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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

This and That

Yesterday morning saw me at the station once again this time I was off to Guildford from where I'd get the bus to Witley where I go to the dentist.  Yes I know it's mad but I have been going to this particular dentist since before we moved to France and even used to fit appointments in with visits to friends during my time living there.  He will be retiring later this year so I will be forced to find another and will then chose to find one nearer home!  The chap in the ticket office joked that I was at the station more often than he was recently!

 Anyway dental appointment over I got the bus back to Guildford where I met up with a friend for lunch and a good gossip and afterwards we walked in the Castle grounds - I used to take my lunch in here sometimes when I worked in Guildford so it was a trip down Memory Lane for me.

Not my sort of gardening really but it was certainly bright.

We loved this though and everywhere even in the manicured beds there were poppies.

Lots of red white and blue in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of WWI.

I noticed this morning an article on the internet about Wi-Fi on trains.  Apparently the government is to spend £90m (I understand some of this money will be from fines paid by Network Railfor missing key punctuality targets) on an upgrade which "means people can more easily work and keep up with friends while on journeys".  Now as you know I am a bit of a Luddite but is this the best use of funds I wonder - why is it that people cannot survive a train journey without being able to do work which entails use of their computers nor to be out of contact with their colleagues for a few hours.  This all made me think about life in the 21st century and to wonder whether coming generations will lose the ability to make real contact with each other.  Does having 100s of "friends" on Facebook, sending constant text messages back and forth to each other or having their attention permanently on their mobile phone screens  mean that some people are living in a "virtual" rather than a real world?  Is virtual contact taking the place of face to face communication, how can one read the messages that as humans we have learned to pick up on when actually with people, what could possibly replace the gentle touch of a hand when someone is upset or grieving and nothing beats a real Hug of course.  Yes technology is wonderful and we do of course interact with people in these new ways which could not have been imagined such a short time ago but surely it should not be allowed to become such a vital part of our daily lives?  Living in the 21st century is wonderful as we are able to chose which parts of modern life we want to make use of and leave the rest and I don't for one moment think that life years ago was necessarily better than now nor that our parents or grandparents lives couldn't have been improved had they had some of the things we now have but let's keep things in perspective and remember those things which were better and not lose sight of real communication between people, eye contact, touch and so on.  Then maybe instead of all these gizmos on the trains we might take time to enjoy the passing scenery, to think, to take time out for the duration of the journey or even heaven forfend to talk to each other!  Am I mad or do you agree with me here?


  1. I do agree with you, wholeheartedly. I think that it is a real shame that we live in a world where no one switches off. Where you are constantly at work. It is any wonder that so many people have trouble sleeping.

    And no I don't think that is good use of the money either!

  2. Finding a dentist has been one of the things I have done recently. I wasn't happy with the practise I was with,, and a work colleague recommended one in Street. I had a tooth removed with no pain and very little discomfort,, and it is an NHS practice.

  3. Totally agree with you. Technology seems to have become the most important thing nowadays.
    If you have a good dentist it is best to hang on to him, even if it means travelling!

  4. I do agree, Jane My husband is totally obsessed with email and can't bear not to be able to check it. I'm convinced he sleeps badly because he switch off from the virtual world enough. I find my computer a useful tool but I'd prefer to look out of the window on a train.
    I used to work in Guildford too - and eat my lunch in the castle grounds.

  5. I was appalled when I heard of spending that amount of money on wi-fi in trains when there is so much essential spending to be done.

    Council garden planting doesn't improve much does it?

  6. That does seem a lot of money!
    I do agree about the planting much prefer the loser poppy filled borders, it does seem to be a good year for poppies.
    V x

  7. I completely agree. Some bits of modern technology are wonderful, but people are becoming increasingly addicted and it's not healthy. I understand why you still visit your old dentist. I make a fairly lengthy trip to see the same optician that I started seeing when I was 5 years old. I live in fear of her retiring, she's wonderful, and I can't imagine trusting my eyeballs to anyone else. CJ xx

  8. Sorry folks, I'm pro-tech and think it is about time public transport leaders stop acting like a scandalised spinsters at the notion of connectivity. I agree it is an enormous amount of money but it is going to have to happen sometime and it is unlikely to get any cheaper the longer it is delayed.

    I occasionally travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh with work and it is worse than hopeless between poor signal and multiple tunnels. For the major central Scotland corridor it is deplorable and you'd be better with two tin cans and a string. I don't find it easy to work on my laptop as the movement means I cant type properly, or at all really, with all the jiggling about however I can read documents or meeting papers online. I am usually travelling on my own on these journeys so being able to text, listen to the radio, or do some online surfing/research is most welcome and productive. Pleasure journeys are definitely for some music, catch up tv, a film or an audiobook and some window gazing.

    I might sound like a miserable sort but I really don't want to spend an hour in meaningless conversation with a stranger overheard by everyone tho' this is mainly because I always seem to attract the obligatory loon on the train. So I'd prefer batting back and forward some meaningful texts with friends and have even been known to keep my earphones in after my battery has died just to maintain my peace.

    Obviously, if I am sitting next to someone nice, normal and pleasant I do enjoy some conversation and a laugh as I'm actually very friendly and chatty as opposed to an antisocial geek. However, I do like some choice around how what I do while I am travelling.

    1. It's always good to hear both sides of any discussion - thanks for taking the time to give your opinions rather than either just agreeing or ignoring the question altogether. I can see your point and no you are not a miserable sort!

  9. I am with you. I wonder what will happen to the children of my sons generation, I think they are losing touch with reality and spend far too much timed tuned into technology and not enough time in face to face interactions with real people. It is an awful lot of money to spend and I'm certain it could be put to far better use. The flower beds are absolutely stunning, I love the poppies. It is a shame so many people are too busy with the wonder of technology that they no longer see the wonder in nature.

  10. I am not much of a techie and in my current circumstances wouldn't have need for Wi-Fi on a train. My OH and son seem to permanently have either an ipad or phone attached to their hand. - makes a change from the remote control I suppose! x

  11. I love technology, but I also love real connections with real people in real time. There has to be a balance. But I do wonder how the younger generation will fare in social relationships because of their intense focus on texting/Facebook and the like.

  12. Beautiful photos as always!! I agree I find the need for social contact via technology is becoming a problem because no one can take a minute to take in surroundings and explore. I make sure I always turn my phone off when I am out and about so that I enjoy the activities I am undertaking rather than staring at a phone all day.

  13. People have allowed technology a bigger place in daily life than what I feel is healthy. Companies have to keep up to make profits. There use to be a time when a computer was an option in a home.
    I do like the smart technology that allows you to see your home when you are away. I just don't like the door that opens for others to see as well. Security doesn't keep up to speed with user needs. That, I feel, is the biggest problem with technology use.

  14. People allow technology to take over more of their lives than I feel is healthy in many case. There are good points of course, like smart homes where you can see your home when you're away. But, so can others. The biggest problem is that security online doesn't keep up to speed with user needs.

  15. You're banging against an open door with me on this one Jane. I'm in agreement with you on all points. Enough said!


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