Small pleasures

I do not know what time sunrise is these days but as I left the house at 6 this morning, it was to face the sun coming over the roofs of the house across from my own.

It was truly beautiful.

I woke at 5 this morning, which might seem awfully early but for someone who regularly wakes with a view to getting up at six (with varying degrees of success), it is only an hour in the difference. I read some, mostly about SpaceX this morning. I realised sometime ago that a lot of what I read in bed in the morning was so utterly meaningless that I had forgotten what it was, by the time I got to breakfast, cursing my tardiness in the morning.

Today, however, I don’t have to be anywhere at 8, but I was still awake, and failed to talk myself out of going for a walk. It wasn’t a long walk, and it took me around the estate I live in. However, it was far more than I tend to get. In an ideal world, those 15 minutes would happen every morning but they haven’t been.

I love the early morning. There’s something utterly peaceful about it and one of the things which has made my life feel very stressful is the disconnect I have had from enjoying the peace of the early morning. The world looks very different and you hear sounds very differently as well. There is not the constant sound track of traffic. This morning, I am not hearing the aircraft taking off either. It is utterly gorgeous as a feeling.

Working in the city has a major downside and that is trying to negotiate the thorny question of “how long will it take me to get to work”. In Dublin this is not a question with a consistent answer.

The thing about it is, if you get up in the morning generally feeling good, it sets a tone for the day. It is not yet 7am and I have been for a walk, I have done some needlework. I have done some reading about SpaceX. I have coffee beside me and shortly, there will be breakfast.

A lot of what comes into my inbox lately is exhorting me to be better. To be more successful. To do this. To do that. I don’t read very much of it, and I cleared down some of the bossier elements of it lately. I sometimes wonder if we know what better and more successful is. Whether we have a superficial view of what life should be like. Much of our discussion in that area is by comparison to someone else.

I am not in favour of exhorting the rest of the world to get up early and go for a walk. The beauty and solitude I enjoyed this morning would be destroyed if 800 people leaving around me all decided to go for a walk at 6am just to get some fresh-ish air. What I am in favour of is people identifying the small pleasures that put some shine on their days. There’s an article somewhere on the web – I did not save the link – but it includes a list of 10 things to make your day better or some such. Maybe 11 because it’s being hip and edgy. The underlying idea, I like. Make small pleasures through your day so that even when things are hard, you have a something small to look forward to. And make them a part of life rather than a reward for life. They do not have to come from a blog list and I’m not in the business of telling anyone else what those small things should be. Some people might call it “being kind to yourself”. If it is something as simple as blocking accounts on twitter whose primary objective is to make you feel outraged about something, so be it. If it is fifteen minutes with a newspaper, so be it.  If it is an early morning walk in the dawnlight, so be it.

For me, the small pleasures are a small cup of coffee in the morning. A non-rushed, non-piecemeal breakfast. Fresh bread from Marks & Spencers. Time to myself. I wrote last week about how I struggled with the fact that I just didn’t have time to do all the things I wanted to. I still don’t. I have to set priorities. And my primary priority is to try and set aside time that is sacrosanct to me and which doesn’t include the remotest possibility that the word “should” in terms of “you’re not good enough and you should…” gets to get in the way.

It seems to be hard, sometimes, to take time out for ourselves. So much so that the world appears to have decided that we need loads of advice to do so.

There is a section of the film Le Vrai Destin d’Amelie Poulain where the narrator talks about how Amelie likes the simple things in life. Skimming stones at the canal, the sound a spoon makes as it cracks through the caramelised sugar on a creme brulée. It is very evisceral as a sequence.

I like getting up early. I like the possibilities the morning gives me. I like the way that sometimes, I might do nothing between 8am and 5pm on a Saturday, but what I did between 7am and 8am has made the day massively more productive than it might have been if I had stayed in bed until 9am. I have never, ever regretted getting up early. I have always regretted getting up late.

And this morning, that bought me a little bit of sunlight that made the world of a north Dublin suburb look beautiful.


Time budgets

This morning was wonderful. I have no idea what the weather outside actually looked like, but it sounded wonderful. It has since calmed down to be a stunning May bank holiday Monday. I won’t complain about that although the sound of the rain this morning was just wonderful.


Today, I did a time budget. How much time do I have and what do I want to do it. This is one of those items that has been on my to do list for an age now but I didn’t have much time to do it. A day of work is useful in that respect. I have discovered that the time I need for the things I want or need to do each day exceeds 24 hours. It is as simple as that.

Part of it is that for reasons of health I’d like to get 8 hours sleep per night. And unfortunately I lose the guts of a couple of hours to commuting per day, and then there’s work plus lunch.

The last time I went to a gym, some insufferable idiot who doesn’t have an office job made noise about how the schedule he was offering me to do was only like about an hour. This is so totally dishonest that it doesn’t bear thinking about. The actual routine itself might be directly only an hour but the mere act of going to a gym and doing it far exceeds an hour between transport time and showers and changing clothes and all that. I estimated once than an hour long swim accounted for two hours in an evening. And I liked swimming. It is easier for me to go do something I like for an hour (like swimming) than it is for me to do something I utterly despise (like using gym equipment).

You see the same argument about continuing professional development. All those MOOCs and they are all free. You really have no excuse.

These comments, I find, tend to be made by people who don’t have full time office jobs, don’t commute and on top of it all are probably not doing one of those free MOOCs themselves.

Lots of things take time and although there’s a healthy enough planning community so that people get organised, one of the things that none of them appear to push very hard is a question of “Do you actually have time for all this at all?”

There are 24 hours in a day. Some drawing floating around my facebook  talks about 8 hours to work, 8 hours to sleep and 8 hours for yourself. But it doesn’t work like that, it really doesn’t. That 8 hours for myself includes an indeterminate amount of time spent in traffic in Dublin, whether I drive, or get the bus, I don’t get much change out of 2 hours for that (and I consider myself one of the lucky ones, some people don’t get change out of 4 hours for that). Then there are things like three meals a day, and getting up, having a shower. It might only take 15 minutes to eat breakfast, but either side of it is prep and clean up time. Getting stuff ready to leave the house to go to work.

The eight hours of “me time”, I established this morning, was not adequate for all the other stuff I wanted to do. Most of it was benign stuff like hobby related and household related. Because my head is full of stuff I want to do, and because I never seemed to have time to do much of it, I’ve felt very stressed about it all.

This is why I sat down and made a list of all the things I wanted to just find half an hour for each day. Just half an hour. I mean that’s less than insufferable gym twerp wanted from me for the gym equipment. None of this even involves leaving the house much. It added up to well over 24 hours when you took work and sleep and commuting and the basic stuff you can’t avoid each day. I simply don’t have enough time to do all the stuff I want to do. Which means that priorities have to be set and some stuff has to happen not every day and when you take all that into account there’s still something seriously wrong. I have to plan my day, including my leisure time, down to the nth minute.

Is that what it’s all about? Mad l33t time management skills? I didn’t include listening to the radio or reading a newspaper. I’m not even trying to fit in a MOOC for crying out loud. As for the two or three years I spent doing Open University modules part time…I have no idea whatsoever how I managed it. When did I find time to crochet?

I mean, I have outsourced most of the cooking lately so that I don’t have to do too much in the way of clearing up of ware and washing dishes and pots and stuff.

One of the items on my list – because it’s a car crash of a failure in my life right now – is trying to shoehorn exercise or walking of some description into my day. I want it to happen automatically and every day, or at least 6 out of the 7 days. I want it to be as routine as that shower I take every morning just after I get up. Like brushing my teeth.

To get it in in the morning means I have to get up at 5.30. I wouldn’t mind getting up at that hour if I wasn’t actually trying to schedule every minute as efficiently as possible because I Just Don’t Have Time.

I don’t know any more.



Places in my time line

Most days, I listen to the radio on the way to work in the car, like most people. I don’t much like driving in Dublin but for all that, it’s ten thousand times better than getting the bus was. Out of ecological collective responsibility grounds I tried that for 4 months. It was not good.

But I have between 30 and 60 minutes in the car most mornings, depending on what time I leave home, and I listen to the radio because I can’t read, and I can’t do study, and I can’t do other things I might do with an hour free. For one thing, there are cyclists and for another there are Audi drivers. I maximise the use I get out of that time by listening to foreign language radio. I start off with NDR from Germany, and usually, around half way through the journey, or when the sports news comes on, I switch to France Info. Sometimes, on the way home I listen to RTBF. RTBF is the Belgian/French language equivalent of RTE and I listen to it because I used to live in Brussels. I don’t often care too much about the content of the news, but I value the fact that it forces me to keep a level of foreign language comprehension skills active. Switching between them is good for me too.

On Monday evening this week, I was listening to RTBF and for various reasons, in a rush, RTBF was what remained on the radio at twenty past seven on Tuesday morning. I never listen to it in the morning – my default is always NDR for the morning – so it was pure chance that I tuned in just as reports were starting to break about the explosions at the airport in Brussels. I can remember my blood running cold…I can remember the presenters frantically trying telling people not to go to the airport, that all access was closed, frantically trying to find out what had happened. They had no reporters on the ground at the airport and this was less than 30 minutes, I guess, after the first bomb had gone off. They had so little information at that point in time that they weren’t sure where in the airport the two bombs had gone off. Initially, there was a report that one might have gone off on the tarmac. I worked at an airport for more than 10 years of my life. How on earth, I wondered, in shock, could an explosion happen on the tarmac?

I drove to work not hearing the words “gas explosion” or “accident” but “people are being very careful not to identify the cause of these explosions”. I also learned that both explosions appeared to take place in the check in hall in the terminal building.

By the time I got to work, scant reports about Maalbeek were starting to come out and on that, it seemed clear that the odds of finding a benign – for want of a suitable term – cause of the incident at the airport – were growing much, much longer. Smoke pouring out of underground stations is not generally a good thing.

I’ve been over and back to Brussels a lot in the last 24 months. The last couple of times I had cause to stay overnight there, it’s been at the Thon Hotel in the EU quarter. It’s about 20 metres from Maalbeek. On Tuesday, its lobby became an A&E incident room for the casualties from the explosion below.  I lived 2 metro stops along the same line so pretty much everywhere I went by metro in Brussels when I was living there took me through Maalbeek. TBH, this felt awfully close to a person I used to be.

One of the running themes in the Vimes collection of Discworld books by Terry Pratchett talks about how, in staying alive in the face of an attractive bounty on his head for the Assassin’s Guild, he needs to be lucky every single day. The would be assassin only has to be lucky once. That’s the balance of luck between us, the public, and anyone who wants to cause chaos. And no matter how much work we do to minimise risk in the face of attacks like this, it’s still the case: terrorist only has to be lucky once, we have to be lucky all the time. No matter how much we balance the odds in our favour, they have to be lucky once.

I rail against calling them terrorists, as it happens. That gives them the status they are looking for. They are mass murdering criminals, and it is as criminals we should be treating them, not some special snowflakes.

Brussels is an extraordinary city. I loved it for the fact that pretty much anything I wanted to do, I could. I came home for family reasons in the end, but there are a lot of days – particularly sitting in the car watching yet another Audi A6 driver trying to whip off the front of my car – where I wish Dublin was more like Brussels. In the way of public transport, for example, in the way of shopping. It has a lot of the pluses of living somewhere like Paris without too many of the minuses, like scale. There are days I truly miss the smell of fresh bread from the bakery that was near my apartment.  I love that it has giant comicbook murals. I love some of its street art. I love the architecture of the buildings. And I love the shops.

I am immensely pissed off that anyone would bomb it. And I am heartbroken that the families of more than 30 people are coming to terms with a life less ordinary and that for 300 more people and their families, yesterday was a lot different to how all the tomorrows will be.

For all my friends in Belgium #brussels #bruxelles #brussel #lifeboat #friendship #birdsofaclef

A photo posted by Me (@wnbpaints) on

The End of Average – Todd Rose

Or how to succeed in a world that values sameness.

I was hoping for a lot more from this book but it left me curiously disappointed. In a way, it focused on the author’s own concerns about education but doesn’t really provided you with much support for succeeding in a world that values sameness because it focuses primarily on the world of education. How do I, for example, get a kitchen which is designed for my height rather than the height of the average American woman in the 1940s.

He opens with an anecdote relating to the design of cockpits in the American Airforce and then abandons the practical.

The Ormond Hotel

Back in 1999, when I came home first, I was job hunting, looking for anything basically I could sell myself into. One of the options was technical writing and eventually, I found myself applying for a job with an educational software company. I cannot remember the name of them and I have no idea if they even still exist. A lot happened between then and now, and educational software is not what we are pinning our hats to at the moment.

Anyway, this educational software company – we’d call it an edtech startup now, I suspect – were in the process of moving offices and didn’t want, for the first interview at least to bring their candidates into the chaos of their offices so they invited me for a first interview in the Ormond Hotel. To this day, it is the only time I was in the building and to be honest, I do not remember much about it at this stage. I did not do hotels at the time, and I do not do them much in Dublin since I live here and do not drink cocktails.

It is also the last time I have been in it. But I drive past it every single day and it is deteriorating badly. Apparently the hotel itself closed in 2005 and permission has been refused to demolish it and replace it with a new development. That decision happened in 2014. We are now 2016.

One of the things which saddens me about Dublin is just how much dereliction there is around the city. At some point, someone is going to have to make a hard decision about the hotel. I don’t care that it featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses – I’m not from Dublin and for all the books I’ve read in my life, he’s not God. Ultimately, it is one thing not to approve of a given design for a replacement building, but I cannot believe at this point that the Ormond Hotel as it exists is positive or sustainable either. In many respects, it is an utter blight on its location. Some more of the front panelling appears to have been taken again recently.

I just wonder, at this point, what development is preferable to letting the site decay still further. It isn’t fair on the people of Dublin that this state of affairs is allowed to continue.  That major sites in the city centre just decay like that. IN the context of a campaign to clean up the city, it’s depressing. We can pick up all the paper we like but frankly, as long as the fabric of the city is decaying, it doesn’t matter much if there isn’t any dust on the roads.

7am, Sunday morning

It’s the last day of January and, also, I’ve been awake since 4.30. I’m not sure how I managed this but it probably has something to do with the utterly bizarre dream I had which involved driving a Ford Fiesta down a trainline in Finland and being chased by boys who were interested in stealing the code I had written for some top secret machine learning something or other. I’m not sure this is indicative of a rested mind but it’s probably better than the one about plane trips to somewhere that sounds like it should be in China (but it doesn’t exist) but which apparently was near somewhere that sounds like it should be in Japan, be a shrine but also probably does not exist. In my defence, my most recent reading material has included Prisoners of Geography, about the geopolitical realities caused by geographical physical features. It’s a terrific book and it is buy Tim Marshall. It is the best book I have read in 2016 so far. n=4 and all that, but it does out play Terry Pratchett’s last book which surprised me.

I’m just in a geopolitical kind of mood at the moment.

Anyway, amongst the piles of clickbaitish “how to be Mark Zuckerberg” type advice drivel that either arrives in my inbox via one or two subscriptions that I occasionally think about cancelling, and the passive aggressive advice columns that have a half life of years on Facebook are many variants of Habits of Successful people. During the week, I had an interesting one on Don’t get the habits of unsuccessful people. It was quite interesting in a way.

One of the key issues I have with all the “How to be Mega Successful Advice” is that none of them seem to include the words “First have a ground breaking idea”. I’m pretty sure that Mark Zuckerberg could have gotten up at 5am all he liked but if he didn’t have the idea for Facebook first, all he’d be is totally exhausted. I get weary of the “First get up early every day blah blah” advice.

It’s like this. Humans need a certain amount of sleep. I’d suggest people should decide when they are going to get it. I prefer going to bed early and getting up early. The price of getting up at 5.30am is being asleep by 10pm. You can’t operate on a lack of sleep for long.

The idea is basically that you have more creative time. I do not know that it always works.

I was up at around 10 past 6 this morning. In part that was because I woke at 4.30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I could have done with another couple of hours but sometimes you have to cut your losses. This morning, then, I have already whinged about viral posts on Facebook. Now I am going to mention that any magazine that advises you to get up early every morning because [Array.Of.Rich.Tech.Execs] get up at outlandish times is being negligent if they don’t also tell you what time [Array.Of.Rich.Tech.Execs] goes to bed.

7am on a Sunday morning, even when it is pitch dark outside, is a lovely time of the day. I’m not saying this to be sanctimonious. The day is full of possibilities.

I know people for whom the day is still full of possibilities at 10pm at night. I’m asleep then.


Sharing stuff on Facebook

Yesterday, when I signed into Facebook, I came across yet another epistle full of maniac praise for some family member, which closed with the Share if You have A….

It, along with the screeds that feature a nice little paragraph of passive aggressive emotional manipulation along the lines of “I know most of you won’t read this, and only my true friends will, copy and paste to your wall, don’t share”. I don’t know who came up with this formulation but they should be stripped of access to social media. It is corrosive stuff. You often find it at the end of a hectoring lecture about knowing people who suffer from, usually, cancer. I hate it.

In many respects, Facebook is a great tool. It’s just, sometimes it gets monumentally abused by people who don’t seem to do much self examination. This week in particular, I got a lot of the two stylees above, but I also seemed to have a few friends sharing a lot of viral self help nonsense.

I’ve had years of people sharing this kind of stuff with me. What I have worked out is the following:

  1. You’re not allowed to be disappointed.
  2. You’re not allowed to complain.
  3. Everything wrong in your life is your fault anyway
  4. Whatever you’re doing, it’s wrong, so the fact that things continue to be wrong is still your fault anyway.
  5. Be positive. Otherwise everything is your fault.
  6. Avoid negative people. They only drag you down.
  7. If you don’t like what you’re doing, shut up and accept it and convince yourself you like it. You’ll be happier.

They dress it up in flowery language of course, so you don’t realise that you’re basically being told to shut up and stop annoying people. This isn’t really all that helpful, because sometimes, it’s good to talk, work things out.  Three is probably a straight out lie, along with its brother four. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that 5 probably isn’t as helpful either – iirc Be realistic is likely to be more constructive than being positive.

Six is a sop to one and two. Sometimes you’ll need support even if you convince yourself you won’t because you’re dealing with stuff man. I find it’s good to provide support and do some listening to people who are having a rough time. This presumes that we’re not talking first world problems like the wifi being down.

Seven is an expression of privilege. Variants of it exist in the idea that people would be fully healthy if they only had the right mental attitude. The world doesn’t work like that and my experience is that people who are happy to dole out the kind of advice that amounts to “Lie to yourself” have never had to lie to themselves.

My personal summary of advice in rough times is this:

  1. Identify what is wrong
  2. Figure out how to change it.
  3. Talk out ideas if you have to.

In the meantime, anything vaguely viral in the advice and manipulation front on Facebook, I ignore it.

Bucket lists and dreams

IMG_4659A while ago, I realised that my life was going by and it was about time I started doing things rather than thinking about doing them. As a result, I spent the last week in Switzerland, primarily doing the Glacier Express train trip.

There were mountains. High mountains with big lots of trees and snow on them. It was wonderful.

There was also the Caran d’Ache shops in Geneva and Zurich. I have loved and adored Caran d’Ache writing instruments since I was 15 years old. The only place that really sells them in Dublin is the Pen Corner, and while they have accommodated me with special orders once in a while, they don’t do the art side of things. Kennedy have some of the pencils, but nowhere near to all of the pencils.

As a result, the Caran d’Ache shop in Geneva was the ultimate shop in the world for someone like me. Lots of limited edition fine writing implements, the sort with near annual income salary level pricing (there must be a lot of very, very wealthy people in Geneva). I bought two Paul Smith 849s which I wanted and which have the benefit of not being expensive, but not being cheap plastic either.

I like the 849 pens – I have about half a dozen at this stage and they are a nice weight in my hand. They are, perhaps, not as nice as the Ecridors themselves (130E if you’re buying – I was not on this occasion although I have a shopping list of 3 that I want – it never ends). And of course, there were the pencils.

All those Museum Aquarelles which I can’t get in Ireland, and the Luminance pencils, which I can’t get in Ireland. I had a dozen Aquarelles, and I picked up another half dozen colours which I like a lot, plus I picked up two or three Luminance pencils just to try them.

Plus there were a few Swiss Wood pencils, and series five of the woods of the world collections. I could have spent a lot of money in the Caran d’Ache shop just on art pencils. The truth is I was somewhat limited by the whole lugging thing – my holiday consisted of five days of travelling basically – so I was able to resist full boxes of their neocolor IIs and other water solubles.

I did buy a couple of brushes because they were the equivalent of 2 euro less expensive than they are here and brushes are always handy. In theory, I’m not really needing to buy pencils as I binge bought a bunch of Faber Castell Sparkles not so long ago (they tended to be very hard to get here for a while although since I stocked up, both Easons and the Art and Hobby Store have got in copious supplies).

But I found it very hard to say no to the Caran d’Ache Swiss wood basic HBs. Basic isn’t a great word – they are probably twice the price of the sparkles and you can’t get them here. I have five of them which should keep me going for a while. They have a most beautiful smell of wood.

Outside the shopping in Caran d’Ache’s shops, I spent time in Zermatt, Saint Moritz, Lugano, and especially, I spent time in Swiss trains. The Glacier Express is a 9 hour train journey which basically goes from Zermatt to Saint Moritz or vice versa. I was hoping to see the Matterhorn: IMG_20151019_185311

But it was covered in clouds/fog/hidingtypeweather for the day I was in Zermatt. This was regrettable.

The journey across Switzerland was amazing – we don’t do scenery like it and we certainly don’t do weather like it. The Glacier Express is certainly worth doing in the winter, and they will lay on lunch for you for a consideration – it’s around thirty francs and it is definitely worth doing it.

Saint Moritz was where I bought some non-Caran d’Ache writing tools, and had a walk around. It’s a lovely town, for what I saw of it, although it could be a very expensive place to be shopping given that the shops tend to the high income level brands rather than your average high street store.

From there, I took the scenic train back down to Chur, which I was hoping would be brighter than it had been the evening before but the fog never lifted. It was very atmospheric, but not very conducive to photographs.

I then took the long way to Lugano, via Zurich, which is a lovely train journey even in one of the high speed Intercity Express trains which run all the way to Hamburg.

Zurich is a lovely town. It took has a Caran d’Ache shop. The buildings are beautiful and the train station is especially beautiful as train stations go. It’s also really well located for shopping.

Lugano is beautifully situated on hills around a lake. Again, I wasn’t there for long as I was going onto Como and Lake Como which is a gorgeous, gorgeous town in Northern Italy. From there, I finished up in Milan.

In short, I did a lot of travelling on trains in the week and saw an awful lot of Switzerland plus a bit of Italy.


Journalling and related comments

My assorted feeds and social media platforms are giving me the annual binge of life changing advice. It’s ongoing through the year of course, but around end December, start of January, it tends to be on a scale equivalent to the Pacific Ocean. This year, journalling is in. In particular, a remarkable number of advice sites for men trying to make their way in this world are advising journaling as a, let me see, cornerstone habit.

I started journaling in about March 1993. I used an ordinary notebook which was a little bit bigger than A6. I’m not a fan of using dated diaries for this: they are a bit arbitrary and dictatorial. If you use an ordinary notebook, you can write as much, or as little, as you like. I’ve used A5 notebooks almost constantly since 1994 and my preferred choice, although not possible to get in Ireland, are Clairefontaine clothbound notebooks, preferably gridded, and the biggest number of pages I can find. Most stationery stores in France or Belgium help in this front, although in Belgium, they used come with margins. I’d like, sometimes, to move up to A4 but they don’t fit in my handbag. A5 is a 20 year habit now. Other notebook manufacturers exist and I have happily used Paperblanks A5 which are beautiful notebooks, although I don’t like the paper as much as I like the Clairefontaine paper.

So I approve of writing a journal, or a diary, as we used to call it in my time.

The thing is, courtesy of the internet, journaling is a whole industry, resulting in loads of stuff showing up in my social media and news feeds. I had not realised that bible journaling was a thing, and the whole art side of things regrettably passed me by for most of my life. There are journaling prompts to beat the band all over pinterest. I have not worked out how much of this is born of the fact that people can be overwhelmed with stuff and information. One which turns up regularly is bullet journaling which I don’t personally consider as journaling per se, but as organisation/management. Planning, per se. There are many systems.

I started writing a diary at the age of 19 because I had fallen in love with someone from whom I wound up moving for practical work related reasons at the time and I wanted to coral memories of days that made me feel happy. I’m not sure I would have succeeded in it if I’d done it for the purposes of getting richer.


Slide to Update and a brick of an iPad

If you have an iPad 2 and Apple’s less than perfect latest version of iOS 9 has bricked it, in my experience, here’s what you can forget about trying.

  1. Hard reset. It does not work. Even if you try it several times, it does not work.
  2. Charging it. It does not work.
  3. dfu mode and recovery via iTunes. It does not work and will present you with various issues while demonstrating to you in a long drawn out waste of time that it does not work.

The only thing that worked in terms of getting the iPad to actually respond to input is restoring the device to factory settings. Before you do that, however, you have to do the following.

  1. Go to and delete the device from Find My iPad.
  2. It is worth updating iTunes to the very latest version. Do not do this via “Check for Updates” because if you’re 12.1.2, iTunes will tell you you are fully up to date which, given that the very latest version today was 12.1.3 is not really accurate.
  3. Even if you don’t do (2), you can do the factory settings rebuild and configure the iPad as a new one but if you want to restore from a back up via iTunes, if you are on 12.1.2, iTunes will tell you that the version of iTunes is too old for the iPad and that you need to go to and get the latest version. I did not have a back up on iCloud.

    If you do not want to do this, your next choice is to build the iPad from brand new.

  4. Wait out the restore (in my case it’s currently estimating about an hour).

If I had known this on Sunday, I would not have upgraded the OS on the device in the first place, but having been stupid enough, I would on every occasion in the future now go for a factory reset. Not one of the provided solutions worked to deal with this and according to Apple, the problem had been fixed in the latest release of iOS9 anyway. Since I had the problem as recently as Sunday, I’m unconvinced.

I’m not happy.

waves and numbers and stuff