We seem to have had one of those periods of time here where lots of things have needed replacing. I’ve never quite worked out why it is that so often, when one thing goes wrong, quite often another couple of things decide to come out in sympathy and grind to a halt too, but it’s definitely annoying! The first thing here was my FitBit - the new Charge 3 I bought in June had been skipping steps when I was out walking, regularly losing a couple of thousand steps on a 3-4 mile walk when checked against either the step counting app on my phone or my Garmin running watch. I’d tried to get a resolution to the problem on Fitbit’s online forums, but with no success so eventually rang their customer service line. A few questions - during which we established that there was another problem with the device as well, and inside 15 minutes from dialling the number and it had been arranged that a new one would be sent out to me.
The next thing to keel over was the pump that boosts the water pressure to our bathroom and the hot tap in the kitchen. Our mains water to the kitchen cold tap comes through at excellent pressure, but the other taps in the flat, plus the toilet cistern are fed via a water tank. Obviously being in a flat, there’s not much headroom for that tank, so this means that the water pressure from there, without the pump, is dreadful! We got up one morning with the pump working as normal, went out for our usual morning walk, and when we washed our hands on getting back indoors, no pump. It’s a sealed unit, so taking it apart to try to work out what the problem is wasn’t an option, and initially we assumed we’d need to get a plumber to sort it out for us. MrEH decided to have a good look though, and established pretty quickly that as long as we could source a replacement pump of the same model, he would, with luck, be able to fit it. A quick google and the pump was ordered for a little under £100, and successfully fitted a few days later - phew!
More significant was the “Hard disk failure warning” message that started appearing on the laptop - it had for some time been at the stage where it could only be used plugged into the mains as it’s battery pretty much gave up the ghost several years ago. A Windows 7 machine dating back to 2012 though, we felt unable to justify spending out on a new battery when we had a sneaking feeling that it must be nearing the end of its life anyway. It’s seen a LOT of use, and done a fair amount of travelling round the country too in between various airshows, and trips to the Hebrides! When that is all taken into account, it was hard to feel too aggrieved at its imminent demise at this stage, so we decided on our requirements and started the search for a replacement. A few days later I ordered the machine we’d settled on, and it’s now set up, photo processing software installed and positively revolutionising my speed of workflow, so £600 well spent! Thankfully we have money set aside for unexpected household bills, and had been expecting the cost of the laptop for some time, however we still saw no reason to see the money leaving our bank account before it absolutely has to, so with that in mind a 0% interest balance transfer credit card has been acquired and we’ll be making small payments to that for the next 10 months, paying off the balance just ahead of the 0% period ending. While savings are earning precious little interest at the moment it will cost us nothing to do things this way, and we may as well have the small amount that will be earned over that time.
Apart from a planned upcoming replacement of my phone we’re hoping that we might have run the course of failing technology for a while to come now - while we do budget for things like this, we’d obviously rather too have to spend those budgeted funds if it can be avoided! When we can make things last as long as that laptop did though it does at least feel as though we do a decent job of getting our money’s worth!