How much time do I waste because my email isn't working or the computer has a hiccup or the printer cartridge is fading or any of those other marvels of the modern world have let me down?
I have spent much of today struggling to get the emails working. None on the PC since 5.36am; none on the iPhone since 9.59am. Did I forget to put a shilling in the meter?
This is the third time in a fortnight there have been problems with them and it's true that you don't know how much you need something until it isn't there. That saying originated as a barb to goad a partner who takes you for granted, as in: "You'll miss me when I'm gone." Nowadays it applies to dishwashers, the DVD player and, most critically, the central heating.
Last week I saw the film The Social Network and learnt that it was considered critical in the early days of Facebook that it would never, but never, crash or go down or go off air. As far as I know, it hasn't. If it did, young people throughout the world would be distraught and walk around staring blankly into space as if they had been taken over by aliens. I feel a bit like that without emails.
Just a minute. The iPhone just pinged...Yes, it's come back. I have my emails, all of them. And a quick whiz through them shows that throughout the whole day I have missed....nothing of importance.
But I can't tell you how pleased I am they are back.