Friday 26 August 2011

Yet More Adapting

It's not surprising, given the nature of the blog, that there should be considerable material referring to various ways in which the inner forty-year old has to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the immoveability - in all senses - of the more than three score and ten- year old. Some are concerned with usage, some with conditions, mental and physical and some with mores. I checked the complete list of posts and, indeed, there are several called "Adapting" or words to that effect. (I would have said "there is a number", but the Guru already calls my expressions "archaic" so I've spared you that one.) To-day's prompt came because I went to a shop to buy a present for a forth-coming baby. Why is that remarkable? Well, it is remarkable because of the method of making this purchase. The options were, first, to buy online. This would have been simple. Put the item in to Google: 'a contraption to wrap around a baby in order to carry him/her clasped to your body'. I don't think so. Try 'baby carrier'. Better, but I was faced with tiny pictures of what looked like ruck-sacks, for front or back, Mother or Father. Then there appeared tiny pictures of what looked like winding sheets. Possible, but hard to determine from a postage stamp. So, give up on the possible bonus of having the item sent straight to the new Mother, keeping dry in the prevailing thunderstorm, and try something else. Second option: telephone a baby goods supplier and describe what I thought the Mother wanted. "Yes Mrs Mountford - at least I didnt get "Liz" - I think I know what you mean. Gone for at least 60 pence worth of telephone time and back with the suggestion that I come in and look at them. Third option: find a local baby shop, see the item, choose a colour - Oh the responsibility - pay and go. All that was so familiar I really enjoyed it. Once home, wrap in gift paper, enclose a note, find a padded bag big enough, up to the Post Office ready for the queues with my stick/seat and off to go. I know, I know, had I stuck to option one, I'd have been home and dry with no rain, no wrapping paper and no queue, but would I have felt like a person buying a present. No I would not.

Alright, I am now prepared to let you in on a situation of some delicacy. You may remember the Guru's astonishment - g.bsmacked would be nearer - at the urgency with which I prevailed upon him to mend my computer. He simply would not let go of the opportunity to point out how this old lady computer-phobe had become so dependent on the enemy. In vain did I explain that it was not the disfunctional computer that disturbed my equilibrium. It was the fact that there was something not running smoothly in my life. Younger, I could handle disfunction - objects, not mine - with aplomb. Now, I am ill at ease if a light bulb goes, if I see dust where I can't reach, if a tap leaks. The routine of computer use, emails, blogposts, search engine, (no, I try not to say Hoover neither. I say vacuum cleaner. Google has the same affiliation although you could, with justification, say: see above) if once disrupted, changes my approach to the peace of everyday. I see there is a subtle difference, only, between being troubled because the computer is breaking down and being troubled when anything at all is not as it should be. But difference there is: agree? Anyway, Guru found the solution, a new computer. And you are among the first beneficiaries of its incarnation. Naturally, it was he who set it up and it works nearly enough like its predecessor that I am down to just fourteen queries for when next he has time to talk to me. I think the Wizard of Cyberspace is lying low for the moment, risky though it may be to say so. He has, however, sent a few apprentice wizards - small 'w' to signify - to test my patience and perseverance.

From old-fashioned shopping to 21st century communication: what a journey. However, I have just had something of a revelation. For centuries, Welsh women carried their babies in shawls. One end was wrapped around the baby, the other around the mother. One single piece of fabric,one simple solution, one simple purpose, or even papoose. So what IS new? Nos da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz, Congratulations on your new computer! And thank you for once again for a totally absborbing and true blog. I managed to nearly turn a lovely evening with a girlfriend yesterday into a frustration-creating episode when she casually asked (as a result of a conversation) what my smartphone tarif plan was. She, like myself, leads a very international life with frequent, regulare trips between 4 countries and has got her IT/phone life down to a T. I, needless to say, have not. The seemingly harmless question resulted in the two of us spending over an hour on the subject including 2 phone calls to my provider's hotline and my nearly tghrowing the wretched device in the bin, not to say the friend! All's well that ended well and we are going to the cinema together tomorrow - my treat to say sorry for my lack of patience. Adapting indeed.