Well! We have entered into what Rob describes as ‘the dark side’.
I recently wrote about the pleasure Rob and I have in opening the newspapers each morning and seeing them spread comfortably over the dining room table during breakfast.
However, Rob had need of a new iPad, and our children were urgently emailing him, strongly advising him to buy a particular brand. He is fondly known in the family as ‘Grumpy Gramps’, and would never listen to advice from those who clearly know better. Up until this week he had soldiered on using an ancient other brand, until it was really not serving any useful purpose.
I have a mini iPad, dutifully following the advice of those who claimed to be ‘in the know’, and Rob was surreptitiously using it more and more, particularly with the cryptic crosswords when he couldn’t access the answers on his old iPad. We had become used to reading print on my mini screen.
One evening I suggested (gently) that he consider a new iPad, the one both his son and his IT guru son-in-law in the family recommended. We could buy a subscription to both the Bendigo Advertiser and The Age, replacing our newspapers with digital format, thereby saving money.
Rob loves gadgets. Give him the nod to buy anything technological and he is in techno heaven. He will disappear, clutching manual and new-fangled piece of equipment and emerge hours or even days later from his study, starving and dishevelled, having happily solved the various problems involved in setting it up, ready to begin enjoying the advantages of what he has purchased.
With this in mind he enthusiastically took off to the nearest technology shop and arrived home with the latest iPad and a manual with enough instructions to drive a jet plane.
After a serious week of experimentation we have now cancelled our newspaper subscriptions and have legally joined up to the web. We certainly receive more news and opinions and there are clearly plenty of opinion writers and journalists still writing for our newspapers, using the electronic forum.
So, we two Luddites who clung to the old, who were happy with our newspapers, despite also having computers, are now embracing new media technologies.
I must confess it is much easier to manage a cup of tea in the mornings without turning pages and avoiding spilling said teacup while stretching to read faraway sentences. This neat little mini iPad I work with gives me everything I need and more.
So, farewell my beloved newspapers. I deeply apologise for my lack of loyalty. From childhood days of The Sun which was put to good use providing squares of toilet paper in the outside dunny and paper to light the fire each night in winter, to the Argus,Herald, Bendigo Advertiser and lastly The Age, I shall certainly miss you.
The family are all on board, only too willing to offer any advice that’s needed. For once we’ve actually done something they heartily agree with, without a flurry of emails and anxious questions accompanying our decision.
A new era begins. We have joined the 21st century with one concession – we may continue to buy the occasional weekend paper. Sacrifices can only stretch so far. Reading the Good Weekend and Traveller still have their place near the loo.
Our grandchildren are mightily impressed.