My Tablet’s in the Next Room!

Cat with IPad!

Cat in nest of sweatshirts, with IPad!

I have no idea where I am, but my tablet might.  Call it Siri.

As you know, I am far, far behind the electronic gadget curve.   I have a land line, a laptop, and an e-reader, while you have smart phones, iPads, and whatnots.

And now I, too, have acquired a whatnot.   I bought an iPad because my old Nook tablet died.  Now I can fly with the  blasé travelers who  keep their library and office on the same small machine!

The Nook was primitive, as tablets go.  I bought it in 2011 when my mother was in the hospital in Iowa City. During a blizzard, the phone and TV went dead at her house.  The wind howled unnervingly while I tried to read in my old bedroom.  We had 15 inches of snow, and  I felt as isolated as a character in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book.  When I finally made it to the hospital, climbing over snowbanks and falling on the ice several times, I uttered a sigh of relief because there was wifi.

After the blizzard in Iowa City, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011

After the blizzard in Iowa City, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011

And now, lo and behold! I now have a small  iPad that can do everything:  take pictures (but I already have a camera), navigate via Siri (but I prefer maps), find my iPhone (but I don’t  have one!), surf the web, play R.E.M. videos, and has Kindle, Kobo, the Nook, and iBooks apps.

It can almost do too much, you know what I mean?  I keep it in another room so I don’t constantly go online and check out a link….and then another link…  A dedicated e-reader is better for reading e-books, if the internet tempts you too much.  But the iPad is a sleek machine, and it will be lovely for travel.

I am a Luddite by some standards, but we have many gadgets (some alive, some dead).  Check out this picture of portable “apparati,” as Gary Shytengart calls electronic gadgets et al in his comic novel, Super Sad True Love Story.   Alas, where are the antiques? Our Sony Reader and a palm pilot are missing…

Some of our gadgets!

Some of our gadgets!  (Yes, that’s a real landline phone on top!)

Angel Court

I wish our e-mail looked like this!

       I wish e-mail looked like this!

On a recent trip to England, the electronic tablet was a godsend.

My tablet is tiny, about the size of a book, and you can fit it in your purse.  I was glad I had it. It was cheering to write e-mail  at the end of the day.  You make your tea, get into bed, and write about your trip.

Big Chief Tablet 2578148312_155ff5161a

Remember the Big Chief tablets?

“I just got here. All went well. Hope you had a great day and I’ll write tomorrow!”

That was about as much as I could write, since I was tapping it out with one finger.

I am a great believer in maps, but my husband  e-mailed additional directions the first time I went to St. James Park.  It is very nice to combine the diagram with the “left-and-right” directions if you get lost.

To get there by walking, from Fortnum & Mason:
1. Head south on Duke Street
2. Turn right on King Street, walk only a short distance on King and then
3. Turn left onto Angel court, then
4. Turn right onto Pall Mall, walk only a short distance on Pall Mall and then
5. Turn left onto Marlborough Road and that should take you right to the park. You are close to Buckingham Palace when you get to this park.

Duke Street. King Street.   But I could not find Angel Court.  I was convinced it didn’t exist.

But then I found this blog, Ornamental Passions.

Angel Court is a rather dismal alley off King Street, enlivened by a remarkable series of reliefs by E. Bainbridge Copnall. They commemorate the St James’s Theatre that stood on the site until it was scandalously demolished in 1957 despite a vociferous campaign led by Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, who managed it.
Under the arch where smokers from the Golden Lion huddle, the heads of Olivier and Leigh are flanked by themselves in their legendary production of Antony and Cleopatra. Cleo lies on a divan brandishing the asp and Antony broods in his tent, reaching for his sword. The pyramids fill the background.

Relief of Antony and Cleopatra by E. Bainbridge Copnall.

Relief of Antony and Cleopatra by E. Bainbridge Copnall.

I must go to Angel Court next time.

Meanwhile, my ancient tablet is broken!  I wrote a few blog posts on it, and must have worn it out with typing.  Oh, well, I’ll pick up a cheap one next trip…