East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Bread and keyboards

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My wonderful ergonomic keyboard is showing its age – two thirds of the keys are worn shiny and the letters are gone, and the space bar gets stuck and all that. So I’ve decided I’ll try and learn to repair computer keyboards, but in the meantime I’ve ordered a new mechanical keyboard taking advantage of the current Black Friday Before Time offers from Amazon.

Now this will sound all sorts of kinky, but there’s a strange sort of anticipation, and pleasure, in unpacking, setting up and breaking in a new keyboard.
Yeah, I know, it sounds weird.
But as a writer, I’ll be spending a lot of time with my keyboard, it will be my working tool – just as my PC and my writing software etc. And more, I’ll be using it physically, actually touching the thing.

And being at ease with your writing tools is important in your everyday routine – just as it’s important to find the right pen for writing by hand, and the right kind of paper. It’s not just fetishism or posturing. The keyboard, just like the pen and paper, is what will give a physical form to words and ideas. It’s the interface between our brain and the printed page (or the e-reader screen). The less the attrition between keys and fingertips, between brain and muscles, the better.

And of course there’s the health angle – a good keyboard, just as a good pen, means no cramps, no carpal tunnel syndrome, no back aches etc.

So I’m about to break in a new keyboard – and meanwhile I’ll try and learn how to maintain and repair my old ergonomic mechanical keyboard.
Because the lockdown is coming, and I’ll need an hobby.

And because I was spending my hard-earned savings on Amazon during this sales, and because the lockdown’s coming, and because we’ll need a hobby but we also need to think about the weeks to come, I’ve also ordered a very basic, low-end bread maker machine (and a small supply of self-rising flour (my first purchase through the Amazon Pantry).

This is one of those decisions that we’ve been discussing with my brother for ages and the pandemic pushed us in the right direction.

As you know, I live in a small village, with just one small grocery store – otherwise the nearest bakers’ shop is three miles away; not good in winter, and without a car. Even in normal conditions, being able to bake our own bread here at home, would be a bonus. Also, it would be a lot cheaper, and it would allow me to experiment – and prepare some tasty exotic breads. I love bread, by the way.
And right now, we’re up to 12 COVID cases here in the village where I live – that’s 2%. I don’t feel like going around much, if I can avoid it.

And yes, all this has a sort of cheap and silly “prepper” vibe – we are acquiring the hardware to weather the coming cold months, and the virus that seems here to stay for a while still.

It’s going to be a long winter, but we’ll get out of it.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

One thought on “Bread and keyboards

  1. The bread maker is a godsend, believe me! Nothing is more satisfying to bake your own bread and to experiment different flavors. But old plain bread is just so yummy… and you can eat it still warm…priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

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