What a day. I’ve left my keys and phone in Copenhagen and my main computer has fatally crashed for the second time in ten days – so no email or access to any files until I get things up and running again (I know, I should have seen that one coming).
On this occasion the crash followed an argument with Eurostar’s website which insisted that I add a landline telephone number to a booking form (I, like many others nowadays, don’t have one). When are the designers of online forms going to understand that many people don’t have fixed lines?
Anyway, I eventually found a way around the problem only to crash everything fatally when the form wanted me to download an update of Adobe to print the tickets. Bye bye direct email and internet access and a bunch of stuff that hasn’t been backed-up. Not a big problem, but certainly a pain in the butt.
Oh, and the greenhouse off my new home office is now wetter inside than out due to leaks, we ran out of heating oil (no hot water or central heating) and one of my teeth broke (I mentioned the dead hamster and the sulky dog earlier right?).
On the plus side, I’ve been reading two really interesting pieces in the FT and Economist. The Economist article is about what the boom in Nordic crime writing tells us about globalisation. A key point is that physical location matters more than ever in a globalised and virtualised world. The FT article is about the rising extremism of politics in Europe and the dangers of German isolation. Key points include the fact that in France 1/3 of voters recently voted for extreme far right or left candidate, in the Netherlands (usually a place of liberalism and tolerance) far right and extreme left parties are running 1st and 2nd in opinion polls, while in Austria the far right is supported by around 30% of the population. Add mass unemployment, rising inflation, concerns over a currency (the Euro rather than the gold standard) and it’s feeling like the 1930s all over again. In Germany things remain fairly centrist for the time being, but all the conditions do appear to exist for an extremist revival.
Other news? I’ve started to think that I have been farting around with speaking engagements and consulting work too much and should get back to lowly paid writing. When I get the home office functioning properly – or get my butt up to London – I will.