Friday, June 07, 2013

Yet More, Silly, Random Thoughts ....

from Jacqueline

I still have my cold, though it is abating.  My sinuses are raw, my ears ringing, but I have tried your wonderful recipes for hot toddies and other cold rescue drinks – thank you, all ye who left contributions – and they are all wonderful.  Particularly interesting was the experience of going for the Nyquil after a toddy with a liberal lacing of whisky. Slept like a log!

A few weeks ago, my fellow Naked Author, Ridley Pearson, gave you a series of great posts about using your iPad. I was so impressed, so very awed by the fact that he was using his iPad in such a creative and industrious manner.  I wish I could say the same for me and my iPad

I was very excited about my iPad, when I bought it about 18 months ago – that would make it a first generation iPad.  Actually, it might have been two years and six months ago – time flies, doesn’t it?  I expected my iPad to revolutionize work when I traveled.  But even though I bought Docs To Go and a couple of other apps for scriveners like myself, I never managed to write a word outside of emails.  I gave myself a painful wrist during a brief addiction to solitaire (I believe there will be a whole generation of kids with serious repetitive motion injuries due to excessive use of these instruments), and I downloaded a few books along the way, which certainly lightened the carry-on load when I boarded a plane.  But now, my iPad languishes for weeks and I don’t even pick it up. 

There are no photographs available of iPads languishing unused. They've probably all been removed from the internet by Apple.

I bought the Vanity Fair app because I like the magazine – I harbor a secret dream (not so secret now) that one day I will get a call from editor Graydon Carter asking me to join the list of “contributors” to the magazine.  What he would want me to write about isn’t really clear to me, though I am sure we could rustle up something together. I was never really put out by the fact that it hadn’t happened, after all, with the likes of the late Christopher Hitchens, William Langewiesche and other literary luminaries writing for VF, it would be a bit of a miracle if Mr. VF suddenly clutched his head and said, “Get me Winspear on the ‘phone … I must have Winspear on the masthead.” 

Then I read last week that Pippa Middleton has received the call.  I have nothing against the Middleton family. I think they have comported themselves with a great deal of grace and dignity in the face of all sorts of criticism since the royal wedding - but heck, Hitch would roll in his grave.  I will stop my digression right there, because that was not terribly nice of me to take issue with Pippa and Vanity Fair.  

There are no photographs available with Pippa Middleton and Vanity Fair, but buy the July issue and you may see one or two.  You will see her name on the masthead, that's for sure!

I don’t know why I purchased the VF app, because I buy the printed version anyway.  I like the actual paper magazine because it gives me a kick to start by tearing out all the advertisements before I begin reading.  I wonder if I’m the only person to be so destructive. It all started when I became really fed up with not being able to find pages indicated on the table of contents because there were so many unnumbered pages of ads.  So, I began taking out the ads before attempting to read further, and I have never looked back.  I know … I definitely won’t be getting any calls from Mr. VF now.

This brings me to books.  One of my reasons for my iPad acquisition, was to be able to take multiple books on my travels and not put my back out in three places just getting the hand-baggage in the overhead locker.  And though I have bought a fair few ebooks, the fact remains that I am a book person who likes paper and board, who uses stickies to mark pages and who likes to share a good book with friends and family. The fact that the iPad has been sitting under a pile of books for about a month without being touched should tell you something. Perhaps this is something to do with the fact that I was born of a generation in Britain who were raised in the days when Carry On was a series of hilarious slapstick movies, not something you staggered under on your way to your flight.

My best purchase, really, is my Mac Air.  Light, easy to carry, great to work with – now that really is a piece of useful technology.  My much older, heavier, MacBook is now The Mothership – she stays home and keeps everything safe. She babysits the iPad, makes sure he doesn’t get above himself.

I confess, before I leave my iPad musings, that I was sorely tempted by that natty small iPad when I picked it up in the Apple store a few weeks ago. I wanted to hold it in my palm and stroke it – it was that cute!  Then I remembered The Forgotten iPad under the pile of books, and went along to my favorite bookstore for some real indulgence.  You can really browse in a bookstore. 

Onto the more serious matter of my personal safety.  I have come to the conclusion that for the past year or so I have not been paying sufficient attention - perhaps to life itself – to keep myself out of trouble.  You know the story of the flying horse manure that went into my eye, and my subsequent eyelid problems. They continue, but – believe it or not – acupuncture and 3000mg of fish oil per day are helping, as is a hot water compress with an herb called “eyebright” in it. 

But I wonder what’s going on with me sometimes.  Take yesterday.  I wanted to go through the house with my vacuum cleaner at some point in the evening – I know, I know, but it is June, so someone has to do it.  I placed the aforesaid vacuum cleaner in the bedroom, then sort of became engrossed in something else (probably searching for my iPad).  Then my friend called to ask if I wanted to go for a walk.  So, by the time I’d hiked for over an hour, arrived home, had a shower and then a bite to eat, it was dark.  I went into the bedroom – without turning on the lights - and as I walked in I fell over the vacuum cleaner, crashed into the wall, bashing my right arm, (yes, the one with a steel rod in it from a previous accident)  Then I rebounded and was sort of wrapped around the vacuum cleaner, which jettisoned me to the ground, whereupon I whacked my right leg  (the one with the hamstring tear from three years ago that still hurts) and bashed my left knee (the one that was operated on in February).  You’re beginning to get the picture here, I know.  Today I have a bumpy bruise on my thigh that makes me look as if I have had an eggplantectomy.

 Or for my friends in the UK, a case of Auberginitis.

So, having planted this image in your minds, I bid you farewell – until next Friday.  Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are.  And let me tell you this – the friend who told me to get a Miele vacuum cleaner because it will stand up to a beating, was right.  I tried to beat the you-know-what out of that thing – with my good arm, of course – and it still stands there, sucking up the abuse.


  1. Our J, my goodness--what an ordeal you've been through. On the bright side, good thing you had a Miele and not a 500 pound Kirby as I do. That baby would have done some serious damage.

    I guess I don't have to remind you to BE CAREFUL!!!


  2. from Jacqueline

    I'm doing my best to keep out of trouble. The Miele is a fairly recent, rather grown-up purchase. I realized that over the years I had been buying cheap vacuum cleaners that were just not doing the job, or falling to bits after minimal use. My friend has had her Miele for over 15 years now, and I realized that, despite the initial eye-watering outlay, the per year costs were cheaper than mine, with my various cheap models. But Patty - you have a 500lb vacuum cleaner??? Dear Lord!

  3. Sandy Topping6/07/2013 11:00 AM

    I sympathize. As a child, my mother often told me, "I knew there was a reason I didn't name you Grace!" A friend once referred to me a the only combination of schlemiel and schlemazel he had ever met. (The schlemiel spills the soup; it lands on the schlemazel.) Somehow, hearing about your tribulations makes me feel a wee bit better...

  4. Well, 500 pounds is a wee exaggeration but it's an incredibly heavy piece of equipment. I had a Miele, which my cleaning person destroyed in short order. When I sent it to vacuum heaven, it was splintered and covered with duct tape. Poor thing.

  5. from Jacqueline

    Seriously, I always wanted Grace to be my middle name. I love the name. I think I might not be so accident-prone if I were a Grace.

  6. Jacqueline,
    Vanity Fair magazine would be very, very, very, very lucky to have you as one of their "contributors". It will be a feather in their cap to have you! Bummer about the cold and hope you feel better soon in time to enjoy the summer.


  7. Oh my, we need to try to keep you a bit safer. Too bad we can't just have a robot maid like on the Jetsons . . .
    I still do most of my reading with books on paper, the Kindle is handy for out-and-about reading in waiting rooms.
    I have also been known to tear ads from magazines, especially the ones on extra-heavy paper because they make it hard to keep pages open to what I actually want to read. Once I weighed the Reader's Digest with and without ads -- quite discouraging. If the balance shifts any further, I'm going to ask them to pay me to take a subscription . . .

  8. I do so love your posts. You make me laugh.