Monday, 9 July 2012

Remember Kevin?

You remember Kevin? My Christmas gifted Kindle and the object of my desire since the moment we met.

Things have moved on. We went on our first holiday - to Taba Heights, on the Red Sea in Egypt. I travelled with a girlfriend - a woman I worked with years ago and have known since our kids were babies - and I had grave doubts about whether to let Kevin tag along. I knew there were advantages, of course - most notably that I wouldn't have to pack a kilo or two of paperbacks in my suitcase and that I could convert my work-in-progress into a pdf file to read and review while I was away from home and without my laptop.

That was actually what I planned to do the evening before we left. But horror of horrors, for the first time ever, I emailed the pdf to my kindle address and it didn't arrive. I tried again - and again - and still, it didn't arrive. I contacted Amazon via live chat and asked what the maximum time could be for a download. They assured me it was usually instantaneous unless the file was humongous. Mine wasn't. I sent it again - and again, with the word 'convert' in the subject line - and aaaaaargh, it still didn't arrive! And then... all five attempts arrived in quick succession. I thanked the 'customer service associate' (yes, really!) and signed off.

I can't read a single word on my Kindle, even with my reading glasses, without changing the font size to somewhere between large and extra large (take note, Kevin - it's the way I usually prefer my men too) so that was my next task. Only it wouldn't work. The option to change the font size was simply not highlighted in the menu. I tried everything, before contacting Amazon again. A second customer service associate tried everything too, but to no avail. Eventually, he took my phone number and said someone would be in touch.

By then, I was practically on the verge of a nervous breakdown, already mentally calculating how many frocks and pairs of shoes I would have to unpack in order to squeeze two weeks' worth of real books into my suitcase - and furious that I was missing the football. Technology, I cursed, reverting to my Luddite roots - you can never, ever rely on it! To their credit, Amazon called me before I had time for a total meltdown - and they did solve the problem, but the whole process took over an hour.

And that wasn't the end of my stress-fest. I was still worried about Kevin getting sand in his suit on the beach and that perhaps he wouldn't function so well after that. I fretted that he might bump into someone else while he chilled out on a sun lounger and I went for a quick dip or to fetch a drink from the bar - and that he might simply move on. But my fears were ill-founded. With Kevin, it was always love at first sight, of course, but after spending so much quality time together - on the plane, on the beach, in bed, and on long coach journeys to visit Petra, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, I think I have fallen even more deeply in love. My breath is bated till the next time...


  1. Sounds like an amazing holiday. I'm so impressed that you went to Petra. I've wanted to visit that temple in the mountains ever since Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade! It must have been a magical experience.

  2. If ever there was a warning not to try "technology" in a last minute rush, this is it. I'm just hoping I'll remember it when the time comes. The kindle's ability to carry your own work on screen so documents can be read for revision when on the move was a major reason for getting one so very glad to read your post before I really need it!

    I still love real books but the Kevins of the world have advantages when you are travelling - and disadvantages I hadn't thought about as well.
    Glad you talked about Kevin.

    There's a really useful blog about kindle as a publishing tool for writers, written by Katherine Roberts.