Monday 9th July 2012
Dan’s gadgets; Louise’s dismay
“HELP me, somebody, please.”
Louise was upstairs. Her cry lacked conviction. Dan looked up only briefly to call out…
“Hang on a minute!”
…before continuing to instruct us in something called ‘going online’. I watched, feigning interest, but my attention had started to wander earlier, when he began talking about ‘browsing the best London sights’.
I knew I would end up feeling quite miserable if Brendan and I were to spend the next few days looking at a computer.
Dan liked his gadgets. He had insisted on taking us for a ‘rapid tour of the place’ in order to explain ‘basic systems’, which meant he wanted to show us various timers, boilers, cookers, switches, buttons, lighting controllers, climate controllers, locks, clocks and the barrels of alcohol fermenting in the cellar.
“And as many channels as you could wish for.”
He pointed a device at the large wall screen, pressing buttons, producing a rapid display of pictures…
“I’ve got to go out!” Louise entered the room, seemingly distraught.
…of a busy street, a stream, a man talking, people on horseback…
“My favourite sandals! The strap’s gone. I’ve got to get another pair.”
…of figures dancing, a church, me, two women behind a desk, children singing…
“Can’t you buy some when w––”
“Dan! Dan! Go back! It’s her! Her!”
“Just now! Go back! Go back!”
Louise stared at me. Dan pressed buttons. My face appeared on the screen.
“Turn it up! Turn it up! Shush!”
I have to admit to being very impressed by the engineering that makes it possible for moving pictures to appear everywhere and anywhere in this busy world.
The woman whose image we were watching on the screen, however, does not, in my opinion, look as tall as that in real life.
“I was a doctor,” I heard myself declare, when Dan made the sound louder. “But Rhetan people do not think being a doctor is a job. It is a joy.”
The picture changed to a man outside the hotel, telling us:
“Number Ten has responded by issuing this short statement…”