IT WOULD have been wise to alert clever IT people the second I noticed my laptop mysteriously losing power. Usually, on a summery day, I exploit the advantages of my career by working in the garden, beneath a shady tree, tea and rusks at hand.
So when I couldn't, because Suze (said laptop) wheezed and switched off as soon as she was unplugged from the life support that is her clunky battery and a plug, I should have killed that problem. Actioned it with general frantic hand movements to my computer genius husband. Done the testosterone thing and focused.
And I should have backed up my life which, like you, is parasitically tied to a machine.
Horrible week? Hell, yeah. That night, Suze not only refused to live via intravenous electric cable, but flashed me by purging nonsensical pixel porn on the screen and scrambling six pages of a feature into a mess of gobbledegook looking more like a toddler's finger-paint nightmare than the high-brow article on South American economies I'd been working on.
Blink. All gone. Photos, documents, pending best-selling fiction ideas and an ancient recipe for hazelnut brownies, which I always meant to make, some day.
This has happened to you. I know it. It doesn't happen to people like The Hub, who has surrounded himself with a Frankenstein-ish spiderweb of online safety nets, back-up bodyguards and solid-looking bricks that will swoop to rescue him when the microchips are down.
Which is why he had little sympathy. I told you to use Google docs, he said. I told you to install (whatchamacallit) years ago because Suze is old and you can't expect a machine to keep going forever and no, I don't know what the problem is but yes, okay, I'll have a look later and leave you dripping with terror and trepidation until then while I smugly sit at the altar of my Mac kingdom, which will never, in a million years, do to me what yours has done to you.
Something like that. And for the next 48 hours, I missed two crucial deadlines, ate triple the amount of my RDA in calories, raged against the machine and generally became that girl from Vampire Diaries whose transition from human to full-blown bloodsucker was peppered with uncontrollable outbursts of anger and an insatiable desire to eat.
It bothers me more than a little, that life as I know it, ground to a halt for two, agonising days. I lost my school schedule, special event dates, birthday party notifications and reminders to buy gifts, kids' baby photos (which you're always going to print and frame, but only next month) and my fancy tax spreadsheet, which will tell anybody who cares to look what I earn and why.
Friends said, well why not put it all on your phone then, in future? As if. I'm the girl who leaves her mobile on the roof and drives off; who doesn't clean her laptop and then wonders why the spacebar is sticky; who gives keys to toddlers to keep them quiet and then can't get home or out; the one who puts "reminders" on her smartphone, only to realise that I didn't set the alarm and the hen night was last week.
I'm tired of technology. There's a grey filing cabinet in the garage which won't ever have temperamental outbursts or power surges – and if I'd only listened to Sandra and stuck to lugging an A4 diary around instead.
Women, embrace your inner retro. Technology is so male – minimalist and risky. Men stick a wallet and car keys in their back pockets and they're good to go. We carry handbags – the ultimate back-up.
It's time to take back the typewriters and Tippex.