I am back online after six days without a connection to the internet in my office. I thought it was because of late payment of my bill, but no, the telephone line had been damaged by strong winds last week. The bill is now paid, thankfully, and the line repaired.

I managed essential work by accepting the kind offer of a place on the sofa at friends, from where I could access their Wi-Fi. I spent some time in a couple of cafés too. I also tackled numerous little odd jobs around the house with surprising gusto. Not so bad, after all.

Still, I missed the communication, the contact, with people. My phone was a poor substitute, and I had to rein in my disdain for any device which does not have a proper keyboard. During these disconnected days, I wondered often when it will be that devices will automatically be able to detect which language one is dictating. I remember saying to a school friend how cool it would be if you could buy music videos, although the vocabulary used to describe this complex, abstract idea was clumsy – for neither the thing, nor the term had been invented.

I also missed sound in my recent digital hiatus. My laptop is the only thing that produces sound in my house (shower and kitchen operatics notwithstanding), since the CD player and tape deck broke all by itself a while ago. Possible cause: death by dust. I missed listening to music on Youtube at the end of the day, and listening to audio books.

Line down, router not working, no internet, and no Wi-Fi at home: It reminded me of my father eagerly tuning in to the radio to hear the cricket or rugby commentary, only to be disappointed when the six “D” batteries went flat at a crucial moment of the match, and that was the end of that. Until he asked my mother to buy more batteries for the wireless, and she remembered to do so, of course. It reminded me, too, of my mother saying long ago to my father—when I was still small — that he should really stop calling it the wireless. He never did, as I recall; he simply said it with raised eyebrows and a smile thereafter.

Original image is a photo of my pencil sketch to which filters online have been applied

©2019 Allison Wright

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