I did not expect to be away quite so long! Ill-health – or rather the ills that beset Old Age – dogged me over the summer, and I began to think that my tag-line It’s not too late
might after all be inappropriate. Surely not?
Then, thanks to a brilliant cardiologist, I was fitted with an all-singing all-dancing new type of pacemaker with its own built-in defibrillator which simply would not allow my body to malinger any longer. New Woman, I was promised was on her way.
New signs of literary activity burgeon in the Mapstone-Williams household: tentative efforts at renewing what is supposed to be a regular blog are made, the text of a new novel The Porcupine’s Dilemma is finalised, a cover approved, plans for publication in October are made.
Occasional relapses into lethargy do occur, alas. And lack of faith in that demanding tag-line It’s not too late is very prone to arise whenever any new or vaguely unfamiliar technology has to be tackled. OK, so maybe once I understood X or Y, but now I just jolly well don’t. Some days I feel exactly like that eight-year-old girl referred to me years ago because she was terrified of maths. She just didn’t understand how numbers worked, and every new thing she was taught had nothing on which to build, so she became more and more baffled. So do I. I remember her and realize it has nothing to do with age. Thank heaven. It has all to do with understanding basics. I do wish people who give instructions on how to use a new smart phone, for instance, would grasp the simple fact that neophytes need instruction in the simple basics on which the whole process is built. My eight-year-old needed to start at the beginning and nothing taken for granted: I am happy to report that six months later, she was blooming and all set to become a star.
The trouble with starting at the beginning when you are as old as I am is that you begin to feel ‘There just isn’t time to learn all this’. The temptation is great to give up, sit back, vegetate, let others write books, garden, entertain. But I didn’t enjoy the months of enforced stagnation, so do what I can to keep my ambitions from flagging. New Woman does help. She turns up in unexpected places, is pretty hopeless at all things technological, but encouraging when it comes to things literary. She and I communicate there.