A week in Byron Bay.




If this blog seems a bit quiet, it is because we are not home. The blogging on the move isn’t the strongest part of my writing oeuvre. Not that the words disappear or fade, but the technical aspect of using a computer away from the familiarity of our upstairs little office is challenging. Although, I admit freely that anything away from home is now becoming a challenge. This is why we decided to wrench ourselves to the outside, and take a break up North at Byron Bay. You know how it is; sun and surf still appeals.

Did you know that two days ago my Apple iPhone became locked for no reason? The internet provided by TPG had dropped out. Both my computer and Helvi’s just did not walk. Nothing, rien, nichts or niks would make it work. It’s funny how a break in our IT world can be so unsettling. And I thought we were pretty aloof on the possibility of being hooked on computers.

A good friend suggested I take my locked Apple iPhone to a Telstra shop. Our account is with Telstra which are the biggest telephony company in Australia. The service provider of the internet however is TPG, a much smaller company. They seem to have a permanent advertisement on the TV which drives me mad but not enough to change providers.

Telstra shops are always busy and you can tell that it are the lost and the forlorn oldies that have the most trouble with  modern electronic communication gadgetry. They are doomed to forever catch up with the increasingly more intricate cell-phone world. It is all so baffling, but you can tell by their worried puckered up faces they are all at their wits end. I too joined them which gives comfort. And after I gave my name, which a man wearing a Telsra name tag tapped into a tablet, was asked to take a seat and wait for my turn.  The shop was now full of Mobile/Cell-Phone traumatized elderly people holding up their gadgets like a S.O.S.

When my name was called a young girl approached and asked about my problem with the locked iPhone. She suggested it could well be due because of the age of the phone (rather than my age). ‘Why not update and buy a new one,’ she suggested?  New iPhone made by Apple costs hundreds. I baulked at spending so much on a telephone, especially when they appear to get ‘locked’, and apparently at their own volution! I noticed a new Telstra phone for $99.- with all the colourful buttons and apps much the same as an Apple iPhone. After I bought it she tapped in all my details and as I kept the same number I was pleased to have this problem of my old locked phone solved at minimum costs.

When I came back and tried my new phone it wasn’t easy to get used to the change. The buttons were all different and the sheer number of choices that one had to make to install the workability of it all was dauntingly depressing. Just to install the phone numbers of family and friend’s in the new phone had me close to calling the ambulance, while Helvi threatened to call the police. This new phone wanted me to accept ‘good morning’ reminders of, ‘time to go to work’, all sorts of memories and reminders and birthdays. It was just so endless and pointless.  Who is the sadist thinking this all up?

It all made me wish to go back to try and unlock my old trusted iPhone.  The message of contacting Apple was still on the old Apple screen and even had a phone number which I rang. Much to my relief, but after going though another round of pressing this number and that number on my landline-phone, I got to talk to a real person. Not only real, but with an Aussie accent. To ascertain my identity I was asked secret questions for which answers were apparently given some years ago when I set up the iPhone. Fortunately, two of the secret bits of information I gave were correct. He guided me to set-up a new password, and bingo, my Apple iPhone did a Lazarus and came back to life. Of course, even though the iPhone went back to life, the phone account had been switched over to the new phone.

The upshot of it all is that I use the new Telstra phone as a normal phone ( if there is still such a thing as a ‘Normal’ phone) and the old iPhone for internet and downloading e-mails.

It’s not easy, and that’s why we are going to Byron Bay to soak up some warm sun and drink cold beer.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

20 Responses to “A week in Byron Bay.”

  1. Dorothy Brett Says:

    This one made me laugh out loud..
    Do you want to call in on your way back., tomstay or lunch or anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We would love to see you at some stage, but I do want to drive back on a Sunday in order to avoid all those trucks and road trains squeezing me into a tree or telegraph pole. We shall see! Thank you for the invite.


  2. lifecameos Says:

    The other day my niece and I were looking at one of her magazines and decided that a website listed in one article looked to be helpful. I wanted to write down the web address but she picked up my phone and photographed it on the page ! Fortunately I remembered to ask her how to get it out of the phone, and successfully retrieved it that night. She is in her mid forties – old enough to know better ?


  3. auntyuta Says:

    Just enjoy your stay up north. In two weeks Peter and I will be going up north too, but only as far as Numbucca Heads.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      That’s funny, Uta. My brother and his wife booked a cabin at Nambucca Heads this week, and we might visit them on the way over. It is a small world.

      We have been to Byron Bay many times. I am curious if all those shark attacks around there have limited the number of people taking to the water with their surf-boards.

      I know that the surf board manufacturers have suffered.


  4. berlioz1935 Says:

    I have an old iPhone that I’m using as an iPod only. The iPhone did not really work very well as a phone. I think they are overrated and people can’t wait for the release of the new iPhone 8 later this month.

    I have now a Microsoft Lumina for a fraction of the cost that cooperates with my PC. Both work on Windows 10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My new phone is a Telstra Phone and seems to do everything my old iPhone did and more. It has a large screen and with time I will learn how to get even more out of it.
      You seem to have a knack of working it all out, Peter.
      I am hopeless and Helvi is forever telling me to calm down and eat a real apple instead of the fiddling with iPhone apple.
      I use the old iPhone to get news and weather even though my Telstra phone might do that as well.
      I can also do ‘Google’ and yesterday, much to my surprise got my blog on it as well.
      Things are slowly returning to normal in my household.


  5. Big M Says:

    Bloody phones, some of us want them just for talking! I went through a phase of ‘checking in’ on Facebook. The advantage is thst one can review, say, restaurants, pubs and cafes. Mrs M now forbids this. She doesn’t want people to know where we are and what we are eating.

    Have a great break. Byron Bay is fabulous.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Big M. I am not surprised Mrs M forbids your Facebook adventures.

      Facebook I look at sometimes but am reluctant to use it as I seem to get invitations to give ‘happy birthday’ to people I never heard of. I even had Russian women enticing me to ‘join’ in becoming friends.

      I remember years ago on a train trip between Moscow and St Petersburg meeting a very kind and voluptuous Svetlana giving me absinth soaked sugar cubes.

      In the cabin behind me were a group of American choir singers who, after I told them I was from Australia insisted that I do an impersonation of Crocodile Dundee,’ s character Paul Hogan’s ‘Howyer Going?’

      It now all seems so long ago.


  6. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Another perfect example of technology making our lives simpler yet more hellish at the same time. Updating our phones is costly and often comes with headaches. And yet where would we be without them? Glad you got yours sorted out even if you did end up with two devices. 😁


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, and one wonders how the older generation copes with it all. More and more are we pushed in doing things online. Face to face is now so tortuous and is deliberately being phased out.

      I often see the bank employees explaining to the old how to use an ATM machine. You can see by the anxious faces of the elderly that they would like nothing more than to fill in a deposit or withdrawal slip to do their banking.

      Many people shop at the supermarket using a card which they tap and tap filling in numbers often slowing down the queue for those that have the cash ready. Electronic transfers are not quicker.

      Oh, it’s all so difficult, Carrie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie Rubin Says:

        And now some restaurants don’t even have people wait on you. You just fill out what you want on an iPad!


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        While I was at the Telstra-shop one sad elderly man told me his USB stick had ‘frozen’. It held the entire funeral of his wife which he said he would sometimes watch on the TV.

        Modern TVs have expanded and opened new horizons.

        I am not sure I would watch funerals though.


  7. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Oh, my! Yay for the resurrection! 🙂
    Technology is great but can cause us great frustrations.
    Enjoy the warm sun, cold beer, and relaxation!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We will enjoy Byron and more.

      The technology needs to simplify. Do people really want all those options on a phone?

      I mean do you use a saucepan to take photos or the electric blanket to send messages?

      Hugs too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        I’m not sure if they do…but I know I don’t use all the options/apps on my phone. I mostly like to talk and text. 🙂

        Ha! No, I don’t! 😀 I can’t even imagine what the future holds…technology-wise.


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Made me reconsider bying a new lPhone. Enjoy your vacation.


  9. shoreacres Says:

    I sat here last night trying to pinpoint why “Telstra” seemed so familiar. This morning it came to me. During the 1960s, in the very earliest days of satellites, a song called “Telstar” was popular. I wonder if Telstra took their name by slightly rearranging the letters of the famous satellite?

    I spent some time during Harvey transferring favorite CDs over to iTunes. I finally broke down and bought an iPod — which was a good move, since they’re discontinuing sales of the little one I purchased. It’s especially nice because I have plenty of CDs with only two or three songs I like. I can add those, and ignore the rest. No more skipping through songs to find the ones I like!

    As for phones, I still have an old Samsung flip phone, and I love it. I have the industrial-strength one with a heavy case, which makes it useful on the docks. It’s so small (2″x4″x1″) it tucks nicely into a pocket. I can make calls and text if I have to, and there’s nothing else I need to do with it. Best of all, I haven’t had to update it for about five years, and it still works.

    i think the trick is adopting the technology that can be useful in our particular circumstances, while not allowing the tech companies to persuade us that we can’t live without their products!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: