All has been quiet on the blogging front – again. No loss of interest, but just life being full and a lack of conviction that I have anything useful to say about anything. I might have commented on Mark Thompson's appointment in the USA or developments in Syria or the usual preoccupations of the Church of England or Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United or Bruce Cockburn's gig coming up in Selby on 6 September or several other matters. Even the post-Olympics funny stuff might have got a look in if I could have been bothered. I thought of reviewing a book I was sent over a year ago, but, having read it, a review would have been unkind, so I decided not to do it.

Feeble-hearted, I know.

But, then, last weekend our house got burgled and the culprit (who has been very clearly caught on CCTV) nicked my computer and my car. So far neither have been found. So, the first week of holiday has been taken up with police and the sheer hassle of trying to recover data. I'll come back later to the conundrum that really takes the pip.

Anyway, the burglary and it's associated inconveniences account for the 'loss' element of the title. The local newspaper did a piece in which I apparently 'condemned' as 'sick' the burglar. Just for the record: I didn't condemn anyone; I only said I 'felt sick' when I saw what had happened. But, the paper does a good job exposing such crimes.

So, before leaving home today for a break away (in a place where I am assured there is very poor mobile reception and no Internet connection… a bit like a planet without air), I noticed Samira Ahmed's Guardian article about the learning of German in the light of yesterday's A Level results. She highlights the very concerns I have been banging on about here for the last few years – that language learning (not 'teaching' – that's a different matter) in England is so poor and given such a low priority that our young people will eventually find themselves culturally impoverished, professionally disadvantaged and intellectually weakened by their monolingualism. As Ahmed points out, we Brits are missing a trick with German and Germany – but we will only really notice the cost in twenty or thirty years time.

So, here I am. In Liverpool watching our two year old grandson grow before my eyes. He and his mum are coming on holiday with us. And when we get back at the end of next week we will see Liverpool hammer Manchester City at Anfield before heading home. The new season begins, my fantasy league team is ready, optimism is high. And holiday will see me get stuck into four Patrick Gale novels before I tackle Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies.

And my query? My iPad was synced to my computer. The computer has been stolen. If I now try to sync my iPad to my new computer, it will only do it by erasing anything on the iPad that isn't on iCloud or wasn't bought from iTunes. Is it possible to sync what I have on my iPad onto my new computer (iMac) – so that I won't lose my apps, downloaded music and everything in iBooks? Or am I stuffed?