I was most touched by all the kind messages I received from so many of you, when my laptop became sick.
I am acutely conscious that, at Easter, I promised I would continue posting daily until a year after I started in late July 2018. By which time I had planned to bring you up to date with the whole dismal history of Bink’s ill-health, over the years.
And after which, I predicted, I would only post when there was news.
Would that my laptop had laid itself down and died, conveniently and tastefully, allowing itself to be replaced promptly and easily by its rightful heir. Instead, it dragged itself out, like a dying king determined to hold on to power, or a rich maiden aunt surrounded by desperate and impatient hopeful beneficiaries, for week after painful week, prolonging the agony.
The battery wouldn’t charge properly. Sometimes it would: sometimes it blacked out. I got a new battery.
The new battery wouldn’t charge either. Except in the car. I left the car running all afternoon to recover my notes for a debate I was taking part in that evening.
Then bought a new lead, reconditioned on eBay. Then got cold feet and bought a brand new one for four times as much, on Amazon.
Meanwhile spending fifty hours on the telephone to Apple. And almost as much travelling to an Apple shop a few times.
Transpired it wasn’t a genuine Apple battery. I paid for another.
No: must be the logic board.
And on and on and on...
Until, rather like Frankenstein’s monster, so many of my dear laptop’s parts had been replaced with new limbs and organs and transplants that the original was no more itself than the monster had been humanoid.
Each replacement demanding yet another afternoon spent doing what I hate most of all in all the whole wide world: driving to a shopping centre. Sorry, no, I lie: even more than I hate doing this, I hate trying to understand the parking system of the shopping centre.
So much so, that I ran over a motorcylist, trying to back out of the tarmac labyrinth in a panic.
I apologise therefore that, during this time, I found it quite beyond me to write several hundred words a day with one thumb, on a device a few inches square... and not go more mad than poor Bink herself.
Let alone finding black-and-white, copyright-free, relevant photographs and images and working out how to shove them on, too...
Thus, the break from our sad story was involuntary. But as it happens, opportune.
You may remember Shaun had, just before that, ordered me to take a rest from blogging. We had more challenges even than usual during this time; more coming in every day – eventually, perhaps I will fill you in on that too – and I was beginning to come apart at the seams.
However and notwithstanding having solemnly promised, many years ago, in front of many witnesses of friend and family, in the sight of God and the golden words of Cranmer, to perform Shaun’s slightest whim without the tiniest argument or demur, I can’t imagine I would have taken even the vaguest notice of his embargo... if it hadn’t become completely impossible to write.
Unless you wanted me to post my blog in pen and ink.
You’d almost think Shaun had God on his side…
So anyway, now I have let you all down and we are knocked off schedule.
Nothing for it then, but to resume where we left off.
I had abandoned you around about St Swithun’s Day.
In the high summer of 2015...