Myra has a new I-Pad. I am pleased for her, I really am.
Unfortunately she has got it into her head that I am an expert on All Things I-Pad - which would certainly have
my grandson, Jack, rolling his eyes in mirthful disbelief. Jack is the one who downloaded all the free apps he imagined I might use (and a few he was absolutely sure I wouldn't use but thought would improve my street cred.) Jack showed me when I should be
scrolling down instead of tapping vainly at the screen. In short, Jack is my Tablet Guru.
Such an excellent job has he done that now other people are approaching me for help, believing that I can Do A Jack
for them. I find myself sadly lacking.
I am, however, quite good at advising people where to go for help when (inevitably) I don't have the answers. This is, after all, what education is all about these days
- you don't need to know everything, just where to go to find it out. So when Myra phoned with a long list of questions, I directed her to the nearest Apple shop. There she would find, I assured her, help at hand from seriously knowledgeable folk. Unlike yours
truly. Myra then asked me for the address of the Brighton Apple store, assuming I would know by some kind of Divine Power. I told her (correctly) that I had never been there but quickly googled "apple shop Brighton" which enabled me to give my Persistent Enquirer
both the address and telephone number of the store.
"How on earth did you manage to find that out?" she asked, admiringly. I have done myself no favours. She now considers me even more the expert on All Things
Everyone needs to know who to approach when they need help. I usually start with Mr B, then move on to My Boy and the Darling Daughters. Unless it is a Matter Technological, of course, when I go straight
to Jack. When my quandary is Sewing Related, I make a bee-line for my friend Sue. For Knotty Knitting Problems, few can beat my god-daughter, Pip. For everything else I trust to my good friend Google. Bless him, he is always there when I need him, he is never
too tired to help, he never, ever says, in a patronising tone: "Surely you must know that!"
The trouble with me is that I am not too good at admitting that I might just be in a bit of difficulty. "I can work
it out!" is my over-confident mantra. It has been the cause of Many A Disaster. My good friend Google has pulled me out of many a hole of my own digging.
At our monthly U3A meeting this afternoon, Myra was
keen to tell me all about her visit to the Apple store. It wasn't that I didn't want to know but it was my turn to fetch the coffee and biscuits from the kitchen and Mr B was looking impatient. Never underestimate a Man Awaiting Refreshments. Especially as
the subject of this afternoon's talk was a charity dealing with dogs and other four legged friends. Mr B, it has to be said, prefers friends of the two-legged variety. His enthusiasm for the forthcoming address was, shall we say, muted? The least I could do
was to make sure he got a custard cream.
The charity concerned is called The Cinnamon Trust. I loved the story of how its HQ in Cornwall was sited directly opposite a curry house called The Cinnamon Tree.
Apparently the Trust received lots of phone calls asking for a Tikka Marsala, while the curry house dealt with many a request to rehouse a pet dog. Our speaker assured us that no canine friends ended up in the curry.
To ensure that she completely captured our attention, our speaker had brought Tiny along. Tiny was a spaniel with eyes like melting chocolate. Apparently she works hard for her living, accompanying her owner to talks, fairs and charity events.
What an excellent charity the Cinnamon Trust is, enabling elderly people to continue to continue to enjoy the companionship of a four-legged friend while knowing there is always a volunteer on hand to take them for what
I understand is called "walkies" and a foster home in the event of a hospital stay. The Trust also maintains a register of Care Homes willing to accept a pet cat or dog.
However good my friend Google may be,
there is nothing like hearing all about a topic from the horse's mouth. Which is probably why Myra keeps ringing me up to ask questions I cannot answer. I'm not so much the horse, I fear, as the donkey.
is at hand. Or, not exactly at hand but out in Northern Cyprus where Myra is visiting her son for the next two weeks. I imagine he will put her right on All Things I-Pad, thus releasing me from my current position as Reluctant Expert.
A position which, you have probably gathered, I am more than happy to relinquish.