|Skype is technology (Yawn!), it's all to do with|
computers (Boreeng!), it's a cheap way of making
telephone calls (Hey, I'm a skinflint, tell me more.)
Skype puts you where you want to be and is magic
The distances are puny compared with the USA. Newent, Gloucestershire, is only 25 miles from Hereford where VR and I live. Luton, Bedfordshire, on the other side of the country, 64 miles, and Tavistock, way down the south-western peninsula, 207 miles. Anything other than our electronic umbrella would be impractical.
The Tuesday and Thursday Skypes start at 5 pm and may be comparatively short with meals to prepare. But Saturday, at 6 pm, is special, given that drinks are not only allowed but encouraged. Even more so now, since a Grand Project is afoot, of which I may not yet speak.
Skype demands etiquette. When one Skyper talks over another, the system semi-strangles one or both of the voices and I search the sub-screens nervously for signs of a noose. To speak one must first examine other mouths to check whether words are about to burst forth.
VR and I (Little Grannie and Big Grandpa) remain stationary, fixed to our PC’s monitor. Others, freed by the mobility of their smartphones, ramble freely round their residences, as if in the Titanic as it sinks.
The atmosphere is febrile. Gusts of laughter mingle with half-heard insults. Gossip is endemic, though not pandemic. Those who have facts to dispense have a hard time being coherent. All of us hate the present government and near-obscenities are shouted out, never to be heard in layer upon layer of sound.
The affection is always in what we do, rarely in what we say. Family feeling must be implicit not stated. We are separate yet united, invisibly. It is our way.