Erased

I was very close to tears this afternoon. In Stamford library of all places. In part the fault of the library itself. In part my own silly fault for trusting public computer systems.

For I had been writing a post for tomorrow…the day all this documentary lark goes very very public and, i paused to chat to one of the librarians. Then i went to show her something via google and then…the screen blipped and i was logged out.

Fine, i thought. WordPress, which runs this blog, is pretty good about such things. It tends to save stuff on a regular basis anyway. I’ll just click back in and i may have lost half a dozen words.

But no! My entire half post…the best part of 400+ words was gone. And i had been in the zone. They were good words, intersting well written words. But now they weren’t anywhere to be found.

Aaargh! I am clearly a wimp. I tried to go back to them, within myself. Nope. Gone.

That essential flow that starts to build as i write: it wasn’t there…and although i had just written the piece, i could barely recollect the structure, let alone the turns of phrase used.

So i spat and i fumed – mostly at myself. I can’t dislike the librarians in Stamford…or indeed pretty much throughout the South of Lincolnshire where i am based.

I don’t like living in Lincs. It feels like i am trapped in a time warp. Still, as i find on a regular basis, the public servants of that fair county seem generally more civilised, better tempered than those of their immediate neighbours to the southThose pompous cambridge types. Or worse, the brutes from Essex.

Not just librarians, but police, council stagff and others too. I don’t know what it is. I remain determined to dislike Lincolnshire, but a true negative sentiment just won’t come.

Meanwhile, what of the now missing post? I shall try to reconstitute it later tonight.

The real problem is: i have become very good at self-erasure. I am often writing large numnbers of words every day. Or when i was doing what was essentially newsroom stuff, i would file two, three, sometimes four stories in a day.

Write one. File. On to the next. Some days, it was hard to remember at 5pm what i had written in the morning. Certainly things written a day or two previous were completely gone. Wiped. Erased.

In part it was to do with pace. In part, too, a mental habit. You bring the facts in, organise them, spit them out again and then….you don’t need them. All your notes and contacts and anything connected to the story are filed in one place, ready to access next time you need them.

So you can dismiss them from your brain. I seem, increasingly, to have a thought that is present in my mind only so long as it is not transferred to the page (printed or electronic) whereupon it is done for.

I shall go try again. This time, i shall make sure i hit save every so often.

jane xx

8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Hey! We’re not that pompous!

    • 2

      Liz Church said,

      Someone went to Oxford methinks…

      • 3

        janefae said,

        nah…more to do with the fact that i got breathalysed on entering cambridge on New Year’s Eve. My fault for answering the question “Have you had anything to drink tonight?” with the reply “Not to my knowledge”…which as a sometime literalist felt precise, accurate and truthful.

        Police officer claimed it was evasive…also that i had a glazed look about me and i suspect he was a bit taken aback by having to deal with a trans woman, too.

        So i blew his little blowy thing…and scored precisely zero.

        Whereas the Lincs Police, despite me giving them far more excuse to breathalyse a couple of days ago were totally civilised and just sent me on my way with a ticking off.

        jane xx

  2. 4

    Liz Church said,

    Thought you had IT consultant on your CV? Surely not forgotten the old mantra “save your files often”, have you? Lincolnshire sounds like Deepest Darkshire where I come from: miles from anywhere and everyone’s laid back. It takes energy to be offensive or aggressive.

  3. 7

    demelzab said,

    You think that’s bad, I discovered last weekend that older son keeps all his University work on a USB fob “so I can work on it in the department, the library and back home on my laptop”. Methinks a hasty Cloudberry installation on his laptop—I assumed he had it covered.

  4. 8

    Alex said,

    Lincolnshire is indeed a timewarp. But it’s good to dip in and out of the county for a different perspective.

    Also, Lincolnshire won hands down when it came to raising our children. I love the buzz of London, but didn’t want my children streetwise by the age of 3 or 4.

    Hope the inspiration returns tonight…


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