Tuesday, 17 September 2013

In which I continue to wrangle with the computer; or, Windows 8 is an evil genius when it comes to the art of time suckage.

Another entire day is lost as I tangle and wrangle with the computer and the satanic quicksand that is WINDOWS 8. (You need to say it in that special Coming Soon voice that the gravelly old fella on the trailers always used at the cinema. You know the thing: it was a time of DOOM, it was a time of TERR-ORRRR, it was a time of DARKNESS. 

Well, this is the buggery time of WINDOWS 8. Clearly invented by someone for a bet or some twisted revenge scenario on the entire computing population.

There is the thing which always happens, which is the awful realisation of how completely dependent I am on a functioning machine. There is the blind rage which comes from expecting things to work and not know what to do when they do not. There is the old-school banner-waving resentment at the vast, faceless corporations, who care nothing for individuals driven mad by conflicting software and hidden glitches and an utter lack of any kind of instruction. Oh, do send us a report, they say insincerely, but we can’t guarantee that we shall reply. In the echoing hells of the Facebook forums, I find the wailing voices of people who ran into insurmountable problems four months ago and still plaintively await even the acknowledgement that they exist.

But still, you know, I do have my opposable thumbs. I can type. I’ll get up early tomorrow and go at double speed and somehow claw the hours back.

The good thing was that in the midst of all the tech rage, I spoke to an interesting and kind gentleman. I read a bit of Jung in my youth and he was very keen on those kind of coincidental happenings which he described as synchronicity. When the old hippy is in me, smelling the flowers and saying hello sky, I think that perhaps the universe does send one stuff at the exact moment one needs it. I don’t mean literally, of course, but in a figurative sense; in a there’s more in heaven and earth sense.

The interesting man happens to have the same interest in horses as I, and a skill which I do not have, but need. He seems amazingly willing to share this skill, just at the time I am most feeling its lack.

So there was goodness and kindness to act as balm for the rage.

And the evening sun is out, shining in that thick, amber, Italianate way that it does at this time of year, and in a moment, I’m going to go and mooch about with my red mare. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being still with horses, and watching them, and reading them, and being sensitive to them and getting in tune with them. I read something this morning which said that sometimes they just need you to be there. That’s all. I liked that very much.

The interesting man has a fascinating concept about the power of merely sitting with a horse. It’s quite hard to do. It’s like meditation, when the mind starts leaping about; every time you try to empty it, it fills with even more antic notions than usual. So it is with the sitting. At once, the temptation is to do things. Humans like to do things. I like to do things. Sitting, oddly, is a discipline. But I think I’m going to try it. I’m going to take a book and sit in the field and see what my funny old duchess thinks about that. Better make sure it’s proper literature, at any rate. She would not like it if I pitched up with a cheap thriller. No Dan Brown for her. I shall have to choose very, very carefully.

Today's pictures:

The herd this morning, with the wind up. And the first signs of autumn:

No Stan the Man today; he was galloping about too fast for the camera to catch him. And I have not yet downloaded all my photographic files onto this new computer. I do, however, have some of the archives available, and I found this old glory, of the Duchess and the Pigeon. I miss them still:

I wrote this earlier, then went to the field, came back starving, made a chicken pie for supper and only now am finishing it off, as the night grows black outside my window. I DID go and sit with my book in the field. I took The Crowded Dance of Modern Life by Virginia Woolf, which I thought was very appropriate. I waited for something momentous to happen. I waited for anything to happen.

Nothing happened.

I think that was the point. I sat on my log, under the big tree, and read. The girls gathered in a row by the fence and dreamt of their tea. Stanley the Dog got bored and buggered off looking for rabbits. It was just four sentient creatures in a quiet field, being. I think that may be the point of everything.


  1. Twisted revenge is not on entire computing population, those of us with Macs remain serene

  2. Mm, such lovely pictures. I bet Red would have kicked Dan Brown to Edinburgh but Virginia Woolf seems perfect for your three girls. (I am keeping schtum about Apple vs PC. Schtum, schtum, schtum. ) Thanks as always, Rachel

  3. I share your pain about Windows 8. That is all.


  4. Hello...I don't really want to be the one to point out that your pictures, when viewed on my screen, have gone slightly over their borders. I think we shouldn't be hemmed in by borders so it's all OK. Meanwhile, completely unrelated to Windows 8, I saw something today that made me think of you and of Dog Island - so it's timely that the beautiful Duchess and Pigeon are featured here. I walk often at the beach and today there was a paper sign posted up on a gate that said that a dog walker (owner of Kiki and Mungo) had passed away and that her funeral was at a local church, should anyone want to attend. It struck me how lovely that the bond of dog walking be so strong that the family of this dog owner would take the time to drive out to the beach and notify the other dog walkers of this passing. It also struck me that only dog owners would understand this. Often when walking, we notice the dog (breed, temperament etc) before we notice the person. It is another little unspoken treasure of Dog Island. That's all! I hope you are not still struggling with your computer. I spent fifteen years working for a computer company - no sweeter words that: help desk. Lou x

  5. Just love your blogs - that's all!


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