Younger daughter FaceTimed from Albuquerque this afternoon, asking for help with charging the camera battery. She has borrowed my Olympus OM-D for her year in the US, and took with her the charger and battery (of course), but not a lead to connect the charger to the mains. I told her to get a cheap figure-8 power cable when she got there.

This she did. So now she was on the phone/screen, holding the figure-8 lead and the Li-Ion battery from the camera, and asking how it was possible to connect one to the other. I explained that she needed the actual charger, and for a moment she was nonplussed, thinking she hadn’t packed it. But she had, and the pieces were soon put together.

But then I was left thinking how much I’d failed her, that she didn’t understand the basics of how this camera system worked. What a world! We’ve already fast-forwarded past the stage of removable batteries, so that younger people are all at sea with something as basic as a system camera. This is like when I discover that my students don’t know how to set margins and line spacing on a document.

There’s a frightening tendency to just accept things as they are, whether that’s a document template or an operating system.


As someone who has always run screaming from the defaults, I am frankly bewildered. The idea of using an iPad as my main computer, and being stuck with the fonts that came with it, makes me shudder.

Which brings me, in a roundabout way, to the bugbear of the dead Queen and the expectation that I’ll give a shit. You know that Tories and monarchists are going to bleat on a fair bit with their platitudes and bromides, but what really sticks in the craw are the lefty liberals who solemnly intone that, even for republicans, this is a Moment.

Default position. When it comes to things like this, people always reveal their true colours. The privately educated, Oxbridge media crowd who are paid to have opinions for money, are going to reliably explain (Oxplain?) why this is Important, even to those of us who have never watched a Royal wedding, funeral, or Christmas speech. So they all fall in line behind the party line. This is a Moment.

No, it fucking isn’t. All I’m feeling right now is a low-level irritation that people won’t shut the fuck up. I was also pleased to note the quiet roads when I went out on my bike. A little throwback to the happy days of lockdown. But earlier, I came home from town to find my OH watching TV, a long and repetitive ceremony in which the King dealt with some admin at length. Riveting, I thought, as I walked through the room with the shopping bags. And flashbacks for me back to the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, which for some reason (possibly whooping cough) I was at home to endure, wondering why Andy Pandy (or whatever) wasn’t on.

So, just as I failed my daughter when it comes to technology, the media has failed to seize the moment. Absolutely nobody is asking why we’re not taking the opportunity to abolish the monarchy and move on. And yet, when it was safe to do so, a year ago, five years ago, when it was only theoretical, that’s exactly what they were doing.

The most important discussion we’re not having is, with what do we replace up the Queen’s twat as a toast when we sit down for drinks with friends. Up the King’s twat is anatomically incorrect, so what? Up the King’s Arse?

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