Tag Archives: technology

the way home

The Way Home by Mark Boyle, read by Gerard Doyle

From Audible:

It was 11:00 pm when I checked my email for the last time and turned off my phone for what I hoped would be forever.

No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio, or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce. 

The Way Home is a modern-day Walden – an honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life lived in nature without modern technology. Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Man, explores the hard-won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the stream, foraging, and fishing. 

What he finds is an elemental life, one governed by the rhythms of the sun and seasons, where life and death dance in a primal landscape of blood, wood, muck, water, and fire – much the same life we have lived for most of our time on earth. Revisiting it brings a deep insight into what it means to be human at a time when the boundaries between man and machine are blurring.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I find it hard to explain why I enjoyed this so much. It’s far from exciting and the story jumps around a lot, not just within the author’s own life, but also between his development of the smallholding and the islanders of the Blaskett Isles. I think my enjoyment stems from the openness of the author. He is very aware of his faults but also proud of his achievements. He doesn’t try to glorify his struggle without modern technologies but neither does he romanticise his new life.

He also openly acknowledges his struggle to live his new life without technology but also exist in the modern world. At times he must make compromises in order to see his parents and to help his neighbours. He’s also starting from scratch so in order to become established he needs to use the proceeds or results of modern technology.

The reader in this case brings a lot to the experience. I believe I enjoyed this more as an audiobook than I would have as a regular book. Once I became used to his pronunciation and tone, his voice added to the story making it a richer and more enjoyable experience.

Header image source: fossbytes.com

tip: how to backup your strava account

One of my favourite blogs is Tempo Cyclist. He writes about lots of things, mostly cycling related. This morning he shared a great tip that I was unaware of and think is worth sharing.

Rather than try to rehash what TC has already eloquently described head over to his blog and read what he has to say. While there I’d recommend having a look at his older posts and giving him a follow if you don’t already 👍

new member of the family

In the recent Amazon Prime sale we decided to buy one of these:

An Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) with Alexa built in. Currently priced at £89.99 we managed to get it for £54.99. I don’t think the full price is worth it but even at the previous sale price of £59.99 it definitely is.

So far I’m very impressed. We have been looking to replace a very large CD/Radio in the kitchen for a while now but wanted Bluetooth connectivity and FM radio. The Echo connects to any radio station via their Internet stream and also connects to any Bluetooth enabled device and a choice of music streaming services via inbuilt Amazon Music Unlimited or Spotify (haven’t tested this out yet). Amazon Music Unlimited setup required the intervention of Customer Service to overcome a payment setup issue but once sorted it is working well.

As a Bluetooth speaker it’s also great, giving much better sound and more power than expected from a speaker of this size. If the streaming services work out as expected though I have a feeling I won’t use the phone connection as much as I expected to.

Alexa is also fun. We’ve had a play with it and I think we probably will use it as an alternative to “OK Google” but as we’re not yet a connected home her usefulness will be limited. The voice activation and control of the system is very useful and quite impressive though.

Overall, very pleased and surprisingly so. I’d give it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 to date.