Life without laptop

No, laptop is not the name of a dearly beloved pet. Nor a partner or lover. Just a laptop. We haven’t gone in for names.

But I have had to suffer the most beastly 10 days without the thing, while it’s been off gallivanting round the country getting repaired.  Yes, 10 whole days. And what have I done in that time? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sitting and staring out the window would definitely rank as my main pastime in this traumatic period in my life. I had no idea I’d miss that fuddy duddy little fella of mine quite so much. We don’t even like each other. I mean, my laptop is actually particularly and quite spectacularly awful, but at least it’s a laptop.

The thing is I freelance, so it pretty much is my life. And I really need it for my entertainment, I’ve got two episodes of Downton Abbey to catch up with, for God’s sake. I am literally a deprived adult.

Now I do have a “smart” phone, and bless it, it has tried to help me in my dilemma. But writing Pulitzer and Nobel winning literature is just not that easy on a phone. Nor is access to an array of documents I hoped to work on and send to people.

If there is one positive to take from this terrible saga, it’s my not being able to do my invoicing. My template simply won’t work on my phone. I hate invoicing, possibly more than I hate the marmitey crumbs my flatmate insists on leaving in my butter. But not even my distinctly dwindling funds and complete and utter lack of purpose could tempt me into an internet cafe to attempt it there. No thanks.

But alas, the lovely people out there somewhere have now restored my laptop to life, and if anyone’s glad, it’s my bank balance. It’s waiting for me to send those bloody invoices, so I may as well get on with it. Oh, it’s a hard life.

A first impassioned impression

Deciding upon which combination of semi-suitable words to use in this, the opening line in my maiden blog entry, taunted me for several vain minutes before I settled on these that you see before you. I so wanted to make a good and lasting first impression to you and the rest of the blogosphere. Thankfully, sitting here typing, I am safe from many modern day make-sure-you-create-a-goood-first-impression hazards such as tripping over my own shoes on my way to meet you, going in for the kiss when it really should have been a handshake, and having to pull a bemused face when asked who won the rugby yesterday. Those are all things that in this situation, I don’t need to worry about. As it’s just me and a screen, and a very valuable Edit function, I can spend as long as I want really perfecting that first impression.

And it was in this utterly self-indulgent phase of wheedle-deedling over my wordsmything that got me thinking about the many, many things  a middle-class man worries about on a daily basis.

Now I am a middle-class man, and I have worked hard to get where I am. Yet while I value a lot of the privileges I have earned, I am more often deeply ashamed of many of my peers for their ignorance, small-mindedness and lack of appreciation of what is actually important in life.

I have titled this blog Man without substance for many reasons, one of said reasons is that I fully intend to comment and judge the behviour of others without necessarily having much of a leg to stand on myself. So please read what I write with a good pinch of salt. It would be wrong of me to start without my making that clear from the start.

Phew, that’s done and admitted. Good. Sweating. Next paragraph.

So, I’ve started this blog, not to bleat on narcissistically about how unfair society is (please, spare me), but instead, I shall take a light-hearted view on the various middle-class problems I come across in my day-to-day life.  I will attempt to shed light on, console, empathise with and most likely also ridicule those I encounter, so I hope you enjoy the ride.

Somewhat aptly then: first impressions. Just how do you make a good one? And do you even need to? I often joke that in the amount of time I spend over the days, weeks and years just waiting for girls (and, granted, the occasional guy), I could probably run MI5.

What to wear. How much lipstick is too much. Moisturiser. Weird metal instruments for eyelashes that look like they were designed purely to cause pain. Which shoes. Which bag. Transferring necessary contents from one bag to another. Changing mind. Swapping bag. Doing it all again. Then, when you finally get there,  just how pretentious should one be? Dashingly offbeat? Confidently bohemian? Sensible and oafish? Or maybe just honest. Or maybe, just turn up on time. If they like you, they like you, not all your regalia. They probably won’t notice 90% of your efforts. But they will notice if you’re on time, and if you have a personality. My advice? Just be there. Everything else is secondary.

Part two of A first impassioned impression to follow soon…