Today several things happened which set me thinking about all the 'modern' things we take forgranted.
Let us start with communications by telephone. Most of us round here still have a landline - in fact nobody of my acquaintance relies totally on the mobile phone. The farmer and I both have one - I know his number and it is stored in my mobile in case I need to contact him. I don't know my own number by heart and never have my phone switched on anyway - I use the phone purely in an emergency if I wish to get hold of somebody when I am out somewhere. But most of my friends - and I - am with a phone company which is having problems at the moment because of the heavy snow North of here. The mast is out of action and none of us is getting a signal. Suddenly we are all missing the fact that we haven't got instant contact with folk and it is causing consternation. Friend, S, this morning had arrangements with her partner which broke down because of lack of contact phone lines - and both had to use an initiative which they probably found a bit rusty. Of course, it worked out in the end - but it made me wonder how very used we have become to this 'easy' contact method.
But, another fairly modern invention was put to good use this morning. Friend J fell over the step as she came into the Golden Lion. (as she later pointed out - she was coming in, not going out).
She fell really heavily and quite badly injured her face. The pub instantly telephoned the Paramedic (on their landline) and within a couple of minutes he was there (he is based at our local Medical Practice, which is only just down the road luckily). J got a thorough going over - the Paramedic was marvellous, treating her injuries, calming her down (and some of us) and generally making her feel that all was well. After an hour of thorough checks he left her - and us - to our coffee and later on to a carvery lunch, by which time J had more or less recovered (with a very black eye) - thanks in large part to the calming and professional influence of the Paramedic.
Our market was all there today - it is Good Friday and the racing stables in Middleham are open, which means there are plenty of people around in our little town. Walking up the market place between the stalls and seeing long lines of colourful primulas in full blossom and (for the first time in a week) seeing the sun shining, there was at last a feeling of Spring in the air, even if the temperature was only 4 degrees Celsius.
Toasted hot cross buns for tea.