I’ve been having a little bit of trouble with my ‘l’s lately. My new laptop seems to have a bit of a speech defect and cannot pronounce that letter without going into spasm. It’s been very inconvenient – I’ve had to resort to typing a 1 instead and then doing ‘find and replace.’ But now somehow, miraculously, the laptop seems to have healed itself, allowing me to speak to you using words with as many ‘l’s as I like. I could even write in Welsh if I knew any Welsh. Speaking of which, I had a weird crossword clue the other day which I thought might be Welsh. It went ‘Suggestion: somewhere to go in all seasons.’ Sometimes the answer is contained within the clue, as in this one, lower down: ‘Accordingly caught by better goalkeeper,’ to which the answer was ‘ergo’, the letters of which are contained in ‘bettER GO alkeeper.’ Just as well as I was originally thinking the answer was a goalkeeper and I don’t know any.
So, I was wrestling with the letters of ‘Somewhere to go in all seasons’ and wondering whether for some reason it could be spelled backwards. And I came up with Llaniog. Hm, Llaniog: I wonder if that’s a real place? It sounded familiar – and when I googled it I discovered it is the setting for Ivor the Engine.
You cannot imagine the sheer joy of being able to type Llaniog without your computer throwing a complete wobbly. Fantastic.
In other news, I am deeply sad about Andy Murray’s impending retirement. He is such a terrific player, has never had a tantrum or insulted anyone and has in his own understated way always stuck up for equality and fair play. It’s not even as if he’s overdone things; he just had this injury which won’t quit, so now he has to.
So that’s today’s offering, I’m afraid. A bit of a rag-bag with a smidgin of Welsh. Still it’s better than having a word-processor which only works in Swedish.
Well my dears I am happy to report that I am typing this on a newly-refurbished laptop. It’s a great feeling when refurbishment comes together and you can continue using something rather than recycling it. In any case the time had come when I could no longer juggle my old laptop plus a USB keyboard: having ingested a small amount of water, the laptop keyboard was incapable of producing words other than ‘t;hf5co.vfp- 1;f!g9gc;b.’ Not exactly what I had in mind. But lo! The son’s old laptop lay languishing under the sofa, needing only a new connection to make it as serviceable as ever. So off went OH to the computer shop while I searched for the mains lead. I found a bunch of phone chargers and a snake-pit of unnameable wires with bizarre plugs on the end, none of which remotely resembled the charger I wanted. Ah well. We bought a new one, the computer wizard worked his magic and so here I am fully-toggled and ready to go.
Not so fast, Lizardyoga! For the new laptop does not have Word on it. Instead it has Open Office. Well that’s fine, it’s Word-compatible as most things are nowadays (I use Word not because I like it but because publishers usually insist on it. That’s my excuse anyway.) So I plugged in my shiny new pen drive (joy) and fired up the word-processor. What? What the actual – ? Oh. My. God. I’d forgotten that before buying a new and utterly righteous machine *, OH was using this. And guess what? The user interface was all in Swedish.
Swedish! I ask you, what good is that? Instead of friendly helpful headings it had inexplicable words like nyark and verdstrom. What the hell? I went downstairs to berate OH and insist on an English-language version.
‘Why don’t you just learn Swedish?’ was the reply. I was not amused. An hour of fruitless fumbling ensued during which OH frequently expressed the view that it would be easier for me just to learn Swedish (love that ‘just’) whereupon I retorted that I wanted to actually do some work not try to figure out what some digital Swedish chef was trying to tell me. Finally we got it working in English and the Swedes have gone home.
Swedes going home might be a by-product of Brexit – a propos of which, did you see the excellent Channel 4 drama ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War‘? I wasn’t sure about it at first as there was a lot of shouting and power-struggling between men which was reminiscent of The Thick of It (I don’t like TTOI because it’s too shouty and sweary and lacking in subtlety) but it got much better. Rory Kinnear (that man seems to be everywhere) played Craig Oliver, the hapless leader of the Remain camp and Benedict Cumberbatch played Dominic Cummings, a man so eccentric as to seem at times completely unhinged.
It is recommended. A word-processor in Swedish is not.
*OH never stops boasting about this machine, whose battery lasts for weeks without being recharged and which is so light you can balance it on your thumb.