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Monday, March 28, 2011

Where is elsewhere when you want it?


Today is one of those dark days when you truly and sincerely know that you do not want to be in work.  Any work.  Anywhere.  But which an attitude does nothing positive, except to make one feel more depressed and helpless.  So, more thinking about Gran Canaria is called for to counteract such negative thoughts.

It doesn’t help that today have developed into a gloriously sunny day and I am trapped inside.  But let it pass, let it pass.

This particular time on a Monday morning and stretching towards the early afternoon is a free time for me in which I am supposed to get everything else for the week prepared.  It is sometimes very difficult to do as I sit here with the sun beating down on my back and the sunlight pointing the way towards the door and escape!

My little corner of the living room is rapidly becoming overloaded with books and the detritus of modern electronic living.  With a flamboyant disregard for any reasonable standard of useful purchase I have bought a 7” mini electronic book – to go with the others that litter my living space.

I have some justification for its purchase: it does have a colour screen and it is far nearer the size of a thin paperback and so can be tucked away in more (and smaller) pockets.  It is also a MP3 and MP4 player and so (in theory) it can play films and music.  The music I have mastered as it seems to accept the music in my iTunes library without any problems.  The loading of films and their display is a much more tricky problem because I am not a 10 year old geek!

As is usual in basic gadgets there are the usual problems which should not exist.  The loading of books only works occasionally and then the titles of the works mysteriously disappear.  I am now getting used to a gentle message which informs me that there may have been “minor” problems that will affect the display and therefore I get nothing.

Another problem is that after loading it seems impossible to switch the damn thing off in anything like the accepted way.  If I try and close it down via the e-book itself then The Machine informs me that an illegal operation has taken place but, as it is me, it will “attempt” to minimize the problems when I next load up the device.  If I close the device down via The Machine then the device stays at the level of the uploading screen and nothing I have yet done removes it until I press the reset button.

I am well used to the “reset approach” to recalcitrant machines and I am pleased to note that, in this case, it operates just like an ordinary button.

I know that I should use the manual (which is in-built and in Spanish) but I am trying to reclaim lost youth by relying on my innate connection with machines to take me through the difficult bits.  I may yet weaken or indeed age!

The profusion of electronic books in my possession emphasises a growing concern: the build up of books.

In the recent past I made a statement to myself that each new book that I read and kept would have an equal and opposite reaction by the disposal of an old one.  This (almost) admirable determination has not been anything close to a guiding light and the darkening piles are beginning to grow.

I have still not bought a single electronic book; my electronic library consisting entirely of out of copyright ageing books which I have not read and those classics that are a delight to re-read.  At some point of other I must make the fateful decision to enter the electronic commercial world.

Thinking about it: there is more likelihood of my opening up a whole new area of electronic expenditure in the purchase of e-books than there is in my throwing a single volume away.

But, on the other hand the situation is now critical and shelves are, in some cases, more than triple stacked and it is only the fact that the shelves have doors to keep the astonished stares of people away from the cultural mess that make the present situation acceptable.

Once again I make the rash assertion that this summer (!) I really will do something to bring order to the charming disarray that produces juxtapositions of volumes that stops me in my tracks and encourages me to read.

Why should I destroy such serendipity?

It is not the irregularity of medieval streets that make them attractive to the modern eye?  Why then should stultifying conformity to a librarian’s rigidity be the guide for ordering the arrangement of books.  Or is that merely a licence for indolence?  Perhaps.

Cloud has now modified the day and made it slightly less attractive to the incarcerated.  The real problem is that this is a school of extensive views and there is always a vista to tempt the unwary from an unshielded window!

Although there is little sun at the school in the distance I can see a gleam of golden light admittedly on the roofs of the buildings in the industrial zone next to the harbour rather than the rippling sea itself, but tempting none the less.
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