On a quiet night like tonight I like nothing more than running my fingers lightly over the front of Nigella… now before you all start wondering if I’m one lucky Headlander who is having an affair with TV’s Domestic Goddess I need to tell you that Nigella is actually what I have named my Laptop – because it looks lovely, is a joy to touch and responds to my every need… well, my computing ones anyway!
The other day I was sitting in front of Nigella typing away merrily when her screen started fluttering… going light and dark and light and dark again. After a couple of seconds there was a fsssssttt sound and the screen went completely black. Oooerrr… She’d never done that before… and all my photos of drunken nights and family holidays in Skeggy were stored on her hard drive!
At this juncture I would like to make the point that I’m a thicko when it comes to technology; we recently bought a new multi-functional digibox thingy that records and pauses live telly, makes the tea, hoovers the cat etc and I got the job of installing it. All was going well as I successfully got it out of the 6 layers of packaging (why so much for heavens sake? The packaging box was three feet by two and after unwrapping it the digibox itself was about the same size as a book!), plugged it in, connected it to the TV and switched it on. Telly channels auto searched and appeared and all seemed to be fine until I started wondering how to use all the nifty functions such as seeing a small picture of another channel in the top right hand corner of my screen or recording one channel whilst I watched another. I read the manual which I think had been translated from Japanese into English by an Egyptian and was none the wiser. Pressing buttons on the remote caused the little in-picture frame to appear but not to disappear again and rebooting the whole thing caused the setup process to start from the beginning once again. I was less than impressed.
At this juncture, my 8 year old nephew, Satanspawn, arrived with his mum… Mrs Headlander’s sister Camella. It turns out that Mrs H was getting tired of my swearing (and was wanting to watch the telly) so she called for reinforcements. Satanspawn quickly picked up the buttons and after pressing what looked like a random selection the digibox and all its associated functions mysteriously began working properly. He then spent the next 20 minutes telling me clearly and concisely how to use the machine and also how to fix it should something need resetting. When I asked him to show me which pages in the manual I should refer to for this info in case I forgot it he replied with a cheery “Oh… you’ll never need that… this digibox is user friendly”! User friendly indeed… if he hadn’t have arrived then the box would’ve been User smashed into a million little pieces! Mrs H slipped him a couple of pound coins to thank him for saving me from a seizure and off they trotted.
I relate this tale so that you can imagine my level of bewilderment when my state-of-the-art laptop decided to go ‘fsssssttt’. I tried all of the usual things but Nigella’s screen was still blank and the slight burning smell seemed decidedly fatal to me so I decided that an expert needed to be called. As the bloody thing is just out of warranty (by three weeks wouldn�t you just believe it!) I decided to take Nigella to the local PC doctors – the shop round the corner, which, so young Satanspawn assures me, is really good.
The next morning I arrived at the PC doctor along with the ailing Nigella and laid her carefully on his table for a detailed examination. The doctor asked me some strange questions… was the patient open or closed when the fsssssttt happened, was plug A in socket B, has this ever happened before, was the little green light on after the fsssssttt, could I hear her little fan making any noise and many others… only a few of which made sense. He then plugged Nigella in, switched her on, inserted something strange into one of her holes (ports he called them) and told me that my poor little laptop’s whizzwang was brindled and that her grundlechunker had flollopped blah blah blah… well that’s what he may have said anyway – I certainly didn’t understand any of it!
The upshot was that Nigella had to stay in Hospital for a short time whilst a new screen was procured and fitted. I fretted and called for regular progress reports and the good news is that the operation was a complete success! Now she’s back lying seductively on my table as good as new and I can once again caress all her little buttons and play games on her!
Mrs H laughingly says that she’s going to book me in for psychotherapy next week as she reckons that naming my PC after a TV chef – even one who likes (and I quote here) ‘a Desperate Dan sized portion’ is simply not sane… It’s a good job that I haven’t told her that my printer is named after Fanny Craddock or she would really think I’m going mad.