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?