t work either. I gave up and tried to use my wife’s printer to print a couple of documents off, but then her printer wouldn’t work because the computer couldn’t find it. Ludicrously, if she wanted something printed, she had to e-mail it to me, and I could then print it remotely using my computer and her printer upstairs – the one that couldn’t be found by her computer sitting next to it.
Happily I am too mature to throw printers out of the window or jump on them, but I do think that would be a perfectly reasonable response. Since you ask, her printer is now back working, and I am about to buy a new printer.
Then I tried to install a Barclaycard app and despite entering all the correct information several times, I was locked out of my account. The man on the helpline was apologetic, but there was something wrong with his system (it was slow), and he had to ring me back. He eventually unlocked me, but meantime the Santander site had gone down. Temporarily.
I have a feeling one or two other things failed as well, but my brain stopped working about then; so I don’t remember. All this happened, of course, when my two technological experts, my son and grandson, were out of the country. Now my granddaughter is out of the country too; so I can’t even be beaten consistently at Cluedo.
Still, I’ve sold a book. I don’t actually have any money yet, but it’s something, isn’t it?