I returned home from walking Hadrian's Wall in a buoyant, elated mood - to be met with complete computer chaos. Doesn't life have a habit of roughing you up just when you've been smoothed down? My own cyber-version of Hadrian's Wall (Norton, to name names - not the most impermeable of firewalls, I know) had been breached, and a couple of Trojans had wreaked havoc all over the registry. How did that happen, then? The only other times I've had viruses were when I foolishly allowed others unrestricted access to both my hard drive and the Internet.
Anyway, to cut a long and tedious story short, I somehow managed to evict these woad-smeared Pictish invaders, kicking them back into Reiver territory with my Roman legionary army boots. But I still couldn't boot up. I took a little professional advice which was of little help. Then, with desperate impatience, I backed up all my stuff and restored the system to its original factory settings. You can imagine the hours I've spent reloading Adobe and Word and Excel and reinstalling my printer and reconfiguring my email and all the rest. And I still can't figure out how to reinstate all my saved pictures, documents and audio files - which are languishing here in front of me on six DVDs.
Computers. Don't you just love and hate them? I'm thinking of simplifying my life and retreating to Donegal - with a few books and the most basic of Internet connections - and digging a vegetable patch and contemplating the Eternal Mysteries.