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Battery life

I’m still trying to get my bearings in Cyprus. I think my whole psyche is hollering, “Where ARE you, girl?!” I’ve been knocked off my axis.

For one thing, my laptop is running without a battery. No lie! 

Here’s the story: when we were packing up to leave Kenilworth, I found I couldn’t completely close the lid on my laptop—that’s how swollen the batteries were. So I panicked and told Robin we needed to change the batteries at the earliest possible convenience.

As we were on our way to Ilminster we made the decision to have the battery replaced by the local computer store we’ve dealt with before. So my husband sent off an email to pave the way.

No answer. 

Remember, we were in turmoil with all the things going on: transition; preparing for Cyprus; a lot of balls were in the air. 

Eventually Robin got the owner of the computer shop on the telephone and was told they would see whether they had the right battery in stock and report back. 

Silence ensued again.

I had a hissy fit that I wanted this problem solved before we took off for Cyprus. So my husband tried calling the owner once again. 

This time he got a message that the owner’s wife was in the hospital and would be unreachable for a week. Uh oh. So much for a quick turnaround.

Google to the rescue! We jumped online and surfaced computer repair shops around the area, particularly near the airport, and began contacting any and everybody we could. 

Turns out that nobody could replace the battery in less than a week… and we were flying in a couple of days.

What did my husband do? Well, MacGyver did the next best thing and turned to… Youtube. After viewing a few online videos, he became convinced that he could swap out the battery himself. (After all, the man only has 45 years of experience working in Information Technology.)

Then we turned to our other miracle solution: Amazon Prime. 

He surveyed several batteries on offer, and even though we are supposed to get one-day delivery, it turned out the earliest one could be delivered was Thursday. And we were flying to Cyprus on Wednesday. Rats!

But then he found one. The model numbers matched up, and they would deliver the next day. That day we were heading for Bristol, spending the night in a budget hotel across the street from the airport. 

So we had Amazon deliver it to our hotel. 

I’m hyperventilating all the while about this. Brinkmanship at its best.

On Tuesday the hotel called to say our battery had arrived. Hurrah! We picked it up when we checked in.

We still had a lot to do! We had to fiddle with our packing, do some store returns, some Amazon returns—you know, all that last-minute stuff ya gotta finish before you fly away on a lengthy trip. It was getting late and into the evening.

Finally Robin cleared off the corner desk and set up a workshop there where he dismantled the computer.

Woops! It turns out the battery was glued in place. Even though we had the tools to swap out the battery connections, we had no way to get it unglued. 

A little research revealed that rubbing alcohol could dissolve the glue. But where do you get rubbing alcohol at that hour of the night? I suggested we see whether the hotel’s Housekeeping department had a bit of rubbing alcohol lying around.

Well, MacGyver went downstairs, headed for the bar, and got himself a shot of vodka. To drink himself into a stupor? No! To dissolve the glue with—it’s just as effective as rubbing alcohol. Damn genius.

Finally he got the battery out of the computer—success!

He began installing the new battery when—WHOAAA, not so fast. 

The best-laid plans. Argh! The best-laid plans.

It turned out they shipped us the wrong battery and the connectors did not line up properly. It could not be connected.

I nearly lost it. I simply could not bear going to Cyprus without an operational computer. That was not going to work for me. My computer is a necessity.

Then MacGyver reassured me that the laptop could still work without a battery! (I did not know that.) As long as it stayed plugged in, a battery was optional. 

I was a little freaked out by the idea, but ohhhh-kayyyyy….. 

We packaged the unsuitable battery up and ferried it to the hotel’s front desk where they promised to handle the return to Amazon for us (thank goodness!).

And now here we are in Cyprus. And I am typing this story on a laptop without a battery inside (see the power cord that’s taped on?). 

On our first day here, the homeowners drove us to the computer store where we were told that replacing the battery wasn’t really feasible. It would cost as much as a new computer, plus take ages to arrive. So forget that idea. 

And Amazon Prime doesn’t operate in Cyprus. (That reality takes some getting used to!)

But MacGyver managed to find a battery supplier in Denmark (!) who was willing to use a courier service to get it to us. And it has been ordered. 

It’s still going to take a while, but we should have a new battery installed by Christmas.

Let’s just say Santa is looking a little bit funny this year.

And this, my dear friends, is what creativity looks like when you live the crazy lifestyle we’re living.

Ciao for now.


-Dr. Vicky Jo 

PS: Not having a battery in my laptop hasn’t gotten in the way of coaching at all—I met with three of my clients in the past couple of days. Let me know if you would like some coaching too! I would love to support you.

PPS: Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this missive we had a power outage which put me out of commission for about an hour, so don’t imagine it’s all sunshine and roses for me now either. Grrr….

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