You’re very lucky I’m writing this tonight… wait, is that right? Yes, you’re lucky to be reading my blog, indeed privileged — but the reason you might not have been is that my PC, which has existed in more or less its current form since May 2011, today suffered a small hardware failure resulting in the loss of one of my two 4GB sticks of memory. I was getting weird problems last night (such as Thief crashing to desktop), but thought it was down to the latest nVidia graphics drivers not being up to snuff; however, this morning, when I got a weird error instead of startup, and then repeated “blue screens of death”, I knew something was up…
Fortunately I kept my head and diagnosed the problem, and confirmed that the other stick of memory works fine (for now). I’m thus down to 4 gigabytes, which isn’t ideal but I can survive for the time being. Suffice to say, the broken module clearly has a scratch on one of the gold pins, which explains the problem; I don’t know what caused it, though it may explain the strange hissing noise I heard this morning. Perhaps some ne’er-do-well snuck into my room while I was sleeping, took a memory module out of my computer, carefully scratched one of its gold terminals, and put it back again, all without waking me?
I coped with this little disaster rather better than I coped last Monday with the utter debacle of public transport in London. I use the Northern and Central Lines to get to my internship in Greenford, and both lines were in utter chaos (as was the Victoria Line, which the other intern had to use). I ended up having to get a bus for the last part of the journey (and then walk twice as far as I would from the Tube station), and so my 90-minute commute took THREE HOURS!
And, sadly, no-one was ecstatic to see me or thankful that I’d braved such horror and stupidity in order to get to an unpaid job. I was also still down following last weekend’s events, and then my journey home was almost as bad as getting to work (the Northern Line hadn’t improved), and our Internet connection was down when I finally got home, and when this was restored I couldn’t remember which e-mail address and postcode I’d used to register my Oyster card (part of the hoops you have to jump through for a refund these days)…
(Yes, this was far worse than Christmas Eve — at least I had Christmas with my folks to look forward to afterwards, not a day failing to be paid followed by a similar journey within 24 hours!)
This all made me decide that I’d leave London if I ever had such a dreadful day again. I know, I went through something similar last year, but at least I didn’t get as low as on a previous occasion, or even another previous occasion, and somehow found the strength to carry on living in London. I get over it every time, but it keeps happening, doesn’t it?
It’s getting frustrating, having to look into the abyss at least once every year, because no amount of advice along the lines of “this too shall pass” can stop me brooding when I get going. As someone running a spiritual meetup group told me, if you think about something for 17 seconds, it becomes harder to stop thinking about it, and this repeats every 17 seconds, like a self-reinforcing spiral into blackness… I’ve got to stop doing this, somehow — perhaps this should be my achievement for 2014: never, ever giving in to depression again!
Fortunately, when I’m not trapped on public transport, the job itself is going fine — I may not spend literally all day solving people’s computer problems, but the gaps give me time to study and apply for “proper” jobs (both of which are entirely in line with my employer’s blessing), and at least the big, jolly Canadian guy seems to like and encourage me. Unfortunately the area has no decent shops, unless you want “junk food”, and so it seems I’m going to have to go back to the days when I made my own lunch — something I started doing in 2012 when I was recovering from depression for the first time, and living in a new house.
Hopefully soon I’ll get a new job, and begin my career in IT; assuming it’s at least £20k, I intend to buy some new computer components, thereby enabling me to divest myself of the CPU, motherboard and memory (what’s left of it!) that I acquired in 2011. Why, I still remember turning on this contraption’s predecessor before work that morning (24th May) and discovering that the main hard drive had failed, and deciding that since I was already planning to upgrade, instead of buying just a new hard drive, I’d get new components as well (which meant I had to take a half-day), so I wouldn’t need to install Windows twice in quick succession. Although I’ve changed casing, graphics card, keyboard, mouse, monitor and sound system, these bits have remained constant, and have followed me from Caledonian Road to Finchley.
So you see, it’s not just depression I picked up in 2011 and want to rid myself of once and for all…