I have escaped from my unlooked-for exile! Yes, AOL responded to my partner's despair and I have risen, Lazarus-like, from the living death that is no internet connection.
It has been a bizarre fortnight of solitude. It is easy to forget how much one has come to rely upon the internet until the privilege is forcibly taken from one. I feel like I have been stranded on some godforsaken barren island for the last two weeks - I half expected Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle to appear at any moment and start dragging me towards a giant Wicker Dog.
But now we have a shiny new computer and, finally, a modem that actually works. My partner is busy reinstalling printers, scanners, etc. She realised that I have been pining for my journal, however, and has interrupted her labours to lift me into my typing chair so that I can happily resume the dispersal of my philosophical musings.
All of this has led me to ponder on how far we have come technologically in the past decade or two. My parter tells the story of how, in her first year at secondary school (back in 1986/87, way before I was even a bulbous head and a tail, swimming around in my sire's nads), she and her classmates were ushered into their first computing lesson with Mrs. Kearney. The teacher explained to them about an exciting new thing that we would, one day, all use daily called "electronic mail", and how it could be used to write an instant message to another computer, even one as far away as Hong Kong and, if the other person's computer was on, they could send a message straight back. And you could have a "real-time" conversation! Across continents! By computer! My partner and her class laughed. It seemed so inconceivable to them then. The Luddites. If only they had had MY foresight and wisdom; their laughter would not have been so disrespectful as it echoed across the rows of BBC Micros assembled in that computer room.
But enough of this. It may be recalled that, about a thousand years ago, my partner and her mother went to visit Buckingham Palace. One of the places to see is the Royal Mews, where dwell most of the Queen's Horses. There are usually a couple of the beautiful grey horses hanging around to be viewed, and the empty stalls of their colleagues working elsewhere (usually Horse Guards) can be inspected by the public. My partner and her mother also visited last summer and the main equine on display was a particularly handsome gentleman. My partner went this year armed with a camera, in case he should be there again. Alas, he was engaged elsewhere, but his stall was there. It is a true fact that Her Majesty the Queen personally names all the horses herself - she is a keen and talented horsewoman, as you may already know. Well, take a look at this:
Of how Her Majesty can have heard of me, in order to honour me with a namesake horse, I have no idea. According to my partner, however, when she visited the Mews last year the equine Jasper was belligerent and potty-mouthed. He resolutely refused to turn and face the tourists so all they had to take pictures of were his buttocks. He snorted angrily and, at regular intervals, kicked the door or wall of his stall so violently that the crash could be heard clearly on the other side of the courtyard. Thank heavens, we share only a name and not a temperament. I wouldn't mind a ride in one of the State Carriages though...
Ahh, it's good to be back.