The mysteries of everyday life

Do strange things happen to you, occasionally?
Last week, my website experienced a series of unexplained glitches. I think that everyone who works in an office, or runs a website, blog, or simply uses computers, sooner or later will come across some issues. That is part of life.

Between Monday and Friday last week, that is only five days, the following happened to my website:

1)      My newsletter sign up fields disappeared.
At first I thought I messed it up myself, because I had changed some of the wording in the sign up description. I couldn’t believe it. All those people queuing to sign up to my newsletter… what were they going to do now? So I emailed the techie guy who helps me with this kind of thing.
Three hours later, he emails me back asking if I had solved the problem by myself. I went to look again at my website and the sign up fields were there again. I hadn’t done anything. Basically it had broken and fixed itself.

2)      The cover of my new book, The Broken Heart Refuge 1, had disappeared from my website.
Considering that this is my latest book, I was kind of annoyed that it should just vanish; it was there on the 2nd of January, so why should it suddenly go two days later?
Well, it turned out, after some careful investigation – I put my Marlowe hat on, just to stay in character with my series – that this book cover is only visible on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer latest version. It doesn’t affect the other book covers, but only this one. You try and explain that to me!

3)      Still staying on the theme of book covers, I also found out that my first book A Deal with a Stranger, was displaying the English book cover on my Italian book page. I am sure that I never loaded on that page the English book cover, the Italian stuff goes on the Italian pages and the English stuff goes on the English pages. Why on earth would I have two flags up there, otherwise?

I wondered how these things came about. As you know, I have a four-year old daughter, Sofia. She is attracted to computers, gadgets, and things with buttons. She owns two toy-laptops (thanks to her generous uncles/aunts) and even her own tablet (thanks to grandma/grandpa). Her latest tablet is a dream: it’s colourful, it’s got fairies and princesses, you can do everything on it, videos, photos, drawing and games. I am jealous, because I don’t have such a cool toy. My laptop is boring, it’s black with a hint of red around it. That’s as much colour as it gets. The most exciting video I’ve watched on it is of a guy in a dark suit talking about marketing. Despite all of this, Sofia is attracted to my laptop. When I’m not looking, she’s in there like a shot, at my keyboard. I always lock it, but she bashes it and presses all the buttons until she eventually crashes the thing and I have to restart it. If I forget to lock my laptop (God forbid!), the instant I’m throwing the spaghetti into the boiling water, for example, she manages to move all the icons on my desktop and activate commands I didn’t even know existed.

So, I was thinking, could she have done that to my website, last week?  Mmhhh… Sofia doesn’t have the login and password to start with. Second, she knows the letters of the alphabet, but cannot read or write; navigating the commands of a WordPress website may be beyond her reach. OK then, who is responsible? Since we are talking about disappearances (fields from newsletters, invisible book covers), and here at home we have other things that vanish, namely socks from the washing machine and teaspoons from cutlery drawers, could it be that there is a single, how shall we call it, entity, involved?

But, do strange things happen to you too, occasionally?


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6 thoughts on “The mysteries of everyday life”

  1. Hi Martina,

    what a great blog!

    Once being a techie myself I know how frustrating it is when you spend a whole day to search for “the wished display” of the website using Firefox on the Apple only to realize that same effort deformed display using Firefox on whichever version of Windows or Internet Explorer one everywhere.

    I wouldn’t look for anyone responsible anymore.
    Maybe even the computers can be tired and as they can’t go out themselves, they play the tricks on us so we realize it is time to switch it of for a while 🙂

    The odd socks is a different matter. They disappear in most families I’ve learned. I used to put them into a bag after the washing and when I was too bored I tried to pair them. But there is a theory about the Oddsockseaters, creatures responsible for odd-socks 🙂 (a bit more can be found here

    Have fun!

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Jitka.
      I am glad our household is not the only place where socks disappear and how cool to know that someone has even been thinking of making an animation feature out of it. It must be more common than I think… I would love to see this been turned into a film.

  2. You have house-elves.
    I’ve got them too. I haven’t been able to prove it. The nasty little buggers know the blind-spots on my security cameras. They consume my best booze and food and hide my stuff. But they do occasionally fix stuff that I think is unfixable. I don’t think they mean to be a nuisance – they just are.

    • Do you think these little elves are good at playing with batteries? They managed to get three of our clocks to stop simultaneously, so we just assumed the batteries had run out, but we hadn’t previously changed the batteries on these clocks on the same day. Doesn’t time pass at the same speed for all the clocks?

      • I like the house elf theory! It’s so much more inspiring than the more likely truth, that technology is inherently flaky. And considering we now pretty much run our lives with computers, that’s depressing and slightly worrying. Long live the elves…

  3. Socks and teaspoons go missing in our house too. My eldest daughter is convinced we have borrowers as last week two of my hats and her white blanket disappeared! (We have since recovered all items and in one case certainly she was playing the part of the borrower herself!)

    Clocks are a disaster – I think it has to do with the efficiency of the clock and how well they use the electricity from the battery. We have about ten minutes separating them in our house – which is a bit of a pain if I look at the wrong one for the school run!


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