To add to my previous woes over the last 2 weeks (cut telephone wire, parking fine and theft of Kay's vital cards) I can add the death of Kay's laptop to the list. It finally gave up the ghost of pretending to be a laptop on Friday, although it had been threatening to go on strike for a few weeks before that. Both PC World and a little computer repair shop close to Kay's digs confirmed that it was either a virus or a major corruption of the registry (at least I think that's what they said - a lot of computerspeak goes over my head, to be honest). We asked the little computer repair shop to save whatever data they could (vital essays, music and photos) and set off to PC World on a mission to buy a new one. My eyes tend to glaze over when faced with rows and rows of shiny new laptops, because I am hard pushed to know the difference between them. At the end of the day, I choose one because I like the look or feel of it and the price of it. Blow how many RAMs and GBs and whistles it has. I was relieved to see that Kay, despite her far superior knowledge of computers than me, chose on the same criteria. The shop assistant was a jolly middle-aged Yorkshire woman and we got on like a house on fire. By the end of the transaction, we had swapped life stories, listed children and husbands and pregnancy stories. I felt I knew her intimately. We even parted with a hug and kiss. You don't get that in London shops!
On the way home, we called in to the repair shop to collect the data they had managed to save on the old laptop. The man told me almost gleefully that they had found 67 Trojan horses on it, yet Norton had been reassuring us we were fully protected and secure. Obviously the Trojan horses has stampeded in at night under cloak and dagger! We staggered home with the new shiny laptop and software bulging out of its plastic carrier bag, just as it began to rain. I put the umbrella up. Not for me or Kay, but to cover the £500 of technology that even Norton wouldn't be able to protect.
Once home, we decided to brave the rain again as we needed to do a big shop to tide Kay over the next few weeks as well as restock her cupboards with all the staples like jam, coffee, herbs and ketchup etc. We headed for the nearest bus into town and intended to get a taxi back with all our copious bags. On the way to the bus, the rain got heavier, the sky blacker and my mood lower. Suddenly we were accompanied by the sight and sound of thunder and lightning. And then, all hell broke loose. I can honestly say I have NEVER in my sixty years seen rain like it. It didn't just bucket down, it came in sheets and swirled round like in a vortex. I reckon it was the tail end of Hurricane Katie or whatever she's called. The buses and cars all shuddered to a halt in the main road as they could not possibly progress in such a downpour, the rain ran in rivers down the hill and a fog descended so you could not see across the road. Kay and I ran as fast as we could, given we were in the midst of a mini-tsunami, and ended up at a bus-stop shelter where one other woman was cowering. However the rain was being lashed from both directions of the shelter, so even though we had a roof for cover, we had no protection from the rain at both sides. My clothes were so wet, they couldn't have been any different if I had stepped into a bath fully clothed and stepped out again. And there we stood, waiting for the bus. Going home was not an option, as we would have got even more soaked and still needed to get to the shops. The bus arrived,we squelched onto it and stood in the aisle much to the amusement of other passengers who had obviously boarded the bus in drier times. We squelched off the bus at the supermarket and pushed our way through the hoards of customers who were cowering at the exit with their full trolleys, too scared to brave the rain. We shivered round the supermarket, almost dying of hypothermia in the chilled and freezer sections. We made friends with another customer - a man who was as soaked as we were and (I think) was trying to chat me up, although what attraction he could see in a drowned rat, I don't know. We aquaplaned into a taxi home with our 7 supermarkets bags and changed into warm dry clothing as soon as we could. It took several pairs of socks and chocolate bars to warm my feet and my shoes were still not dry two days later.
Now I am back from my adventure, the house seems awfully quiet. Just me, Snoopy, the cat and the ticking clock. Only another 14 weeks till Christmas.......