Starting 2016: fancy a spot of techno-meltdown?

No, I know comfort eating DOES NOT HELP.

It is 15.12 uk time. I know I may be sounding like the X-Files. I feel even Mulder and Scully would be tearing their hair out by now at this impenetrable mystery: why does technology, every so often, gang up on one so comprehensively that only two alternatives are feasible, ie stand out on the public highway and have a loud screaming tantrum, or eat an extremely squidgy, delicious Portuguese custard tart?

Being a highly evolved human, I am opting for the latter. For now…

Today, Friday, is my writing day. I look forward to it keenly. It brings peace, reflective space, and not having to talk to anyone all day if I don’t have to. Sometimes, I even manage to write something people want to read. Bliss.

The Writing Cave
The Writing Cave

Bearing the above in mind, consider my day. I arrive at the Writing Cave, eagerly looking forward to writing two blog posts, one featuring a Guest contribution from a writer I very much admire. The other is in response to something I’ve just seen on Facebook – one of those entirely admirable space videos with shouty captions telling us how infinitesimally minute we are, therefore entirely without any right whatsoever to moan about anything at all. I’m already composing a response…

HOWEVER: I cannot get onto my WiFi (EE, just in case anyone else wants to shout at them and ask for a rental refund). Two mobile calls to The Husband establish that where he is, his email works perfectly, thank you very much. I am not consoled. After spending an hour pacing up and down the Writing Cave reading an extremely erudite book about the archetypal significance of the dwarf planeEris, I try EE again. No luck. A quick google via my 4G mobile phone establishes that there has been an EE problem for several days in various parts of the UK. Faint consolation: at least it’s not a problem with my computer.

I form a plan. I’ll pop over to my favourite Friday lunch hangout and lurking place – that wee gem, the Hidden Lane Tearoom. I can use their wifi. So, loading my computer into my backpack, off I go, much cheered in anticipation of lovely people and a tasty lunch.

Oh dear. The lovely Audrey has got her head down in an emptying premises, and is morosely sweeping up. “We’re having to close early. The power is off in quite a few places in the area.”

To say I was less than pleased might just be an understatement. Having sympathised and problem-shared, I head off to my other favourite hangout. Great music, lovely sandwiches, dozens of different coffees and teas to choose from. CC & T. (Go there. Soon.) They are bound to have public wifi.

They don’t. I can now feel mild hysteria beginning to build up. Not a good sign. To quell it, I order a delicious looking toasted cheese and salami sandwich and some Brazilian blend filter coffee. First bite in – and a great spray of tomatoey oil squirts out of the sandwich, globbing over my best purple scarf, jeans, and my favourite grey cashmere cardi. Mine host is most kind, giving me some hot water and a cloth to mop myself up. I leave it to you, dear Reader, to intuit my mood and state of mind at this point…

However, as is often the case, I have found, when up to one’s ears in a crappy day  – a ray of light in the form of kindness penetrates the fast-encroaching gloom. Mine host proffers the shop’s wifi code. Success! I am on line. And – only slightly delayed by a small altercation with the upgraded and supposedly improved WordPress site – I have my inspiration for the day.

By the way – the custard tart was delicious!


650 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


12 thoughts on “Starting 2016: fancy a spot of techno-meltdown?

  1. Thank you, Anne … I enjoyed the humor with which you write about the … unusual, quirky day (that’s the spirit!). The gremlins have been messing with my internet connection regularly since moving into my new flat (upside: less tron pollution en-flat), so the local wifi hotspots have been handy. And I definitely think that there are times when comfort eating is just the thing. Custard tart … mmmmm. 🙂 xo Jamie

  2. Isn’t this what mercury retrograde does? I can’t open wordpress on one computer and the printer won’t print color even when it has a new cartridge. I had a great piece of Italian cream cake. Yum.

  3. I feel your pain Anne, sometimes it does feel that “they” are out to get you. Even inanimate objects can join in such as door handles which insist on catching your sleeve as you simply try to navigate from one room to the other. I also suffered a very Mercury Retrograde experience this week when I tried to extend my redirection of mail for another three months and both the online system and the phone option were down. Alas no tasty pastry for me though. CxXx

    1. Well, we have just eaten the last of your wonderfully tasty chocs given for Xmas and really appreciated each and every one of them, Carole! So – I will make a point of treating you to a Portuguese custard tart at some point in 2016. Eases all techno=pains…Xx

  4. My goodness. Just last Saturday our power went out for three hours on a Saturday morning. I was willing to put off the laundry, of course. But no coffee and blog reading? Not so good. It was only made more frustrating by the fact that my cable provider’s been down twice in the past month, and power was out one other time. I can’t help having fantasies about some governmental agency, foreign or domestic, messing about wtih EMP mockups or such.

    Ah, well. We do get our problems solved, and after all — we do have connectivity most of the time. That only makes it worse when it goes away, I suppose. But what an excuse for a tart!

  5. Thanks, Linda. Yes, we are all much too dependent on power and connectivity. At least – for now – our small gastronomic indulgences aren’t dependent on a wifi signal…

  6. oh i so understand the frustrations, and when i have been offline for a while, i reach town, and there are people i have not seen who also gather round to say hi.. i love my friends and am so humbled that my presence seems to mean so much, but then there are emails waiting to be opened, read, answered, posts to write (or lately not write) and comments to appreciate or to answer or even to leave with others and —– sigh.. it is difficult to know what trumps what, but when finally online and then it says, ‘you must be connected to the internet..’ and you are, yet you aren’t……..

    sometiemes i see my friends, and i smile, close the laptop and think, ‘don’t ignore these dear souls… take time and savor the moment…’

    i readd offline a lot, and like right now, this page has been opened since you wrote it, and i am just now getting a quiet moment to say hi, i totally agree, and i send my empathy! too bad you don’t live here, and you’ll enter this little cafe, eye the brownie that i just devoured (so it’s an empty plate with brown remnants) and i’ll say, ‘the wifi is working well!’ and we share in the beauty of a silent place with good vibes!

    may the year be good to you, dear lovely friend!

    1. What a welcome surprise, Lisa! Thanks for this lovely supportive comment – but YOU have stuff to contend with where you are which puts my day-long techno ‘blip’ in the shade…I wish you an excellent 2016, both in terms of good health, good art, and good connectivity! Blessings from Anne

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