I got quite stressed yesterday, I was playing a bit of Sudoku and made a few silly mistakes. Admittedly, the tv was putting me off, to say nothing of the cat, but even so, I was angry with myself.

I play these days on “easy” level, it takes me that much longer to read the line. All the online Sudoku games I’ve found don’t allow you to write your working-out, so I find myself having to do mental arithmetic on the same row/column repeatedly. As a result, I normally solve the puzzles, but slowly. One of the sites I visit submits your time, it always comes back and says things like “97% of people are faster than you”. I can’t help it these days – I used to just see a row/column of the grid in a split-second, then process what the numbers are just by recognising the different shapes. It was all so natural, but now these steps are more deliberate.

It doesn’t help that sometimes I will click on a square to undo something I’ve mistyped, but I must hit the touchpad so lightly that the computer doesn’t realise I’ve clicked on a square, so that when I subsequently hit the backspace key, instead of clearing the entry, it clears the whole grid. But I have the same trouble with other programs, I’ve had lots of other laptops which have behaved better, so I can quite happily put a lot of this onto things other than my stroke. Also, I am forever right-clicking on everything, when my intention is to left-click, which is purely the dodgy design of this laptop. Finally, I tend to be quite harsh on myself, in that I expect to complete these boards flawlessly, so if I make a mistake (I can highlight where I’ve gone wrong, often just a typo), I tend to abandon the whole board, rather than just correcting the individual mistake. I am far more prone to typos these days, in Sudoku just as in my blog (you may well see typos here, although I do use a spellchecker and manually review my posts in an attempt to minimise them).

But I need to keep going with these programs, just because they challenge my brain. I spend most of my days on a sofa at the moment, and it would be so easy just to shutdown if I’m not careful.

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