It's been a big week for us: we're now homeowners. The last few days have revolved around cardboard boxes, being thoroughly terrified of the wobbly ladder to our attic, and trying to work out what to do first in an endless list of furniture to be bought and things to be painted. Making such a big step in life has the tendency to make one feel reflective, and as I sit here in our kitchen looking out the window at the trains trundling by, I'm thinking about a number of things.
The first, naturally, is about technology and the Internet. It wouldn't be my blog if it that wasn't the first item on the list. I've not had a connection for the previous few days, partly because we were waiting for an engineer to climb the pole to the junction box at our new place, and partly because Three has the worst mobile reception I've ever encountered in Brighton; in fact, I'm convinced that Three is an exercise in meditation, letting go and controlling my own urges, as when I get the twitch to check my emails or Twitter account I usually can't. But anyway, that's an aside. Each time I go without an Internet connection I really notice how much of my brain I've delegated elsewhere to be replaced via quick searches, emails or my bookmarks. Yesterday I considered where to buy paint from, yet I had no idea where the nearest supplier was, and when considering further and thinking about asking our neighbours, I realised I don't even know half of the road names around here, since I lazily delegate that to my GPS. And in my very own Big Yellow Taxi moment, it became apparent just how much the technology that we're building has had a profound effect on our lives, and how I really wouldn't want to be without it. I was considering cycling ever-bigger concentric circles on my bike, but it was raining, so that was put on the back-burner.
The second is perhaps more profound, and I wonder whether I can muster the eloquence to portray my thoughts here, but I'll give it a go. The house we're in now has wonderful natural light; there are windows in every room, and especially notable is a beautiful long window as you walk up the staircase, which lets in the light in the morning. The flat we lived in previously was quite the opposite; there was very little light from the outside world, and much like hibernating animals we lived in stasis for a number of years, putting everything aside for a moment in the future which has now passed. Given the light and mirrors I've seen myself from a number of different angles over the past few days, and I've changed; a bit older, a bit wiser, a bit busier. Technology is addictive, and it's a pleasure to spend my professional life helping build it. But away from the screen the seasons are changing, and whether we like it or not, so are we. Look around.