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How a tractor cured my online displacement activity

I returned from Nepal last Monday afternoon to the usual mountain of email, post and messages. Being somewhat sleep-starved and travel-weary, dealing with it would probably have occupied most of my week. But on Tuesday morning, an overladen tractor on our hill took out the phone wires, which mean no phone, no email and no web-surfing all week.

BT sent engineers out daily, to communicate, to survey the damage and to plan the repair. By Friday afternoon they had replaced two telegraph poles and a long section of cable, which seemed rather efficient, and we were back online. Meantime I had realised that my most important task was to write up the Everest trekking route description while it was fresh in my mind. Have broken the back of that task without online distraction, I now think the tractor did me a favour, although it didn't feel that way at the time.

It's so tempting to let the small, easy tasks (like replying to email) squeeze out the large important ones (like writing a book). Next time I am tempted by displacement activity, I shall try to remember the tractor – albeit unplugging my ethernet cable is an easier step to undo.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 5, 2009 1:29 PM.

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