Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A wee break

Last week was half term and time for a wee visit to London. Now I may have mentioned this before, but the Frog and I regularly joke/jibe/moan about my addiction to the computer and technology in general.  I will straight up confess that I am a little addicted to Facebook and check every day what my cousins three times removed that I've never met before have have been up to. And then there's Zuma blitz, although I have got much better with that addiction since I realised I could bank my unused lives.

Anyway, apart from the dreaded FB, I also read blogs, write this blog and well, write.  Dropbox, Scrivener and Word are like my personal holy trinity and being without them is a like leaving a little bit of myself behind. But you know you can always pick things up on the mobile version of Dropbox, except last week I didn't. I left EVERYTHING at home.

It was torture. The second we got on to the Eurostar I was surrounded by MacBooks. The bubba announced at the top of her voice that 'Mummy has that computer' and I felt compelled to explain that I had left it at home. A complete stranger left me in charge of his when he went to the toilet and I may have stroked it for a few moments.

As the train raced away from Paris, my mind kept shooting back to the little words I had left unattended at home and I tried to lose myself in someone else's. And then we arrived in London. We went to the park, we went shopping, I bought a bunch of books. We went to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History museum. We went to see The Muppets. The bubba somehow managed to find another French/English little girl in the soft play area. We went to the Tate Modern and contemplated Tacita Dean's Film. I think I made a breakthrough with my camera and even took a few pictures on the A setting before panicking and going back to the automatic setting. In general we had some fun, even though the words were always on my mind.

But sometimes you have to let the words go. Sometimes you get so close to them, you can't see them anymore. They mean nothing and tell no story. And I find it really hard to do, but for five days I did it. And I went back to them and every awkward phrase, bad bit of punctuation and silly bit stood out like a sore thumb. It was time to make those words sing.Sometimes, it's good to have a wee break.

Now I was going to leave you with a photo of the pile of books that came back with me, but I've had no time. So here's the list: Beware of the Frog by William Bee, Jack and the Beanstalk by Stephen Tucker and Nick Sharrat, Slinky Malinky by Lynley Dodd, Dinosaur More by Henriette Stickland, Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke, Operation Eiffel Tower by Elen Caldecott, David by Mary Hoffman and 15 days without a head by Dave Cousins (more about that soon).

And finally. This shop opened after I left home, but it's there right at the top of the street where I grew up. Do you think this means something?

6 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

I'd leave my computer at home for a trip to London. Of course, I have a desk top...

Michele Helene said...

Ah the beauty of laptops. I took mine to Italy last year... but then I was smack bang in the middle of the revision and had just swapped main character so I had quite a bit to do. I think I'll leave the computer behind when we go to Guadeloupe as well, but in the summer... mmm not so sure. It's a big writing time for me.

Dad Who Writes (Gabriel) said...

Lord I sympathise! Generally, my laptop goes everywhere with me (though lately UI've been toting around a paper draft and a notebooko as I continue to revise). Didn't you even have an iPhone?

I do find notepads are a good substitute, though syncing them with Scrivener can be a bit time consuming...

Michele Helene said...

Haha Gabriel, you sound worse than me. To cut a long story short I did have an iPhone, but with no data roaming and no wifi it becomes... just a phone ;)

Beth Kemp said...

Sounds like you coped really well. My family were amused at me on our cottage holiday last year when we found we didn't have mobile coverage, so my using mobile broadband plan backfired. Unplugging sometimes can be good, even if it is forced!

PS We love Slinky Malinki! One of mine used to ask for 'linki linki' at bedtime regularly...

Michele Helene said...

When I was teaching Kindergarten the kids loved Hairy Maclary, but being more of a cat person we went for Slinky. Plus it makes our cat look good!

And as for switching off sometimes it is good, and I don't remember it being so difficult before!

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