Saturday, February 14, 2009

DIARY 95 - Fresh VIstas

Well, we've been here in Abbey House now for three weeks or so. Still no sign of the deposit from our old flat being returned. One of us is going to have to get stroppy soon, and it looks like that role will fall to me, as David is on retreat for the next nine days. David being on retreat is a bit of foretaste of what it may be like when he's away for four months on his ordination retreat, which is coming up sooner than I think. I'll just have got used to his long term absence when he'll be back, and I have to re-adjust once more. I can imagine it feeling as if I've been temporarily widowed for four months. For some reason this brings to mind the film The Return of Martin Guerre, where this chap returns saying he's Martin Guerre, but no ones quite certain, then most folk become convinced he is who he says he is, until its revealed he was an impostor after all. So, David goes off to be ordained, returning under a different name. Does he return the same person? There is an tiny little anxiety gremlin about whether our relationship will also undergo some sort of subtle change? But the, I've been through the same course, and yes, you can return with a stronger sense of who you are, and your potential, but on a certain level you do remain much the same bloke.

Perhaps this is what I've needed all along - a sleep bra!!

I can sense a gradual change for the better in my well being. Having regularly slept well, surprise, surprise, I feel more rested, sharper in mind, and hence more alert and engaged. I'm meditating every day without fail, which is also a boon. I also think not sharing a bed that was too small for two grown men to inhabit comfortable,helps too. Each of us can be a very restless sleeper. Many is the time that David's sleepless shifting and tumbling around has shook me awake, I'm sure its been the same for him. Now ,we just have literally more physical space around us, I don't have cold damp air falling down overnight onto my shoulders from the bedroom wall, or being disturbed by noisy inhabitants of the other flats. Or the increasing amounts of extraneous noise from drunken folk staggering home from clubs and pubs, the loud swearing, arguments and bellowing conversations down their mobiles, all of these things were having a deleterious effect on my state of relaxation and mind. With this stuff largely history, I have consequently been feeling a growing stability and confidence re-establishing itself. I feel more able to engage with and tackle elements in my life that I have previously felt discomforted by. I am still getting tense and anxious, but I feel more capable of containing that, without it overspilling and preventing me from taking action.

David suggested this week, that having a Web Cam installed on my computer would mean I could talk face to face with friends, who live distantly, or abroad. Rather than nattering expensively down the phone line, I could do it for nowt online. Good idea I thought, so I acted immediately and bought a Web Cam. Poor David, must have lived to regret making that suggestion. For two nights before he went off to have his 'brahmas vihara'd', he grappled to install two different types of web cam thingy onto my computer. The first version proved not to be even compatible with Vista. So we tried again with a supposedly Vista compatible version, and still no joy. Everything seems happy to go ahead with the installation, except Vista. It seems to be a complicated matter of convincing Vista that the web cam's driver and software is not an alien invasion, so it can stop being defensive. Paradoxically its Vista that behaves like a virulent virus, lurking unseen in the background,and subversively sabotaging. After all, this is just my computer, its filled with stuff that's largely inconsequential to anyone else but me, there are no secret files, it doesn't need protecting as if its the Pentagon. In the end David was getting so tense and frustrated with it all, he decided to leave it until he returns Sunday week. This is a guy who spends his every working day with computers and their contrary behaviour. God knows what I would have done had I been attempting to do this myself, well, actually, I'd just have given up on the idea and got a refund on the camera.

From my experience of it, Windows Vista seems to be the first genuine attempt at a regressive software package, that noticeable worsens the ease and accessibility of Home Computing for the general public. It sets it back ten years, rather than taking it forward. I can wait up to fifteen minutes after first turning it on, before I can do anything on it that doesn't take an age to log on to, or instantly freeze. It never informs you exactly what it is doing at any moment, or asks you whether its a good time for this, it just goes ahead benevolently installing all its own updates (never anyone else's). David keeps threatening to take off Vista and install Windows XP instead, but that's a bit of a large job to ask him to do. But then, perhaps, life would be truly be perfect.

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