Friday, 22 July 2011

I have done it again.

I have committed an almost unforgiveable sin. I have used my mobile phone while in the queue at the supermarket to ring the farmer and say, "I am in the queue at the supermarket!" - Tantamount to one of those vacuous statements like "I am on the train."

My excuse is that the farmer is busy, I can't drive and he can't sit around while I do my shopping, so he goes back home and I ring him when I am ready to be collected. This does not apply to my weekly 'big' shop which is too far away to nip home, but when it is only a few things from the local place then it does save him some time. On the other hand, if it is raining (as it was on that day) I don't want to be standing waiting, so if I ring him from the queue he will be there by the time I step out of the door.

My mobile phone is no fancy thing. I have had it for years and only got rid of the previous one because the puppy chewed the face off it one day. I do carry it with me when I walk down the lane because if I twisted my ankle or something (you have no idea how clumsy I am) it would be handy to phone the farmer. He uses his a lot as all the local farmers have his number, so any arrangements re animals, cutting grass etc. are made by phone while he is out and about in the fields.

But I do think that maybe we use them too much. Do you agree? I often hear of young people texting while they are 'watching' a film - and annoying the people sitting next to them. And what has happened to the habit of reading a book or a newspaper when on the train, or looking out of the window at the view, rather than making long, quite personal calls which everyone in the vicinity can hear?

It is obviously grumpy old woman week (yawn) but I remember when we had one red phone box in our village. It was outside the Royal Oak Pub, which was a good mile from our house, so you only went to use the phone when it was absolutely essential. In any case most of one's contemporaries didn't have a phone either so there was nobody really to ring other than doctors, services etc. And, by the way, the phone directory always stayed on the shelf - you always put it back when you had used it, and the box was always kept spotlessly clean by the landlady of the pub.

After two days of reminiscence through rose-tinted specs I promise I will be back to reality tomorrow.

It used to cost twopence for a local call - two separate pennies put into the slot marked A. If anybody answered you pressed button A and got a line through to them. If there was no reply you pressed button B and got your two pence back. I remember my brother ring us on that phone during the war. He told us what time he would ring and we stood outside the phone box in the rain and waiting for it to ring.

Golly - things have come a long way since those days, haven't they?

24 comments:

Heather said...

Carry on reminiscing Pat - I love it. I can see that you and the Farmer need your mobile phones. We have one in the car in case of trouble but I never use it. I can recall a visit to Malvern Quilt Show when I came face to face with a woman shouting 'I'm at the Quilt Show' into hers.
Very often people broadcast quite personal details - even medical and financial - as they chatter away.
A village near us has put their unused phone box to good use. It is fitted out with bookshelves and donated books, which are changed from time to time.

Pondside said...

I love your reminisces, Pat!
I am getting very cranky when I teach a class and look out to see a student (adult!) texting. Why?!?!?!

angryparsnip said...

I love your reminiscing Pat...

I despise the excessive use of the cell phone.
I don't understand it, people are missing so much of the world as they tap away on their phones.

cheers, parsnip

NanU said...

Life sure does change. With these new phones you can stay connected to people while out in the fields, and disconnect from the people standing next to you in a line. We can do so much more, yet we often choose to do so much less!
Have a good weekend.

angryparsnip said...

opps I forgot ...
In Japan you don't talk on the phone in the trains, I love it !
If they are using a phone especially after school and work , it is for texting or playing games. Everyone always has a book or talks very quiet.
Heaven !

cheers, parsnip

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

As much as I rely on my phone when I'm away, I do miss the "one phone in the house" days. I also rather miss the "get up, cross the room to change the television channel" days as well. But I will say, having been on holiday this week, I did use the handy little GPS thing on my phone to take me to a couple of out of the way beaches that I would never have found otherwise, so not everything irritates me! :)

Home now, and looking forward to catching up on all your posts!

Peter Goulding said...

Hmm, I remember the days when you had to write to someone to get them to phone the village phone at 7pm precisely on such a date and then hoping nobody was using it at the time!
The thing I can't understand is the supermarket phoning - should I get the cheap one or the one that's 10 cent more expensive? And the price of the call?

Bovey Belle said...

I have to say that until today, my husband and I had an ancient mobile between us - one which belonged to one of our kids when they were teenagers. I only EVER use it if I have gone somewhere - HAH - AND remembered to take the wretched thing - and say I'm going to be late back. I am still a texting virgin . . .

However, my son has finally got himself a new (contract) phone and so I have just inherited his quite decent newish one and perhaps I will use this more. I even know the number of it this time!

Personally I think that says a lot about my habits - I just NEVER go anywhere!

Rachel said...

I love my mobile phone and it is the only phone I use. My landline is permanently unplugged. Why do people get so angry about the use of mobile phones?

When I was at school there was a pay phone but it was only used in emergencies and it was considered very modern because it took a threepenny bit and you put it in the slot if the call was answered. Or it might have been a sixpence.

Mobile phones have transformed farm life because we can now speak to each other even from distant fields and we don't have to guess when to get tea ready.

(Why can't the farmer sit outside the shop and wait for you though?)

ArtPropelled said...

My pet hate..... People taking calls in the movie theatre and texting throughout the movie. It took me a long time to agree to having a mobile phone and now if I forget it behind when going to town it feels like I'm cut off from the world..... but yes, I do think we have grown to rely on them too much.

Elizabeth said...

How do you keep coming up with such splendid topics?
Let all the cranky old ladies hang out together!
My son got me a cell phone for Christmas 2 years ago --for when I take the bus up to them in case it's late.
Cell phones do cut out a huge amount of waiting around.
My pet peeve: people who are yakking on their phones while the shop asssitant is ringing them up. Seems horribly rude to me. Ditto people who talk on their phone while having a manicure....
I rather enjoy the photo 'apps' on the phone that make things look olden days etc.
So, as with so much in life, an almost balance of good and bad things ......
103'f in New York as I write......help!!!

ps. I rather doubt I'll ever give up my cell phone now!

Gerry Snape said...

My phone went off in Abbott Hall gallery on Monday...I seldom use it and forgot it was on...felt so ashamed!

Sandy said...

We don't use our cell phones much except when traveling or on trips in our RV. We don't even turn them on most of the time at home. Our cell phones are around 9 years old so no texting on them. My Hubby's cell phone is acting up so this fall we may replace them with the iPhone5. We'll have a lot to catch up on. I remember well the days before cell phones. I just don't understand adults driving and talking at the same time. I can't do it. Loved your post!

Dartford Warbler said...

I did enjoy your tales of the village phone box! I remember those days too.

My mobile phone is strictly for emergencies, and then I have to try and remember how to use it!

angryparsnip said...

@Rachel ... why people usually
"hate " cell phones is the rude people who use them and it always seems very loudly.
Plus
I was hit by a car driven by a twenty year old, playing with his cell phone while switching lanes and speeding up.

stupid !

Dominic Rivron said...

Mobile phones are no worse for us than telephones - which, in turn, must have seemed new-fangled and undesirable to grumpy old men and women in days gone by. I think its great that almost wherever we are we can talk to whoever we want at the touch of a few buttons. Long live mobile phones, blogging, twitter, the internet... Perhaps "long live" is the wrong expression. All these things are relatively short-lived as newer better things replace them (3D video interactive phone/internet? The smelliphone? etc.)

ChrisJ said...

Ah well I guess I belong to the grumpy old women group here. It's those far away places that I crave where I can't be interrupted in my 'creative' stages. I do carry my cell
phone with me every where when my husband is away, but I have it turned off! Just there for me to use if needed.

Marianne said...

I grew up in London where there were more phone boxes. we kids used to race round pressing button B in all of them and collecting the pennies people had forgotten. Add that to collecting up pop bottles and taking them back to the shop for the deposit and we had an income!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems to be an age thing doesn't it?
I love Heather's story of using the disused phone box as a library too.
Perhaps I didn't make it clear that I am not anti-mobile - they are invaluable for emergencies and for necessary conversations - it is just the seemingly silly conversations that are so intrusive on others that I hate.
Thank you for joining in the debate.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I believe that Alexander Graham Bell said that he "foresaw the day when every town in America would have telephone" !!!!!!
Wonder what his thoughts are if he's looking down now.

Dave King said...

Don't feel bad. I followed a chap round in the supermarket the other day, who continually rang his wife to ask what size cornflakes, which brand of pickles etc!

The Solitary Walker said...

That was such a good post, Pat! But your sin is, I'm afraid, a cardinal one. Please go to the top of Croagh Patrick and say 12 Hail Mary's immediately!

Re. texting, I just can't stand people zombie-walking the streets doing this all the time. And doing it during mealtimes etc. is just so rude, I despair, I really do ...

Mac n' Janet said...

I hate cell phone, we have one, but I hate it too. It's usually carried in the glove compartment of our car, used in emergencies and for directions. I don't even know my cell phone number, it's always turned off and listening to others on their phones has got to be the most annoying thing in the world.
I'm like you I do use it when I have to be picked up or when I'm on my own in the the car, I carry it, but hopefully never have to use it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

mobile phones, I hate them. They can have their very practical uses, but so many people use them in ways which are antisocial