Friday, 28 November 2014

Working in Bucolic Bliss

I gave up having a landline telephone in my workshop.
A mobile phone gets no signal.
It's an oasis of calm, just me, some clay and the radio. The radio is turned down low. It's there for background, it sets the mood and music is something I've always enjoyed. It's damp, the radio is covered in clay and slip, the parts that are not made of plastic are getting rusty. The arial has to be in a certain position to work, the on off switch does not always work and it is locked on to BBC radio 6. When I'm working I am focussed onto what I am making and the music that does not appeal gets filed away in the back of my consciousness.
If it's good, I'll ramp it up, cut a jig around my pot. Throw a few shapes as it were;  Dad dancing in private bliss.

It's not that I want to return to a bygone era. Lone craftsman forging a meagre existence next to nature. It's more of a desire to escape from twenty first century hassle. All those unwanted phone calls, spurious faults with Microsoft on my computer ... er I have a mac!
Did you know you may be eligible for a government grant for insulation/new boiler/solar panels ... no thanks, not old enough!
Our records show that you may have been involved in an accident in the last two years ... Grrrrr, really?

Get three of those in a morning and the simmering anger builds. I whack the pots harder and concentration goes, thinking of all the rude things I should have shouted instead of my polite reply.
It's difficult to ignore the ringing phone. If it's away in the house I can't hear it. Spam callers invariably don't leave a message so I am none the wiser to their scam. The phone doesn't get covered in clay and I don't get high blood pressure. Folks that know us call later when the nuisance callers have long gone, having dialled their quota of guile from their list of numbers.

Nearly everything we do now is on line, so straight after breakfast, do the emails, see what amusing antics are on Facebook, send stuff.
And then the computer switches itself off. No blue smoke, no fireworks, just a blank screen and nothing, that's it. Kaput.
A case of HAL turning off Dave. Not even "Sorry Dave, the answers in the affirmative, you can't get in".

So where's the yellow pages when you need them?
Find numbers for the Apple shop and end up talking to another computer. To book an appointment with a Genius (?) can only be done on line ... But I DON"T HAVE A BLOODY COMPUTER!
Our mobile phone is a museum piece. Make calls, receive calls, send text.

I am screwed, marooned in my idilic bliss. Do I flag down a passing tractor?
Catch a pigeon?
Message in a wood fired bottle?
It seems that I can't make simple pots without technology.


So, leave your name and your number, and I'll get back to you.