It's been a long day; I was awake at 5 a.m. and got up to have a little look at my new Best Toy.
Here it is, in the pre-dawn gloom, next to its ousted and usurped predecessor, the one with all the cat nose marks and paw prints on its little screen. I drooled adoringly onto the desk for a while, and then I sent an email to insomniac friend Shelagh, congratulated myself, and had a bit of a play about with the the bouncy little icons and the strange new language that is Apple-speak.
The playing about lasted pretty much all day. So far I have managed to move all my emails onto the new computer - bad move, that; I should have deleted many thousands of them beforehand, but I forgot that Google keeps everything - and backed up all my wobbly wonky photographs on my external hard drive, planning to transfer them another time.I don't want to frighten this beautiful thing by showing it just how much drossy material it will have to deal with for the rest of its life.
I only needed to make one brief call to the Lovely Son for advice. Neither of us shouted or cried, but there are lots of new-fangled things that I'm struggling to understand, and I suspect that exasperation and despair may feature in the coming days.
I took a picture of myself (don't be frightened, I've deleted it) with the built in camera. I see that I peer anxiously at the screen as though I was taking a surprise exam in an unfamiliar subject, and that my old specs are too wide for my face, my chins too numerous for my self-esteem, and my neck is horridly aged. I know few of us look their best at the crack of dawn and in an unalluring M & S fleece dressing gown, but perhaps I won't be Skyping too freely in future without giving some attention to lighting and high-necked sweaters first.
The hours flew by. The dog didn't harass me for a walk, and when I went out with her, I found out why. Despite a reasonably bright sky, the great outdoors was unpleasantly raw. The dog had her thick knitted coat on, yet she still ran away from me when she realised this would be a proper walk. She can make it very clear that she isn't a dog for walks in cold, damp, wet, windy - or indeed hot, dry, windy - weather. She was marched home in disgrace, not for wanting to cut short a forced march, but for running into the road several times in her attempts to sidle away without my noticing. Secretly, I shared her relief to get back indoors and to creep guiltily back to the Best Toy.
On the way home, we saw Millie on a back yard wall. She was studying the sky with interest; perhaps her latest interest is cloud-formation, vapour trails, or UFO-spotting. As she could see that we were on our way home, and not en route to the grassy area where two enormous crows offer entertainment to silly young cats, she was reluctant to come down and join us.
Scooter, who never ventures outdoors, preferring to protect his reputation as the Most Timid Kitten Ever, spent a lovely afternoon playing with the big white box that had come with the Best Toy. He thinks Apple does a very superior line in cardboard packaging, and finds endless amusement in its simplicity; exasperation and despair are for silly, impatient, over-ambitious humans.