How did we ever manage?

22 Jan 2021
Bookmark

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.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Jane

Jan. 22, 2021, 3:41 a.m.

You did give me a laugh here. The majority of people have struggled with the mobile phone. I do wonder what we all did without it. But that’s life, it moves on, in strange ways. The older we get the more hard it is to adapt. You having written a blog and using this site, I would say you were in the modern life. You don’t need a smart phone. I have one but I rarely use it. I have never been to France so cannot understand the french language you use. One up to you for speaking french. It’s hard to keep up with the modern technology at any age. I think it frightens everyone. All the best to you, no need to worry. Best wishes, Jane x

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:33 a.m.

Thanks Jane, glad you were amused. It's serious here, getting a vaccine very complicated - 'Docto-lib', on line, people confused - many elderly people here never used computers - seems no organisation.x

Jane

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:29 p.m.

I feel sorry for those not on line, some elderly people don’t know what on line even means. Here I know they have been calling people for their vaccines. So some consideration but often not x

Karen

Jan. 22, 2021, 6:18 a.m.

I too down graded back to a dinasaur phone much to the amusement of my family. For two reasons. Firstly I realised I couldnt cope with the constant stimulation having access `to the world in my pocket` courtesy of Google. Secondly I too struggled with the swipes verses taps and it led to high levels of frustration. Over stimulation and frustration are to emotions I dont need either with a bipolar episode or not. So I say strength to the dinasurs, and peace of mind.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

Ardeas, my major problem is practical. I am wearing: warm leggings, huge fisherman knit sweater (made for Mr G) and a padded jacket. This has pockets, so could have phone. Take coat off, nowhere to put it, can't tuck up knickers.

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 22, 2021, 7:55 a.m.

I am proud of my mother. Before her move (it will be 3 years on 1st February), she had a computer and dutifully struggled with emails and websites. When she moved to her new apartment on the family farm (built in the old victorian stables) BT took over 6 months to put in a landline for her so she could have a phone and access the Internet. My brother bought her a basic mobile phone and all her emails were directed to me. By the time BT finally got around to installing a landlines, she had realised she didn't need a phone and didn't want the Internet and crossly told them to take it away again! She rather enjoys telling bemused young people over the telephone that, no, she can't look it up on the website as she doesn't have a computer or a smartphone. I am proud of her for taking a stand. On the other side, I am tapping this out on my smart phone right now. I have been without my laptop for a few days as it needed repair. My smartphone has meant I can carry on answering emails, replying to comments on my Wednesday blog, attending company zoom calls and accessing websites. I cannot imagine life without it. And - what I really came on here to say was how much I enjoyed reading this blog. Your talent for creating a vibrant "pencil sketch" (in colour) with just a few strokes of your pen is amazing. I love your writing. I can just see you looking out at the boat going to Sicily while yours was going nowhere - but at least not sinking!

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:39 a.m.

Another reason not to have an all singing all dancing job would I'd never stop googling. Have a load of old books, rush to computer to look up author, if history correct, they were 'best-sellers' at the time (current book 1904). Did it last? Thanks Mary

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 22, 2021, 8:13 a.m.

Ah my dear TG, Made me laugh out loud too! I can imagine in years to come, if it’s not happening already, there will be people with ‘RSI’ for phone use or needing physio for their constantly bent necks or tennis elbow! The smarter the phone, tv or whatever, the more we seem to have to buy to get it to function. The latest iPhone has to have different charging accessories to the iPhone I have...mmm clever peeps these ‘Apple’ guys...so now we have more stuff and it all has to come from them!! I do use my phone a lot - mostly for WhatsApp at the moment - for all the funnies!! Keeps everyone smiling and we need a lot of that cheeriness...otherwise my phone is a lifeline for when I’m out and about. At least 33 years ago, I could have done with a mobile phone...my car broke down on a not too busy road, on a dangerous hill two miles from a village I could just see in the distance...I got a lift as far as a phone box, from a man in a little van (wouldn’t do that today!) where I rang Mr. Bear and he rang the breakdown services for me...unfortunately it meant I would have to go back to wait by the car. The man in the van said he couldn’t wait and couldn’t take me back. I was in my ‘work’ clothes and low heels, it was summer, and thankfully I was as fit as a butcher’s dog, so set off at a good pace back down the road....four men in a car slowed down as they passed on the other side of the road, then the driver turned the car round and they started coming back, hooting the horn and shouting obscenities. I was terrified and ran into a field - sadly a ploughed one and took my shoes off and just ran. I wished I had a phone then! Thankfully they drove off. Fifteen minutes later, another car came and was hooting, but joy of joys it was Mr. Bear and a colleague who had driven him to help me. I was so relieved. Am always grateful for a phone now!! (Btw - the fuel pipe had sheared and fuel had gone all over the engine apparently....had I kept driving the car might have caught fire...so two lucky escapes that day....maybe I’m a cat not a bear.... You do have a most vital modern piece of equipment TG - your computer! And thankfully that has kept you in touch with us here, your Moodscope family and you are able to keep doing all these courses that are keeping your liddle grey cells working!! Thank you for the blog <80)) Love and Bear hugs x x x

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:42 a.m.

Bear, greatest use of phone - dangerous situations like the one you quoted - photographing scene in accidents. My children send me incredible stuff 'Greenland from 7 miles up one absolute jewel. Virtual hugs everywhere ***

Sally

Jan. 22, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

Thank you, Gardener, for your entertaining stories. You brought back the elements of frustration travel can bring with it. Train times, delays, that out of control feeling when plans are disrupted by , for example, a tree falling across the line , so diversion to Paris instead of Lille , and rush for connection to Eurostar . Sets the heart racing. Phones! Why oh why the swipe instead of the touch? It’s so irritating missing so many calls! Whoever designed that ? My husband has a dinosaur , 2004, that doesn’t even do or receive photos. But says a phone should be just that. A phone.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:45 a.m.

I must say I agree with your husband - but, remembering our travels, men are better off by way of pockets - Mr G had phone, camera, handbag attached to belt. Grand-children forgot phone in pockets, jumped in swimming pools.

Jul

Jan. 22, 2021, 9 a.m.

Hello Gardener I find my phone so useful when I'm somewhere with no wifi. It doesn't send me into a panic if I am told there may be none because I know I can use 4 or5 g. But I use mine all day and actually I should switch it off at say 7pm each night. I don't keep it on all night though. Ardeas made me think about the constant stimulation courtesy of Google with having a smart phone. I often think about this and should address this more seriously. If my phone bleeps during a walk, I often stop to check who's contacting me. Not good. If I go out having forgotten my phone, I feel anxious and desperate to get back to it. I've done this only a few times and each time when I get back to it, there have been no dramas, in fact no messages at all. When I left school during the summer before I went to university I hitched hiked all over Greece with a girl friend. We took a train across Europe. I was away for 2 months with absolutely no contact with my parents or anyone. I remember meeting my mother at the bottom of our road on my return and asking her to make me scrambled eggs. My parents hadn't worried (as far as I know). This wouldn't happen now. Fascinating blog Gardener. Replies will be interesting. Jul xx

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

Jul, what you say is one of the reasons I do not have a smartphone. My over-weening curiosity would NOT let me leave a phone unanswered - then I'd miss something probably much more interesting going on around me. xx

Leah

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:01 a.m.

TG as soon as I saw the title I knew it was you. Each generation complains to the other generation about new technology. People used to be scared of electricity and trains thinking it would be end of the world as the knew it. Electric toasters were seen as being a waste of money. Reading books on radio was thought to be the end of reading. I love the internet but have no idea about Twitter Instagram or Pinterest. We manage because we adapt and we chose what we want to include in our lives. Some writers use typewriters and write by hand while others would not be out their lap tops and iPads. Thanks for sharing your anecdotes.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:50 a.m.

Leah, been in situations in India, Indonesia and Australia where no contact outside world. We were in York, W.A., going exploring Eastwards. Our hosts, rightly, said we were nuts, so we went North towards Brooms, equally cut off.

Oli

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:03 a.m.

A fortnight ago I helped a friend who was unable to access her Amazon account. She cannot get out and the account is her lifeline. Her laptop's browser software had automatically updated its security but the improvement assumed that users had a smartphone -- and my friend has a physical disability which means she can't use these phones. It took me two hours to get it sorted using her equipment (very slow), reconfiguring the security so the problem didn't repeat, and getting Amazon to adjust settings at their end. (Impressive customer service I have to say regardless of other considerations.) I am patient, systematic, and methodical and I more or less knew what I was doing, plus I have two good hands. Two hours. I came away remembering not to take things for granted. Thanks for the blog Gardener :-)

Reply

Jul

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:15 a.m.

I know this is largely unrelated to Gardener's blog but I agree Oli, Amazon's customer service is second to none. One company that for all its faults knows that to deal with customer problems and complaints promptly is the way forward and the way to keep customers loyal. Jul xx

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:52 a.m.

Oli and Jul. I am stuck with Amazon UK - vital for books and DVD's. They have not cleared my old address - when I order from my new, they decide fraud, and won't serve me. Cannot discover how to wipe out old address.

Oli

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:12 a.m.

Gardener, it's do-able. I change my addresses regularly between the UK and US. Amazon->Your Account->Your Addresses->[Sign In] -> There you should see all your addresses, and you have the option of setting a new one as default if you wish to change.

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:25 a.m.

Thanks, will do. I was trying to subscribe to the IHR, very complicated getting their system to accept a foreign address, have instructions, need energy.

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:58 a.m.

I must 'come clean' on 'dinosaur' image. My super technical guys here say I have a wider experience of computers (not the mechanics) than they have. 30 years ago I did an MA in 'Computer Applications for Historians' at the Institute for Historical Research. It was ****. Basic computer structure. 14 programmes to know about, 4 to study deeply, in 9 months. Currently data base, inter-active Sytran translation. 5 centuries demography - need to photo Latin BMD (16th C) - put on one computer, translate into French on other. So, why do I struggle with FB?

Reply

Ruth

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:01 a.m.

I don't have a smartphone either and feel totally free. I am not looking at it all the time. I can look at people and have proper conversations. I think phones get in the way.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:06 a.m.

I must share a bit of fun from news yesterday. There were dramatic pictures of floods in UK (not funny), Almost above was headline that you would not be breaking Covid rules if you called for help. Lovely image, woman sitting astride roof, clutching vital papers and dog, and checking on her Smartphone if she was 'socially distanced' enough to call for help. And where was her mask?

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:52 a.m.

Thank you for your blog TG, thank goodness you and your boys did not get on that doomed boat... Oh technology... well I do like my smart phone. And I think of my laptop as my third child!! - okay not quite but it is v important to me. It is my work after all but also contains so much more. I live with my two teens so I need to be up on tech as they are already far more tech savvy than me. They have no fear of it, it's just part of life for them. I did hear a woman on the radio talk about how Grandmother was fearful of electricity when it first arrived, the poor lady didn't trust that things wouldn't 'blow up' in the night so her bedtime routine was to go around and, not only unplug everything, she also used to take the lightbulbs out in case there was a fire, bless her. take care Moodscopers, swm x

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

I had an aunt, born early 1900's who tried her best to 'keep up'. But mirco-wave stumped her. She could not conceive that where it took an hour to boil cabbage to death something could be made edible in a few minutes, and you could not see it happening! x

Orangeblossom

Jan. 22, 2021, 10:57 a.m.

Hi TG, thanks for the blog. My OH is similar to Sally’s. Only time he seems to use phone is to call me when in the supermarket. We go our separate ways & then meet at the cheque out queue.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 11:02 a.m.

Just realised my first paragraph might be a bit obscure, the mention of beer. There was an advert, went on for years, for some brand of beer - caption 'It's what your right arm's for'. And cupping your ear 'Eh' or charades.

Reply

Daisy

Jan. 22, 2021, 12:10 p.m.

Dear TG I love your blogs and stories - they are so full and exciting I have 2 iPhones an iPad and 2 computers. Ie a work phone and work computer. Forever where is my phone- I also put on silent so that I don’t disturb zoom meetings, then it is even more difficult to find. Using Skype zoom WhatsApp signal teams. And home phone. There’s always somebody trying to get hold of you, but what is ringing and where? Really I think you have the right idea- not starting on it all Thanks for the blog

Reply

Valerie

Jan. 22, 2021, 1:45 p.m.

Hello TG, I struggled for a few years with Smartphones,then settled on a Moron's phone.I rarely use it anyway,and it's adequate.There is such a list of things I can't imagine being without now,the internet for shopping,Googling for information.What about life before microwaves? Disposable nappies were available when my son was born,and I gladly used them,but for quite a while people still used the towelling ones-why in the name of ***? ***

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 1:48 p.m.

Daisy, thanks. I have two PC's, one with Internet, the other other with important data free from virus. An old lap-top to deal with old programmes. A new lap-top which travels with me when I travel. A tablet which I can't understand. I have a portable (it can take photos). When I go away I transfer the land-line to the portable and remain in contact. Been using that system round the world for more than two decades. Mr. G worked out a wide security to cope with the range of stuff we do. Real, real problem - keeping storage up to date.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 1:59 p.m.

Back to the blog and the boat. Having great fun on here today. Going to plant some bushes. Been shopping, there, feeling pretty up-beat bought myself half a bottle of champagne. A son's birthday today. Getting him into the world was pretty traumatic, so remember with joy his arrival, safe (but in a hurry, ouch). He was thirteen years old when we sat on the quay-side at Genoa and gazed at the sunk boat. We had a 22 hour boat trip. Ticket said Palermo, no way, they dumped us at Trapani in the middle of the night. Never a dull moment.

Reply

AndrewH

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:20 p.m.

Hello Gardener - I really loved your blog. Your heading "How did we ever manage?" probably applies to a lot of technology over the generations. I remember my children's reaction (when they were still children) when I told them we had no videos and only three channels on the TV when I was a child. "What did you do?" they asked. But then I think my reaction was the same when my Dad told me they didn't have TV when he was a child. Andrew

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:43 p.m.

Thanks Andrew - one rather dreads the opening 'In my young days'. We were forced to get a TV when our sons' prep school started setting homework on the previous evenings programmes. Mid 60's, think it was colour.

Patty

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:24 p.m.

My pet peave about cell phones is some people in the office I worked in were always checking them or on them. In meetings, some would bring them in and would take calls or always looking at them. Pros and cons to everything. They weren't on the work phones so much anymore, but the cell phones took the place and then some.

Reply

The Gardener

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:41 p.m.

Patty, very interesting, phones in work place or education. When we were first in business, private phone calls only in an emergency. Last time I went to Uni, in the library, if anybody had their phone turned on, fine of £50. No idea situation now.

Quilec

Jan. 22, 2021, 5:41 p.m.

Thanks for your blog TG. As always, like a trip on a magic carpet. Sorry to digress, but I am thinking about Molly.....and one or two others who seem to have disappeared and hope all is well.

Reply

Login or Sign Up to Comment