Saturday, 8 June 2013

Dog days cause Blog delays...

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Loulou (our dog who I am blaming for most of my problems) had a wound on one of her back legs, and bearing in mind this was a Saturday afternoon and there was yet another bank holiday due on the Monday, we rushed to the vet and got there just 10 minutes before they were due to close.  Yet again my ‘fluent’ French was sorely tested but it is so difficult when you don’t even know the English word for the sticky out lump behind a dog’s back leg which looks a bit like an elbow but could even be described as a heel even though it never touches the ground.  The vet very quickly got out the razor, the staple gun and some sticky bandages and we were on our way. 

We were both quite tired after the traumatic events and after she had had a couple of hours resting and I had had a couple of glasses of wine I began to see the positive side of things – we wouldn’t be going on our usual evening walk and I could spend some ‘quality’ time on the computer.  Sadly, in my excitement, I tripped over a tennis ball which had been thoughtfully placed underneath my desk and spilt half a glass of wine all over the laptop keyboard....

... Luckily I also have an I-Pad, so as I threw a towel over the area and ran to fetch the hair-dryer, I was able to ‘Google’ the problem.  The first response I read was ‘Do not use a hair-dryer as this will cause a short-circuit’!  I followed all the advice, (Shut-down the computer, turn the whole thing upside down as quickly as possible, blot in-between the keys with tissues, allow to air-dry and under no circumstances turn it back on just to see if it works yet), but after 24 hours, although the laptop seemed to start OK and I was able to open programmes, whatever I typed came out in what looked like Russian.  I sent an email to my friendly computer man and he quickly replied that he didn’t think he would be able to fix the problem but suggested that I buy a separate keyboard.  Brilliant idea.

The easy part was ‘installing’ it, but then I realised that it was (obviously) a French keyboard.  At first glance they don’t look hugely different but for some reason there is a Q where we have an A and it always takes me half an hour to find the @ key.  However, now that I have to use the office computer regularly I felt it was time to bite the bullet and get to grips with this new method of typing.  Then came the ‘Good News/Bad News’ situation – while the keyboard layout is French there are no drivers for it on my laptop so it treats it as English!   Rather than attempting anything as ambitious as downloading drivers I have been relying on my touch-typing skills and using the French keyboard by not looking at it.  For the most part this has been working well but caused some anxiety for the computer man when he came out to sort out a recent non-wine related problem.

As long as I don’t need to type anything involving asterisks, strike-throughs, brackets etc (I always have trouble locating them) I will continue using this method – although this means that I won’t be able to relate the sad saga of the kitchen installation for quite some time as too many swear words will need blanking out with ‘special characters’...

The dog is now fully recovered and the office is now a ‘no-ball’ zone.

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