Today I had a list of eight telephone calls I had to make urgently. I had all the numbers stored in my phone, so I sat in the armchair, rang each one in turn and ticked them off my list. The whole operation took me about ten minutes.
When I was a child in the nineteen forties, there were few telephones in the village. The three pubs (The Royal Oak, The Ferry Boat and The Hunter's Leap) each had one, the Vicar had one and the Doctor. Then there were one or two "posh" folk - a Judge (no less!), a man who owned a chain of Tobacconists' Shops, a Military Man - and maybe one or two others we didn't know about.
But no-one would have dared to ask to 'borrow' one to make a phone call, however urgent. There were two red boxes in the village, each about half a mile from our house. We would treck there, clutching our two old pennies, dial the number we wanted and hope that somebody answered. If they did we would tell them our problem (you really wouldn't ring unless there was a problem - this was not the days of the 'chat') and hope you got the important bit out before the pips told you your money had run out and you would have to feed the machine with another two pennies (varying degrees of success here). If there was no reply you would Press Button B and get your two pennies back.
And we thought nothing of it. That was how it was in those days. I sometimes wonder what future generations will make of our way of life. What do we do which in the future will be seen as such a terrible chore?