Sunday, 5 April 2015

no news is good news

Bad news, bad news
Come to me where I sleep
Turn, turn, turn again
Sayin’ one of your friends
Is in trouble deep
Turn, turn to the rain
And the wind

It's been an interesting week. Well, for me it has - I've been out of the country and have absolutely no idea what's going on in the World beyond Joni Mitchell being ill. Obviously the most important story of the week got through because some intermittent posts on Twitter filtered through. Otherwise, I didn't see an English newspaper, read a news article or see/hear a tv or radio. Having returned and bought a copy of The Observer I don't think I've missed much really.

Anyway, this excellent turn of events helped make the annual ski trip a lot more than bearable. Absolutely nothing about the Election, boring 'Slebs*, sporting events (other than England/Italy football match in a bar but no tries scored: I think that's right?!) or anything much. Quite blissful really.

Once or twice the wifi internet connection was so poor where we were in Savoie, France, that I almost gave up bothering to check emails and Twitter. A few messages and Tweets took so long to try to send that I gave up as the moment had well passed - by a day on two occasions. This reminded me of how easy it is to become addicted to the little mobile device. I now use mine for so many different things that I was beginning to wonder what I'd do without it. But of course, I would just go back to the natural order of the pre-technological world. The one I grew up in.

As all my fellow travellers were gathering through yesterday waiting for the long coach journey home everywhere you tried to walk in the chalets and bar was a potential trap: the amount of electronic devices being charged up was unbelievable. there were iPads, iPods, phones, laptops and just about any other device you could name. The amount of wires and lights flashing looked like a scene from Terry Gilliam's Brazil. And, as I said, the wifi connection had the same future/retro quality to it as well. Now, it may be because of the weather conditions that we were so badly served, I'm not sure really. As you can see from the photo that there was still plenty of snow around. In fact, it snowed most days and nights so we had fantastic ski conditions generally. This is in complete contrast to last year when we were stomping around in full ski gear in baking hot sun with lizards skittering around. So, no suntans this year and no sitting around drinking Stella Artois in the sunshine.

It's all very well having instant access and emails, messaging and such stuff but it can be a distraction at times. Sitting around in the evenings with the only entertainment available is watching people trying to get their devices to connect to the internet. Watch the frustration. However, of course despite what I've said, it's been an important development too. I've mentioned before that when I was a youngster my parents had no idea where I was or what I was up to. When I first started going abroad as a naïve young man my parents would have to assume everything was okay as there was no instant contact then. I think my first trips out were to France and then in 1978 to Israel. We had just got our first land-line phone. I certainly didn't bother to let them know whether I was all right or not. Given the fact that I was so ill in Israel that they'd had worried like hell and wondered what to do, I'm quite glad even to this day that they didn't know how ill I was.

For us this year, setting off for the trip last Friday was caused some anxiety in that we couldn't be around to ensure that third born got up the following morning to catch a 6:30 train to get to Heathrow and catch his flight out to see his sister in Mexico. We were more concerned about this that my packing for the trip was, shall we say, a little, er . . .lax. I managed to forget to pack several useful items such as ski gloves, hat, scarf and a belt - being skinny I need one to keep my salopettes up. At least I packed my iPod and bluetooth Bose speakers. You know, it's all about priorities.

It all worked out well in the end as one might assume: I found a belt and bought some gloves, our son got to Mexico without a hitch. The reason we know he did is because of the technology - Mrs Dave checked that he was at the airport via the phone and first born used various social networking ways to keep us up-to-date with how their time together went. All through the luxuries that modern technology gives us. 

So, along with waiting for a few friends to Tweet me and for me to a) eventually get the message and b) for a response to gradually seep out, it's been a slow week for news and such-like.In the meantime, it's nice to be home with English beer and decent wifi.

Never thought I'd say that about TalkTalk.

Action Man's younger, skinnier brother

*I believe it means "Celebrities" M'Lud.

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