Monday, 20 April 2009

all in working order


I had half an hour to spare today so I dug out the typewriter I bought at Dauntsey car boot last summer. It works. When I started work, we had wang wordprocessors and I remember something called WP? Does that sound right? But in those advanced technological offices, there was always a typewriter to do the envelopes or the labels. Office software was very much in its infancy, with every year bringing untold advances in administrative magic.
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I thought I'd broken my little 'quiet deluxe' when I tried to change the ribbon last year. Fortunately I haven't. It works quite nicely. I bought it so that I could incorporate type into some of the pieces I made at college. I didn't use it as my work changed tack and it has sat, gathering an impressive layer of dust, under my cupboard in my office.
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When I finally banish the family PC from my room it is going to take pride of place next to my
laptop.
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I practised typing on it today and the difference in how the keys felt and the position my hands had to be in made typing more effortful. It really made each word feel very significant and I became very conscious of spelling each word and making it look good on the page.
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I'd forgotten what that feels like. I am so used to having documents pre-formatted and prepared for me. I think the way we click-click away on the PC makes it almost mindless and then what happens? People like me start blogging! The process of producing words on screen and online is so easy and so quick and so changeable it's no wonder we all want to have a go.
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My car-boot typewriter is probably about sixty years old and looks well-used. I am sure it would have been a prized possession, a way for its owner to write quickly and probably in triplicate. Now, we can all rustle up an email and send its message far and wide. Maybe sometimes our thoughts and ideas don't really need to travel that far.
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Perhaps its good sometimes to think a little longer and consider the words more carefully before unleashing them on, say, a couple of people to start with.
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Whatever we think, the cat is well and truly out of the bag. We do so many things now, simply because we can. Sometimes I think it might be worth spending a couple of minutes considering whether we should.
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PS: scary low mood has passed, planting beans in sunshine and early nights over the weekend worked wonders. Thanks for all kind thoughts and messages. Sorry to have been glum.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

I recently bought an old typewriter on Etsy for the kids to play with. They think it's hilarious that they type too fast for the keys to keep from becoming stuck in a big bunch!
I think the sun is making it's way through blogosphere... every I've gone today, it's been sunny. ;)

Only Me said...

Wow - you have really triggered a trip down memory lane for me - heading off to Devizes School for evening classes at the age of 16 - bashing out the 'quick brown fox' again, again and again! My teacher was very glam and had very long brightly painted fingernails and high heels.

My first job with scary new boss and three lots of carbon paper per letter and plenty of mistakes!

Anyway, i'll stop waffling now and check my emails...