The shortest month but there was so much to do

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Even with an extra day added on for leap year, February came and went almost before I’d noticed it was there.

Maybe it’s because my list at the start of the month was so long – remember brother Jonathan’s 50th birthday (promise not to get too drunk and silly); remember Valentine’s Day (The Manager and I don’t actually celebrate it but it’s best to avoid accidentally booking into restaurants on the night unless you want to pay over the odds and share your table with a red rose and some melting chocolates); remember my own birthday (but don’t make too much fuss because other than the fact that I made it through another year, the number wasn’t a particularly significant one - and, no, I’m not reminding you which one it was because it’s none of your business).

If you recall, I’d actually had a dream that I wouldn’t make it through to February 22 so I held back on a couple of things I should have seen to ages ago. That meant a fairly hectic last week if the month’s tick list was to be completed before the Ides of March (good band) set in. First up – get a newer car. Then - buy a laptop.

Both done. The car was easy. I’ve been going to the same garage for more than 30 years, so has The Manager and now The Only One goes there too. I phone up, give a price that I can afford and a date that comes just before it’s time for a service, MOT and road tax - and wait for the return call which just beats the deadline.

I always feel sad saying goodbye to the older car. This one I’d had eight years, bits were worn out, bits were dropping off and there were dents and scratches all over the place. But I couldn’t look back as I drove off in the newer one, it was like saying goodbye to an old warhorse.

But that’s last week and now I’m desperately trying to find a way of remembering the new registration and wondering what all the flashing lights on the dashboard are for. It’s not exactly a Boeing jet but nevertheless I’m not a great one for reading owner’s manuals so I’m playing it by ear. The headlights and wipers I’ve sussed. The CD player seems fine and I like the little knob on the steering wheel for changing tracks without swerving into oncoming traffic. But I’m mystified by a little switch with the illuminated letters “TP”. I tried pressing something near it and was told “nothing recorded.” What? Give me a couple more weeks and I’ll have mastered it.

No such hope with the laptop. I asked the Only One to come with me because I’d kept running out of shops as soon as anyone asked if they could help me. He agreed to watch and wait but not ask any questions. “It’s your laptop” he said. And it is. I got one - partly based on cost and largely based on colour. Blame it on my feminine side. Anyway, a week later its still in the box.

I promised to buy one, I never mentioned actually using it.