I have my PC back. Hurrah.
It is much faster, the graphics are excellent and the box it's now in looks like something that would be capable of commanding a primitive civilisation on a distant planet if the fancy took it.
When I took the old computer in to the shop, the nice man talked me through the various things he would so to it. He was very keen to let me know how expensive a new graphics card could be, and went over the options several times.
He asked me how much I was "wanting to spend" on the upgrade. My honest answer would of course be "Nothing, you buffoon," but I had to lie.
He ran through the list of what needed doing, adding the approximate cost of each element. It came to - worst case scenario - about £500.
Are you ok if it goes up to about 500 pounds? he asked me. I agreed. Well, having just had all the component parts and associated costs explained thoroughly, it seemed unlikely that he would suddenly offer to do all the work for a lot less.
Cut to a few days later, and a telephone call from the computer shop.
Nice computer shop man: Hello! Your PC is ready for collection.
Me: Oh excellent. I'll pop into town and pick it up in a little while. How much will it be?
Me: Really. £500 exactly?
NCSM: Yep, although I'll do £475 for cash.
Me: Hmm. Well, I'll be there shortly.
I didn't have cash, so it was a convenient, non-itemised £500 in total. What a strange coincidence, it costing the exact same amount as the maximum I'd said I was prepared to pay. Good job I hadn't said "Oh, no limit..."
I'd probably have had to sell the house, all my guitars and a kidney. Actually, I would have left my PC there and gone to buy a new one. Just for spite.
In other absurdly-expensive news, my car needed some work doing to it this week. Mr WithaY and I were on our way home from running a few errands in town on Saturday, Mr WithaY was driving my car. As we went up the little hill out of town, the car lurched and struggled, then lost all acceleration. The "engine warning " light came on.
"Fuck!" we both said in unison, as Mr WithaY pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the engine.
We sat there for a moment or two, then Mr WithaY started the engine again. The warning light stayed off, this time. We continued home, where I rang the Toyota garage.
Remember them? Remember when my flywheel was playing up and I had to spend over TWO THOUSAND POUNDS getting it fixed? And Toyota declined to contribute towards the cost, even though it was a known fault, because I missed the extended warranty deadline by a matter of days?
I bloody do.
Anyway, the garage said they'd look at my car on Monday. We dropped it off, and a few hours later the garage rang. They said they'd found the problem with the fuel - a stuck *tech* valve - which was making it lose power. They'd also given the car a "visual safety check" and discovered that one of the rear wheel bearings was "alarmingly worn." Arse.
So, the optimistic "bit of dirt in the fuel line that will cost about 20 quid to sort out" scenario which I had been developing in my head turned into the "costly and unexpected yet vital repairs that cost over 500 quid" scenario which nobody ever wants.
On the plus side, I have my car back and it doesn't seem to be about to expire in a gasping haze of smoke, or have a wheel drop off as I go round corners. Which is nice.
Other news: Business plans are developing, and as soon as I have something in writing I will start to explain in more detail. Until then, it feels like tempting fate to talk about it.