Unexpected Gifts

I’m sitting in the dark of the junk room at home, typing this on the old computer that I’ve often written about – the one made up from various spare parts. It has survived about eight years – amazing really. It’s days may be numbered though.

I received an email from my Dad this morning – he’s upgrading his computer at home, and asked if we would be interested in his old one. I couldn’t write “yes please!” fast enough.

I don’t think my parents really understood how difficult our money situation had been for the last several years until various topics came up during our visit this summer, and my answer was invariably either “we can’t afford to do that”, or “we really can’t afford to do that”.

It occurred to me recently – I don’t have a hobby. It’s not just about not having the money to pursue an interest – it’s about time too. By the time I get in most days, wash up, tidy up, and sit down, it’s already 9pm. Weekends are filled to the gunnels with washing clothes, tidying up, fighting the jungle of a garden, or watching in despair as our house slowly disintegrates around us. A good amount of time is spent doing things with the kids too – football matches, rugby matches, grocery shopping, occasional days out, and so on.

Our kids have good shoes for school, washed clothes, mobile phones, healthy food, and get to take part in all manner of clubs and sports. This all happens at the expense of our house ever seeming “together” at all. The hallway is always full of sports bags. The back door is half-blocked by footballs, hockey sticks, and bicycle helmets. We haven’t decorated for ten years. The last time the house was at all presentable was shortly before the children arrived in our lives.

I’m not complaining – just stating how it is. Explaining how significant this free computer will be to us. A modern computer that everybody can share that doesn’t take ten minutes to start. A computer that doesn’t burst into flames if you ask it to do anything other than run a browser, or Minecraft. A computer that “just works”.

I wonder if we should donate our old computer to a charity? I’m not sure it’s entirely safe though – none of the components inside are bolted in properly – the hard drive (replaced some time ago, after the original failed) is hanging by a wire inside the case. The graphics card isn’t bolted in. The processor fan rattles for half an hour if the machine is ever powered down. I can’t remember the last time we switched it off.

Anyway. That’s my news. A new computer – well – new to us. It might not arrive until a few weeks time, but it’s still exciting.

3 thoughts on “Unexpected Gifts

  1. I understand the excitement. My main computers are all low energy ones, aged 4, 6 8 and 12 years. But my use of them is, er, eccentric by a “normal person”‘s standards. I have operational d|i|g|i|t|a|l VMS computers dating from the 1980s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah – that’s awesome! The old desktop at home dual-boots between Windows, and Linux. Until quite recently I had a 17 year old iMac sitting in the study – it’s quitely waiting under the desk at the moment until the next time it is dragged back to life šŸ™‚


  2. I am way too sentimental and have hoarding problems – but I would keep it for the sake of posterity. I do realize my unhealthy habits though so maybe don’t go on my advice there!

    Your answer of “we can’t afford to do that” seems to be an echo of the phrases uttered in my home. We are comfortable but I am “singlemomming” two kids and those little people are not only expensive but, lately, my only hobby.

    I see writing as my hobby, but some days the time and inspiration are scarce.


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