Sunday, 17 April 2011


Wow. My browser no longer remembers this URL address.

Recently I read an article* about how addicted we are to mobile internet: to the extent that we're no longer able to bear being on our own and automatically reach for the phone/iPod when left alone. I realised I do the same thing: check facebook on my phone when waiting for the metro, read the news on my iPod when it's not my half hour at work, etc.

So... is it possible to spend time alone without recourse to a phone-full of virtual company? For purely scientific purposes, I've analysed my own weekend, containing a fair amount of loner-time. Here we go (it's likely that the hours will not add up, maths is not my strong point and time is at best a hazy concept):

- Writing/checking an achingly dull Italian legal translation with two Technical Annexes: 9 hours

- Reading The Blessing by Nancy Mitford: 4 hours
- Daydreaming about being picked up by a French duke while weeping on my suitcase in the Gare du Nord (I know that's a different book): about 45 minutes

- Running: 45 mins
- Washing, showering, grooming in general: 2-3 hours

- Cooking (surprise entry because normally I have trouble even finding the kitchen): 45 mins
- Shopping (just for food, Mr ING branch manager): 1 hour
- Compulsively checking bank account for arrival of late payment: total about 20 mins

- Drinking alcoholic beverages in the company of real (as opposed to virtual) people: total about 6 hours, but can't remember exact going-home times. Drunk text messages in my 'Sent' box may give some indication though.
- Rather awkwardly admiring other people's babies/photos of babies: 20-ish mins
- Daydreaming about having sweet cuddly babies of own: maybe about 30 mins
- Wondering whether my mutual fund includes maternity cover: 10 mins
- Thinking wistfully (and not without a touch of envy) of generous fonctionnaire healthcare package: 15 mins

- Sleeping: a blissful 9-ish hours, all at night-time, not a hint of an afternoon snooze on the sofa.
- Watching imported American TV series and Trinny and Susannah (it holds a morbid fascination: you almost can't help watching. The best episode is the one where they go to Flanders) on the Flemish channels: 5-ish hours, probably, but a lot of the time it was just on in the background while I was doing something else.

- Messing about on the piano: about 20 mins
- Messing about on the internet: hours and hours and hours. I'm not sure that this has worked at all...

* In Wysokie Obcasy, so I am at least still trying.