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Beyond the Lone Islands

http://dawntreader-island2.blogspot.com

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Rocket Post



Yesterday afternoon I suddenly found myself, for no apparent reason, without internet connection. What?! Why?! Help!!!

I confess: I have become an addict. I can no longer function without the WWW! Without access to it, I feel completely lost and out of touch with the rest of humanity!!!

Also have to confess, though, that the initial panic did not last all that long. After all, even though feeling a bit snowed in at the moment, I live right in the middle of civilization; and the only thing not in working order was the internet. Electricity, TV, phones etc were all working just fine.

So while waiting to see if the internet would sort itself out, I decided to watch something sobering to put things into perspective.

Nothing better for the purpose than the British film The Rocket Post (which I have on DVD).

The story is loosely based on experiments in the 1930s to provide a postal service by rocket mail to the island of Scarp off the coast of Scotland. (In those days, they did not yet have telephones on Scarp, and they were feeling a wee bit isolated.) For this purpose, a German inventor, Gerhard Zucker, was employed. Being German, he was of course received with some scepticism by the islanders; and at the same time, the German government was not too pleased with one of their own providing technology for the British. The story in the film focuses on this tension - and, of course, on a romantic love story... The making of the film was also surrounded by a bit of drama in itself, because while it was shot in 2001, it was not released until 2006 - three years after the death of the director, Stephen Whittaker.

Rocket mail, exciting though it may have sounded back in the 1930s, never became a big success. (And certainly not on the island of Scarp.)

However, one phrase used in the film hit me as I watched it yesterday. It was in some conversation comparing telephone vs. rocket mail: "Aye, but you cannot send letters by telephone."

Haven't we come a long way since then!!!

After watching the film, I unplugged my modem, plugged it in again - and voilà! I found myself once more reunited with the world wide web...

(PS. Photo of fireworks taken by me at New Year; not from the film.)

6 comments:

{Simply} Heather said...

Monica, I just read your post below this one and was going to comment there but now realize that you must be feeling a little bit better...I hope, because you've posted this one :)

Sorry to hear that you were dealing with more pain, but glad that you did not hurt yourself in any new areas.

Feel better ♥

DawnTreader said...

Thanks Heather. Yes, a little bit better. A lot of time in horizontal position, and not so much sitting at the computer this weekend... but at least today the internet connection has stayed up! I keep checking in every now and then, if just for a little while, just to make sure... ;)

Ginny said...

Well, I am so glad to see this post, because that means you are not feeling too awfully bad from the fall!! Yes, I would be lost without my computer, too. I'm glad that worked out. Why have I never heard of this movie? It sounds very good! Your quote from it is funny! Is your picture taken from the T.V. when you were watching the movie? It is just lovely, also mysterious. I looked at it for quite a while trying to figure out what it is, so you have to let us know! It looks kind of like fireworks, but maybe fiber optics, as well. Maybe it's something from the rocket itself. Clicking on your Wikipedia links were very interesting. They seem to have stamps to commemorate everything, don't they? I love this post for it's unusual beauty, plus I learned something I didn't know. I think I will find and buy that movie.

DawnTreader said...

Ginny, the picture is not from the movie. It is one I took of fireworks on New Year's Eve (from my balcony).

GB said...

Oh dear Monica. Having been out of touch for a few days I hadn't realised you'd had a fall and this is the first post I've read. I'll try and read the others before I fall asleep.

I'm glad you are obviously at least a bit better anyway.

Scarp, as I'm sure you know, is an Island off Harris which is physically, part of the Island on which I live in Scotland. I know the story of course but I've never seen the film. I must do that sometime soon.

DawnTreader said...

Good to hear from you, Graham!♥
The first time I watched this film - a year or two ago perhaps? - I did not yet know you, nor CJ. (That seems so strange, writing that. I feel like I've known you both for ages.) I knew the story in the film took place in the Outer Hebrides; but I would not have been able to name the island of Lewis (Harris I think is mentioned in the film). Rewatching it now, the landscape reminded me not just of Scotland in general but of pictures that you and your brother have been showing!

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