And so, last Thursday, it came to pass that Nik pressed an affirmative button to install updates and encountered the horror of Vista crash and burn.
Tried many things
[yes, I confess, even praying over the computer, oh dear...]
but in the end faced the horrifying thought that I'd lost all my research, all my data...
Handing in the laptop to the wondrous techie folks at New College, after some considerable and creative effort, they managed to retrieve my stuff and my computer was then rebuilt.
So, now just rejigging and getting used to the feel of the old/new computer and sorting it all out into some semblance of pre-crash normality once more.
As a trainee minister type I, along with my peers, am encouraged to become a reflective practitioner - so lots of journalling and er, finkin' aboot wot I do, innit.... What has really struck me quite forcibly has been the odd sense of dislocation that I've felt over the time without my laptop - which is my only computer. There was the understandable anxiety over the possibility of losing my academic research and all of my church resources [journals, files, sermons and other worship resources] but beyond that I just felt not only literally disconnected but psychologically disconnected.
It was an odd feeling.
And intermingled with that oddness were emotions that are often associated with loss and grief. Strange.
I've realised just how much time I spend using my computer - yes, for work, where it's essential - but also as a way of passing time/ faffing about/ chilling out....
Over the four day period of enforced non-computing, the days seemed at first to be... long.
Initially I fretted about not being so readily contactable, or unable to respond to something immediately.
I wondered what to do with my time.
I then wondered what I used to do with my time pre-pc dependence and began to think that prior to all the interweb jiggery-pokery I was a self-resourced, creative human being with lots of initiative. It's disturbed me quite considerably to realise how much of that side of me I've allowed to atrophy.
The long days shortened as I remembered how to do 'other stuff' - the guitar was dusted off and music played... and the more I played the more my fingers remembered old tunes.
I walked on 'my' beach, sat and ate dinner on the beach and watched sodden seagulls fly forlornly overhead - one of which helpfully decided to 'dump' on me and my meal... in novels I believe that such a thing is known as 'pathetic fallacy'... the seagull, my dinner and myself were certainly looking pretty pathetic!
I messed about in the garden.
I began to regain my perspective and my humanity.
And the lesson this minister in training has learned?
To be a little more 'intentional' in my non-work computer practices - take a day away from using it.
And, as to computers crashing and burning, and lack of backing up:
to remember that
Jesus saves, go thou and do likewise....