Thursday 5 July 2012

"Reserves?" "None."

From the film "The Battle of Britain"

Air Vice Marshal Keith Park: [during the raids on September 15th] Is everything up? 
Wing Cmdr. Willoughby: The lot, Sir. 
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park: Reserves? 
Wing Cmdr. Willoughby: None. 
Air Vice Marshal Keith Park: That's what I've just told the Prime Minister. 

It's my oddly-wired brain: it pulls references, associations and connections from all over the place. From Herodotus to Heinlein.. I live with over a thousand books which I now can't read, but I'm not going there today.

It's more on having no reserves.

I was somewhere in the coping zone today, more or less, when I just got proof, as if I needed it, that I'm running close to the edge. Where tiny things can make a significant difference.

I got an E-mail notice that I'd won something on eBay, and could I pay for it.
Excellent, almost no competition, nice and cheap.
However, I hadn't noticed what I usually check for and thought I had: this foreign seller doesn't take Paypal.
I will need to do a more complex bank transfer.
Oh well, I needed to set up online banking with my bank anyway, since getting in to the branch is now very difficult.

Fifteen minutes later and the online forms have finally stopped fighting me and being illogical,
(to my mind, with Asperger's and the CFS fatigue encroaching, both)
but I need to security check on the phone to get it running ... more "press I for" etc. to get my head round and react to at adequate speed.
Which gets me to a live operator who sets things up, and tells me it will take three days for my posted password to reach me. Not a safe bet to keep my seller happy.
I need to send this transfer some other way, then.

Ten to fifteen minutes with another firm, reading very slowly and carefully, by now, to make things make sense.
And me, starting with no reserves?
Well I'm solidly in the red in energy terms though fortunately not quite in financial ones.

I'll be paying for this tomorrow and probably Friday too with extra pain and fatigue
That's from having nothing spare, to cope with the unexpected.
None of which had better happen in the next three days.
By order.

Not a big disaster.  Hardly a pint of spilt milk, but it comes with a fair old price, nowadays.
All because of a unlucky little slip, and not reading an eBay page in a foreign language as carefully as I could have done at another time.

But then, that's when another stray quotation surfaces and finds a place.  
From Alastair MacLean's "Force Ten From Navarone"
Andrea Stavros: "Luck deserts tired men".

Which could lead tidily to the tale of the Stanley knife and the French motorway, but that is also for another day as I'm tired and it's more than time to start giving in to the payback.  
Definitely no reserves.
Or at least not ones I want to call on.

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