Radio Silence

Radio silence is assumed while we weather a storm. In the real world outside the sun is shining but inside a digital maelstrom is raging.

It starts with my phone, memory full of photographs, unable to function. Then transferring the pictures onto my computer causes complications and data is seemingly lost. I am distraught. Out of my depth technically and swimming madly around trying to save cherished memories. Calling help desks who can’t help and frantically typing in silent online ‘chats’ where no-one says a word.

The internet connection here is frustratingly slow and unable to deal with the task in hand, I have apparently 13,000 images trapped in a cloud which rains only data. So I decamp to a friend’s house who generously offers me use of their unlimited broadband and endless cups of tea as I try to sort out the problem.

My treasured photographs: holidays, weddings, kid’s birthday parties, our pets long deceased, are torn into so many million tiny bytes which flutter invisibly towards my computer. I wait anxiously for the familiar faces to arrive back in one piece. Loved ones on the journey of a lifetime. The download takes all night and when I return to my friend’s house, who has now wearily given me her door key saying ‘just make yourself at home’,  it’s all I can do not to burst into tears. The exodus has failed. The giant album, which merged an old format with a new, has inexplicably split saving only half onto the computer and burying the rest deep in an external hard drive so inaccessible to me they are as good as lost.

More calls to the help desk. More silently tapped conversations and an unsettling experience where an IT expert in another country can see my computer screen like he is looking over my shoulder. We conclude the journey must be undertaken again.

Another 12 hours of data transfer. Another anxious wait. Since starting this blog my phone and computer have become a friendly interface with the wider world, a window through which I can see almost anything and others can see me. I don’t like it like this, my computer tasked on a job without me, the shutters down and the curtains closed.

I have gained so much from the online world. Rather than full of trolls and weirdos I’ve met a vibrant eclectic mix of genuine people, generous with their knowledge or interested in what I have to offer. I’ve found it inspirational, motivational and more than anything an antidote to a sometimes lonely lifestyle.

It took the best part of a week to sort out the technical problems and then another frantic week to get on top of the jobs I should have been doing when I was sorting out the IT. On the back burner till winter, when the demands of the garden and kitchen have eased a little, is the mammoth task of sorting through all those photographs and reducing them to a more manageable size. But finally now hello again, it’s nice to be back.

If you enjoyed reading this post why don’t you follow my blog by clicking the blue link at the top of the sidebar on this web page or if you are reading on a mobile phone, by scrolling to the bottom. Follow me on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter bird-icon on the photograph of my house at the top of the web page or use the ‘stay in touch’ section at the  end of the sidebar on the right. Readers on a mobile phone will find the Twitter icon at the very top or by scrolling to the end.


9 thoughts on “Radio Silence

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  1. Oh God, I had minor image issues this week, but nothing like this! It is horrible losing cherished photos of family. So glad you eventually sorted it out. I was thinking about why it is so stressful when we have software issues. The technology we rely on most day-to-day might be a bit like the people we rely on most. When they are not functioning as normal our world suddenly feels very fragile!! And then when it is sorted, it feels like the planets and stars have been put back in the right place again.

    1. Yes! It’s amazing how much I’ve come to rely on them… it was just a few years ago we were living here without electricity never mind wifi and blogging and social media … now like you say the world only feels right with them in place.

    1. Thank you Mala,thank you! The writing is the main reason I started the blog, the other things like meeting so many lovely people and so many fresh ideas and inspiration have come as an unexpected bonus. I started writing because I love it and yes, I would like to write a book one day. I have a few ideas for trashy chick-lit page turners I’d like to try … although if Penguin want me to do something based on this blogI wouldn’t turn them down! Ha ha although not holding my breath!

      1. Because of the blog you will have a treasure trove of ideas and already written bits. I thought there was a children’s book lurking in your post about your son and the owls.

      2. Love the idea of a writing a children’s story – I’m the librarian in the local school too! The owl story is a great idea for a place to start, thank you. Will you want commission?!

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