Friday, 15 August 2008


I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I am a technophobe. It’s not that I am scared of electronic gismos and gadgets. It’s just that I really don’t understand. It’s like trying to do ‘O’ level chemistry when you can’t light your Bunsen burner. There are so many gaps in my basic knowledge that whenever someone tries to explain I sort of glaze over and then do that thing when you pretend you get it but just get further and futher lost.

I do want to learn. I really do so I have been trying to introduce things to my life gradually. Of course I can internet shop and send emails. I’m not a complete write-off but after that I wasn’t sure. I decided to start with a personal organiser.

After dropping a few hints, my husband who was clearly delighted that his wife was emerging from her post-birth fog, bought me a very basic Palm for Christmas. I spent most of Boxing Day inputting addresses and birthdays. It was all very encouraging and even the children were interested in it. It promised to make writing next year’s cards much less stressful and it even gives me a week’s notice of impending birthdays by beeping at me at regular intervals. I still get a little embarrassed when I have to make notes of dental appointments and the like whilst the receptionist hovers with a little card and it annoys me that I can’t really see a week’s worth of events all in one go but I have stuck with it. I’m in to my third year of a paperless diary. Perhaps there is hope for me after all.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Tuesday 2nd September is a Red Letter Day in the life of Imogen Clark. My youngest child will start school. This should give me the opportunity to take my life to some new and exciting places that are difficult to explore within the confines of the needs of preschool children.

I thought I might start by trying to embrace the ever moving world of technology. When I left work to bring up my children in May 2000, I had a PC on my desk but it was a new fangled thing that was more for show than any practical use. My secretary did all my typing and amended all my documents. Occasionally, an email, that wasn’t an office circular sent by someone fresh up North from London, would disturb my train of thought by popping up unannounced. For a client to have access to my personal space in this way was unheard of. My mobile was my own and I guarded the number preciously. I didn’t want any old person bothering me. It was strictly for my nearest and dearest and,in dire emergency,nursery to contact me. If clients wanted me then wasn’t that what the switchboard was for?

It all sounds rather quaint now but that really was how it was and I liked it. However, I left and spent the next 8 ½ years in a turmoil of tots and their needs. I had two girls when I left work and I now have another daughter and a son so there hasn’t been much time for technology. I was mildly interested in nursery cameras that popped up a picture of your sleeping bairn whilst you watched Coronation Street but really I was so bogged down in the minutia of the stay at home mum that I had neither the energy nor the inclination to open my eyes to the world outside my front door.

I don’t want to give the impression that no technology has impinged on my world at home. I like to take advantage of the mobile upgrade offers that are thrust at me so that I can change the colour of my phone from time to time and Sky + has revolutionised my TV viewing ( of which there is plenty.) However I think it would be fair to say that the world of technological advances saw me absorbed in babydom and sneaked by when I wasn’t looking. So what to do?