Hello September

Another month is with us – actually, I think it’s been with us for some time but I hadn’t noticed. Anyway – Hello September.

Pre-empting the traditional reminder/prompt/nag/threat from my agent – All Hail Hazel! – it’s September blog time and so far, it’s full of nothing happening.

I didn’t attack anyone during yesterday’s town festival despite the death wish of local political parties trying to hand me leaflets. A small fire did break out in a litter bin but I swear that was nothing to do with me.

I haven’t been anywhere or done anything, mostly because I’ve been welded to my laptop for the last fortnight. However – it’s update time. I’ve finished the Christmas St Mary’s story Why is Nothing Ever Simple? and the manuscript’s gone off.

I’ve finished Plan for the Worst – or at least I’m at the stage where someone slightly saner needs to take a look at it – and that’s gone off, too

I’ve even finished a Frogmorton Farm Christmas story – Joy to the World – although I may have left it too late for this year’s Christmas list and it has to wait until next year. The point is that I’ve been busy and as I keep telling Hazel, I can write or I can frolic, but not both. Not simultaneously, anyway. She simply opens one eye, makes herself more comfortable on her hoard of gold, and goes back to sleep again.

Anyway, with all that done, I’ve opened my laptop, typed Time Police 2 – Hard Time – and now I’m staring at the blank screen. Actually, it’s not that blank. As I said, I’ve spent a lot of time chained to the wee beastie over the last couple of months and, like me, it’s not looking its best. The screen is smeary – that’s the polite word for it – and the keyboard part is actually quite gross. The delete key doesn’t work properly because it’s full of toast crumbs. So, a plea for help. Can anyone recommend anything – wipes or sprays or whatever – that will enable me to return my poor abused laptop to its former pristine condition? I’ve only had it two years and you wouldn’t believe how it looks. I’ve tried Pledge and that did not go well. Nor did the eye-makeup remover wipes. About the only thing left in the cupboard is Cillit Bang Limescale Remover and I’m a bit dubious about that.

Any thoughts?


  • Mariel Jewell

    I use the Zeiss lens wipes. They’re basically alcohol on a wipe, so they’re good for glass but you might want to test them on other surfaces. You can buy them from the Major Online Retailer in the US and probably the UK, also. I use them to clean and disinfect my phone, glasses, tablet and computer screen. It takes 3 for my monitor so maybe 2 for a laptop. For the keyboard, canned compressed air, also available online, is the best to clean crumbs. Do that first, then use wipes or a damp paper towel on the keys.

  • Ruth

    NOT WD40. I understand you may be tempted, but please, slowly step away from the DIY supplies. 🙏

    I use lens cleaner or alcohol pads to wipe down the screens on my gadgets.

    I’m a bit concerned about compressed air cans and you in the same vicinity, but the might blast the crumbs away. 👀

  • Annabel Smyth

    Stuff called Eco+ Natural Screen cleaner. It comes with its own cloth, which you wet with the cleaner, wipe your screen and then dry it with another corner of the cloth. You can get it off Amazon.

  • Pat Nelson

    At work we used to use the small wipes to sterilise the arm before an injection. Perhaps meths on a dry wipe, not tissue, would work. Good luck

  • Lisa Harshberger

    Canned air for the keyboard. Also use it in any vents on laptop. If it’s the push button keyboard you maybe stuck without a delete key. If regular type keyboard crumbs maybe stuck under it and the canned air should clean it out.

    Also very excited for new stories, I found you by accident and then dragged a friend along with me on the journey of St Mary’s. Actually, got a couple of more to read them as well.

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