This is really sad, but I only came upon my first lap desk yesterday. Thomas Jefferson wrote the constitution of the United States on his own lap desk and I am just 237 years behind in discovering this marvelous piece of furniture.
Yesterday, as I was working out on the balcony, the hospitable owner of the family vacation apartment we are staying in, saw me sitting on the floor of the balcony and my laptop on the breakfast table. Alarmed, he immediately came to the rescue. He brought me a lap desk and said: here, at least you can sit on the floor and write at the same time. Genius! I was actually working on some index cards, but I wasn’t going to explain what the colorful cards on the floor were for, so I took the lap desk and thanked him. Then I tried it out. Blown away.
See, I carry a notebook and pen everywhere I go. Besides having the old school vein in my body, I always find it very impractical to carry a laptop everywhere. Mainly because it’s so uncomfortable to plop it on your lap, hunch over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and painfully type away while you are destroying your back, your neck and internal organs. When you are doing research, you never know where you will run to next or what you’ll run into next. You don’t even know if you’ll end up at a proper table and chair combo. So pen and paper do the trick.
I hiked in the Alps on Saturday because I wanted to see the preparation for the Heart-of-Jesus-Fest happening here in South Tyrol on Sunday. This particular fest is celebrated by hanging Tyrolean flags and burning mountain fires (as they say) which are actually just scattered bonfires in the mountains, prepared days before and lit up on Sunday after sunset. Some of the bonfires are really high up in the mountains, others are only a 2 hour hike away. They are huge up close and look like little stars when seen from town. It’s a tradition dated back to (surprise, surprise) the late 1700’s. Seems like everything around me this weekend dates back to the second half of the 1700’s and I’m just a bit late.
So needless to say, I went hiking and didn’t take my laptop. Had a known of the lap desk beforehand, I could have made the mountain my writing office for a day. How amazing would that have been? Probably very.
These are the moments I find our species quite fascinating; when the juxtaposition of centuries come together thanks to our brain’s ability to sustain long and short-term memories… and thanks to a lap desk! Who would’ve thought?!
I guess I’ll just have to find another reason to go hiking again, now that the Heart-of-Jesus-Fest is over, and take my portable office with me the next time around. 🙂