‘Goodness!’ I said, ‘I’ll take it, and here’s a pound, get yourself some deodorant.’
My Sony is approaching five years old now, by no means past it but reaching that time of life when you might want to be taking it that bit easier. Where once it sprinted, it tends to mosey, and although I shouldn’t, I do get to blasphemous screeching point with it almost every day. The wind-up goes like this:
I rouse it from hibernation, and although the little icon thingy in the bottom right hand corner says the broadband is connected and the signal excellent, the browser will not connect to the internet. So I restart.
The restart takes an age. This is usually about 5.30 in the morning, and I sit watching that bloody egg-timer with the World Service on the radio, as the shipping forecast, the news bulletin and Prayer for Today burble on while nothing happens. I could crochet a new toilet-roll cosy or read an improving book, I suppose, but not at that hour of the morning, for Christ’s sake. Just as Farming Today comes on, the egg-timer vanishes and I get in there quick and open Firefox, which takes another five minutes. Once Firefox is open, I try to look at this blog page, which takes another four or five minutes to load. At some point, the CPU usage hits 100%. NOW I can see that there’s a svchost.exe hogging all the computer juice. I click ‘end process’, which I am advised not to do, but it feels satisfying, like thwacking a cockroach with a rolled-up newspaper. A brief pandemonium ensues; the screen goes blank, toolbars alter their hue, distant howling is heard and circumambient objects are borne aloft, then everything settles down and the laptop goes like the clappers for the rest of my browsing session.
So, from switching on to getting down to browsing is often taking a good twenty-five minutes, from the shipping forecast to the start of the ‘Today’ programme. If anyone knows how this pointless interregnum may be reduced, I would be grateful for suggestions.
For some decades now, the Japanese have been fond of t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets embellished with slogans in scrambled English. The fashion seems to have become popular in many far eastern countries. Most of my students at the moment are from China. Today, as the students were engaged on some task for which they didn’t need me, I spent a while reading one young lady’s jacket. It said, over and over:
‘Beybey the Frinfrin’
‘And the and the octorworld of heanococter coctordoctor’
‘Bummer food careers furniture’
The quality of nonsense is not what it was, I reflected. None of this came near my favourite Japanese t-shirt slogan, ‘I love everybody, and you’re next’.