....and in response to all your very kind comments and e-mails wondering whether I have actually shuffled off this mortal coil, I've not. (Obviously).
But I thought you might like to know what happened, so I'll be as quick as I can:
1. Watch in disbelief, in the middle of December, as all the words and icons on your computer screen sort of slide off into the corner...
2. Ring a friend of a friend, who diagnoses the problem as a 'bloodhound virus', which after much technical terminology appears to mean that the computer is as dead as a dodo.
3. Frantically attempt to justify splashing out on a new computer two weeks before Christmas.....
4. Fail miserably.
5. Try not to think about the fact that none of the Football Fanatic's university work, the Singer'sGCSE coursework or the thousands of retro pictures that you have spent years collecting are backed up.......
6. Suddenly remember that somewhere, towards the back of the hall cupboard, is a dusty laptop...
7. Search the house from top to bottom for the CD which will connect the dusty laptop to the internet.
8. Fail miserably.
9. Wait TWENTY THREE days for a replacement CD from the internet service provider.
10. Finally receive CD, insert into CD drive and wait...
11. Realise that said CD is never going to connect you to the internet if you sit here messing with it for the next hundred years.
12. Do ten rounds with TalkTalk engineer in Bombay......and.........at last.........re-connect to the outside world........
I feel I should point out here that our connection is not as good as it used to be (I know how it feels) and is prone to going off without so much as a by your leave. So, if I go AWOL again in the near future, you'll know where I am.
I absolutely had to post today, because we have a birthday in the house.
The Football Fanatic is twenty today.
Well, chronologically she is twenty. In reality, she informs me, she is 'twenteen', a word which the Urban Dictionary defines as:
1. the new age for a person who doesn't want to lose being a teenager once they hit the age of twenty!
2. The age between nineteen and twenty-one. Twenteen is used when the birthday boy/ birthday girl is not excited about no longer being a teenager and feel like if they mask the age behind a false definition, the pain of getting old will lessen.
And on that basis, I reckon I'm about for-teen and three quarters.
Give or take a few weeks.