POSTCARD FROM THE HEBRIDES
by Park Theatre
A round of Park Theatre applause, please, for succeeding in getting this blog entry to you today.
I write this not from the familiar environs of Finsbury Park, but overlooking the sea to Goat Island from my current antler-bedecked lodgings in the former manager's abode at the Isle of Jura Distillery, in the Inner Hebrides. This is a place described approvingly by George Orwell as 'extremely unget-at-able' - and communications haven't improved a great deal since his day. It's a shock, for a dogged Steve Jobs disciple like me, to be in a place with only a Bakelite telephone to rely on: no TV, no mobile reception, no internet.
A couple of times this week I've walked a mile along the beach to the Jura Service Point, where there is free wi-fi for precisely three hours a day, five days a week. The lady who looks after the three PCs at the Service Point is chirpy and welcoming - as is the norm on Jura - but the internet connection is so creaky and uncooperative that I soon give up.
Being here, what I realise is how the habit of being 'always on' affects the rhythm of your life. It punctuates your time, breaking everything up into discontinuous fragments. Here, time flows astonishingly smoothly - and for a writer, this is a wondrous thing.
That said, I couldn't live here. There are lessons to be imported home with the whisky in my suitcase, but I am way too dependent on the buzz of the theatre world to exile myself long-term. Tomorrow I begin the long journey home - by car, ferry and plane - to Twitter, Facebook, texting and the unashamedly urban yet cosy bosom of the Park Theatre family.