Please join me in a story of ghosts. If you come with me, you will start by travelling back 30 years to a computer room in a leafy tropical suburb near where two Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and General Ne Win lived in their different confinements. She was at home on Inya Lake, held there because of an internationally decried house arrest. He was also in his lakeside home, confined allegedly because of ill health but really because his puppets were slowly side-lining him before they erased him from history.[Read more…] about Ghost Stories
I tried to read some files from a back-up drive yesterday. Dated 1992 and 1991, they were created with MS Word V1 and 2 using Windows 3 (true but a numerical series joke in memory of Lotus 123). The files are available to me because I kept moving them through time from device to device and continent to continent until I switched from Windows to a TimeMachine in an Airport on a windowsill.
I got some text from one of the files and realised that it only gave up its text because it was different – remember Word Perfect? We kept WP up for as long as we could but together with spreadsheet software Quattro Pro, it went the way of DOS. Meanwhile, Lia had bought a Brother hybrid word-processor for her teaching and first novel, a compromise because personal computers cost a month’s gross salary back then. It was hugely important to her. A massive affirmation of the importance of her work.[Read more…] about File Death and Nesting
20 Mar 2020 – 10:36 GMT – 7°C Mostly Cloudy – Co. Dublin, Ireland
Always liked the idea of travel, the wonderment of it. Little intrigues in stories recounted by friends who had travelled widely. Not stories of cruise ships or ski chalets or student binges. I was more interested in stories of life in extremis.
Writer Gerry Hanley told me about the village elder missing the tip of his nose. Elder was shot through a thicket in the crossfire between Japanese and British troops in Burma. The thicket was big enough to have hidden an entire village. The elder was the only casualty despite none of the troops realising there were several hundred people between their muzzles.[Read more…] about Look On The Bright Side
7 Mar 2020 – 9:23 GMT – 9°C Light Drizzle – Co. Longford, Ireland
That last night in Agadir, the concierge booked us into The Admiral restaurant, a recommendation I got from the guidebook in my hotel room. We drove over at 1930. It was closed. Very closed. Very, very closed. Think American ghost towns with tangleweed drift. Peeling paint. Corrosion. Our Moroccan driver suggested another place. Great fish, though really just a roadside bistro. No alcohol for my guests. Thin cats stalking among the street side tables, hoping for morsels we were never going to share. Beggars looking from across the street but not begging. Reminded me strangely of lepers in Burma.[Read more…] about Memories