Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Silver Surfers

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come
back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

This has absolutely nothing to do with the news that Joan Barker, aged 75, is one of the three winners of Silver Surfer of the Year. The others were Dora Pegge, 93 and Pauline Davis at 83.

Joan lives in sheltered accommodation in London and learnt how to surf the net some time ago. She had had lessons and now has a laptop of her own, and this way keeps in touch with her children and grandchildren in Italy.

I’m hoping that my mum has read this by now, as we are getting her a laptop for Christmas. I thought some time ago that she would enjoy a computer – she can touchtype, she has lots of friends all over the world, and she’s very bright so she will pick up how to work it very quickly.

Originally my brothers and I were going to all club together and get a new one but they are financially indisposed so rather than wait any longer for them, we have decided to get her a secondhand one with a warranty. (So no one else is getting any presents this year, OK?!)

I’ve managed to find someone who will install it for her - someone she can ring up when things go wrong (as they always do) and now all we need is for it to arrive for the end of the month when she will come and play with our laptop, take hers home and get it fixed up. Then she’s going to go to her local library for lessons so she can go back and practise at home. Well, that’s the plan.

Like any newcomers to the world of computers and the internet, she was terrified when I first mentioned it, and needed a bit of cajoling.

‘I don’t know,’ she said, with that pursed look. ‘I’m not sure about it at all.’

My heart sank at her lack of enthusiasm, but having talked about it over the weekend, she was markedly more cheerful. Since then she’s talked to other friends who are computer literate, and the last time she phoned she was quite excited about it all.

‘I should have got one ages ago,’ she burbled. ‘I can’t wait!’

I hope to god it lives up to expectations. One thing’s for sure. This blog will have a new reader, so I’d better be careful what I write in future.

20 comments:

Dee said...

Oh what fun! I think it's great that she wants to give it a go. I wish my dad would.. but sooner will the air be clean in London!

Flowerpot said...

dee - good to see you again though I still can't leave comments on your blog - very strange. Says access denied or something. yes, I think Mum will really enjoy it when she gets into it!

laurie said...

i'm so glad you're doing this. my mother is at her computer all day long--emailing us weird stuff she finds on the 'net, looking at YouTube, etc.

she's 80.

i've been trying to persuade my mother-in-law to use a computer, but she's more timid.

and what do you mean, you're not getting me a present this year????

Philipa said...

I'd like to applaud as my father (78 ys old) is great with computers and ended up showing the computer teacher all about digital imaging when he took a course. Unfortunately my mothers use of a mobile phone is not at all encouraging - she never turns it on! I keep trying to tell her that the phone is so people can call her not just for use as a pocket phone box to make calls. She turns it on when she wants to make a call and then, more often than not, finds it needs charging. So from this experience I would suggest making sure you send your mother emails regularly to get her in the habt of using it. Once she's used to it then the whole world is hers to explore - engage!

Philipa said...

PS: I've blogrolled you Flowerpot, hope that's ok.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Well good for her!

Flowerpot said...

laurie - my mum is 78 so hoping she will take to it like your mum has. Er - sorry about the pressie. You can have a cyber one instead whch is far more valuable!!

Philipa - a good idea. I intend to bombard her with Fascinating Information (well, ordinary news) and yes my mum's just like that with her mobile phone!

Flowerpot said...

philipa - thanks for the blogroll, I'll do the same!

aoj - yes I hope so. It will be interesting to see certainly.

Miss Understood said...

That's fantastic! I wish my Mum were a bit more enthusiastic (or a little less scared.) She can't even answer her mobile when it's ringing!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

My mother has a computer but gets totally freaked out by it. When one of my nephews lived with her, he or someone introduced a virus that left the worst porn sites on her faves list. She was upset beyond words by this because she thought her relatives might one day snoop through her faves list and see this. Only my mother would be that paranoid.

Akelamalu said...

What a great Christmas pressie for your Mum! We tried to get Dad interested in one but he just doesn't want to know. MIL is a different kettle of fish though she's had a laptop for ages and can't get enough.

elizabethm said...

My dad (73) is a great silver surfer although does drive us bananas with his fury at "the machine" when it wont do what he wants. It has opened up all sorts of things though. I agree with flowerpot, lots of reasons to log on and to send emails so that she gets loads of practice is the way to make it work.

BreadBox said...

Oh, I do hope that she becomes a blogger! I'll look forward to the stories of "when FP was young":-)

N.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Good on your mum! I wish my mum would keep up with the times.

Crystal xx

Flowerpot said...

MissU - my mother doesnt even turn her mobile on so she can't answer it!

wakeup - your poor mother. It's the sort of thing that would freak my mother out, too. Sigh...

Ak - I'm hoping that Mum will become quite hooked. Though she does have a VERY busy social life and she wouldnt want anything to interfere with that!

Flowerpot said...

elizabethm - lovely to meet you and please call this way again. Having just read your blog I'm so sorry you have been having such a terrible time but you have courage and a wonderful family and husband to see you through. I can foresee my mother being just like your dad - too impatient with the laptop!

Flowerpot said...

breadbox - I cant quite see mum becoming a blogger (oh my god hadn't thought of THAT!!!) but she is an avid reader - so watch it everyone!

Lane said...

How great for your mum - a whole new 'world' awaits her:-)

debio said...

My mother has embraced the techno world with huge - and unexpected - enthusiasm.

Been on courses, gained certificates; almost re-written the manuel!

I'm so pleased for your mum - can just vouch for what a benefit it is for the older generation who,perhaps, have more hours than most to while away.

Flowerpot said...

lane - I'd like to think so, yes!

Debio - your mum sounds as if she's having a great time. Though I dont know about having more time than most - you should see my mother's social calendar!!!