Yesterday, after probably the most productive bout of work I've done the whole time I've been here, my hard drive died.

I swear it has comic timing.


It did this before, just after the most productive bout of work I'd done on our 2007 comedy festival script, an adaptation of which I am now working on. Maybe it's the project. Either way, I am, and shall remain, unimpressed.


They day before this happened, we had just driven to Nowra. Driving to Nowra is a metaphor for progress and civilisation if ever there was one. It's a rough road to get there, it has coffee and an art deco movie theatre and lovely people who do small talk and run bookshops, but its main achievement is a sprawling pod of enormous, cheap shopping centres around which bored youths gather, in many cases with their own children, and eat fried chicken with plastic forks. In the carpark prowls a man in a luminous jacket. The parking ticket guy. "Watch him", say the locals, their eyes narrowing.


If you're at Bundanon, you really have to want to go to Nowra, in order to go to Nowra. You really have to need supplies. If you could eat grubs and moss, you probably would. But, the day before yesterday, we went to stock up. Stew needed a cable from Dick Smiths. I needed a coffee and some fresh vegies. It took forever. The parking ticket guy was prowling, there were products here that were cheaper over there, there we youths eating chicken and effectionately giving each other the finger everywhere you looked. Knowing I didn't want to come back, I had two coffees in order to make it worthwhile. Not having had a coffee for two weeks, I then went completely silly and had to go for an hour-long walk upon my return to Bundanon. Pacing around the farm past wombats, birds, and kangaroos, I promised myself I wouldn't go back to Nowra unless there was some kind of national emergency. Then, fuelled by my two coffees, I wrote prolifically (noticing briefly that there was a funny noise in the computer) and went to bed.


HA HA! said my hard drive. THIS IS MY CUE!


Please, I beg you, back up. Do it now! Leave! Back your stuff up! All it takes is one tiny little thing to go wrong and you lose everything. Doing a backup the previous day, Stew had called from his studio, "Has that file trasnfer finished?" and I had replied, "Yes".


I was wrong. Although I have backed up recently, and I sent one of the most recent versions of the thing I was writing in an email to Stew yesterday, I am yet to discover what terrifyingly important things I have sent off into the ether. Not to mention my software. Not to mention my internet bookmarks from the research I'd been doing. My hard drive, somewhere in hard drive hell, is raising a patronising eyebrow and saying, "Well, you could have backed it all up. It's not like you haven't been here before." It's probably hanging out with my previous hard drive. Playing cards and reading all my old stuff.


So we had to go to frigging Nowra again. The day after I swore we never would. So we did, we went straight back to Dick Smith's and bought another expensive cable. Thanks to some seriously impressive nerd work on Stew's part, although my hard drive is wiped, I have my computer back and I can start afresh, resurrecting the files I did back up.


Still, if there wasn't a gallah outside my window and a week-old lamb in  a cardboard box in the studio next to mine (had a cold night, rejected by mum) then I doubt I would be coping quite so well with my hard drive's sense of humour.


Thanks to Stew for helping me. Thanks to Nowra, as a metaphor for civilisation, for saving me by providing a cable. Thanks to the wonderful Julia for taking me through the Boyd archives yesterday and letting me wear white gloves and marvel at the original Picasso and all the Boyds and Nolans and therefore making an otherwise terrible day completely and utterly worthwhile. I doubt you could every truly complain of a wasted day at Bundanon. Hurrah for that.