Thank you to readers like Alan Potter and Chris Hedley who wrote in offering tips on retrieving photos from my dead laptop. I had indeed backed them up to another laptop – but then that was stolen! Middle-class problems, eh?
The thing is, you may read this letter every day, but you don’t really know me. The chances of my getting a screwdriver out to unscrew a laptop’s cover and remove its hard drive are about as high as those of Carlos Tevez landing a testimonial from Manchester City. So, Richard Johnson, I may well take up your offer to do it for me for “chips”, but perhaps you’d prefer a bottle of something bubbly. You’ve got to know yourself.
Some things scare the c*** out of me, despite somehow surviving a Catholic upbringing; the scary sea of Sloanes that was university; the sinister sea of sharks that is journalism (touch wood); a painful lifelong addiction to LUFC and – most intimidating of all – sharing in the parenting of two teenage girls.
Some things you can overcome: shyness; dislike of mushrooms; fear of wet-shaving (!); and an aversion to anything your parents liked. Others are insurmountable: an absolute inability to sing (respect to Barack Obama) or play a musical instrument; fear of opening anything labelled HMRC without breaking into hives; the taste of Marmite, whisky and Guinness; and drilling anything into a wall without said wall crumbling. Save for a chicken, the “insides”, be it a laptop, car engine, or Venetian blinds, will forever remain a foreign country.
It’s safer that way. I will also never complete a codeword puzzle or draw well enough to be published. Luckily, other people can. So, look out for i’s new daily codeword and the brilliant Ben Jennings’ first cartoon on Monday. Have a good weekend.