When I was in New Zealand I bought a laptop to take around the country with me so that I could download my photos and write my book. It was a really useful thing and it meant I could share photos with people, send CDs of photos home for safety and write every day before my almost permanently befuddled mind forgot everything I had wanted to say.
As you would expect, that means that it got a lot of use and that use has never diminished in the five years since I bought it. It has served me well but is now getting a little bit old and tired and more than a little quirky in what it will let me do and when. (Similarities with me are purely coincidental!) For some time now getting it to switch on has become a bit of a lottery. Yesterday it kept chucking me out of the Internet and deciding, intermittantly, that its USB ports weren't going to work. So, with a degree of sadness, I decided that the time had come for me to get a replacement. I didn't want it to crash first and find I couldn't retrieve any of the files on it.
I toddled off to Taunton and indulged in a little Sunday afternoon shopping and came home with a brand new Acer laptop. It is very black and shiny and will do very well if it lasts in the way that my New Zealand one did. I hope to get the chance to fire it up this evening so that I can move everything I need across. While the old one continues to work, albeit on it's own terms, I won't just stop using it but it deserves to be put out to grass after the brilliant service it has given me.
The other bit of news came as a big surprise and a huge delight. I've been nominated for an award. Every year the Directorate I work for at Somerset County Council has an awards ceremony when teams and individuals who have done outstanding work can be recognised. And the group of people from across the Directorate, with me as the leader and figurehead, has been nominated for the web work we've been doing for the past year and more. I'm delighted that I haven't been singled out and that the whole group has been honoured with a nomination; I've borne the brunt of the anguish, organisation and upheaval but the others have got on quietly in the background never questioning the sometimes ludicrous things I've been asking them to do.
The ceremony is on Friday afternoon, so I've been invited along to represent the group and the project and to receive the award if we turn out to be lucky enough to win. You can be sure that I will be shouting from the rooftops if that happens, and you, my LJ friends, will be among the first to know.