On the shelf with Mr Nerdy

Our summer holiday was not a Cliff Richard song. For a start, we travelled in a Skoda Felicia estate rather than a double-decker bus and, perhaps more significantly, we didn't go where the sun shone brightly.

In fact, we went to the north-eastern coast of England, which may well have more than its fair share of good weather, but none of it chose to manifest itself in the first week of July. That is not to say that we had a miserable time. The kids raced around on folding scooters when they weren't being photographed looking like Harry Potter in the grounds of Alnwick Castle, exploring Hadrian's Wall, excavating Bamburgh Beach (wearing fleeces) or visiting the Metro Centre to play bowling and buy more folding scooters on which to race around.

The nearby village of Seahouses satisfied one of my criteria for a civilised town. It had a decent bookshop, an amazingly well-stocked secondhand one, no less. There I picked up a couple of Des Dillons and a Douglas Adams. Had I not already got it, I might have been tempted by one of fellow columnist Mitchell's books which was there for the buying.

If the Mr Literary side of my personality was well catered for, Mr Nerdy was not. He'd brought along a Psion organiser but Mr L borrowed it to write a Summer Diary piece. Mr Nerdy didn't really care. It was information he wanted. Our holiday home had a TV, but no Teletext. How was I supposed to find out what the papers were saying, the story behind the digital TV licences (slight obsession) or the five-day weather forecast? And, of course, Teletext is just a methadone fix for the true worldwide web information junkie.

Eventually, I gave in to the craving and paid pound;1 for 10 minutes of Internet access at the holiday park's reception area. There I accessed my emails, managing only to delete the more poisonous-looking spam items. Some species of filtering software wouldn't let me do much else, beyond discovering that it was due to rain at least once a day for the remainder of our break.

I had a holiday in the same area around three years ago. At that time my PC was rarely used as a source of information. Now I use it as such professionally, for leisure and to help the kids with their homework. I may not be a young one any more, but at this pace of change, walkin' talkin'

livin' cybernetic dolls could be a real possibility in my lifetime.

Mr Literary and Mr Nerdy are working together to create a website for the writers' group of which Gregor Steele is a member.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you