Ok, no one noticed I had gone or probably cared one way or another why I was no longer posting. Perhaps I was on holiday or simply had nothing to say..
Maybe, but that's not true. I've been living offline for the past ten days and not by choice. Last Tuesday morning the computer I had used for the past five years with barely a problem died, suddenly, without warning and, as it turned out, irretrievably.
Sudden bereavement ? In many ways, it was like losing a family member - an acute sense of loss, of that "person" no longer being part of your life. The hard disk turned out to be damaged beyond repair though some data was retrieved and has been transferred to the new machine much as the organs of a dead person can be used to help someone still alive.
There's a limit to how much you should anthropomorphise this...it's a machine after all but it is or can be a key part of your life. No access to emails or to favoured web sites, no opportunity to engage in the cut and thrust of debate on politicalbetting.com or elsewhere.
I've finished a book on the fall of France in 1940. I've sat out in the garden with Mrs Stodge and enjoyed the summer evenings. I've listened to music I've not listened to in ages.
In the past decade, society has become "online", especially for the young for whom lack of access to a PC or mobile is considered akin to removing a limb. That said, "offline" is still a place to be valued and occasionally it's useful to remember that there's a life beyond blogs and the Internet and it's not a bad place to live.