Maria Samuels is worried about wires. They seem to be taking over. Or is it just that she is spending too much time at home and is noticing them more?
The other evening my co-worker
(as in family member who I am isolated with) tripped over the very sturdy flex
that is running from our living room by the TV through two doors to a socket in
our kitchen. It was quite dramatic. The fall went as follows: trip, lunge face
first, and skeleton ride along part of polished boards of hallway with file of
papers as a toboggan. My co-worker wasn’t hurt, just a bit shocked and surprised.
I’ve no idea why this flex is
there, but another co-worker tells me that it’s essential to getting a good
reception on the TV. This flex is a very assertive sort of flex, the emperor of
flexes, as it were. It is so thick that it can do a curl mid air, several times
from its lengthy passage from one room to another. Which makes it much easier for
the flex to entrap and trip up innocent passers by.
The problem with the emperor flex, apart from the tripping hazard thing, is that it’s impossible to close either door that it passes through. And it often gets trapped beneath one of the doors as someone tries to ensure a little privacy in their co-working haven so it’s quite hard to move the door at all. I know (because I’ve seen pictures) that some houses secure such flexes neatly at the base of their skirting boards with little flex clips, and drill neat holes to feed essential flexes through from one room to another. I am even told that it is possible to buy special contour skirting boards to hide electric flexes – but I suspect this only works for new builds, as you’d have to be very short of time to remove all your existing skirting boards and replace them with contoured ones.
Certainly none of this disguising
of flex activity goes on in our house. In fact every room apart from the
bathroom (please note thorough research) has a wire-based installation of some
description, often with very three-dimensional qualities. The flexes and wires
range in thickness from a few millimetres to almost a centimetre and in colour
from red, yellow, white/dirty, black, grey and some of them have a sort of
twisted slub arrangement for extra snazz.
Being wireless is a good thing, my co-worker tells me. But it seems that in order to be wireless effectively, you need lots of wires to back it up. Wireless communication – otherwise known as ‘over the air’ – is the transfer of information or power between two or more points that are not connected by an electrical conductor. Which is all very well, but why then do we have so many wires everywhere?
things are accentuated in a Corona world. Gone are the days when I could leave
the wild flexes in the morning and go to work where the flex arrangements are
neater and less irksome. Now, they punctuate my every activity. They make
hoovering difficult, they look unpleasant, and they seem to multiply day by day
as our co-working activities become more established. Even the dog (in order to
have a pee) has to step over another monster flex that comes from the router
(enabling internet and wifi) and then passes the back door in an airborne way,
wends its way behind the dustbin, in front of the fireplace to an extension
lead by a workstation.
aware that we have various boxes and drawers full of redundant undercover flexes,
which we keep because nobody knows what they are for and they might come in
useful one day, but as far as I know they never have. Better keep them in case
co-worker who is responsible for technical operations in our workplace/house
points out that many of the flexes around our house don’t relate to being ‘wireless’.
They are charging phones, or plugging in gaming systems, or are connected to
headphones, or are light flexes, or extension cables so that any required electrical
activities can happen in the right part of every room. But the irony remains;
none of us are wireless in the most obvious sense – we are wired up all over
“What we need,” says the
technical operations manager knowledgeably, “is an electrician”, as he wanders
off to watch the next episode of The Kingdom on Netflix.
I do hanker for a slightly more
flex-free home life. But on reflection, being wire-full (the opposite to
wireless) is a sacrifice worth making to keep connected with the world on as
many levels as possible in these strange Corona times. Now, where’s my phone