Monday 18 April 2016

The Digital Age - passwords - grrrr

So - using email, texting, using your own printer, making your own photographs - it's all so convenient, and quick. Yes, for the most part, that may still be true. But what about this scenario?

A fortnight ago I was inundated with emails from someone who said I was using her email address. I had inadvertently used it once - because icloud wanted me to use another email address other than my own as icloud, or was it Apple? id. So many fruitless hours fiddling and talks with Apple later I signed in, changed my password and signed out. No problem. No problem? It took over 2 days to get all that sorted.

Another scenario. I tried to use my ipad to air print with a printer my aunt uses. I had her password but forgot to change my wi fi password once I got home. So which password is this then? Yes I had travelled home, I had sorted things at my mother's house, I had visited her in her nursing home three times in two days. I was tired and had a cold. Thankfully I have the sky hub password on my iphone and it's clearly labelled on the new hub. But how do I change it to a memorable password? How many more wasted hours were spent trying to sort that? I did get my ipad connected to the internet again but no luck with sky hub password change. That only took 24 hours fiddling. Then I went down big time with some flu-like symptoms. No surprise there then.

Tonight my iphone won't receive emails and I buggered my ( very old) printer which kept referring me to 'documentation'. If they mean the handbook that would take another day of searching ... Thankfully, despite the fact I had only 4-5 hours sleep last night, by pulling out a few cables, switching the printer on and off, then switching my lap top from which I was trying to print, on and off,  the thing finally starting printing again. I'm sorry but each of my devices, in some way or other, needs a great deal of time spent on them.

Yes I have got them all running again but why do we need so much knowledge and time for these semi-expensive gadgets? Meanwhile I still haven't seen TV I recorded from Sunday night. Perhaps if I use my ipad for itv player it might let me watch The Durrells? Or do I need a password for that too?
Meanwhile I'll spend ages trying to get the thing to work and,guess what, I still won't have seen the programme. Time consuming or what? I thought computers worked for us - not the other way round.


Friday 8 April 2016

How do I get the balance?

A few weeks back I wrote the final chapter of my novel. I hasten to add I'm not especially ecstatic, more mildly pleased, as it's only draft one and I know how much editing will be required, even though, in essence, the work is complete.

It begins in December 1918, just after the end of WW1 and the novel ends in France just before the outbreak of WW2, in September 1939.  England has declared war on Germany, but France hasn't entered the war.

In some ways it would be easy to think my novel is about the inter-war years. In fact it's a tribute to the relatively few women who got the vote in 1918, and who forged ahead, in difficult times. They lived and worked through The  General Strike, The Depression, during a time when there was a lack of free health care, non universal secondary education and poor contraceptive choices. The women who voted for the first time in Britain in 1918 had to be thirty and either married or householders in their own right. In my novel the central character is Eliza. She got the vote in 1918 and succeeds with none of the advantages of modern times.

I have spent something like six weeks working on these last 20,000 words. The whole is now 92,000 + words. I am pleased to have achieved writing the novel but my social life has gone through a down turn, I haven't been swimming for three weeks and I seem to have spent a lot of time behind a screen!

However I have managed a Creative Evening, my Writers' Group, pub quiz and Book Group. We are planning a garden party in July so we are prepping the garden in readiness. I feel I have had a busy few weeks but tomorrow - ah tomorrow - I have promised myself a day of rest. This will include a walk, sensible eating and other physical exercise, but no sitting behind a screen, growing roots through the cushions on my sofa, nor typing at my desk. Perhaps I should be like Barbara Cartland and have a secretary. That way I could dictate my novel, get up, walk around, do step ups and get fit while getting my novel written. Or maybe I could speak into a voice recorder while I'm going out for a jog. Either way there is a tension between the creative urge and the need for physical activity. One feeds the other but both areas of my life seem time consuming.

Our next plans are for the Open Studio at the end of this month. That also takes a lot of planning. Cards to label and package, bio in the brochure, paintings to be framed, prints to be made. I also plan to bake cakes and biscuits to raise a little for the Cancer Unit at the RUH. It's all laudable, creative planning. But again it doesn't help me keep fit!

Perhaps I need to invent some form of exercise I can do while planning other things. But in order to invent a new form of exercise I will have to sit down and come up with some scheme. Back where I was. The tension between brain activity - or creativity - and physical activity. I am physically lazy but mentally active. How do I get the balance?