In Series 6 of the long-running BBC programme, Doctor Who, there’s this character, Rory Williams. Now the thing that’s unusual about Rory, apart from his liking for dressing up as a Roman and the fact that yeah, actually, he’s older than the Doctor … well, the thing is, he dies a lot.
As does my computer.
I have this habit of naming inanimate objects. Take my musical instruments: Kian, Gabriel and Linda, not to mention Mathew hanging around in the background and those tin whistles, Sinead, Siobhan and Shannon… Oh, and then there’s my watch, Cassie. In French, c’est casse (with an accent that WordPress won’t do) means ‘It’s broken’. My watch is held together by three different types of tape in two different places. Cassie seemed like a good name.
But my computer trumps them all.
For, as it’s now waiting to be mended for what we can’t work out whether it’s the third or fourth time in three and a half years, it dies a lot. Like, a lot.
I don’t know quite how many times I’ve had it mended, but I’m lacking in money at the moment and so there’s a reason I haven’t bought a new one, however many times I’ve thought, “That would be so much easier on a Mac.”
I came back from France yesterday, after being stuck in a French airport for two and a half EXTRA hours when our flight was delayed, and was told that we had good news. “We’ve bought Windows 7 for your computer, as a present, and then you can have Word 2010 as well, oh, and we’re upgrading to BT Infinity so the broadband will be faster as well, or so they say…”
“That’s great, Bella,” I told my sister, unsure of how to break it to her. “But, um, my computer won’t actually turn on right now. It’s got … what’s it called? It’s got a corrupt registry. I’m going to have to get it mended. Again.”
There was a reason I called it Rory Williams.
Now, this is Feather Pen Friday and as I’ve spent a long time not-blogging recently (I do have an excuse), I am supposed to talk about writing. And I am. Because you see, I write my novels on my laptop. And without a laptop, how can I write a novel?
While I was in France, I was staying with my penfriend’s family, and I spent a lot of time working on my roman (novel). It was a way to get away for a while, to have some space. What’s more, it was an excuse to speak English, and they were very accomodating in allowing me to go off to my room and tap away for an hour or so. Without internet access, I probably wrote more than I’ve done in a long time, as I’ve been pretty busy recently.
In my life, I’ve written some chapters that are good. And I’ve written some that are terrible, I’ll be the first to admit it. There are chapters that don’t even make sense, where the timing is completely off, where the characters sound like they’re reading from a crappy TV script … you know the sort. But I wrote this chapter while I was gone, with my improvised writing playlist (well, I didn’t have internet so I couldn’t get Grooveshark), and it was so beautiful…
And I don’t know whether I’ve lost all of that, everything I didn’t have backed up. I might have lost about a thousand photos and twenty thousand words of a novel that I feel were some of the best chapters of my life. I might have lost all the things I would give anything to get back – or I might not.
And I don’t know whether I have or not.
That’s the worst thing. Do I cry for a week, then open up the document that I’ve got left and start rewriting it? Or do I wait for my computer to return from the menders and continue in another document in the meantime?
Maybe calling it Rory Williams was tempting fate. Because that’s the thing about the Doctor’s companions: one day, they’re all going to end up dead or locked in a parallel universe or whatever, and they can’t be rescued. And he has to move on and find another one.
One day, I guess, I’ll have to buy another computer. But I didn’t want Rory to die forever just yet.