Thank heavens for Mavis Beacon


Nowadays it amazes me that there could have been a time when I wrote  everything down. In longhand. With a pen!!

That I spent my school days building up my writing speed and neatness  and my early legal career trying to write even faster as I kept up with the  Judge whilst hovering keenly behind Counsel.

But I did – and I was really good at it. My writing muscles were well toned. I could write neat and fast and throw a bit of shorthand in for good measure. Clients and colleagues alike often marvelled at how quickly I could pen an affidavit.

I still have a small callus on my little finger from my hand constantly rubbing paper, and I can still produce a readable inked note when called upon. But pick up my biro less and less (the fountain pen went many decades ago) and I only need to be writing for five minutes or so when I can feel the muscles aching and the whole process starting to slow down (mind you that can be said for many activities nowadays).

For me it wasn’t until the mid 90’s when the home computer invaded my living space but it was swiftly followed by a need to touch type – two finger typing being far too laborious.

So Mavis Beacon entered my life. Hours upon hours of repetitive keystrokes, letters strung together in meaningless combinations. The mini games were fun and a real reward after 30 minutes of qp wo ei ru ie ow pq etc etc etc… But it worked, it really, really worked like no other regime/fad/good intention that I’ve had before or since. And I learnt to touch type and kept practising so I can now type faster than I can write.

Oh, of course I make the odd mistake when typing. The backspace button is my constant friend and I could never live again without spell check.

Where will it eventually lead – will I lose the ability to hold a pen, will my hands become welded to the keyboard? Dear Mavis Beacon, I never thought it would end like this.

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About Sian Thompson

Legal facts, tips and everyday musings.
This entry was posted in Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thank heavens for Mavis Beacon

  1. The pic and the piece made me think of Mma Makutsi of no. 1 Ladies Detective Agency fame.
    I can tell who in the house is on the family PC by the sound they make when typing. e.g. no. 2 son (14yo) is very fast and never looks at keyboard. Husband (lawyer) hits keys very slowly and very hard using only 2 fingers!

  2. I used to write really fast, then I learned to type. I find it hard to write at all now! But I can type almost as quick as thinking. And people can read what I write!

    Its much better.

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