Now I Get It

8 Feb

Before I begin, let me just say that this is the first time I’ve used the new-look New Post feature and I HATE it.  It’s all white space and missing or moved buttons.  Wassup with that, WordPress?

I’m in a bad mood.  I have discovered the point of philosophy, a question which has puzzled me since the summer of 2003.  That was the first year of my Open University degree.  I attended summer school in Manchester – seven minutes away from my house by train; and I chose it for just that reason, having a sick husband and two young children at home.  Plus, I was a wimp in those days. Travel alone in such a lawless country as Britain?  Forget it.

It was a glorious summer (the sun always shines on happy memories) and I had a blast, spending all of my time in lectures and learning, singing in the choir that was composed of almost the whole cohort of students, and playing Medea’s daughter in an amusing stage parody.   I was disappointed not to get two weeks, à la Educating Rita, but loved any break from my adorable family.

I attended a lecture on the piece of music which was the subject of my next assignment and it was so good, all I had to do was transcribe my notes into coherent sentences, giving me one of my best marks that year.  It’s not cheating if you’re just paying attention in class.

Music was not my best subject but Philosophy was definitely my worst.  I just did not get it.  I remember sitting in a tutorial that summer and asking, What is the point of philosophy?  The tutor looked startled and then annoyed, and he didn’t have an answer.  I rest my case.

I wish he was here now, because today I learned the answer: philosophy exists to enable desperate poets to cope with the vagaries of Microsoft.

My Word stopped working.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what version it is.  I don’t know why I didn’t read the dialogue box that came up every day for a week or more which probably would have told me.  But that doesn’t matter because of course it’s Microsoft’s fault: it is the creator, and we always blame the creator when things go wrong.  That’s my philosophy.

I haven’t been around the blogosphere much because I’m nearing the end of phase three of my second poetry collection: the editing process.  The editing process is my favourite part: the research has been done; the poems have been drafted from thin air; I don’t yet have to brutally cut some of my favourite babies, or put out for a publisher.  All I have to do is neaten, tidy and completely re-write until I’m sort of but not quite satisfied with the work that’s already done.

I edit, therefore I am happy.

I type, therefore I am busy.

I think, therefore I am using the education the Open University gave me.

I stay at my computer, therefore the Hub doesn’t have to see me.

I lose Word and my life falls apart: what am I supposed to do with my time if I can’t edit poems?  I might have to talk more to the Hub [shudder].  What if the world never gets to read my genius because Word owns me?  

Tain’t right; tain’t fitting; tain’t proper (how I miss you, Ross Poldark; please come back to my TV and be gorgeous again).

I may just be losing it…it’s only been thirty minutes since Word said Get lost and I’m babbling like a woman who just lost her Word.

On the plus side, I now have time to read your blogs.  

Sidebar: the architecture block of the 2003 course was fascinating but the only thing I remember is how to identify columns.  To this day, I have a weird finger thing I do to remind myself of whether a column is Doric, Ionic or Corinthian. Identifying a type of Classical architecture is a totally useless skill for me to have but I love that I can do it.

What’s your useless skill?  

A Poem to Mourn a Great Loss

I miss Word.
Word has gone.
How will my work be done?
I’m editless; I’m numb.
This poem is the sum of my madness.
Return, Word, and all will be gladness.  

Now you see how good a poet I am, you’ll understand why I’m going crazy here.

48 Responses to “Now I Get It”

  1. judyt54 February 8, 2016 at 15:58 #

    you have been missed, Tilly. truly.
    Useless skill: anagramming words. Ive done it since I was a kid, I used to make lists of words that could be rearranged to make other words: warder/drawer/redraw, flower/fowler/reflow…

    I wish you well with the editing. I love that part, you start seeing your work through more critical eyes, and it’s amazing how many times what you thought was a wonderful line turns out to be the literary equivalent of a snap on the nose =)

    And how awful to lose Word. Cut off my left foot, but leave Word alone…Can you do a system restore? That one has saved my sanity more than once, especially when something vital gets the hiccups or a virus…


    • The Laughing Housewife February 8, 2016 at 16:06 #

      What a USEFUL skill! You must be a Scrabble and/or Countdown champion.

      Words are supposed to be my business but I am dreadful (furldead) at anagrams.

      The Hub, hereinafter known as Hub the Wonderful, has just bought me a new, up-to-date version of Word from eBay. My laptop was secondhand and he thinks there may have been a demo copy or something on it and if I had only read the dialogue box…yada-yada-yada…he’s such a nag, I stopped listening.

      I agree about the critical eyes. I’m editing chronologically so the poems are all at least six months old and the distance gives me a great perspective and a fresh eye.


      • judyt54 February 8, 2016 at 17:32 #

        I think anagramming is like spelling. you either know how, or you don’t, right from the start. And I play a ton of word games online, since no one will play scrabble with me. (sob).

        Good on the Hub for getting you an updated copy of Word. I don’t really like the new improved versions, they seem wildly bloated (on the principle that more is better even if it blows up in your face) these days, and no I do NOT want to run algorithmic functions, tyvm…

        Sometimes the best critical eye is the one that knows total strangers will be looking at this and they won’t know what you REALLY meant…=)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. slpmartin February 8, 2016 at 18:01 #

    According to those who know me, all my skills are useless…perhaps that is why I often hear that I’m “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Enjoyed your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Al February 8, 2016 at 18:15 #

    Word, word, have you not heard?
    Tilly’s eyes are getting blurred.
    To go out now is just absurd
    You’re making her seem like a nerd.
    Do please come back and join the herd
    So Tilly’s poems will not be slurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 8, 2016 at 19:34 #

    Lots of points to answer here:

    No.1 – WP posting. Hover your cursor over “My sites” and click on WP Admin. When that opens, scroll down to the drawing pin and hover until you see the options. Click on Add new. That way you post as you have always done (hilariously), with all the bells and whistles.

    No.2 – loss of Word. That happened to me 1 year after I bought the new laptop. It appears that PC World only installed a 1 year’s subscription to Microsoft Office. I had to buy the permanent version when everything disappeared last summer. It looks as though Paul has solved the problem for you via ebay. And yes, I ignored all the MS notices. There is a temporary word processing solution, One Note, but it’s pretty awful.

    No.3 – I agree that philosophy is a pretty useless subject. In France to get the most useful type of Baccalaureat they have to pass philosophy, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. We had a neighbour who was a philo prof, and he was useless as well.

    No.4 – I adored my OU summer school (in Caen), which made me realise what I’d missed by leaving school at 16. My tutorial venues were also fabulous: Paris, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin – it doesn’t get any better than that.

    No.5 – Good luck with all the editing.


  5. colonialist February 8, 2016 at 20:42 #

    Maybe your Word got wet in the Open University when it rained? Try a rabbit dehumidifier … or should that be a hare drier?
    I. Do. Not. Use. The. New. Post.. Messup.
    The old one works far better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tom Merriman February 8, 2016 at 21:21 #

    Oh, Tilly…. my word! (Sorry. 😉 )
    I hope your Word starts to behave again soon, so you can work on your words once wore – erm – more! I don’t think I have a useless skill, although the skills I have aren’t particularly useful… Good to see you again.


  7. Alison Robinson February 8, 2016 at 21:45 #

    I too have completed the OU foundation arts course (I think that’s what it’s called). My darling hubby took me to Rome for my 40th so that I could visit the coliseumand point out to him all the ionic, doric and corinthium columns – good times

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Laughing Housewife February 9, 2016 at 14:39 #

      That’s the ones! Lucky you, to visit Rome. It’s on my to do list.

      Was it A103? That was my first course. Did you complete your degree?


      • Alison Robinson February 9, 2016 at 14:50 #

        Yes, I actually did A201 (intro to literature) first then A103. Yes, I got my BA(hons) in English Language and Literature. Loved my time with the OU.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Laughing Housewife February 9, 2016 at 14:53 #

          I got a BA(hons) Literature! When did you graduate? 2008 for me (ceremony 2009 – what was that about, making us wait a year for a ceremony?)


  8. Debra February 9, 2016 at 00:49 #

    It’s really nice to hear that things at least WERE going well for you regarding your poetry book. I can’t imagine that Word has just decided to thwart your efforts, but technology can be very cruel. I relate to your struggle with philosophy. It was a difficult class for me as well. The reading made sense to me while I would study, but I could never keep them straight. I just never connected the dots! I do hope someone comes to your rescue and Word is back where it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Laughing Housewife February 9, 2016 at 14:35 #

      The Hub has bought me a new copy. He knows I can’t live without it. 🙂

      Glad it’s not just me re philosophy!


  9. laurieanichols February 9, 2016 at 19:41 #

    I’m so sorry about your Word troubles, if only Ross Poldark were there to lend you his shoulder to weep on. I miss Ross too. I hope this Word mess gets straightened out, I couldn’t help you but I wish that I could. Xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rorybore February 10, 2016 at 16:26 #

    Microsoft owns us all. I have a love/hate affair with technology. Even my husband laughs: if anything will go wrong with the computer, the wifi, the DVD, the dishwasher… anything that has technical parts: it will be me. it hates us!
    You read that in Gollum’s voice right? Just checking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Laughing Housewife February 11, 2016 at 12:05 #

      I did; because I, too, am a Gollum around technology. I even coined a word for my techneptitude (that was it). 🙂


  11. SchmidleysScribblins February 10, 2016 at 20:26 #

    You know you are growing older when everything you liked is gone or dead or malfunctions. Nothing to do but be like Ross Poldark. I’m old enogh to be his grandmother, but who cares. (I will be a great-grandmother in May.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Al February 11, 2016 at 15:06 #

    Meant to tell you this. When you get ready to write a post, open your site and scroll down to WP Admin. Click on that and you will have the old version back and not have to deal with the confusing new version. I hate it too!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. beeblu February 14, 2016 at 23:00 #

    Oh, dear. Philosophy might posit that the Universe is telling you to slow down and smell the coffee.

    Word is absurd, but it’s a necessary evil. I’m sure the Hub can fix it. That means you’ll have to talk to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ailie February 16, 2016 at 09:30 #

    Manchester was fun, wasn’t it… I still have two (nearly new) books about philosophy. One of which has helpful cartoons. The other summarizes the thoughts of ‘100 essential thinkers’. I still don’t get it either. But I keep trying in the hope that increasing maturity will lead me to a point of enlightenment. (ha!)

    Hope you have fixed Word by now.


    Liked by 1 person

    • The Laughing Housewife February 16, 2016 at 12:13 #

      Manchester WAS fun. It’s in my life’s top ten highlights.

      Sadly, Word is still absent. The Hub bought what was claimed to be a genuine copy from eBay, but that turned out not to be true, so we’re still looking for an affordable package.

      Lovely lovely lovely to have you commenting again, Ma! xx


  15. SchmidleysScribblins February 19, 2016 at 19:34 #

    I reread this because you packed a lot into this post. If you visit Washington DC you will find your knowledge of columns quite useful. Also your knowledge of philosophy might come in handy. Several of the Founders were enamored with both.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. sarsm March 3, 2016 at 19:35 #

    I have a habit of clicking those dialogue boxes away too – without actually reading them. I have no idea why I do this. I could philosophise over it but I shall not…

    I’m replying quite a while after you posted this post. Did you get word back?

    Liked by 1 person

I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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