alan little’s weblog archive for february 2009

letter writing generation

23rd February 2009 permanent link

I think I just missed the tenth anniversary of my arrival in Germany. Kind of. Kind of not, because although I was actually in England on the day, one of the main purposes of my visit was to clear out some of the last vestiges of my presence in a country I have no great interest in ever returning to.

Much of today, then, spent in my brother’s attic sorting through boxes, and discovering that hey, I belong to probably the last letter-writing generation. It’s something I had completely forgotten about because I’ve hardly written any in the last ten years or more. But I turn out to have several shoeboxes full of ones people wrote to me back in the 1980s. And if people were writing to me, I presume I must have been writing to them too.

I remember thinking when I started using the 'net in the mid 90s, how much better email was for keeping in touch with old friends than a Christmas card once a year. In some ways it is. But there’s a investment of effort and commitment in sitting down and writing four or five pages by hand, intended for and thinking of one person and that person alone, that just isn’t there any more.

(Sarah suggested the other day that she didn’t see me as entirely the right demographic for blogging about snowboarding. I presume I am, then, the right demographic for curmudgeonly blogging about obsolescent means of communication?)

living in fear

23rd February 2009 permanent link

Still visiting family in England, and discovering what a dark and dangerous place the internet feels like these days to people who have Windows on their computers.

My parents have been intending for a while to get a new PC, and consequently didn’t bother keeping up the maintenance payments on the virus software on the old one. Don’t go on the internet, I am warned, the virus scanner isn’t up to date. My brother had a virus outbreak on his PC, apparently, and prefers not to hook it up to the internet unless he has a pressing need to send an urgent email because, he says, he feels the need to run a full virus scan immediately afterwards.

Sometimes I’m so glad to be using a Mac.

related entries: Mac

all good

20th February 2009 permanent link

A Friday Family Life Vignette.

My son and I are visiting family in England. I’m doing my yoga practice in half of my parents’ living room. In the other half, separated by a thin curtain, I can hear my dad and my son playing games and talking.

All of this is good. My dad, who is in his late seventies and has health problems that prevent him traveling, gets to spend time with his grandson. My son gets to spend time with his grandpa, and has to speak English which he hardly ever does with me these days. I get to do my practice.

Hochfügen ☆☆☆

11th February 2009 permanent link

Times visited:once
Last visited:January 2001

I only visited Hochfügen once, a long time ago, but I was impressed and I’m keen to go back.

The top of the ski area is a huge bowl of powder snow. It was when I went there, anyway, which was admittedly the day after a big snowfall. It’s high up for a non-glacier resort (as hinted at by the name “Hochfügen”) and generally has a reputation for good snow. There are also long, steep and interesting looking red and black runs down in the trees. And a lift connection over the other side of the mountain to the huge Hochzillertal ski area, which I’ve never visited but I suspect there would be little danger of running out of things to do.

related entries: Snowboarding

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