Thursday, 18 January 2018

A portent of parental problems

Today I’ve been incapable of writing the word ‘parents’ (even had to go back and correct that one). Every time, my fingers spell out p-a-r-t-e-n-t-s, autocorrect helpfully (not) makes it into portents.

Being away from home and with the wireless keyboard doesn’t help. I type happily then spot that nothing is happening on screen. Is it just being slow; will several lines of prose (matchless, natch) suddenly spill out, or has it lost concentration and attached its focus elsewhere?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my wireless keyboard, so does my back. I can sit properly and not have to hunch over the keyboard attached to the tablet, but it has its downsides. When I first turned it on and began to type, my phone sprang to life. The keyboard adores the phone and will connect to it in favour of any other device.

But despite some issues along the way, it has been a godsend. It must be at least a decade old. It’s an Apple one, but very sociable; it’ll speak to any device in range. Took me ages to figure it out when its love affair with my phone first began. ‘I can’t type anything,’ I cried in despair. ‘I can’t text. What’s the matter with this phone?’ It was the keyboard, inside its case, inside the laptop bag, in the cupboard at the other side of the room, murmuring sweet nothings and giving the phone full access to all it’s characters.

Some of those characters have themselves begun to show their age. They can stick. If I want to write the letter A three times in a row – aaagh! and the like – I must be gentle, or I’ll get a whole page and a far longer scream of anguish than I originally needed before I can persuade it to stop. The real devastation comes from the backspace delete key. Make the mistake of holding it down to get rid of a dozen or so words and it’ll fly through the entire manuscript like a demented reverse Pacman eating everything in its path. That’s not a mistake I’ll make twice.

And now on with the chapter containing all the p-a-r-e-n-t-s.

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