This has been the most hi tec holiday I have ever been on. I remember the days when you would come away with a pen (to write post cards), a phone card (to call home, once), a cassette walkman and a selection of mix tapes (carefully compiled before you came away so as to save space). On this holiday we have between us:
3 Bluetooth Speakers
1 Very big bag of chargers
What’s also amazing is the way that we are all using it. Rachel has used Skype to give her dad a guided tour of the villa and to chat with her brother, sister in law and niece 5,000 miles away in Bermuda; last night Tibu streamed the Real Madrid game on his iPad. (The villa is very English. We have all the Sky channels but the owner doesn’t even have an ariel on the roof to get any Spanish channels, so he had to resort to watching them on the internet); Nikki has been keeping an eye on Ormskirk Cricket Club’s twitter feed to find out when the next T20 game is so that we can text dad. He lives 100 yards from the club, but this is still an easier way of doing it. Karen has been scouring the Ikea web site for the lamps that we have in the Villa as she wants the same ones for our dining room; I, obviously use it to blog and as for Nico, I have no idea what he’s doing on his phone all night but I get the feeling that if we didn’t have wifi his life would be considerably more miserable. All this on a 0.5 Mbps download speed.
Even when we leave the villa we are reliant on technology. Remember the days when you used a map? Pah! Maps are for wimps when we have a Tom Tom in each car. Saying that, you know how every few months the Daily Mail has a sat nav story along the lines of “my sat nat drove me off a cliff” or “my sat nat took me the wrong way down the motorway” or “my sat nav stole my wife” and you just think “idiot”. Well that was me the other day.
I have to admit that I haven’t been overly conscientious in keeping my maps up to date. (30 quid every year for maps. Come on, they don’t change roads that much do they? In Spain they do). We were driving to Malaga the other day and the sat nav wanted to take us off the roundabout the turn off before the Malaga turn off. That should be ok, its probably just a short cut. We continued until we came across some temporary bollards across the road but they weren’t blocking it. “We’ll be fine, just drive on” says Tibu. We carry on another 100 meters; the road surface ends and it deteriorates into a dirt track. “There are lots of roads like this in Spain. Carry on”. To quote Star Wars (which I seem to be doing a lot lately) “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”. We proceed, generating a dust cloud behind us like you see on the road runner cartoons. The road eventually turns and runs parallel to a lovely new road which Joan the sat nav knows nothing about. (FYI we call all our sat nav Joan in honour of my mum who was always the navigator when we were kids. There isn’t a single B road or dirt track in Wales that she hasn’t proven that you can fit a Ford Cortina down. The sat nav also nags a bit and has a tendency to repeat herself).
So there we are on the dirt track with a barrier between us and the new bypass. “It’s ok” says Tibu “we can squeeze through that gap in the barrier”. On his performance so far I wasn’t convinced, but do you know what, we did. Perhaps mum and Tibu do have navigational skills better than half a dozen satellites, but it does show blindly we follow these things. I may have brought, in digital form, my entire library of music and books on holiday with me, but I think I have made one technological mistake. So mum, if you are reading this, first of all, calm down, and secondly, I’d like some new maps for my Tom Tom for Christmas please.