When I said we had spent the whole two and half weeks without internet, she sighed and said, “Bliss!”
And do you know what? She was right.
As it happens I love the internet. I think it’s an incredible tool and can offer huge opportunities for learning, reading and even making very good friends. But there was something “extra” about being semi-techless for that time. We had no proper phone signal for the two weeks we were in St. Ninian’s place, which was no problem to most of us – but once the girlfriend had to go home, the second week of Signal searching for the sake of love, was hard on Josh (although strangely there was a way of sitting in one chair upstairs in such a position that he was able to phone the Beloved LOL).
There was also a lot of time for us all to read. This was enhanced by visits to Wigtown where books are a-plenty.
So, am I going to say that all that time without internet connection was good? Well, yes it was. Nevertheless, I am not saying that being without the internet is good over all. I didn’t get much writing done because I had nowhere to check facts. My husband thinks this was good as I was supposed to be resting – he points out.
It was lovely to have everyone sitting around reading. I had preloaded the Kindle with all sorts of goodies, including a lot of audio for my “kitchen time”.
I had “The K Handshape” by Maureen Jennings as beach reading. I didn’t much like it I’m afraid. She is the writer of the Murdoch Mysteries – a TV series on Alibi which is pretty reasonable. I was disappointed by the banal two dimensional stereotypes of the characters. I had bought it because it purported to have an insight into Deaf culture. It had some basic insights, but nothing you could get your teeth into. The root of the story about a Deaf woman who had deliberately conceived a Deaf child could have been fascinating – but wasn’t explored. There was no ethical consideration – just that she had done it and received some (of the usual kind in stories) hate mail. BORING!
Far more interesting and with more complicated characters was the book by Robert Hugh Benson “By What Authority?” Benson himself felt the book was over emotional and that he had put some cultural thoughts into his characters that where more Victorian than truly Elizabethan. He had written it, he says, around the time of his own conversion, which explains some of the colour.
We get another look at St Edmund Campion who also appears in Benson’s more famous book “Come Rack! Come Rope!”
The love story has some surprising twists in it and the history is well researched and told plainly. I wish he had said more about the uprising in the north, which apparently happened after some promises to the Catholic community up there were reneged on – but it was not part of this tale.
The other short book I read was The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne of all people. I didn’t know until I came across this book on Many Books that he had ever written for adults, let alone a murder story. However, there is a definite ‘Winnie-the-Pooh” humming moment to make you smile. Good little story.
Audio wise I listened to Heretics by G.K.Chesterton and began listening to the Catholic Lab podcasts which are packed with fascinating information. The disadvantage of no internet was being unable to check out the links Mr. Maxwell offers with each podcast. I really do recommend these podcasts for your teens or even younger ones (except the TOB ones of course).
Now that we are back and have the internet again I am going to try and ensure that it doesn’t eat into reading time. Term will start all too soon and I know my chances of reading much then will be greatly reduced – so now is the time.
One other thing that may seem minor – but is pretty major to me – is that I have returned from this holiday feeling pretty well. Last year’s holiday of one week was so exhausting I ended up with a severe flair and a visit to A&E – not something any of us wanted to have happen again. Reading is good for flare avoidance as well as for the soul :)