I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful all singing, all dancing Apple iMac desktop computer. I also have a laptop, and a dinky little iPad. A touch over-indulgent you might think – and you may be right, but I adore each of these machines and use each one in a different, inter-connecting way.
It means I can work at my desk, or downstairs on the laptop. And if we go away for the weekend, with my iPad tucked into my bag, I can tap away at my WIP any time I want. Modern technology means I can email to myself what I’ve written in Notepad and continue working on the same piece when I get back to my desk.
How clever is that?
Much as I treasure these cunning machines, they don’t have the same place in my heart as the clackity old Underwood typewriter on which I learned my writing craft back in the days when I was a cub reporter on a Glasgow newspaper.
Knowing my affection for the dear old thing, the editor presented it to me with great aplomb when I left that paper. It came with its own scuffed and tatty black case, into which I lovingly tucked it away at the end of each working day.
My typewriter had no ‘memory’, but then it didn’t ‘lose’ my work either.
There was no spellcheck facility tucked away amongst the works. But who needed a spellcheck when there was a perfectly adaquate dictionary to hand?
Neither did it ‘copy and paste’. That’s what blacks (carbon papers) were for.
Sadly over the years, as electric typewriters became popular, and the first word processors appeared, my Underwood was used less and less.
Eventually it was relegated to the garage, where all the other nostalgic treasures I couldn’t bring myself to part with usually ended up.
Somewhere along the way, amongst the numerous house moves we’ve made over the years, my little typewriter ‘disappeared’. I’ve no idea what happened to it.
I saw one very similar at a recent antiques’ auction sale. The guide price was £40. I was tempted to bid, but didn’t because it wasn’t the one that held so many memories for me.
Now I’m not in favour of filling my home with clutter (except for my books … obviously!) but there are some precious things that perhaps we shouldn’t be quite to gung-ho about.
I’m hoping that somewhere out in the big wide world, my dear little Underwood still exists.
If you ever come across it, do please give it a pat from me.
It needs to know that I still love it.