Sunday, 18 May 2014

Thank God for the parakeets

Sundays are meant to be relaxing aren't they? The sort of days when you breeze out of bed, drift off to a lovely cafe for brunch, wander round the shops, maybe picnic on the Heath... And actually I did all those things, but in between all hell broke loose...

We had guests to stay last night: wonderful friends of Nathan, who were delightful company and took us out for breakfast to say thank you this morning. For the record, the old spoon, just off the Broadway in Muswell Hill, does a veggie breakfast with halloumi, so if ever anyone wants to take me on a cheap date, look no further that that place! We strolled around the shops, happy as Larry, buying trinkets for birthdays and enjoying the balmy weather. 26 degrees in London today.

As we dropped the girls off at the train station, I began to realise that my iPhone was going a little gaga, refusing to delete emails and informing me, somewhat inexplicably, that I'd no more memory space. We decided the time had come to ditch the dreadful thing, upgrade it to something infinitely more awesome, and then maybe spend a few hours with the wealthy Hindus and Jews at Brent Cross Shopping Centre spending some of the lovely John Lewis vouchers we'd been given for the wedding.

All that was left to do was make a quick stop at the house to back up my phone and then we could ride off into the happy-ever-after sunset. I wish there was a single word to sum up the farting noise they play when a contestant says something silly on Family Fortunes. That's the distressing sound which kept searing through my ears for the rest of the afternoon.

I plugged my phone in. My computer crashed. My iPhone went into recovery mode, refused to work until we'd restored all factory settings, and then iTunes started refusing to acknowledge it, or any of my Apple products. So there I was at 2pm, with a completely empty phone, and not a hope in hell of getting any of my contacts, calendars, photos or messages back on. In fact, as I write this, all that information is locked in my computer's iTunes and no-one knows if we'll ever be able to get it back. Epic Fail! The nice man at PC World thinks I have a virus, which will no doubt mean that my entire computer will also need to be wiped tomorrow... Then I shall have nothing but two entirely empty virtual shells... and a broken heart.

So, we went to Carphone Warehouse and, much against my better judgement, I signed up for another contract with EE, who provided me with a lovely shiny new phone, which sadly didn't seem to want to send text messages from my number. Every text I sent was registered from a random, entirely different number, and when I phoned the help desk at EE, they informed me that it was "out of hours" and therefore that I'd need to pay 50p a minute for help! Desperate.

So I did what I find myself forced to do rather a lot at the moment, pretended there wasn't a problem, and went to Brent Cross with Nathan, bought some new bedding and a brand new pillow (which is fabulously exciting) and then went and sat in the yellow evening sunshine in our new favourite spot on the Heath, surrounded by our new friends, the parakeets. We saw more than 40 today. They seemed particularly active, making a right old racket and hanging out in massive groups. Great lime green flocks flickering like spring leaves in V-shaped formations in the bright blue sky.

Thank God for the parakeets. Thank God for nature, really...

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