Sunday 6 June 2010


The wizard of cyberspace has been laughing all the way to the delete box. This time he surpassed himself. He took not only the blog but all the functions of the computer that needed the internet, plus the television service. In short, no service of any kind from my service provider . Naturally, this happened at a week-end and stretched in to one with a bank holiday tacked on. By the time the non-service provider had reached me on his list of frustrated and bereaved electronic dependants, a long time had passed. "No signal" was the fullest explanation the screens were in a position to furnish. At last, arrived an engineer who went back to his car with a visitors' permit to park and came back a very few minutes later to say he just wanted to check that all was well. "All is not well", protested I, wondering why he thought he was here at all. "Oh yes," quoth he,"I've fixed it." And so he had. He wouldn't tell me how so I am left with the imagining that he and the Wizard are allies and, together, had decided I had been punished long enough. I do know that I could have taken my laptop to a nearby coffee shop or found an internet cafe and, thus, blogged to my heart's content. Pause: do you really see me as a person who would or even could take all the wires out of the back of this machine and expect to re-assemble them in another location when I don't even enjoy coffee, never mind an internet cafe where I would raise the average age by about 5o years and have to ask for help even to switch the damned stranger on. No, of course you don't. Anyway, here I am and I hope not too many of you have given up on reading me ever again. (Mind you, I have one non-fan who informed me she didnt read my blog because she couldn't stand other people's on and onings; nice phrase, I've decided to acquire it.)

Talking of gaps, I'd like to stretch the concept to include slots. My local Post Office, a grown up one with a site all its own, not shared with a shop nor anything else - those, nearby, having been closed by authorities running a competition as to who can boast the longest queues in the remaining ones - has closed the two posting boxes sited on its outside wall. This is for Health and Safety reasons anounces the unblinking appended sign. I enquired further, well you would wouldn't you, and was told this was because the post collector had to bend down to take the letters out of the box. I know, I know; when I was a gal, etc etc. But it does make you wonder where it is all going to end and whether those of us who still have a sense of humour can hold on to it in the face of the humourectomy apparently undergone by the rest of the world. During opening hours, one can post letters in a box inside the Post Office. Later, one must just find a red what used to be called pillar box. I can't see that they are any more back-friendly than those on the wall, but then who am I to bring logic to a strange and po-faced world?

A more interesting gap has been in my contact with a young, sort of related, man. I hadn't seen him for about eight years: from little boy to early man. He had the ethereal look I remember from his childhood and the hair and appearance of the University student he is, currently. I think we both found it harder to re-connect than we would have done had our statuses (stati?) been the same as when we last met: he a child and I less of an old woman. The progression made it rather more difficult. I had never met this young man and could only sense the child I had known well. I think we both found it difficult to communicate after the facts of the gap in time were filled in. He seems a man who plays his cards rather close to his chest so even I, who rather prides herself on her white witch self with a well-honed intuition, could'nt say whether or not he enjoyed the reunion and would be prepared to repeat it. I did enjoy it but was, later, assailed by a sense of the loss of the years in between. They can never be regained. The legions of little stories, and big ones, for that matter, which had influenced and interested him, formed him, were lost to our common history. I would love to have had a visual and audio diary of the little nonsenses and big momenti that we should, automatically, have shared had things gone differently. What can I do, at this late stage, to bridle my over-romantic idea of the continuum and importance of relationships with no gaps? Grow up, I hear you say. Life is full of no signals. Prynhawn da.


Anonymous said...

Humourectomy. Thank you. A genuinely new word, and a needed one.
A particularly good column, after your electronic frustrations. It was a pleasure to read your American reader's comment on the previous one.
And, no, stick to your English non-Latin plurals.

Anonymous said...

I also loved the neologism humourectomy, Brian!
Your touch is light as a feather, Liz, but it goes very deep. Ah, gaps.... how to go abut filling them or, conversely, accepting them, when they can never be filled. And how to tell the difference?
Your American reader