“Maybe we could use a messenger pigeon, with a waterproof USB strapped to its leg?” ~ Husband
I had a whole other post for you today. But it won’t load.
In fact I am uploading this alternate post from my car, using my phone as a hot spot. Out of desperation.
Let me explain…
I live between two places in Australia. A house in Brisbane, not so far from the city centre, and our home – a farm two hours south of Brisbane, at Byron Bay.
At both places I experience internet which would have been revolutionary in the days of dial-up. But those days are long gone.
Much of my business needs internet connection, so I save that kind of work for my city trips. I’d love to tell you that I’m at the farm right now, and hence my internet is slow, patchy or broken because of rain, wind, or the after-school rush.
But no. I’m in Brisbane. A capital city. It’s 5.25am. And I can’t load graphics or do anything fancy because my WiFi is so slow. No, I haven’t reached the end of the month and my plan has not been slowed because I reached my gig limit. The weather’s fine. Etc etc. My plan is unlimited and uses ADSL 2. The best I can get. A proper business package. The best I’ve had anywhere in Australia.
Yesterday afternoon I began uploading a file of photos to a friend in the Philippines who is helping me with some work. (Hi, Chelsi!) It’s a large file. She thought, based on her speeds (in the Philippines!) that it might take an hour or so, because big file!!!
I could never do this kind of work at the farm, but here I am in the city. It’s the place where I do all my bigger internet-based work because I just can’t access reliable internet at home.
So now, 14 hours later, my computer has uploaded not quite half the file, and if I cancel I’ll need to start over. I might as well let it keep uploading.
Which means Ben’s and my computers and tablets can only be used as word processors or paper-weights. Which means my skype meeting looks doubtful. Unless I go to a coffee shop with WiFi. Or sit in the car and use my phone.
This is my life. In a First-World city, in 2016. I madly thought about sending a USB by courier to the Philippines this morning. Or I could catch a plane and take it myself. It might just be faster!
Australia needs better internet.
Either that or I might just have to move to America, or a Third-World country where the living is cheaper and the internet is faster!
“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
There’s no blog today. It’s my fault. I had a bad night. My leg was sore so I was crying. Mum had to come and sit with me. She gave me some healing and it made me feel a bit better. But that happened about six times in the night.
“We are creating and encouraging a culture of distraction where we are increasingly disconnected from the people and events around us, and increasingly unable to engage in long-form thinking. People now feel anxious when their brains are unstimulated.”
~ Joe Kraus
There was a huge storm here at the farm on Saturday afternoon. The Black Cockatoos came to tell me, riding the stiff breeze that ran before the bruised clouds as they shrieked their message.
Not long after they sailed over my head it began to rain. And then to bucket down…
The driveway became a river. The wind was ferocious. I’d planned to do so much work, but the power went out so instead my husband and I found ourselves eating dinner by candlelight and retreating to the soft embrace of our bed where we listened to the rain and the thunder of hail upon the roof.
It poured all night.
When we woke the next day there was sunshine and silence.
Hail had left a litter of leaves strewn across the lawn, and there were branches down everywhere.
The power was still off. Our home phone was dead. The internet was dead. And our mobiles couldn’t pick up a signal.
No matter. We cleared a path to the road and headed to the beach for a bracing ocean swim and then a good breakfast at a favourite cafe.
Within 24 hours the power was restored. But still no phone, and the mobile signal was so weak that we had to walk up the hill into the orchard to get any sort of reception.
By Monday afternoon we had our home phone back on, and one iffy bar of mobile reception, but no internet. And we still don’t. It will be the end of the week (fingers crossed) before our fried roof-mounted antenna and wireless modem are replaced. Our old phone line, installed in 1954, will not support even the most rudimentary of dial-ups. For now the modern world has retreated, and we are living in a pre-technological quiet zone. No radio, no TV (that’s our choice and I like it that way!) – we’re unplugged!
To write this blog post I climbed right to the top of the hill behind my house yesterday and used my mobile to get some sort of service, which is patchy at best. While I waited an eternity for my files to upload I lay in the grass on a blanket and read a book or watched clouds.
This morning I’ve hiked up here again to send this post out into the world. It feels quite symbolic – as if my blog post were coming to you by carrier pigeon!
I’ve caught up on some sleep this week and written thousands of words, planned a new herb garden and had many swims in the ocean or dips in the pool.
And it’s still so quiet…
I’ve missed you all, and I’ve missed being able to download and respond to emails and facebook messages, but gee it hasn’t been all bad!
I’ll leave you with the sound of my Black Cockatoo friends, who have visited every day this week. I had walked out into the paddock to record a meditation and then the storm rolled in so fast there was no time to do anything but walk home again. You can hear Harry barking and yapping as he leaps feet into the air to try and catch a Black Cockatoo. There’s the growl of thunder and my footsteps in the long dry grass. It’s only a short recording. Just click on the button below to listen:
The cockatoos are still here with me this morning. I wonder what other adventures their presence heralds for me?
Thinking of you all, and sending much, much love, Nicole xx