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Flying a 777….

I have never been what might be described as an ‘ardent’ blogger. I post when I encounter the rare combination ‘feeling like it’ and the further unlikely possibility that I have something (I believe is) interesting to say. In fact, I use this site as a kind of diary, and the fact that I post so rarely is an indication of the kind of rather dull life I lead in retirement. However, I do manage to struggle into print every so often. And then, as recently happened, I also manage to accidentally delete some of my sparse output. Hurrrrumphhh!

A picture of the town centre of Barton upon Humber - where I live. Entirely inappropriate to this post, but it does add some colour!

From time to time this blog attracts some unwanted responses/comments. These normally comprise an invitation for readers to visit the site of an internet herbalist. The kind of herbalist whose business is based upon the provision of specialist products formulated  to stiffen up the resolve of its male customers. And, of course, female customers who would welcome such a stiffening.

Now I can be as crude, possibly even cruder, than most people. However, I do make an attempt to keep the content of these pages relatively wholesome. Largely, I admit, because I have some relatives who might read them. So these comments/responses are unwanted, and I decided to set about deleting them.

This involved getting to grips with the ‘dashboard’ of this blog – as provided by the hosting company that I use. Now, ‘dashboard’ can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people. On the one hand, if you drive a mini, it will be relatively straightforward. On the other, if you routinely pilot a 777 around the world, it will mean something entirely different. As far as the ‘dashboard’ for this blog is concerned, think 777 + space shuttle combined, plus elements of the Indian railways signalling system. Press the wrong button and you will lower 777 wheels worldwide, switch off the air-con in the shuttle, and park the entire Indian railways fleet at Mumbai Junction.

Obviously, I consulted the ‘help’ pages first. I am not irresponsible, I don’t want to be the cause of luggage falling 37,000 feet out of the sky, repositioning the shuttle into a moon orbit, or sending the Chennai express on an eternal loop around Hyderabad. Eventually, I decided that the ‘dashboard’ did provide for the removal of the unwanted responses/comments. I delicately pressed the required buttons and, sure enough, the comments/responses vanished. The only problem was that so did the entire posts to which they were attached. Oh bother!

‘Never mind’, I thought. Surely I won’t be the first person this has happened to, there must be a fail-safe, backup system somewhere within the ‘dashboard’, I must be able to recover the inadvertently deleted posts somehow. Sure enough, after some delicate poking around within the system, I discovered a recycle bin. ‘Oh good’ I thought, ‘problem solved!’

The problem wasn’t. Navigating to the recycle bin revealed that it contained absolutely nothing. There was not a flicker of a sign of any of the four, or five, posts that I had inadvertently removed. Oh dear. Time to call up air traffic control for some assistance, or rather, ‘raise a support ticket’ to the website hosting company.

The response to the support ticket was admirably quick – possibly less than 20 minutes. The content of the response was less admirable, and I quote it verbatim:

If you deleted these pages within the last 3 days, they would appear within your Recycle Bin, however, perhaps you deleted actual individual Journal entries and not the entire journal page. Unfortunately, if you've removed journal entries from your site, those are not placed in the Recycle Bin and there would be no way to recover those entries from here”.

Despite the obvious temptation to ask ‘Why not’, I became fairly fatalistic about the whole thing. Trite phrases like ‘no pain, no gain’ came to mind. I have certainly resolved not to try and fly a 777 again – well not until I have had a quick flick through the ‘how-to’ manual first. One of my dumber friends is a pilot, and if he can do it, I can’t see any reason why I can’t.

As far as the lost pages are concerned, I have no intention of trying to re-write them. They were hardly literary masterpieces in the first place, but they did remind me of some of the better parts of the summer. What I may do, is put together a kind of ‘summer 2010 scrapbook’, and publish that. After, obviously, recovering my lost astronaut, and re-establishing some loose form of adherence to the published Indian railway timetables.

I may be gone for some time!

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