How I wish I'd thought of that. If I had, I would quite rightly be crowned King of Jokes, and not have to pay council tax for a year. Instead it was sent to me by Evans, who I think sourced it from some kind of mystical Ultimate Joke Shop, probably tucked about halfway down Diagon Alley. If that's what it's called, I only got up to about halfway through the third book, although I did once meet JK when doing a signing at Waterstone's Canterbury (she was doing the signing, not me, although Bernard Cornwell did once ask me to sign a Bob the Builder book for his nephew, I'm just saying), and she was wearing leather trousers and looked astonishingly foxy. This was before she was a squillionaire too, so clearly I liked her for who she was, although she's married to a GP now, so I missed my chance.
Get yer Bearded Ladies tickets here. Did you spot Fay as the nurse who shouted 'Hello Doctor Statham' at Joanna's crotch? If so, well done you.
So, my Powerbook died, which was fine, as it was still under guarantee, and I'd backed up all my stuff on the ipod, and I've got my old laptop over at Matt's anyway.
Then the ipod died. The music's all gone, and it goes unrecognized by any computer I attach it to, but it seems likely that the files are still on it, so, you know, when the Powerbook comes back it might all be okay.
Then over the weekend, my old laptop coughed, spluttered, and died. The only way to get it back on its feet was to restore it to factory settings, which of course wipes out everything on it. Including my posh Final Draft scriptwriting utility, the actual CD for which is stuck in my old laptop, currently somewhere near Bristol.
Fortunately, having grown increasingly aware of Steve Job's increasingly vicious vendetta against me, I had backed up most of my files on CD.
Unfortunately, it turns out only about half of these actually have anything on them.*
Many thanks to Matt for helping me get my old laptop at least up and working, and apologies for taking up most of your afternoon. I trust the Jaffa cakes in some way softened the blow.
In a weird sort of way though, it's actually quite a cleansing process. I can go back and reload software I actually use, rather than stuff I bought because I wanted the lifestyle (hello Word Office, goodbye iLife). And I drove back from Matt's house in bright sunshine, through some very pretty country roads, playing an old compilation tape I must have made sometime around 1998, and suddenly remembered how much I loved The Damned, who, when followed by McAlmont and Butler, make a singalong challenge too life-affirming to resist.
So I didn't. Apologies to all.
* When I put in the CD containing mp3s of the rarest and most beautiful finds (odd Postal Service remixes, bits of Fredo Viola, some Moondog, acappella covers of computer game themes), a text box appeared saying 'You have inserted a blank CD. What would you like me to do with it?' and I had to go for a bit of a walk until I calmed down.