Today was mostly about technology. In fact, apart from a walk around the block before making dinner, I didn’t leave the house. Mirinda managed to have a long walk in the forest and fika at Norrby’s but even she found herself in front of her screen for a lot of the time.
Not that Mirinda’s screen-time wasn’t mostly enjoyable. She attended a few things from Chawton House including her monthly Book Group. The final session involved the author, Rose Servitova, discussing her completion of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, The Watsons. I listened in from the comfort of the lounge.
Her Irish lilt made it very easy to listen to her. As well as her story about the talking horse.
Mirinda’s successful connection made me quite jealous given my earlier, disastrous attempt to join in on a social call with the Surrey History Centre.
Every year, the SHC has a Christmas Mingle where the volunteers from the various projects get together over mince pies to chat about what they’ve been up to over the year. This year’s event, for obvious reasons, had to be virtual. I thought I’d attend.
They used Microsoft Teams. I’ve never used Teams before though am familiar with it because Mirinda uses it all the time. Mirinda, therefore, is used to its shortcomings. I am now familiar with the same shortcomings as well as a few of my own experience.
First up I couldn’t get my camera to work. Eventually this was sorted.
Secondly, the presenter, after saying hi and making sure we were all present, had enormous difficulty playing a video. I got out of my chair to make a cup of coffee. I was thrown out of the session as the kettle boiled. I don’t think the two things were connected.
Back at my laptop, coffee made, I attempted to reconnect. I was in the lobby, waiting for someone to let me in. After kicking my heels and lightly tapping at the door, this happened, but now I couldn’t hear anything. I had a mosaic of faces on my screen, chatting away but nothing was audible from my end.
I checked my settings and all was as it should be for perfect sound. Remember, the sound had worked before. I was then, suddenly, moved to a breakout room with a bunch of strangers for who knows what reason. I couldn’t hear anyone so figured it was a bit pointless.
Later, I emailed Phil regarding a memorial, and he said he’d been thrown into a break room full of people who had nothing to do with the project. He wasn’t sure why. He also said how much he hated Teams.
Eventually, I gave up on the Christmas Mingle. It was a shame because I usually don’t bother with social engagements and had made the effort, however, the biggest disappointment is I missed out on going to Norrby’s.
Something that wasn’t a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination was the Christmas Session we recorded on Monday. Charles had sent the file through to Ann who forwarded it to Clive and me. And we listened to it tonight over dinner.
What a joy it was. According to Ann it’s the best thing that FATN has ever done. I can only hope we have lots of listeners because it was marvellous.
In the meanwhilst, the weather continues gloomy. There has still been no sign of the sun all December. At least it isn’t raining. Sadly, it’s not snowing.