Our printer’s finally died. It’s been getting more and more persnickerty for some time, and more and more inclined to print at a slight angle, make graunching noises or chew up the paper. Well, it finally went to the great yard sale in the sky.

My husband found a new (second-hand) one for free, so on Thursday afternoon I was trying to install the driver for the new model. It’s the sort of thing I’d have no trouble with if I did it regularly, but I actually do it about once every two years, so I forget everything and have to learn again.

  • Found the driver online – check.
  • Downloaded it – check.
  • Started installing –
  • If you’ve nbever installed software before, it usually means sitting there watching it, and hitting a button to say “yes, go on” every few minutes. It found a few things missing and went off to sort it out. It said, “This may take a few minutes…”

    Fifteen minutes later, the little twirly symbol was still twirling, and I began to think I’d have to leave it running and go for German class.

    Ten minutes after that, the little twirly symbol was still twirling, and I went.

    It was raining as I left home, and as I approached Santa Cruz, I could see a big black cloud over the town, and the town itself greyed out by heavy rain. I was glad I’d grabbed my cagoule. By the time I was driving along by the new beach the rain was falling in torrents, and the Concepcion headland was sprouting temporary waterfalls – pretty, but ominous. I decided that the sea front was at risk of temporary floods, so I went for the bypass up the hill and around the back.

    Now the bypass is well drained normally, but the rain was like a monsoon, and I could feel the water dragging at the car’s wheels. I slowed to 40 km/h because double speed windscreen-wipers could scarcely cope. It was nice in the tunnels, but every time I came out of one, the deluge was worse. After coming off the bypass I drove down a stream to the language school and parked opposite. The rain was still really hammering, and normally I’d have sat there for 5 minutes in the hope that it would ease off for a bit, but I’d left home at the last minute, hadn’t I?

    So I made a dash for it. I paddled across the road, squished down the stairs, and got through the front door in about 30 seconds.

    Everything below the level of the cagoule was drenched as though I’d sat in a bath. And no, this is not an exaggeration. I did something I’ve never done before – I went to the Ladies, took my trousers off and wrung them out. Then I put them back on and went into class.

    People were saying that this was the same storm that had ruined my excursion to the Roque on Thursday. The ruddy depression rained all over us, went off north (as they generally do) thgen turned around and rained all over us again. Harder..

    And when I got home, I found that they’d had a power cut, so the software installation had died half way.

    Not surprisingly, this morning’s tour at the Roque was cancelled. At least it give me chance to have another go at installing the driver for the printer.

    Posted by sheila

    Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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