Tuesday 13 October 2015


Now that title may well turn out to be a word I have invented. The condition I certainly have not and I am struggling between regret that I am still living in the last century and delight that one of us, at least, is keeping up with old traditions. It is risible that an old lady has to make as much effort to 'learn' the C21st as a reluctant student of, say, Mandarin. I still write thank-you letters. One of my friends, contemporary minus nine years, said, without rancour, that an email was more immediate. Ah, yes, but you can't stand it on the mantlepiece or file it under 'miscellaneous' in your overwought filing system. What about love letters? Do they just turn up on Facebook and Twitter? Not that I have access to either. The Guru thought it was appropriate Luddism to bar me from those two modern communication systems. But what to do with the pink ribbon in which they should be tied? Leave it for the cat to play with, I suppose.  Surely conveyance of condolence has to be by letter. One would imagine that the bereaved are a long way from bothering to open their electronic mail at such a heart- rending moment. On the other hand, a round robin of text messages conveyed the news of a recent demise - not, I hasten to say - originated by the family but a hodge podge of friends and colleagues.

Someone close to me has emailed a request for some printing, the material having been sent in an attachment. The Guru assumes it is a pose. That I pretend not to know how to deal with attachments so that laziness may prevail under the guise of ignorance. I do suspect there is an element of unconscious manipulation in my attitude but if you had asked me to print off some attached music for you, you'd be very suspicious if you received only half the score. Fortunately, I remember how to read music so I am fairly confident I got it all. My whole email system has been terrorising me. It keeps telling me my session has ended. No, it hasn't and why is it making those strictures now when it has been co-operating well enough for the last umpteen years. I watched a TV advertisement last evening which promised I could turn my heating on and off  on an Underground train by phone. My washing machine could be commanded thus, too. Oh dear: I can just about use my mobile phone as a landline to call and receive calls. I have been known to send the occasional text,  not always to the intended recipient but appearing under 'sent messages' in due course. Another person close to me won't even attempt to text but will read the ones received and then telephone if a response is required. I lack C21st mores. I don't use my mobile phone at dinner, or anytime, with friemds. Much out-of-home food is beyond me since I can't eat chillie. (Can I even spell it?) I am stuck when I am addressed on the 'phone by my first name and have taken to announcing myself as Mrs. Mountford to obviate the possibility. This is  not a snobbish or pedantic reaction but an emotional one: my inner world is jolted by the use of my first name by a total stranger. First names, for me, are like 'thou' in the languages that use the second person singular. Still, when all is said and done, a rose by any other name....Prynhawn da   P.S. Is there a C21st  way to keep the cat off the table?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The twentieth century to keep a cat off the table is the same as the first century: stop it from the outset. Cruel to be kind