The first dog walk of the day yesterday brought some good news. A dog-walking friend who has been unemployed for a few weeks, maybe a month or more, had finally found a new job. Excellent. We were both really pleased for her.
Similarly, the next dog walk brought more employment news. In this case, a small, but still a job, for us.
I’d not gone on the second dog walk. I’d been faffing around on the computer and wondered why it seemed to be wobbling. I clicked on the casing to make sure it wasn’t coming loose. I checked the cables at the back which sometimes catch in the hinge of the screen (it’s a laptop).
Then I picked up the computer to look underneath – there must be something small hidden on the top of the makeshift desk that was making it move. Nothing. I glanced at the base of the computer as I was putting it down again.
The battery was sticking half out of its slot. I gazed at it horrified. Precious Hal was poorly again. I dived for the skimpy First Aid instruction manual. Turn off, disconnect cables and wait ten mins.
Turned off, disconnected and waited. I paced up and down the flat for ten mins. Poor poor Hal. His insides could be eaten away by battery fluid even as I waited.
Started trying to slide the catch things. The catch for the side of the battery that was still in place slid beautifully. The catch for the side that was sticking half out – did nothing. Immovable.
No! No! No! More expensive recovery at the Apple Shop. Boooooo. Hoooooo.
Partner came in wanting to chat about the small job. I dragged him to look at poor Hal. I gazed at him (Partner, not Hal) with sad green eyes. Beseechingly. I hoped.
He pedantically put on his glasses, pushed me out of the way, and said something dismissive about manual dexterity skills, or lack of in my case. Cheek. The battery flipped out. Bloated, expanded, and presumably knackered. No wonder the battery light thing had been messing around and the fan had been working overtime ….
OK, so far, three bits of good news – well the battery was retrieved from Hal which was good, and as I never move the lappy, I don’t actually need the battery. Also took the one out of the HP reserve lappy as well just in case that decided to take a turn for the worse. Now for the bad news. Sad news is more appropriate I guess.
All was restored to calm in Gibflat. Later in the evening, after sleeping through most of Quantum of Solace, I flicked onto FB. One of the recent posts puzzled me. It was from someone I had met some six or seven months ago when she visited Spain.
We’d ‘met’ on FB via a mutual (virtual for me) friend, and we’d shared some laughs and silly games. It had been fun, and she seemed like a warm, caring, witty, and friendly person.
When she announced last year that she was coming to Andalucía, I asked, out of interest where she was coming. It turned out to be not too far from us. She was coming with a friend who I didn’t virtually know, but I said, if they had time it might be nice to meet up.
First Friend, let’s call her F for first, agreed, but like lots of meet-ups no more was said. But then, suddenly, she was here in Spain, and we agreed a day and a time at their small private hotel.
We drove up and up into the hills where they were staying. F came out to meet us. I won’t forget her face, lovely smile and arms wide open to greet us.
I should say that these two women had given up a day’s excursion just to stay at the hotel to meet us. Even worse, although they thought they had missed the beach day which they could live with, there was a change of plan and they had ended up missing a national park day. Much worse. Still feel guilty about that now.
So we sat down inside their hotel. It was a lovely peaceful tranquil place. Reformed, but not over the top, and just, comfortable and a pleasant place to chat with – new – friends.
Second Friend, we’ll call her S for second, came down to meet us shortly afterwards. Bearing in mind we hadn’t even corresponded via FB, she too had a lovely smile and a warm welcome for us. Later we moved outside as the weather cleared up and chatted and gazed at the beautiful mountain views.
These sort of situations are fraught with potential difficulties. We didn’t find any. Both women were friendly, good company, and there seemed to be loads to talk about. I’ve spent a harder few hours with people I have known far better.
We left at their lunchtime, having spent – on our part – a super few hours. Apart from anything else, we had left the dog behind and it was at least an hour’s drive back, so time to go home.
While I was puzzling over the strange post on FB last night, by Friend F, I noticed a PM pop up from her. S had died that day in hospital and F wanted to let us know. I thought that was so kind. They had given up a day of their holiday to meet us, a vague couple from the internet, and F still thought to let us know.
Even more sadly, like everyone else who knew S, I had sent birthday greetings from us both on Saturday in advance of her birthday on Sunday so she could read them in hospital. Her Facebook page was full of birthday greetings on Saturday from so many people wishing her well and hoping she would soon be out, and they continued well into Sunday. And then, later on Sunday, the comments changed. Into condolences. Yes, she died on her birthday. From cancer that had metastacised from her original one. Aged 37.
So – S – my memories of you? A friendly person, with a lovely smile, and a translucent skin, that made you look almost ethereal. And never a bad word or complaint or moan or anything about the hell you must have been going through.
Thank you for taking the time out of your too short life and your holiday to meet us. Hasta la proxima, guapa.