Sunday 13 April 2008

Of nature and technology and of being caught between

HELLO all ... I write with a tale of woe, of epic disaster that summarizes perfectly the precarious tightrope that I walk, strung between a happy rustic home-made wonkyness and useful yet bamboozling modern technology.
Earlier today with the sun in the sky, we went out for our usual walk, happily trip-trapping past our favourite fields, photographing mosses and sheep, checking on the horsebox and on a tree we planted last year and collecting slightly damp sticks with which to start the fire on our return.
So we came in the door and kicked off our shoes, scooped up some coal and knelt by the hearth to start sweeping out yesterday's ash... and as I did this, one of the darstardly kindling sticks that I had in my skirt swept my external hard drive onto the floor. And now it whirrs and clicks and will no longer reveal its contents to me.
This hard drive stores all of my work ... every painting I have ever done, photographs, my half begun animation, my website and those of others that I have made, all my print-ready work which is my means of making a living. I feel sick. And I know, I should have backed it up.
I have spent the afternoon phoning various "data recovery" places with horrifying results... most of them saying that it's possible that my data might not be recoverable, but if it is, it will cost me anywhere between £250 ($500) and £1200 ($2400) (-this last figure was quoted to me by a man with indeterminable accent apparently shouting at me from the middle of a busy inner city roundabout!) I am panicking and hoping and panicking and hoping. Perhaps I might get cheaper quotes tomorrow from companies who don't work on a sunday.
It really makes you realise how at the mercy of these machines and this "data" we are. What on earth is it anyway, if not a series of 0s and 1s? And amazingly it is these same 0s and 1s that enable me to show you my latest paintings or a picture of newly fallen snow on our rooftop, and enable you to buy a print of these paintings or tell me how they make you feel.

I am at a loss as to what to do really. I have a new painting sitting on my desk ready to be done, but this has taken the wind out of me and makes me feel like giving up. So I have decided to try to call on these same wonders of modern technology which have put me in this predicament to help me out of it.
Here below is a little donation button, which, it occurred to me, one or two of you might not mind pressing and donating even one tiny little pound to help me pay for this "data recovery".. and then when the nightmare is over and my work is (fingers crossed) back with me I'll send each and every one of those who donate something a little print of this as yet unbegun painting. How does that sound?

I leave you with some photographs from our unsuspecting walk of beautiful unaware orange moss on a wall; the newly born and completely oblivious Rowan bud that is the tree we planted last year; and lastly, some delightfully skipping, chewing sheep who are chewing and skipping without the slightest jot of a worry about my lost data.


AC said...

Rima my heart goes out to you.
I hope it helps.
Take care,
Alison x

Rachel Green said...

Oh, dogs! What an awful thing to happen. Have you tried taking the drive out of its external caddy and hooking it directly to your PC?

Ellen-Mary said...

Oh yuk! How frustrating! I wish I could fix it for you.

When really frustrating, inconvenient and downright infuriating things happen to me I try to find the greater purpose behind it. I don't always manage to find it but I look anyway. I like to believe things happen for a reason, you know, beyond just the universe toying with me.

Other times I just have some chocolate and a cup of tea and maybe a little cry about it.

Morna Crites-Moore said...

Rima - I am horrified to hear this terrible news. I am sorry my donation is so paltry - the exchange rate is terrible - the donation is worth twice as much in US Dollars! I will be hoping, along with everyone else, that you are able to recover your data. And then, please, get a good back-up system going. We are most of us guilty of being lazy about back-up - so I hope we all learn from this. Best wishes to you, Rima. Be sure to let us know what happens. Also, keep us informed of how the donations are going - I may be able to send a bit more. -Morna

Shelley Noble said...

My husband Paul and I are thrilled to contribute what we can towards your restorations. I can't imagine a more worthy and pure artist we would wish to support.

I would buy a subscription to your blog outright just for the inspiration and visual and storytelling feasts here alone. So, that's how I'm looking at it. I'll subscribe to your blog each year!

Best of luck setting things right, Rima!

Love, Paul and Shelley

Simply Wired Custom Jewelry said...

Best of luck with your data recovery; I hope there is someone out there who can help get those files off of the external. I'm happy to donate and help you out.

Lady Em said...

I'm so sorry that is awful. I promise I will try to make a donation if I am able.
I will talk to my computer-savy Brent boy and see what he says about your perdicament. Again I am so sorry, that is just awful.

Gretel said...

Sweet Mother of God, what a horrendous nightmare. Afraid I can only do the teeny weeny pound donation, but I will amend my last blog post and put a heads up out for you.

Catherine Hayward said...

Rima my heart goes out to you. Almost exactly the same thing happened to me last year. Definitely shop around for a cheaper quote, data recovery needn't be that expensive (certainly not the higher quote you mentioned!) One suggestion: of all the images you have online, uploaded to various websites, are any of them high enough resolution to recover that way? I managed to salvage some of my work from my blog images, for instance, by clicking the image to get the largest size, then right clicking to save it.
I hope you can recover all the data. I wish I could afford to help you.

Joanna said...

Thats a very awfull tale, and I'm so sorry. I am always being told about doing a back up by K and have not yet.It would be my very worst nightmare. Lighting a fire with damp twigs too, would make me very frustrated. I can only send a few pennies to your fund. A very worth while fund it is too. Do shop around, I found some one to fix my camera for £70 when everyone else said it was a right off. The nice made replaced the made circut board and loads of bits. I think its hard to get rid of data, so fingers crossed there is a clever person who can help you.

Anonymous said...

Rima I'm so sorry to hear this, you must feel like screaming. I lost all my computer data a couple of years ago so I know how frustrating it is when it's gone. I hope you can find someone to help recover the important parts.x

Erica-Jane said...

Don't worry Rima!
Somebody, somewhere will be able to fix it for you, I'm sure.
Have you tried calling PC World? They have a 'tech guys' department, and might quote you a more reasonable price...??


Crista Noel Smith said...

I am so very very sorry! What a terrible, sickening loss. A similar thing happened to my sister a few years ago and they were able to eventually retrieve everything. Have hope! x

mama p said...

I'll echo Ellen Mary:
Oh, yuk!!
And just like an echo, I heard that same refrain when I checked out exchange rates of the US$ to the Pound. OH, YUK!
But then my wonderful hubby chirped, "well, why don't we buy a piece of her artwork instead?"
Yahoo! So we did. We love "These Words" and I grabbed the last one on Etsy, apparently. I'm so excited. And how serendipitous, I'd just commented on your last beautiful watercolor-wash tale...
Hope the proceeds help you to recover that data!

mama p said...

lovely moss.
;) hurrah for little worlds!

Amy Short said...

Oh Rima...I just felt sick to my stomach reading this! I feel your pain so much because my husband accidentally wiped everything of mine when he upgraded the computer. I think I cried for days! Hopefully the fix won't be as expensive as they say.
Take care,

Ted Marshall said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. I've contributed what I can, and I echo others in hoping this will be fixable. Waiting with fingers crossed...

Anonymous said...

Oh this is awful - my heart goes out to you - I would be inconsolable. The best of luck in getting it sorted with the minimum of expense. A wee help is on it's way :)

G said...

I feel sick for you... and tomorrow I'm going to buy myself a back up system.

Sending good date-recovery vibes...

Anonymous said...

Rima, don't loose heart. Everything happens for a reason. Hope my donation helps. If there is any extra, buy that external hard drive. Seriously it will be ok.

I drew a Tarot card for you. The Queen of Pentacles. Very encouraging in that it indicates you will get the funds you need. Also indicates that this time and this incident are meant to inspire you into a new creative endeavor. Focus on this new project and just that. Watch it grow as you nurture it. It is meant to take your mind off of all other things but this one project.


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