At last a silver lining… by Beatrice Crawford

I have just been sitting at my big desk computer iMac 21 for hours preparing a delivery order from Tesco for a friend. Fortunately Tesco are still offering a list of food items available to buy. So I clicked like crazy, going from one page to the next, not remembering what I had already clicked, but obeying their repeated invitation to benefit from a price offer for two items, etc. It took me over an hour.

Then, full of confidence, and as naive as Candide, I clicked to choose a delivery slot. Horror! None available until Heavens knows when!!!  Fortunately I had not lost my list, but silly Tesco refused to show me that list line by line. So I then set about making screenshots of all the small columns in the right margin showing each of my selected items.  I ended up with five screenshots stored on my computer desktop inside my newly created folder, ’TESCO’.  Then, the prospect of having to select the most urgent items on each screenshot and type them into a Word file felt like an added Herculean task…

Well, Apple must have detected my slowing down, becauseall of a sudden it displayed on my screen a small window saying ‘dictate’,  and a small microphone appeared on the top right of the screen and began to wink at me!!!  I immediately opened a Word page, clicked on the microphone and a red circle appeared on it inviting me to speak. I read aloud the first essential item on my first screenshot and, Alleluia, the words appeared on the page!! So I kept reading more. My Apple could even understand my French accent, except the word ‘original’ that came out just about recognisable but with funny spelling. At that point it became a joy to ask clearly and loudly for one item after the other on each of the five screenshots. I got carried away and created a longer list, though still shorter than my initial longlist. Why had I kept it? Well, last but not least, I knew that if I sent my friend that original typed list for her Tesco slot, everything would be at our door on Friday morning. 

It’s so good to remind ourselves of some benefits from this crisis. First, to have wonderful friends. But then these surprising hours at my Apple computer with the great technical discovery at the end. No excuse now for not starting seriously to ‘dictate’ to my iMac that potential ‘second book’ that has been turning in circles in my head for the last few years. Onwards, with my newly discovered friend, the iMac 21…

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