A week ago Sunday, my laptop made a worrisome noise while I was reading, and a couple of programs crashed. I turned it off and rebooted; it got to the log-in window, but would not log me in. It is getting old and has seen a lot of use over the years. I made an appointment at the Genius bar for a few days later.

My only real concern was that I had not backed up my pictures from England – luckily I had done a back-up before I left. My friendly genius could not find the fault in the hard drive, but was also unable to get me logged in in the usual way. I did manage to retrieve my pictures while I was there, and then they wiped the drive. Hopefully I will get a new one installed during the week.

In the meantime, I am left with my little iPad, which, while it allows me to get online and keep up with business, does not offer itself as a great compositional tool. Having suggested that I might try to write a post from England using it, I found I did not have the patience, once I had tapped out a round of emails. Many things about the touchscreen frustrate me, and so I have been at somewhat of a remove from my usual activities. This does not feel the same as going completely unplugged, where there is soon enough a sense of relief; here there is almost an itch, scratched through a shoe, to borrow Suzuki Roshi’s lovely image, and a sense of just biding my time until things get back to normal. Hopefully this will be in time to prepare my usual mailings ahead of this weekend’s bicycle Roaming Zen…

I have as my iPad email signature ‘typed on glass’. As soon as I could figure out how to do it, I turned off the text correction, as it seemed to result in all kinds of anomalous and unfortunate choices, but I keep the suggestion boxes above the’keyboard’. One thing that does give me pleasure is seeing the device start to suggest zen words while I am typing. At least it is learning something.

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