Ailing Children

Today will be a very different day, as Zoë, our 8-year-old is at home today with a temperature and clearly some kind of bug. She was sent home from school yesterday. Now, we don’t do illness in this family – a bunch of Registered Nurses after all, and our culture of “battle on, regardless” meant that as a child I had to have bubonic plague before I got a day off school. However, she isn’t right, so she sits looking pale and wan in the lounge with a glass of milk and Mary Poppins to make it better.

Meanwhile this means that I can turn to sort out the continuing saga of the Packard Bell laptop – a machine that hasn’t functionned correctly for months now, and despite having had 2 new motherboards and 2 or 3 new DVD drives, still falls over, loses wireless, loses DVD drive and freezes. At present, having tried a system reinstall, it simply refuses to boot, giving an “error 10 Operating System <> CDROM!” error and returning to the DOS prompt. I had some limited success with Ubuntu yesterday, but even in that it kept losing the Wireless. It has been back to Packard Bell 4 times now (in last 6-8 weeks) and over the 4 years of this machine has been repaired at least half-a-dozen times before that. The £10 a month I pay has certainly proved worth it, but this is so frustrating. How long before this thing gets discarded as a lemon?

Having no laptop severely curtails my work, and makes me very anxious with regard to the Summer – the Children’s Pilgrimage is in 3 weeks, the Youth Pilgrimage and Greenbelt loom and I have no output device; and no funds for a replacement. I had hoped that I would get a donation for some work done for another parish: I burned the midnight oil to develop and design them a typo3 website but when it came to hand it over to them to produce material for it, or to deliver material to me for it – nothing. Silent. No activity. I have lost confidence in that one, and am resigned to having wasted my hard work.