Technology troubles part 110



The Chromebook which has become an extension of my arms has collapsed. It began when the ‘a’ key fell off. The backspace key went a month or so ago and two weeks ago it was the down arrow. I’ve been typing on the stubs for the last few weeks, but about 10 days ago the top keys started to freeze every now and again.

It began with the exclamation mark. I hadn’t realised how important it was to the tone of certain emails. I’ve been replacing it with …, but that doesn’t seem to convey the same thing at all. I fear I’ve come across as even grumpier than usual. By midweek it was the 1, 2 and 3. This makes it difficult to access certain email accounts. I’ve had to cut and paste numbers from urls to get into my email. I was determined to keep going until all the numbers froze and I could only get into the Chromebook by ferociously hitting a certain number key for five minutes or waiting until the digital clock at the bottom of the home page showed the number.

This was causing slight back pain. At least I put it down to the Chromebook. It could have been 15 years of having small people sleeping under my left arm. I’m hoping my get fit regime, which basically centres on a 5km Christmas fun run that daughter three has signed me up for, will help matters. We’ve just got the map and apparently we have to run in costumes. Daughter two has been limbering up. “Do I have to stay with you?” she said. “By no means,” I replied, knowing that any attempt to keep up with her would cause instant collapse within less than 1km. Ever since she was a toddler it has been impossible to keep up with her. I’m counting on daughter three going at a steady walking pace with a five minute sprint at the beginning and end for the sake of family honour.

Anyway, back to the Chromebook. I finally threw in the towel for a Black Friday bargain. “Can I have your old Chromebook?” asked daughters two and three simultaneously. “It barely works,” I said. It didn’t make any difference. I deferred any decision on who was going to get it. Unfortunately for daughter two, in the interim period she had a dispute with her sister over kidney beans or some such health food issue and managed to get hot chicken tikka masala sauce all over daughter three. She was banished upstairs and daughter three got the Chromebook. Daughter two says now that she didn’t really want it anyway. She was more keen on the kidney beans.

Daughter three immediately set to work. She has created a new login with no numbers in it and copied and pasted all the numbers into an easily accessible place. Why didn’t I think of that?

Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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