That's not the worst of it, of course. My laptop has displayed it's incredible propensity for destroying hard drives yet again. It now refuses to boot. I'm hoping I can salvage most of what's there that has been created in the last month, but even so... odds are I've lost a 40GB drive which I've had maybe a month and which was a non-trivial expense at the time. Add to that the cost of getting my laptop diagnosed — were I in Stafford I know at least three people I could get in touch with to perform an electronic autopsy and see about fixing it up at mates' rates. Up here, there's a couple of poky places with people I don't really know who take four days and ignore my request for just diagnosis, charging for their half-arsed "repair" as well before I can get it back.
Of course, there is the other option. Screw the one I have and get a replacement. It's not like it's young, it's over two and a half years old and served as a main machine for 60% of that time. But there is a hit of nostalgia there, the thing has been with me through three countries and uncountable cities and just chucking it and getting a new one seems kind of disloyal to the spirit of the machine. Besides, a replacement is even more expensive than any repair or upgrade will be and I can't afford to spend that kind of money without a few months saving, during which I will have no laptop and no free cash. Hard choice, all told. But then even while I decide what to do I have to save for prospective repairs and the like, and so I still have no free cash and no laptop.
There's a moral in there somewhere, but I'm still too tired and my brain is too fuzzy to see it.