We’re Back From The Black

Day one of our technology hiatus and I was reading not one, but three books – anything to distract me from my lifeless looking laptop sitting in the cupboard.  My three books were Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Charlaine Harris’ Altogether Dead. I couldn’t seem to settle on one, even from hour to hour, and keep flitting from one to another as my mood took me. And I was moody. Oh so moody. The kids kept asking me what they’d done wrong – that can’t be good. So it seemed that so far the turning off of laptops hadn’t been great.

Night before we started this torment I went to G-town to pick up Miss16 and bring her back to Tin Can Bay. While I was in town I dropped in on a few friends including Maree & Denny. I spent a very present half hour trying to convince Denny of the benefits and joys of Facebook and computers, but despite what I think are solid, indisputable arguments – which as you know include keeping in touch, ease of banking & access to porn – I don’t think she was sold on the idea.

Tracey must have been feeling equally as mind-numb from no internet because she didn’t even notice I was missing for half an hour. By two o’clock I was sick of looking at my neutered laptop so we took the kids to the local bowls club (do you like how I say we took them, like it was exactly what they wanted and nothing to do with us) and they played in the kiddy area while Tracey and I enjoyed a relatively quiet drink. Naturally we were on call for disputes and hugs, but mostly we were able to sit there and discuss Christmas presents and our complete lack of any idea of what we’re buying. And because we have no internet we can’t even look up ideas on line.  

Furthermore, Miss16 was taking the whole ‘no laptops’ thing way too well, meaning I hadn’t even been able to enjoy her misery. I suspected when she’s sneaking off she was using the computer at her friends’ houses. Clever bitch. Wish I had friends. Tracey ducked down to the library a few times, and it occurred to me they have computers there. I was dying to ask her if she cheated, but then I thought I might also want to go to the library by myself to look for yet another book later (wink wink), so I thought I’d better keep my mouth shut. Meanwhile, I was really starting to wonder why I was bothering with this.

The next day went much smoother for me, until mid afternoon when my Kindle died (I should perhaps explain that while our techno hiatus started out as an all points ban, it has continued subject to certain exemptions – primarily it means no telly, no gaming devices and absolutely no internet, but Kindle can be used for reading and mobile for phone calls) I realized I didn’t bring the recharger cord (so much for that, just the mobile for the next few days). Reduced to a single book until I can get to the library, I spent the day reading a couple of pages and then lying on the lounge with my eyes shut – not sleeping, mind, because that would mean leaving Tracey to look after all the kids by herself and I wouldn’t do that to her. Afternoon did seem to go very fast though.

Miss16 had a lovely time styling Miss7 & Miss4’s hair for them, then we took the kids out for a photo shoot by the water (dodging jelly things on the sand) and ordered fish and chips for dinner. Only no-one wanted fish and chips except me (when did these kids start getting choices?), so there was also a heap of burgers and dagwood dogs. 
First place we went to order dinner was recommended to me by a customer in G-town, however the stupid shop didn’t take eftpos. I can’t believe the number of places down here which don’t take eftpos. It’s like the whole place is still living in the eighties.

And while I love how laid back and casual it all is, I’m driven to distraction by businesses which don’t want my money simply because they can’t see the notes and jiggle the coins. Madness.  The shop attendants are always quick to point out the closest ATM but if they aren’t prepared to harden up and face the 21st century then I’m not going to do it for them (until I get over myself and go to the bank – in this case the following night, and yes, the fish and chips at the recommended shop was far, far better).

So I had the second best fish and chips in Tin Can Bay followed by the best. Miss16 stayed out until 7.30 with some friends (we met her at the shop to buy her a burger). Night was drawing and colouring in with another platter of cheeses and I did some writing the old fashioned way – with paper and a pencil and no spell check. Blech!

By Friday we were in a much better place as a family (read as, I wasn’t so moody about not having my laptop turned on and facing me). Tracey did heaps of crafty things with the kids, including making sandcastles from toilet rolls, and was taking loads of photos and I went on two bike rides a day with the kids. Two! I’m thrilled I got to do this because G-town is not a good place to take kids riding, so it’s good to get a heap in while I can.

Even managed to carry Miss4’s bike down to the paths a couple of times so she could ride with her older siblings – she loved that. Usually I walk along side her and we go around a few blocks.

Master6 caused a few little accidents by riding into his sisters, which is beginning to tear his confidence apart. At one point he was walking his bike and refusing to ride because he was too dangerous, but we built him back up. Jeez, if being a little chaotic on the road was a reason to stay off them my folks would never be able to back over their letterbox and go shopping.

Tin Can Bay is just what we needed to recharge the batteries, and we recommend it to anyone wanting to go somewhere and do nothing (at a very reasonable price). But if you want restaurants, shops and excitement, avoid it like the plague. As we were leaving we met some lovely people across the road who let us look through their rental (in case ours sells and is no longer an option). They were horrified when we said we were there for two weeks.

“What did you do?” they asked. I’m thinking they came for 3 days and left for life.

But sadly it’s all over now. I’m definitely a net junkie though because now it’s Saturday and we’re home and all bags and bikes and assorted claptrap from the trailer are unloaded, but only as far as the balcony, and already I’m on my laptop trying to ignore my kids. Oh, well, they’ll get their chance again next month.


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