I am definitely not talking about the superhero, the Silver Surfer, from the Marvel Comics. I can’t. Never read one. I don’t even know one exists until I hit google, ten minutes ago. What was I thinking? I was thinking: is there another name for silver surfers, the ‘older’ internet users? That’s what was on my mind when I clicked SEARCH. I don’t have much luck, do I?
This blog nearly didn’t get off the ground.
I am a PC (you know the ads). This one I am hanging onto is a 2003 XP. Nine years old, and ageing just like me. It does the job. Well, most of the times. It is slow. T-o-o s-l-o-w. I can put the kettle on and make a cup of tea before it is fully turned on and ready to go. Perfect if I wanted my cuppa. My family is trying to get me converted to a Mac. Faster, more reliable, and less complaints. The complaints are from me on my nine-year-old, they have heard enough. Wait. They have given me something faster — a VAIO Window 7 laptop two years ago. For Christmas or for my birthday? (I told you I am getting old.) Why is it lying idle?
I can’t speak for the others, but at my age I prefer living in my comfort zone. Everything has its place. I’d like to see that regional news follow national news at half past one on BBC1 from Monday to Friday. Always go and get The Times on Saturday for Sudoku, crosswords and polygon. In summer when weather permits I’d do weeding on Monday and/or Friday. I need a total top to toe clean after gardening. On those two days I have my hair washed and a shower, not Tuesday, nor Wednesday, nor Thursday, definitely not the weekend. The rest of the week I take a bath. You probably get the gist now without having to know any more of my routine?
Let’s talk about the laptop. Given to me with all the good intention of easing my stress. Yet I cannot move my two fingers freely on the pad (what is it called?). I can’t work without a mouse. I am pulling my (grey) hair out. So my lovely family, bless them, has gone and bought me a mouse! Not to sound ungrateful but a new mouse that doesn’t glide as smoothly as mine, shame.
Now what are the chances that I would take on a Mac, that has everything onscreen upside down and the other way round from my PC? I might have just exaggerated a teeny bit about the upside down part, sorry. But all I am saying is, I know computers don’t bite (keep telling my friends who still refuse to Skype and email). I know I can email, do the simple tasks on words and excel, and the other things that I have been shown how to. But to re-learn a whole new system? Scary.
I am not an explorer. I am happy to follow instructions, though only simple ones. I don’t really know what I am scared of. There is no risk in hitting a button, I know, I KNOW, until suddenly everything disappears in front of your eyes and you cannot get it back. The Help button, more often than not, only adds confusion. Asking for help — actually pat someone on the shoulder and say please — needs a mixed dose of patience, understanding, and tolerance on both sides and a larger dose of courage and humility on mine. Never want to be a bother; and don’t like feeling stupid. Is it to do with age? Or ego?
My sister often comes to my rescue. At a safe distance, by emails. Little fear of flying into a temper face to face. She also has the technical knowhow and helped set up this blog. Am I ready to take flight into the blogosphere? Not quite.
When one gets older, one becomes, what is the word? Conscientious? Wrong one. Apprehensive, is what I am looking for. Maybe I am wrong again. Not everyone is like me. Remember Mr Berry from my last post? At 70, he still has a thirst for knowledge. I get stuck with panic buttons.
Other doubts surfaced after having the technical stuff sorted. Why am I doing this? Why do I need a blog (I live comfortably without one)? What am I going to talk about (nothing happens here)? Who cares? Who cares. The idea of getting to join the club and resume writing (I did some before, with pen and paper) was put into my head when my fledgling fledged three years ago. I had been warned of Empty Nest Syndrome. What were the symptoms anyway? I laughed it off.
Still, I do have too much time on my hand. So, sometimes I sit and think. Sometimes I just sit. Sitting down is not good for my health. A recent Horizon programme on BBC2 has confirmed that. If that’s the case I might as well do something while sitting down. Although still struggling with understanding many of the blogging and publishing terms (what is a widget?) and absolutely have no clue on how to insert links and pics, perhaps I can just start by putting my thoughts onto
paper the screen to keep my brain cells going; and boring you stiff, my reader, if indeed you are there ….