Days like today remind me how astonishingly inadequate my knowledge of all things technological actually is. If you have read this blog since its inception you will know that some progress has been made in the years since I stopped working in an office. In fact quite a lot of progress has been made in recent months. I have learned how to put music on my ipod, download photos onto facebook and watch Coronation Street on my laptop when I accidentally deleted it from the Sky+ box. All vital contributions to the technological age I am sure you will agree.
But now it's 8.10 on a wet and windy day in the school holidays and nothing appears to be working as it should. Something mysterious is blocking my inbox so that the 10 emails that is wants to deliver are stuck behind it. I know there must be a way of bypassing whatever it is that is in the way but blow me if I know what it is.
Then the older two children loaded something on to the family PC a couple of days ago. It ran like a dream for two days and now the whole thing has crashed beyond redemption. Just like it did last time they tried to run the same thing. It is so confused it won't even turn off.
Now, it is at moments such as this that the cry goes up " Ask Daddy." Daddy knows a lot about computers and can generally sort it out when an errant computer goes off on a frolic and refuses to cooperate. Unfortunately, Daddy has gone to work and won't be back until long after the household has retired for the night. And so we are stuck. No progress will be made today or tomorrow for that matter.
I find this extremely frustrating. It is broken and I can't fix it Not only can I not fix it but I have absolutely no idea where to start. It's like when I open the bonnet on my car ( assuming that I can first locate the little button that does that. Not necessarily a safe assumption.) I stare at the engine but have absolutely no idea which bit is what. I have always reassured myself that in these days of computer diagnosis, it is perfectly acceptable to leave it to the "mechanics" to fix whatever ails my car. Things have moved on from the days when every self respecting driver could bang the offending part with a spanner and achieve a result. My husband can't fix a car ( although to be fair he knows at least a hundred times more that I do about the workings of the internal combustion engine.)But he can fix the computer.
I'm not sure what is more frustrating - failing physically or mentally. I am regularly defeated physically. I recall on one occasion weeping because I was trying to make a black forest gateau for my brother's birthday but was unable to open the jar of morello cherries and so was defeated. Without some strong chap to rescue me from my damsel in distress act my whole course of action was thwarted. If that has never happened to you then you will be unable to understand precisely how irritating it is.
But being unable to fix something because I don't understand it is in a different league. How dare they invent something that I don't get and can have no hope of ever understanding?! I loathe having no control and being entirely beholden to someone or something else to get where I want to be. And yet I just don't care enough about technological issues to make any effort to learn more than I need on a day to day basis. And with that point I answer my own question. I can do nothing about the failing PC. It is hardly a disaster and there are countless other ways that the children and I can pass a perfectly pleasant wet April day. I can't believe that when my emails finally arrive there will be anything urgent or life changing amongst them and I shall just turn the other computer off at the wall to silence it's infernal humming. And wait, with everyone else, for Daddy to fix it.