Arg! Why is it that disasters happen when I’d much rather not deal with them? They never come when I’m feeling fighting fit and at the top of my game. It’s always when I’m already a bag of whingey snot (I know, I know, but it’s true and I’m honest to a fault – I’d just look away if I were you) that calamity strikes.

This time it’s Child Two’s GCSE work, which was all on a memory stick, and is now, apparently, up the swanee instead. Yes, she is 14, and yes, she is TOO YOUNG to be doing a GCSE, but tell that to the school. It’s compulsory. I’m not being pushy, really I’m not. I don’t want her to do it at all.

I was more or less resigned to it until yesterday, as I thought she would make a good job of it in the end after a somewhat rocky start (not her fault). But that was before she got into the car and burst into tears. Her entire year’s coursework has disappeared from this silly little memory stick (or Alzheimer’s stick, as it should now be known). Of course she hadn’t backed it up or saved it anywhere or printed it out. She’s 14, for goodness sake, and doesn’t have all that experience that we greybeards (I’m speaking for myself, obvs) have of computers suddenly going blank, disks warping, hard drives exploding or, worse, screens displaying those ultra-creepy ‘fatal error’ messages. She’s grown up in the innocent, post-Apple era, where you buy a super-sleek, shiny white gizmo with no instructions, power it up and surf away into the ether without once thinking that anything could go wrong.

Anyway, now it has. Gone wrong, that is. I’ve got an emergency ICT man on his way, I’ve got the school on speed dial, I’ve got the teacher’s private email and yes, I also have a jumbo box of tissues to hand. Wish me luck.

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