No, unfortunately I haven’t been in New York… well, not literally anyway. Last Sunday I upgraded my Virgin Media TV package and, as a result (of Virgin’s crummy customer service) lost my internet connection for the week. At first I was devastated. I practically live online. I work from home, do my banking online and have an unhealthy obsession with both email and Twitter. But then, after spending a day working on NaNo and watching Gossip Girl (more later), I started to feel better about the situation.
A couple of weeks ago on Twitter, David Baddiel (@ronskanky) tweeted something along the lines of ‘I wish there was a half term for grown-ups’. I enthusiastically retweeted, lamenting that there was no such thing… and then I was forced to have a week off. Now I’ve tried to take time off before. I’ve set limits (computer-free weekends, turning the computer off at 9pm, Julia Cameron-inspired ‘Artist dates’) but I never stick to them. If the internet is there, I will be on it. But last week it wasn’t there. And so I found other things to do. I read a couple of books. I cleaned the house (a bit). I wrote and I wrote and I wrote (and the book I planned to write became something entirely different. It’s now set in New York, hence the picture which is the wallpaper on my new computer – about which more later also!).
Now I wasn’t entirely internet-free (not possible) – I checked in at the library a few times, but what I discovered was, despite the fact that I check my email dozens (and dozens) of times each day, last week I only got one email I actually *had to* deal with. Just one. I missed Twitter, since, because I work from home, that’s my water cooler, but it was okay. The week felt quiet, but it’s good to be quiet every now and then.