Thank goodness for watches, and Bang and Olufsen

In olden days, I had a watch to tell the time. I wrote letters, made ´phone calls, and read books. For urgent communication, we had a fax.

All BI.  Before Internet.

Back in the 80s my partner had a mobile ´phone in a suitcase. We bought a computer. Later he insisted on buying a ´phone fax.  Why? I complained, aghast at the cost. No-one else has one.

But he continued with his techy purchases. Even though he isn´t techy.

In the nineties we were on dial-up.  The slow connection had me pressing close more times than I actually read a site.

On leaving the UK, I chucked the internet.  Bliss.  Life reverted to what it should be. No ringing people up to ask for info and are you on the ínternet, just download whatever. I´m thinking about spending my money with these people and I have to pay for internet connection, paper and print costs? Why can´t they stick it in an envelope any more? Do they even know how to do that?

So I boycotted the internet for five glorious years.

But when I visited the UK and stayed with friends and family I realised life had moved on, courtesy mainly of ADSL. I came out of my cave and rejoined the virtual world.

Now courtesy of Snowy (for anyone who doesn´t know, new rescue pup, pic kindly up at Vic´s), I am internet free.

And as of yesterday, mobile ´phone free too, as the battery refuses to charge.  I found a watch that worked so I could tell the time, otherwise I was relying on the church clock, sun and moon.

I have gardened, rediscovered old recipes, and listened to music.

Life doesn´t get much better.

Except I am promised a new iPhone 5 this weekend.  Best of all worlds.

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54 comments on “Thank goodness for watches, and Bang and Olufsen

  1. We’re lucky to be in the sector of the area that has ADSL….friends the other side of town are on dial up and they would give their eye teeth to have ADSL as no one seems to communicate by landline or by post any more.

    We have one basic mobile ‘phone for emergencies…it gets passed back and forth depending who is out and who is in and only we and one close friend have the number. It doesn’t stop it ringing in the night with some message from the health ministry about preventative measures against dengue though….

    For the time we wear watches when out…at home it doesn’t matter.

    In a way I’m glad that our communication is by internet….I don’t have interruptions – I deal with stuff when I switch on the box….but I wouldn’t fancy a mobile ‘phone with internet at all.

    Couldn’t reach the photograph…probably me, it usually is…

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    • Your mobile set up is similar to ours. Except we have three. Mine is totally personal, the only one who has the number is Partner, despite pesky people asking for it. Either we lie and say I don´t have one or we say the number is not for giving out. He has a work one, he needs that. He has a personal one, I have the number and so does one friend.

      I like watches. I have loads of them. Chucked one out today, wearing one and there are two others somewhere plus a couple of Omegas and a Rolex. Just wish more of them worked.

      Photo works on here (ie internet cafe but Ive just checked the ÚRL. I think I missed a / Hope it works now.

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  2. Connectivity brings a lot of good–hey, for 21 of the past 30 years it was what enabled me to do my job. That said, it breeds a lot of habits that are highly undesirable. Here are a couple of exemplars:
    – watch a gathering of adults and notice how many of them are disengaged with the conversation at hand and are instead talking about the conversation online. Let me be clear on this. They are NOT having a different conversation online. NO they are talking about the one they are not participating in.
    – watch a group of adults in a medical waiting room or a train/bus station/airport. Again notice how they are oblivious to the generally interesting surroundings.
    – people at work. Same…dropped out.
    Common threads (a) adults, not kids and (b) disengaged from reality but instead working away at some fantasy life.
    That’s a major problem, as I see it because it really does not lead to anything. It’s not a discussion–there’s really no interaction. People put ‘stuff’ (pithy statements or silly pictures) online as if everyone wants to see them but the reality is that nobody is looking and nobody is listening. A waste.
    On a different topic, I hope you enjoy your iPhone and I say this with a degree of confidence (and no sarcasm) because I know, through this post and many others that you see through that silly facade.
    While I don’t have an iPhone (but there are two in my house–OH and oldest son have 4S models), I do have a somewhat similar device (a samsung galaxy S3–it’s not really all that different, despite what some would say) and I can say that there are a couple of apps that I find useful.
    – Gmail. I mostly get, and respond to, my personal mail on the ‘phone. Most of my personal mail is of the sort that only short replies are required and this lets me respond quickly.
    – Youtube. I watch science videos and live music when not in the mood to do anything much.
    – Beyond Pod. I love podcasts and this lets me find and sort through them. Note you probably won’t need it for the iPhone because iTunes does a great job of managing all audio files from the desktop and I could not recommend anything more.
    – gStrings. Guitar tuner :-)
    – Skype … I think Apple wants you to use FaceTime but that only works with other iPhones. Skype is universal. Only recommended for conversations with some people–partner, for instance.
    – WordPress. Useless for composition but excellent for reading. Not bad for commenting but not for a comment like this one :-)
    – Imjur. Sharing photos.
    – Google Sky Map. I am a geek. No apologies.
    – Accuweather. Like all from my province I am obsessed with the weather. BTW: 23 degress today. 26 yesterday and 20 the two days before that. LOVELY! I managed to get all my windows installed thanks to this nice weather.
    I saved the best for last…
    – Evernote. It takes notes and synchs with whatever else you use. Love it.
    Notice I did not say Facebook or Twitter and I was guarded in my comments on Wprdpress. That’s because those are the biggest time wasters ever developed. Stay away!!!!
    That’s my list. I have tried other apps but that’s all I think are really worth it as far as I am concerned anyway. There really is one more–Swiftkey: it replaces the shitty android keyboard with an amazing one but you don’t need it for iPhone as it already has a nice keyboard app built in.
    Oh, and your phone will make a great hot spot for Internet. Bargain hard with the ISP and get as much data as you can. Is there any telco agreement between Spain and Gibraltar or do you have to pay that extortion also known as roaming?

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    • Last first. Yes roaming :(

      I compose my blog posts (except these cafe ones) on Apple. Text edit I think it is.

      I don´t use apps on ´phone as Gib isnt recognised so I can´t log onto itunes store. I could use my spanish address but Ive never been that bothered.

      I do look at the ´phone at the bus stop. Once I get my nose in a book,. I will miss the bus. ´Phone is more fleeting.

      I chucked FB years ago, and although I am on Twitter, I can´t get into it. Useful for updates sometimes. FB is the biggest waste of time.

      Im on Skype. Mostly used by partner though. Accuweather is on Hal (macbookpro)´s dashboard for weather.

      I use gmail too, but in the flat I use the laptop ie free, ´Phone isn´t.

      I remember the heady days of my MBA (20 years ago) and being so excited about using the internet for one course component. So new, strange, and different. Now so commonplace. And here I am the only user out of seven computers – guess most people have them at home.

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  3. Hi and where again on Vic’s might i find Snowy? I can not decipher where in the world you have written about him. I have checked or think that I checked all your blogs. Did not find the pup anywhere. Hope you are healed by now and doing well.

    So will you continue to blog or what. I know you are getting an iphone but….

    Regards, yvonne

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    • I think I got the URL wrong, have another go, or on the previous post, look at her last comment, that gives the link.

      Ankle not doing too badly thank you. Wearing shoes now, so provides more support. Couldn´t wear them before because of huge swelling.

      I´m just blogging from a cafe for now. Can´t use ´phone for blogging as a) too expensive and b) can´t download the app.

      Should be back to normal with piccies by late Nov.

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        • Hi Y

          I´ve kept checking your blog but figure you ,must be busy. Acc to history tourist (below) the new link works. But he is tiny on that pic, he is much bigger now. There will be more next month when I am back on line.

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          • Yes. I am busier than usual with pets that take more time and care. Lots of pet towels and bed bedding washed daily and hung out on the line to dry. But I have 4-5 drafts that I work on bit by bit and hope to at least finish one of them this week-end maybe. Will look forward to you back online in November. Best regards, Yvonne

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          • Don´t our animals take up so much of our time? But still they are worth it, to me. Having a puppy is such a contrast to an older dog, I´d forgotten how much time they take. Energy bursts for an hour or two and then a total crash out for a while.

            I have a zillion draft blog posts written out by hand (during above mentioned crash out time) so all I have to do is write them all up at some point!!

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  4. Haha, I remember the first mobile phones, built like a brick, and just as heavy.
    I’ve often wondered what life would be like to revert back to pre internet/mobile phone days, but I think I’d feel rather cut off.
    I haven’t worn a watch since I retired though I admit to using my phone for the time when catching buses etc.
    Enjoy your new phone when it arrives :-)

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    • Brick is the word!! It did indeed resemble a brick. We had an office one too, when you took it home for the weekend for on-call duties it was a nightmare to lug on and off the train/tube.

      I actually wouldn´t mind no internet (says the addict in the cafe). I think it has speeded up the pace of life far too much. And contributes to idiocy.

      I used the ´phone for buses too, hence desperate search for a working watch. Was surprised to find one. It is of course, zillions of years old, belonged to a great aunt.

      Assuming A gets it to work :D

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  5. How wonderful – to live the simple life again. I’m sure I’d suffer withdrawal symptoms without the internet but can imagine how much else I could and would do without it. When I left my London job to go on maternity leave (23 years ago – gosh- where did THAT go), I’d just taken delivery of a new golf-ball typewriter – state of the art technology. Before that I was using an antique with a very old ribbon. We had to use Letraset to create fancy headlines and sent stuff out in envelopes. How things have snowballed since. For the better? In some ways…but I actually miss letrasetting…

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    • I *think* I have sorted it. Missed out a / in the URL although strangely when I checked it on this comp in cafe it worked. You will see from the pic how Pippa is taking Snowy :D If it still doesn´t work, click on Vic´s link above, that takes you to her main blog, and on the sidebar is a link to her other one.

      Snowy is now twice the size he was in that piccy though!

      How is Ralph? Do hope he is coping OK. Such a gorgeous dog.

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      • It worked — thanks.

        Ralph is nearing the end but gamely hanging in. Some days we think this is it and some days it seems he can go on forever. The vet just sold us a year’s worth of heartworm pills though — we’re not sure if she really thinks he’ll live another year or if she’s just hedging her bets.

        Looking forward to reading the entire Snowy story (every detail please) on Pippa’s blog. And hearing and seeing more of Pippa, of course.

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        • Oh that´s good :)

          Must make a beeline for Ralph´s although will be as me not Pippa, no time to log in and out as both.

          Snowy has a bulky diary although it has dropped off of late due to idleness on part of scribe.

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  6. Ah, the olden days :) I think you’ve discovered a secret some of the world, that part that wants our money and our time, doesn’t want us to realise. The olden days still exist, we can opt out, or in, depending on how you look at it any time we want. Not only have you a watch and a Bang & Olufsen but 2 dogs and Partner. You utilise your garden and kitchen. I love that you’ve exercised and are appreciating the choices available :)

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    • Actually I didn´t have any choice about most of them! Partner decided to take the pup, the ´phone packed up, and ok, the B&O was there a luckily so was a working watch. It´s all about making best use of what´s available though.

      It´s a very different life though. The good old days?

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  7. I had a mobile, long long time ago. if we can call it a mobile,, well I suppose it was because I could carry it, with effort mind, but carry I could..It actually made phone calls as well. lovely memory jerker.. enjoyed it.. ;) I still have a mobile and still makes phone calls, only difference is, it fits in my pocket..

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  8. Pleased to hear all is going fine and new pup is well.

    I never understand why people take their computer or mobile phone on holiday, a break from technology I’m sure is good for one. I remember the last work mobile phone I had was turned off the minute I got home.

    There is a new Internet service now in London, its live bus information. If I’m going to say Kingston it will tell me when the next 57 bus is due at the bus stop at the top of the road, so I can plan when to leave home to avoid a long wait.

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    • As fine as it can given my lack of contact with the world! Still have relatively cheap internet cafe, can appear now and again.

      I think there´s a lot about ego with people who refuse to relinquish their contact with work. Either they want to think they are indispensable or they are frightened for their job. Or both.

      That´s a neat service. Our bus service in the pueblo is pretty reliable, so I just wander down five minutes before it´s due. But that sounds a good service in your part of the world.

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  9. Lovely post. No matter how much we relish technology, it has robbed us of existence as human beings. Congrats for the i-phone. Same happens to me, I am not excellent in tech but has a smart phone and I-pad:)

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    • I am truly ambivalent about the internet. Maurice made some fine comments above about both the advantages and disadvantages.

      As for the iPhone, it will be my third, if it ever arrives as there are none in Gibraltar right now! No iPad me, but a Mac laptop and a desktop. Computers are fine, it´s the internet that niggles me.

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  10. The internet is a wonderful thing however. Unless it is managed it is a time waster. Work is much easier in that information is quicker and easier to access. At times I need data quickly and the evil Facebook can be so useful. I am still amazed what people say on Facebook and without any security settings.

    i repaired my now sold mopeds with the help of you tube. WordPress is frustrating on my ‘phone, it is also a huge consumer of time that i don’t have at the moment. I have limited my access to fleeting glances on my ‘phone and the occasional post when something ‘interesting’ happens.

    Yesterday I saw three workmen at lunch. Sitting with backs to each other each lost in their own little world of mobile technology. When I was a labourer we would read and discuss newspapers over out cheese butty and cold tea.

    Don’t even get me started on Dating. Whatever happened to good old fashioned chat.

    Glad you are on the mend.

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    • It can be ok. It is certainly a time waster. Unless you have time on your hands I see little added value in FB, Twits, et al. We have had good advice from a Land Rover forum (and also tried to provide advice too). i do find blogging much easier and an easier source of information. eg if people want to know about importing a vehicle into Gib, it´s all up there on one of my blogs. someone we knew wanted to do that, googled it, and my blog came up. I mean they could have asked us!

      Sans iPhone I am not commenting on blogs as tiny nokia is just ridiculous.

      Partner sits in glorious isolation at work, he doesn´t like the aircon in the shed, so when some of them have finished eating they go and sit and chat with him. They do look at his ´phone though – for dog piccies. Touch construction workers.

      Chat? Dating? There was never much chat where I was concerned. I mustn´t have met chatty men.

      Yup, ankle is much better ta. I must go down to the sea. And bathe my ankle in the briny waters. Trouble was last time, the pup wasn´t too keen on running in the nasty noisy wet sea.

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  11. The above was from the pen, forgot to log in … its the age you know.

    The internet is a wonderful thing however. Unless it is managed it is a time waster. Work is much easier in that information is quicker and easier to access. At times I need data quickly and the evil Facebook can be so useful. I am still amazed what people say on Facebook and without any security settings.

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  12. I love it when I’m internet free. When we go on vacation I usually leave everything behind and just enjoy life. Then I get back and I have to get caught up. But those glorious days are worth it.

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    • I think it is good for us to be internet free, but when you have a permanent connection and a computer sitting there, it is hard not to just click, so my few months away were very good. Reminded me of a past life. One, to be honest, that I’m sorry has gone. I’m not actually a fan of the internet!

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      • I hate mobiles. lived without one for two years when I first moved here. Now I have one, but I try not to use it. I do like to read books on it. It’s like a whole library in my pocket. That I like.

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        • We’ve been mobile-free a few times this century. Firstly when we left the UK, but then bought one just to keep in touch with my parents, and for them to be able to ring me. But then we chucked it again when we bought a house and got a land-line. We bought in again back in 2004 or 5 when my partner was in the UK and out of touch for days when he was on the road. No public ‘phones he claimed! Anyway, we’ve had them ever since. But no-one gets my number, it’s purely for emergencies or personal prattle to him. His are mainly for work, so we actually do use those quite a bit because of him working in construction and all over the place. Books on a mobile? !!!!

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  13. Hi :)
    What’s the little accent before phone `phone? Just curious. I assume you meant the iPhone.

    Before my iPhone, I had a BlackBerry. I was never hooked on this whole smartphone thing then, I kept forgetting to bring it with me, even. Then … a year and a half ago, I bought the iPhone, and it was Love! http://wp.me/p49mjc-1Y Didn’t take long before I bought an iPad and later a MacBook Pro.

    I love the Web! Wouldn’t want to be without it, and I have never had any negative experiences with it. I’m going to upgrade my iPhone next time … will be iPhone6 then, I guess. By then my contract with Bell will be up and I won’t have to pay as much for it.

    One thing about the Internet has me baffled, though, and I saw the word ‘dating’ mentioned here in one of the comments! ‘Online dating’ … I just don’t get it — don’t they ever watch crime shows on TV?!

    On an unrelated note: When I moved back to WordPress.com, I found out there was a way of exporting/importing also your subscriptions so I did that. Don’t think it worked all that well, though — it had missed several blogs, yours included, but now I’m signed up again :)

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    • Hi CW

      It’s because ‘phone is actually short for telephone, so when you abbreviate words it’s grammatically correct to use an apostrophe. A bit like when you shorten it is to it’s. Another example would be ‘flu, which is obv short for influenza. I know a lot of people don’t do it – or even know about it – but the pedant in me likes to be correct. Unless I’m feeling lazy of course!

      I remember your love of the iPhone :D I’ve worked on AppleMac for years – since the 80s, so when I could justify a new computer (difficult because the old IBM was invincible) I finally bought an iMac. Then when we bought Gibflat, I bought a MacBookPro for here, and eventually my partner bought me an iPhone (3). And liked it so bought himself one (3G). When our ID and cash was stolen from our Land Rover, my iPhone went too, so I ended up with his 3G.

      And bought me the 5C because of the lead not charging – in fact if he’d bought a new lead we could have saved a few hundred quid :D Anyway, he will be getting his back now I have the new one.

      I guess online dating is a bit more interactive than watching TV. Especially if you are single. I dont do either (TV or online dating!) I have neither time nor inclination.

      Thanks :)

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      • Okay, I got you, about the apostrophe. It was just here, it came out rather as a little accent … ` a grave one, so I thought perhaps it was something about keyboards in Spanish Internet Cafés. Here, they’re referred to as cellphones, so many people would abbreviate it ‘cell’ in daily speech.

        About the online dating; I meant that I would be too scared to do it, after having watched so many crime shows on TV … all the maniacs that appear to be so nice!

        Like

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