Thursday, July 8, 2010


There's a lot to celebrate this evening. It's mostly small and domestic in some way, but nonetheless important.

First, and most lovely, the lilies are in full glorious bloom in the back yard, yellows and tender pinks and all tints inbetween. They're generous in their beauty, but only briefly with us, especially this year with the incredible heat we've had all week.

At the tedious end: I got a lot of paperwork done this morning, the kind of bill-paying drear that we all have to do and that piles up until we get bothered enough to deal with it. Another chore done today was renewing the car licence plate, a date that comes up every year or two in July, the month of my birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, my friend Trisha has hers in a couple of days, so I took her out to lunch today. It was a real pleasure to sit unhurriedly, talking of this and that, slowed right down by the heat, enjoying each moment.

Late this afternoon I finally made some major additions to the webste. I am always nervous about the website stuff, though getting more at ease with it. The additions are to the new page, "Grand Manan Island". My friend Lianne who has a place on the island, suggested that we do an immerse session there, to entice people to discover and love the island as she does. So now we're launched, with a session planned for September 16 to 19, 2010, and also, at last, info about it all on the immersethrough website. Isn't technology wonderful? I am so pleased to be able to put a tick mark beside that job on my "to-do" list!

And finally, not just finally as the last of this list, but in the sense of “at last”, Tashi’s new computer came into being today. He’s now fully loaded, with a desk top that is silent and powerful, after going three months without his own computer (his laptop having crashed several weeks before his final exams). He has been sharing mine, when he’s here, and that’s fine, but kind of awkward too. I have felt constrained about working, having to wait until he’s done with the computer before I can, say, type in a recipe or check my mail or get writing done. He’s been graceful and appreciative throughout. But a computer is a very hard item to share, especially now that we are all so wired in, so expecting to be connected at all times.

To mark this last celebration-worthy item, Tashi took Dom and me to supper at John’s Italian Caffe, a small restaurant at the end of the street, (Tashi must be feeling most celebratory of all, for he’s now a free man, no need to seek favours or tune in to anyone else’s timetable on a computer.) The terraces outside the cafes and eateries on Baldwin Street were all full of people enjoying the soft hot night air, languidly sipping drinks, no-one in a hurry. And now we’re back home with doors and windows open to catch the breeze, and a fan on to help, each of us typing away at a different keyboard.

It’s so interesting, the independence we need with our computers, once we get hooked. The equivalent in an earlier era would be the notebook or journal I suppose, or no, not the paper, but instead the pen or pencil we would use to write with. Ballpoints democratised pens in a way, but even so we all remember having a favorite pen or pencil, right? Some of us still do. And if we had a favorite, then it was vital that the tool we depended on was with us and available all the time.

These days the tool most of us find vital is a computer: a keyboard and screen and usually internet connection too. (For many it’s a Blackberry or an I-phone; I’m behind a generation with my examples perhaps, but can only speak about what I know!) We want to control access, or rather, we want unlimited access, to our vital tool at all hours and without constraint. And we are used to having that. Consequently the idea of rationing computer time, or scheduling it, is almost unimaginable to most of us.

All of this takes my head in several directions: I think about the difference between having plenty, or unlimited access, and having to ration or share, whether it’s computer time or some other precious item, What difference does it make to the pattern of our days? to our awareness of others? (or not?)

It’s something to think about.

Meantime, I hope you’re staying cool, perhaps with Southeast Aisan style iced coffee: strong black coffee stirred with sweetened condensed milk, and poured over many ice cubes. It’s a favorite in this house. And don’t forget that the best way to feel good in the heat is to slow it down, and to shower often, three or four times a day, and always just before bed. Don’t towel yourself dry, just let the water evaporate. You’ll feel chilly!! What a treat at the end of a boiling hot day!

No comments: