comments 21

In which I have no computer!

Lovely Daughter #2’s computer went to black screen over the weekend, with the hard drive making a loud clicking sound 😦 So she has borrowed mine while we wait for a new hard drive to arrive.

It’s quite odd being a computer down.  I get the odd snatched catch up moment with it to do some writing and other essentials, when it’s not being used for essays and projects.

In the meantime, I have been using my computer-free time to read Ian McEwan’s Solar, a satire about Michael Beard, a socially inept, self-centred physicist with a suspect attitude to fidelity and relationships.  He works at a centre for environmental research, hence the title.

It’s a satire in the vein of Martin Amis, similar to Money, but with a less flash central character – Beard’s escapades include eating the wrong person’s lunch and having problems peeing in the Arctic rather than Amis’s more 80s yuppy based extravagances.  I’m enjoying McEwan’s descriptions, such as the way an Artic trip for environmentalists turns from organised, good intentions to subtle, selfish chaos, following the way of the world, but as a whole find this too emotionally detached.  I need an emotional pull to feel really involved.  One book in this latter vein that I’ve been meaning to re-read is Michael Frayn’s A Landing on the Sun, a lightly satirical but emotionally affecting novel about philosophers and the civil service.

Talking about re-reading, my friend Rachel has also started a book club wanted suggestions for a short book to start us off, so I’ve suggested The Sense of An Ending because I would love to re-read it for “clues”, as suggested by several people here.

I’ve tried baking, but the bread hast turned out hard, which I am told probably comes down to over or under kneading – currently I use a machine so I may go back to basics, as my dad used to do when we were children.  He used to make lovely soft fresh bread.

On the more positive side, I took more millionaire’s shortbread in to a governors’ meeting yesterday evening, and this went down very well.

Will catch up with you all soon and hope you are all well!



  1. Sorry about LD#2’s computer crashing, hopefully the hard drive will arrive soon and you will both be up and running again. I’ve not heard of The Sense of an Ending but I like the sound of the title 😉 I’m intrigued about the ‘clues’…I’ve obviously missed something here…
    Oh, and I had a bread machine once but never used it and left it behind with a friend when I left the States. I would love to wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread and I so often think of getting one. Like so many things though I just wonder if it will never be used…

    • My machine used to be great for a loaf (rather than dough), until it “walked” off the counter onto the floor 😦 Now it will only mix not cook. Having said that, it’s quite bulky to store and awkward to clean, and it’s only 10 mins kneading by hand so I don’t think worth replacing.

      • Oh no 😦 Sorry to hear that, but at least it still mixes and you still get the use out of it 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about your daughter’s computer. I’m struggling with my own technical difficulties. All of a sudden WordPress isn’t sending any new posts, comments or follow-up comments to my gmail account. Not sure what’s going on….very frustrating.
    I’ve had The Sense of Ending on my To Be Read list, I should move it up in line.

    • That’s annoying with WordPress. I am now appreciating having things sent to me by email as I can read on my phone. It is a weird thing though – the most annoying when it suddenly unfollows you from someone.

  3. Computers are a pain aren’t they. Mine did just that last Christmas and I felt bereft. Hope you get it sorted soon.
    I read Solar and loved it, Ian McEwan is one of my favourite authors of all time.

  4. Sorry to hear about your daughter’s computer! I’m starting to get a feeling of what it’s like to share a computer…my son is doing more and more of his school assignments on computer, and so I have to lend him mine. I think that someday soon we will need to get him his own computer.

    I have two Ian McEwan books on my shelves. I have yet to read him!

    I hope you have a good week.

    • I remember the days when we had one computer… then as the kids grew up, another one, and then one each soon becomes essential.  Strange how our ideas of necessity change.  I live my life through it – writing, blogging, keeping up with friends.  Although it was good to have a break and relax with a book and cleaning the house.


  5. I hate to smell HD death but it can happen.. specially if you are not properly feed and walk it out.. sure that was just a natural cause. Thanks for visiting me while I am still poorly… don’t like machine bread I have one sitting in the garage from birth.. use to do by hand the quality was amazing.. can’t do any at the mo.. but enjoy whatever you do.

  6. I read Ian McEwan’s book Atonement which was excellent and written so beautifully. He’s an amazing writer. Really talented and I don’t often appreciate writing when I read it but in his case the words and sentences were so beautiful that I found myself marvelling over them throughout the book.

    • Yes, he has such a way of description, not over the top, but as you say, beautiful in their exactness and simplicity. Glad you enjoyed Atonement.

  7. I hate the computer issues. I have no instinct for machines at all, so when one is down, I’m at the mercy of other people’s schedules. Hope yours gets fixed very soon!

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