27 Mar 2013

Hestia has a Bad Weekend

December 2012 - one of the affected pix
So I'm all organised for my Tarot Meetup in Glasgow - I've printed out the attendee list, I've got all the handouts ready, I've got some books and some decks for people to take a look at......and the snow comes on.

....and it stays on ALLLLLL Friday.

I decide to cancel the event - not only because it's going to be difficult for me to get to/from safely, but also because I don't want people who have said that they'll come, to actually struggle out in the white-out conditions.

I am annoyed at the weather and mentally shake my fist at the white skies.  Truthfully, I actually DID shake my fist at the skies.  Probably uttered the word 'Curses!' or similar.  Possibly with expletives.

I have a session at our Community Radio station where I am talking about the local Beekeeping Association - and the imminent arrival of club bees - and I saddle up the huskies and stomp off through the snow.

I am chatting about bees - and surprising myself with the amount of background bumff I have absorbed about honey bees AND Bumblebees.  I am just about to give out my e-mail address so that we can get some much-needed new members....and the power goes off.

We sit and stare at each other in the dim light and wonder what to do next.  Even if the power comes back on the gent interviewing me doesn't know how to get the station back on line.  I leave and decide to console myself and Sonshine with some cupcakes.

I trudge to Print Point and buy the last two cupcakes (delivered, incidentally, by TRACTOR because the farm road - where the cakes are baked - was full of snow). 

I come home and boil up water in a pan on the gas ring.  And eat BOTH cupcakes.  I immediately hate myself and go up to bed with my knitting.  I knit a wrist-warmer.

At 5pm the power comes back on, but we learn that Arran, our island neighbour, will be without power for THREE days.  Just as we were 15 months ago.  Except NOW there is a plan in place - generators are shipped to the island, food is brought in and distributed by the Coastguard and police.  I hope that if WE lose power for three days the same sort of plan will now apply to us.

I am pleased that the power has come back on.  I make dinner for myself (Sonshine having a sleepover) and watch telly before retiring at a leisurely rate.

Saturday morning is when it REALLY starts to get bad.

I switch on the mac.  Nothing is happening.  I try every permutation of unplugging and plugging and the screen spins silently and whitely.  I am not too worried really.  I have a back up on an external hard drive (ok I'll lose work as far back as 1 February, but that's not the end of the world, is it?).  I try to boot up from the Snow Leopard DVD in the disk drive.  It starts to actually install Snow Leopard.  Never mind.  I am not bothered.  I allow the update to go ahead.  I open up the mac's Time Machine and see the reassuring signs that all the files are on the external hard drive.  I go to the 1 February restore point and click restore.  The machine tells me that it will take 55 hours to update.


I go back after an hour and it is down to 35 hours.  I am not worried.  I get through most of Saturday without worrying about it and actually cook a meal for Sonshine and I.

Midnight on Sunday night, the update completes.  I am up at 6am to check on how it has all gone.

And that's exactly what has happened.  It's all GONE.

Instaed of the time machine showing me all the restore points stretching back in time to the first time we updated, every single restore point is empty.  HOW CAN THIS HAVE HAPPENED??!

I realise the enormity of my new situation....I have lost every image, every file, two nanowrimo novels, all the itunes music.  But mainly it is the image loss that sends me into a spasm of sobbing - all pictures of Sonshine from 2008 - gone.

Sonshine rushes into the room and I embrace him sobbing into his hair and confessing that -somehow - I have lost all his pictures.  He hugs me tight and tells me not to be bothered about it.  I send him off to school with a puffy face and a heavy heart.  Christ knows what Tartarus will say.

I go onto facebook where my lovely friends - some of whom I have never met - provide lots of useful advice, including getting the images from facebook and this very blog.  One of them, Ian (whom I shall marry if he ever comes onto the market again!) tells me that he is off to a conference full of mac-boffins.

God bless him, he phones me and gives me instructions.  But I cannot follow them.  He sends me e-mails.  I try again.  I am getting more and more frustrated and then - at 4pm yesterday - I somehow (no idea!!!!) manage to gain access to the photos on the apparently empty external hard drive.  I manage to drag them to the desktop of my laptop and drop them there.  With pounding heart, I open up iphoto on my laptop......and there they are!  Sonshine with chicken pox.  With his teeth missing.  Christmas morning.  Going off to school. 

The relief is so overwhelming, I crumple to the floor, grateful beyond belief to Ian, to the other bits and bobs of technology that I have to hand.  Sonshine comes in from school and we kneel on the floor together looking at the images.

So PLEASE let today's blog post be a horrible warning to you - go and back up your work and back up your photos SOMEWHERE ELSE ENTIRELY too.

I celebrated by having nothing but tiramisu and gin for dinner.


  1. we are paranoid about our photos and our music and have 3 places of back up, and that's not including the time machine which is a beast i don't entirely trust.

    i am in full fledged stress mode over in grad school land, and as a result, have finished my day twice in a row now with a supper of chocolate peanut butter ice cream and lo, it was good!

    1. how is grad school working out there? And a supper of chocolate peanut butter ice cream sounds delish!

  2. I shall buy a flash stick drive thingy tomorrow. Just you wait and see.

  3. Listen carefully - I shall say this only once. Back up anything irreplaceable (like photos) on something more than electronics. Unless you are storing a copy in a lead-lined safe, your flash/hard drive can still get corrupted. Have your best photos printed and save a copy to a DVD disc as well.

  4. I'm so glad you were able to retrieve Sonshine's photos! Hope this week brings a great deal of improvement.

    Question: Are you having problems with honey bee die-off there? Here in the States they may all be gone in the next 4-5 years; very scary.

  5. I was crying gently by the end of your trauma, and then there was the gin and tiramisu dinner :D At least you didn't leave me in tears!

  6. Gin and Tiramisu. Now there is food to aspire to.
    I am so paranoid about losing all of Alex's photos, I am backed up to the point of insanity. Hard drives, external hard drives, discs, and prints.
    I love that photo by the way.xx

  7. make mac books of your photos.......so easy even I can do it......and they are lovely to look at!! Happy Easterx

  8. I once lost hundreds of very meaningful, personal emails I exchanged with someone I had an affair with--Eudora just started playing up one day and like an idiot I didn't keep them anywhere else.

    I keep important things on a pen drive, although that works until you lose the bloody thing.

    Oooh, it was a lot easier when we just kept photos and letters in an old shoebox in the wardrobe.


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