The last time I visited the UK was to surprise my mother for her sixtieth birthday back in October.
I know, I’m a lovely son.
If truth be told, I had a return ticket from the previous month’s emigration and was feeling a little bit homesick. It was as much me being a bit pathetic as anything else.
Now I decided to buy her a desktop, as they work on either side of the pond and they’re roughly half the price here in the States as they are over in England. Perhaps life begins at 40, but my mother’s insistence on getting her first PC at retirement age was something else.
You see, my mother isn’t exactly savvy. Not just in a computer sense, but in one or two other senses besides. Her spelling would shame your common or garden dyslexic and her typing skills could be bettered by a drugged monkey in a dark room tapping on a superglued keyboard in boxing gloves.
It is safe to say I got my brains from my father.
I don’t want you to think I’m being deliberately hurtful here, it’s something she’d happily admit to herself and gleefully chortle about. And it’s something of a standing (and sitting) family joke.
She was quite over the moon receiving her computer once the bag I’d packed it in had been located. Of all the bags in all the world, they had to lose that one. Still, who’s the cheap fella unwilling to risk having to pay a small customs duty?
So I just about managed to set it up before I had to return to the land of the free, but it was another month or four before she had the internet.
And heavens by jimminy – did she ever throw herself into emailing me at every given opportunity and seeing if I was available to chat on Skype. And hardly a single problem. I know seasoned bloggers who ask me more operational and technical questions than my mother.
She’s done astonishingly well.
I just wish she’d stop putting Woody in the subject of her emails – she really should be calling her son by the name she christened him with. But, there’s a very pleasant side to her monkey-wearing-boxing-gloves typing, and that is I can make a cup of tea or have a wee snooze inbetween typed snippets using the Skype chat client.
But the point is, there is nobody I know who was as clueless about computers as my dear old ma. And, while I wouldn’t exactly say she’s taken to it like a duck to water, it’s safe to say she’s paddling about quite nicely.
NEXT WEEK: How my 89 year old grandmother has inadvertently jumped on the HD bandwagon! Also, how Steph’s gran (78) has become addicted to email since getting her first computer three months ago.