The last thing delaying my arrival at my London job occurred underground, at what should have been five minutes from the office. "We're held at a red light because there's a dog on the line," announced the driver to a train-ful of bemused tube travellers. How, we speculated, does a dog get on the line? And when it does, who removes it - and how?
I was already late, having been held up not once but twice by collisions on the A12. And I was only driving because for the umpteenth time this year engineering works on the Liverpool Street line had made it impossible for me to complete my commute by train.
I had no warning of the traffic delays because my car stereo was out of action. I couldn't enter the code after the car battery died due to a fault with the lights.
At least my garage had been able to fix both lights and battery. But I needed the breakdown service to get me there because the battery is too inaccessible for me to jump start the car.
I was not a priority case because I wasn't stuck on the roadside, so I was advised it might be some time before my rescuer arrived. Fair enough, really. I was at home, so I thought I'd get on with some work while I waited. But no. My PC had decided that was just the moment to update itself - a process I hadn't requested, didn't want, wasn't expecting, had only 15 minutes' warning of, couldn't prevent or abort, and which took hours. I'm not sure exactly how many hours, because I was out at the garage.
I won't take it personally, because almost everyone I know seems to have had a Windows 10 update inflicted on them in the last week or so. But I'm not happy with an update which seems to have made slightly worse an operating system that was already inferior to the one it replaced.
And I'm not at all pleased to have been given unasked a virtual "assistant" which looks to me very like a spy in the house. It comes complete with microphone - a device I hardly ever use myself but which appears now to be a remotely controllable bug.
Not that I can imagine why Microsoft would want to bug my house. But it's just one more drop in the wave of technological invasions of our privacy. One more thing in my life that appears to be out of my control. One more potential tool for the unscrupulous.
It's been a strange few days. But all these grumbles are very much first world problems.
At the end of the day I can still go home to a loving partner, daughter and dog, a mug of coffee and a comfy bed. And I won't have to wonder where breakfast, lunch or tea are coming from. At some point I'll probably have a working car stereo again. A mumbled apology was all it took to gain forgiveness for being late to my work-desk. Mostly I wonder what became of the dog on the tube line.
None of my passing irritations would look like trouble at all to anyone in Haiti, Aleppo, Mosul, or somewhere as disturbingly close as the Calais Jungle. Or in thousands of other places that didn't make the world's news bulletins this week.
A fracking betrayal of democracy
So the government has given the go-ahead for Cuadrilla to frack Lancashire. This is wrong on so many levels.
It's wrong because the county council had already said no. So much for democracy, then.
It's wrong because the good people of Lancashire don't want fracking under their homes. They don't want rural areas handed over to industry. But never mind democracy.
It's wrong because it sets a precedent that could be extended over much of the rest of the country.
It's wrong because none of the very serious environmental and health worries about fracking have been answered. Toxic chemicals in the ground water? Rivers and lakes polluted? Nosebleeds? Headaches? Earthquakes? "Oh, it'll be all right," say the frackers. Supported by money, not by any plausible scientific evidence.
It's wrong because all the cash and effort that has gone into developing fracking could have been put to so much better use in research and development for renewable energy.
Most of all, it's wrong because there's really only one place for fossil fuels – coal, oil or fracked gas – if we're to have even the remotest chance of keeping climate change this side of utter global catastrophe. And that's in the ground.