When I was a girl - long, long ago - there were two ways to mend the telly when it went wrong (which was often). You could twiddle the knobs for ages, trying to find one or other of the two available channels. Or you could administer a hefty thump. Usually, the latter worked wonders when the former, more technical, approach had failed.
These days, household gadgetry is far more sensitive. Thumping is usually fatal. Shaking can be quite good, but what I find works best is sulking.
So when my camera wouldn't work last week, I shook it. And when that didn't do the trick, I sulked. I shouted at it briefly, had a little weep, then shut it in a drawer and walked away. I didn't look back, and I didn't take a peek for days and days. But I hadn't forgotten, far less forgiven.
Today, just as I was leaving for a celebratory fish supper on the beach, I opened the drawer and I said, 'Right, camera: you've had a week to think about this. I'm prepared to give you another chance to work because I really really want us to get back to how things were before. You, my trusty camera; me the pointy, clicky boss. So I'm going to give you some more batteries, point you at this pile of washing-up and click. The rest is up to you.'
I pointed. I clicked. Nothing happened.
I shook it one last time.
I pointed. I clicked. It took a picture for me! And then another, to prove it was in earnest.
I took it to the beach. We had a very happy time together.
The results will be appearing here shortly.