Monday, October 27, 2014


My Great-Grandmother would never have known what I'm experiencing . . . she lived in a different age.
Mind you, I could never have imagined it myself . . . not until now.  It was last night's storm that enlightened me.

The last kick of an Atlantic hurricane, it was a storm that shook the whole country . . . uprooting trees, disrupting travel and, somewhere unbeknown to me, disconnecting my landline and broadband connection.

This morning I've had a rude awakening . . . there's no telephone . . .  no emails . . . I can access no websites.
It's a shock to discover that, from the communication viewpoint, I'm completely cut off.

With an active phone line, friends and services positively cluster at your finger-tips.  When that line dies (and you have no mobile alternative) you are, as I'm discovering, truly isolated.

In a strange way, it's as though I've been marooned.  I can't contact anyone . . . no-one can contact me.  And whilst the radio and television provide information, it's as though I've been shipwrecked on that proverbial desert island.  The radio and television are my luxury items, but they afford no personal contact with the world.

Yes, I know I'm exaggerating.  I've only to look through the window to see life continuing outside.  I need only to walk through the front door to encounter people on the pavement.

But I still feel curiously cut-off.  What makes it worse is that I can't notify my friends that my phone and email aren't working because I haven't the phone or email facilities to do so!

Above all else, I'm being forced to recognise the vital role that electronic communication plays in my life.  How regular contact with friends, both locally and around the world, is something I normally take for granted.  Not only that, there's the profusion of websites . . . the online seminars.

I hadn't realised how often, in a normal day, I sit down by the computer just to up-date myself on information or enjoy what's on offer.

It's nearly time for bed, fourteen hours since my line went down.  The storm is slowly subsiding and I'm feeling rather like a communication-addict who's gone 'cold turkey'.

Is that the right expression?
I can't even access Google to check it out!

Still no connection . . . is there anything more undeniably dead than a dead phone?
And what of the friends who've been trying to contact me?  I'm worried they may be growing anxious.

Nonetheless, the sun and birdsong in the garden have combined to lift my spirits . . . although I'm ashamed to admit that I'd exchange the blackbird's song for the ring of the phone . . . or even the bleep of an incoming email!

I've been writing these thoughts  in the hope that, before too long, the telephone engineer will have restored my damaged line and everything will be back to normal.
The fact that you're now reading what I've written is justification for that hope.

Believe me, and I don't say this lightly, I'll never take our contact for granted again.  Nor will I under-estimate the power and value of such connection, the miracle of global communication that is literally at our finger-tips . . . it's up to us to ensure that what is communicated is worthy of the medium it employs.

Welcome back!
I really don't recommend a prolonged diet of cold turkey!