Long ago my former husband who could tell a great story and had a natural narrative gift was persuaded to try and write it all down.
Off we went on holiday with a computer, he to chill (as they say) and write on the terrace .
And write he did. For two or three days.
And then he pressed the wrong button and the computer blanked 12,000 words.I was appalled.
He was furious.
And the whole matter fell into one of those bottomless marital black holes where the less said the better.
He never tried again which was a pity.
Yesterday, trying to haul myself together in the aftermath of a holiday and what time to think does for you – for and against – I wrote an appreciation of the holiday, of Rhodes and a delighted piece about the state of Colorado about which more follows.
I don’t know what I did but it vanished.
The computer man did everything he could but we had to agree that
it was gone forever and it was my fault.
The computer man thought I took it very calmly.
I was furious with myself.
Ignorance is not bliss around technology.
It’s just ignorance.
I wrote a fill in, had terrible trouble avoiding banal pictures and it was posted.
Now let me tell you about Colorado.
The state posed a question: If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants to prevent pregnancy for years, would the women choose them?
And they did.
The birth rate among teenagers plunged 40 per cent in the years 2009 through 13
Abortion dropped by 42 per cent over the same time.
“If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to” to quote Isabel Sawhill, a Brookings Institute economist.
In her 2014 book “Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage” she posits that “single parenthood is a principal driver of inequality and long acting birth control is a powerful tool to prevent it.”
I am not an apologist for marriage but you can catch her drift.
It’s choice, our old friend choice.
There are risks, there are always risks but no more than in the longtime aftermath of facial fillers, extended wear anything and tight jeans.
The only aspect of going away that bothered me was the anthill of scurrying bodies airports have become. People who travel much more frequently than I have adapted to this. They don’t see it or if they do see it, they ignore it.
It’s there to get through so they do.
I kept thinking that this was rubbing my nose in the great ecological problem of over population which nobody likes to discuss because it touches on so many other issues (race, class, expectation, gender, “human rights” for starters) but in a world full of horror and pain and misery (which was how history was always made) – a world of destabilisation, refugees and war – the figures from Colorado shone like a small steady bright light because it wasn’t a project in the Third World but in the developed First. And more it was partly financed from public money (state certainly, maybe federal) and partly from the memorial trust set up in his wife’s name by the billionaire Warren Buffet.