Is this the kind of human-interest story you were after?

Well, it’s been one of those days. If it could go wrong it did!

Things that went wrong

It really began last night, when I couldn’t sleep. I was worrying too much, I reckon, about the future, about money, about my job, about where we’ll live, about the amount of work I need to do and how to balance parish work with chaplaincy with finishing the SEC website. In fact, it began yesterday afternoon, when I was feeling so overwhelmed by my workload and feeling that I was really at the end of my tether … when the telephone rang: could I take a funeral on Tuesday afternoon? God must really believe in me, I thought. I just wish I did sometimes, too.

Anyway, I didn’t sleep very well. Lay awake for ages, and finally got up, watched some telly — the end of a Scottish film, set in Edinburgh, on FilmFour — and then upgraded the SEC website to WordPress 1.5.2. It took a wee while as I wanted to backup the database first, and it wouldn’t let me do it (using the excellent Database Manager plugin) until I’d CHMOD 777-ed the backup folder. And the only way I worked out to do it was by logging into the server shell and doing it manually — cos I’m so l33t! Yawn… yawn … geeky explanation available in the comments on request, suffice to say that for newbies it’s as easy as following an undubbed Japanese movie with your eyes closed, while reading the script in braille! Anyway, I managed it, and upgraded the site to WP 1.5.2, and went to bed listening to The Mighty Boosh on CD.

And today … today was one disaster after the other. First of all I couldn’t get the WiFi to work with a Lucent WaveLan/Orinoco Gold card — on either my Psion 7Book or Jane’s laptop. I then got a bit stressed out about the SEC website, so set about doing some of that — and that took ages, mostly just organising documents, as well as a couple of cosmetic changes. And just as I was beginning to enjoy that …

Arrgghh… my kilt socks! I needed to get them washed for the wedding in Ireland on Saturday. I headed down to Tesco for some wool-friendly washing liquid. Into the machine on my return and back to the website.

Click … click … click … click … click … click … !!

The washing machine wasn’t working properly. It had finished washing my socks, but they were now still wet and soapy, and the machine was going a bit mental. Which was a coincidence because by this point so was I.

And to cut a long story short the washing machine was well and truly … not working. I emptied the filter of a 5p, but that didn’t fix the problem. And then I discovered that our service agreement expired 3 months ago! And then I spent over an hour on the phone, and discovered that the four different numbers I had, and was given along the way, all terminated at the same automated voice options.

“… Press 3 if you have had your machine for more than 12 months.”

By the time I’d rung the service agreement people, renewed my policy, and rung Indesit back for the fourth time I knew the answer to every single question that they had for me, like it was my own name! By this point I was a little manic.

“Hello, Indesit Support, can I help?”
“Do you know the model number of your machine?”
“Oh YES! It’s a W D one two S for Sierra.”

Oh, she must have hated me; or at least have wondered why I was so happy that my washing machine was broken. Anyway, they can come and fix it for me. On Monday 12 September. Anytime between 8:00 am and tea time. Just as well I’m not a busy man, and that my clothes don’t get smelly!

Did I mention that in the process of dealing with the washing machine I also managed to flood the kitchen floor, and trip over two washing baskets and crush both of them? No? Oh, well, I managed that too.

And then I discovered that in the heat of the midday sun, the 7 day sanctuary light candle on my window ledge had melted. Which wouldn’t have been too bad had the plastic also not melted, so that the cheap tallow oozed out all over my window ledge, my icons, my crosses, down the wall, and on the carpet! So I had that to clean up too.

Deep breath.

And then Jane phoned — who’d been away in Ayr all day — to say that her sister Pauline had offered her tea.
“No! Please come home to me,” I pleaded. And so she did. Bringing fish and chips, too. I love my wife.

Things that went right

The whole CHMOD thing by shell was quite satisfying. And Tony Hodges sent me a packet of Thornton’s chocolate cookies. And I booked a parking space for Car Park 3 at Prestwick Airport tomorrow. And I love my wife, and she brings me fish and chips.

Tomorrow is a new day, and we’re flying to Ireland for the wedding of my cousin, Stuart.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.