Sunday, 21 August 2016


Those of you who have been faithful followers for all the time I have been 75 going on 40 will be sure of two things: one, I can't possibly be 75 still and, two, I have lived in awesome fear of the Wizard of Cyberspace since the beginning and on-going.  (It's extraordinary how the inner voice will still pop up with some long-out-of-date information.  I was about to write 'ab initio' when some shame-backed reticence stopped me.  But it's a phrase I havent thought of since University days which were well before your parents were born). The point is that, recently, I have experienced the Wizard in a positive and magical, as a Wizard should be, mode.

Some weeks ago, one of the people dearest to me in the whole world was granted an Honorary Master of Arts degree from a very presitgious University.  Glossing over the fact that he neglected to tell me in time for me to attend - some over-protective decision that it would tire me, a decision not really his to take - he did tell me how to access some photos of the event. Now, as you know, thanks to the Guru, I can just about turn this machine on and I can even do some rather more sophisticated things with it,  I don't entrust it/me with my banking, but then I don't entrust any system with my banking. With considerable effort and exhausting concentration I  found the stamp-sized collection of photographs with the help of Mr. Google.  Scrolling relentlessly down I found two of my friend.  Dear Reader, hold your breath, I was able to print them off. With more thanks to the Guru I have an idiot-proof print and copy machine, except that this idiot forgets every time what to do and ends up pressing this that and the other with hope in her heart and eyes closed,  Suffice it to say, eventually it worked and I made several copies for other near and dear who may like to see them. (Since you ask, I had to print them one at a time because I have forgotten how to change the number- needed digit).  Anyway, there I was with adequate copies on adequate paper.  However, when presented to the Numero Uno in this little circle, he announmced he would like them in a form he could frame. Yes, and I could deliver them via Jupiter, too.  Step in the Guru yet again and this brings me to the point of this post and the good old Wizard of Cyberspace. From my mobile phone Guru found the photos - don't ask: I can't even guess. We were in a restaurant at the bottom of Baker Street in London, He researched a copying shop at the top of the street and sent the photos up there ready to be passed on to photo quality paper.  Yes, REALLY   I can't begin to guess about that, either. We duly went to the shop. A size was chosen. A number agreed on and, in one minute and three quarters I was holding two copies of two photos that could have been taken with coloured film on my Brownie camera. If I am honest, I am still in shock and that was a week ago. The Guru, not surprisingly, doesn't see what all the fuss was about. He was just teaching his Godmother to suck eggs. Prynhawn da

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Plus some

It is only too easy to keep noting, and even laughing at, the wheelbarrow of things you can no longer do in the upper decades of Anno Domini.  (Did you know one is supposed to call it 'Before the Common Era', now.    Political Correctness takes up rather too much room in any old wheelbarrow). But it is also comforting and even rewarding to treasure what one can still do or even acquire the skill to do in a companion wheelbarrow.

, In my experience though, there really are scarcely enough of these pluses to fill a wheelbarrow.  What about a nice wide drawer instead?  Anyway, the first thing that springs to mind is what I may call a 'yes but'. In earlier times I would have chimed that it wasn't Tuesday, it was Wednesday.  It was not he that said that. It was the other.  You get the drift.  Now I just let these disparities go and feel more comfortable for it. I never enjoyed the physical aspect of housework but I did it emphatically.  Now I indulge in paid help and dust the top of the light switches myself. It is a special treat to have supper in bed on a tray, watching television, crosswording or knitting.  You can't do that at an earlier age: decadance is less of a sin up here where I am. I can permit -  I lie: encourage -  the cat to sleep on the bed.  This would have been non-negotiable when there were two other legs in the bed. I must say that there was a time when I dreamt I was being fanned across my face by a  slow leafy tree and woke to find it was a hairy Persian tail right beside me on the pillow. Then there are the things one has a duty to do.  Sifting the 'must' from the 'should' is another freeing situation.  Indeed, a day when there are neither 'shoulds' nor 'musts' can bring a feeling of non-entitlement very restoring in itself.  When I was younger, there were no distinctions between those two and I wore myself out trying to fulfill them all. (Can you have 'all' when you have just mentioned 'two'?)  I am more profligate: yes, really.  Stuff I would have seen with desire and with envy  but consigned to the wishful-thinking bin I now consider in real time and very often give in.  I have what was a very expensive radio/tape player. The remote control which governed it doesn't work.  Yes, I have changed the batteries. The maker is no longer interested but wants me to buy a new model at a breath-stopping price, all for want of a remote control.  However, an advertisement came through the post about a special offer radio, CD, and vynal contraption that was half the price of the other and, no doubt, with remote controls that work: because I don't want to get off the bed to turn it on or off, silly.  Bore da