MacPhail: forced to embrace the modern world

Want to read more?

We value our content  and access to our full site is  only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Different people having different skills and knowledge is one of the bedrocks of human survival.

If we were all good at the same things and not good at the same things, the operation of the world would be much more of a struggle than it is already.

Computers, social media, websites and all related activity are areas of skill and knowledge in which I am certainly lacking. I realise in such a technology and internet driven age, this is a part of life that should be fully embraced. However, I have not got round to embracing it yet.

I fear the shying away from these advances in the present age is akin to an ancestor of a few millenniums ago saying: ‘No, I don’t like that fire stuff, it’s just too modern for me. I don’t really understand it and we survived very happily without it before. And it’s dangerous. And I just don’t like it. I’m off to kill a few more bears to get their coats. That’s how to keep warm! These fire things are just a flash in the pan. I hear some of these strange folk in the cave next door are putting their food in it now. That is ridiculous and taking it too far. Anyone for a leg of boar?’

Last week, I came a step closer to embracing the tech age when, as a 40th birthday present, Ania’s brother had set up a blogging page for me. Lots of folk have suggested this to me and for a long time now I’ve been meaning to get round to it, so it was a welcome surprise.

My brother-in-law Maciek is a computer scientist so setting up and operating a blog is like a gourmet chef boiling a potato. Poor Maciek also had the job of giving me a tutorial in how to work the blog and the vast chasm in our computing skills and knowledge was hilarious. Without him having the patience of a very laid back saint, I’m sure he would have thrown the laptop through the window.

Luckily, he is of good humour so it was an enjoyable and entertaining experience. Terminology and operation that to him and the ‘tech savvy’ are second nature, to me are a foreign language in an unknown territory.

I came to the conclusion it was like someone being shown a house for the first time and learning how to use it.

Maciek: ‘O you go through the main door here to get in.’

Me: ‘Okay.’

Maciek: ‘Stop. That’s the window.’

Me: ‘And I can’t go through that?’

Maciek: ‘No. Well, actually you can, but it’s more complicated and you might break it, so stick to the door.’

Me: ‘Okay. The door won’t open. This door must be faulty, it seems jammed.’

Maciek: ‘Use the handle.’

Me: ‘Okay. What’s a handle?’

Maciek: ‘Swearing in Polish, German and English all at the same time!’

After some time we got through all the necessary steps to get me up and running and hopefully next week will be live and you can visit to read more of my literary ramblings.