I switched on my laptop and logged into the BBC I player to watch an episode of Bodyguard. Alarmingly, within seconds, Keeley Hawes had frozen but her voice could still be heard.
A similar thing had happened to my dad last winter but in this case, I didn’t think a hot water bottle and turning on the central heating would help.
I assumed this was a buffering issue and tried to reload the page but nothing happened.
Panicking, I subsequently pressed many keys (which I realise is a mistake unless the key is marked “instant fix button”) to find everything had just frozen. I tried using the customary “turn it off/on” advice but it wouldn’t turn off at all and now just went blank and made a horrible whirring noise – like my nan does.
Normally I’d ask my teenage son to help with computer stuff and pay him in biscuits but I decided to use my phone to Google the problem, so I typed in “What to do if Keeley Hawes has frozen?” The answers to which cannot be published in a family newspaper.
So, I substituted her name with the word “laptop” and was surprised to discover experts on YouTube all bizarrely telling me how to cure a frozen laptop by running security scans on their perfectly running laptops which clearly weren’t frozen at all.
I was expecting them to put their laptops into bowls of custard in a similar fashion to people who put their mobiles in bags of rice to get them to work again.
I got a bit distracted in my phone search and it was whilst watching a video of cute cats that my laptop finally switched itself off. I switched it on again and dutifully ran a full system virus scan before doing anything else. Luckily, no problems were detected and it’s been okay since.
But in that scary 45 minutes, in which my real world remained normal, it felt like my virtual world had virtually fallen apart.