22

January

How did we ever manage?

Friday January 22, 2021


I am an ‘objet de curiosite’. Every time I go out there are people using two thumbs to write important messages, or their elbow is raised (thought it was beer, but it’s a phone). I am a dinosaur. I do not have a Smartphone. I did, but, somehow, we never became an ‘item’. Nobody told me I had to ‘swipe’ it, not ‘tap it’ to answer a call. When I tried to text, always tapped the letter above. It was acquired in a panic, knee-jerk reaction, as is my won't.

We were in Paris, ‘en route’ from the Alps, via Geneva, to home in West France. My husband was just beginning to exhibit the signs which were to lead to Alzheimer’s. I knew our train was at 16.20, so we settled to a delicious lunch. I thought I’d just check the ticket, and found our train had left half an hour previously. **!!*? So, I left Monsieur to the care of the Maitre D’, and crossed the road in pouring rain to the Gare du Nord, where they gave me a ticket saying I was 39th in line for assistance. I played the sympathy card, got the tickets changed and off home, not without more problems with strikes disrupting trains.

When I had time to think, it was evident that with a Smartphone, I could have stayed at my restaurant table and with a few flicks change my tickets ‘on line’. Hence, at first opportunity, proud (but useless) owner of Smartphone. I refrained from smashing it, and sold it to our Camerounian priest for 20 euros.

I must admit pre mobiles one could have nasty moments. (This blog is in direct response to Rosemary, 15th December, who having left her mobile in her car was powerless to get through a door which was shut against her). The worst was when I and our three boys were on the way to Sicily. We arrived in good time at Genoa. There, no sign of boat, nor indication if, or when, it would arrive. The other side of the port was another boat going to Sicily. We contemplated it, but our tickets, closely examined, said they did not promise to get anywhere, anytime, and we would not get a refund. We went to a hotel. The next morning our boat was there, the other had sunk! Still have the cartoon done by second son. Two days later tried to phone husband from Sicily, but you had to have a ‘token’ for public phones, in bars, and lazy barmen would put ‘out of order’ on phone. Eventually got through, to husband on verge of nervous breakdown. In ‘The Times’ on the Saturday, my sister-in-law, visiting, said ‘Oh look, ferry capsized in Genoa harbour, all cars wrecked, some deaths’. We were totally oblivious that it would make national news.

So, what the devil do you do now in such circumstances? Public phones no longer exist, I think. Luckily, all the world but me has their vital part of modern life.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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