I secretly knew this day was coming, but didn't want to believe it; my mobile phone was dead.
To be honest, I shouldn't have been surprised - if my mobile had been a cat, it would have been way past it's ninth life. It had been dropped, knocked, kicked, stood upon and generally not looked after. Not intentionally - but such a small complicated thing left to face the combination of my sausage-fingered claws and my rampant clumsy gene was never destined to survive. Plus, my history with mobiles is 'smudged' to say the least; some of you will recall the incident with the toilet. Those of you who don't will be able to read about it in a later blog (I'll make a note to write about it).
So my phone was dead. The killing blow was delivered by myself as I walked home for lunch. I was tracking how far I was walking via Endomondo, the sports tracking App on my phone, and I decided to pull my phone out of my pocket to check that the App was running okay. As I lifted the phone out of my pocket, I decided to release my grip on it and sent it sailing gracefully in a low arc to the pavement below.
Upon impact, various bits of my phone made their excuses, and took leave of each other. Initially I wasn't too concerned as this had happened on previous occasions when I had dropped the phone, but then realised things were worse when I found a broken bit of phone that I didn't recognise. Usually the battery cover comes off, or the case come apart a little - but this time there was a piece of broken plastic that had come from somewhere inside my phone, and should have been destined never to see the light of day. And yet here it was, in my hand, all tiny and broken.
I took my phone home and tried to turn it on. To my amazement it switched on! I stood over it like a new parent checking to see that their new born baby is breathing whilst asleep the first night they bring it home, and it seemed fine. I had a spot of lunch, picked up my phone and went back to work. Over the course of the afternoon however, I noticed that my phone kept switching itself off periodically, and I had to keep switching it back on. I assumed that it just needed charging, so when I got home from work later that day I plugged my phone into the charger (or vice versa) to charge it.
And that was when I started to panic.
My phone wouldn't charge. The charger was connected properly, the plug was in the socket correctly, and the socket was switched on. But my phone wasn't charging. I was in real trouble - not only would my mobile phone be out of charge soon, rendering me untextable in a world where "C U L8R" and "LOL" are king, but all links to the social networking universe would be severed also. You see, in the absence of a working laptop (General Rubbishness 1, Working Technology nil) my mobile had been my link to my friends in cyberspace - and not just the ones that took their tops off. I went to bed lonely, frightened, and confused.
The next day, there were no signs of life from my phone. In desperation I took it to work in the faint hope that charging it via a USB charger from my pc might work. It didn't - in fact quite the opppsite. I attached the USB charger to my pc, and plugged the other end into my phone. The moment I did so, my pc switched off. Not shut down - switched off, which is definitely not a good sign. So that was that - I was without a phone. I shut it in a drawer and left it there.
It is funny how much we rely on things like mobile phones without realising it, and how we have funny little rituals. For the rest of that day I frequently realised that I didn't have my phone with me, checked all my pockets for it, and THEN remembered that it was dead in a drawer at work. But it did feel weird, not having my mobile - it was like part of me was missing.
I normally get to finish really early on a Friday, but on that day I didn't get away until about 4pm. And when I did get away, I had loads to do.
The first two items on my mental to-do list (mental as in inside my mind - not mental as in lick a policeman, wear a postbox, or walk around with a cucumber sticking out of my trousers shouting "Ho Ho Ho - Green Giant!") were in the same place - the nearby village of Child Okeford. I had to drop a prescription into the Doctors surgery, and then pick up a towel from a good friend whose dog I had dried with it a few days earlier. When I picked up the towel, I stopped to have a bit of a natter - which is always lovely because this friend is fabulous (it runs in her family). One spirit lifting chat later, I was off again - this time, foraging!
I shop at Tesco, and my local one is about 11 miles from where I live and work. Now when it comes to my car, I try to leave filling up with petrol until I absolutely have to. I know how many miles I can get out of it, and I know roughly how far past empty the needle can go before it really does run out.
On this day, the needle was right on the empty mark when I set off for Tesco.
Well you know what it is like: when you know you need petrol, but don't know of you'll make it, you start to get paranoid. For that entire journey, I was convinced that the car felt wrong, and that it would conk out at any moment. There are four roundabouts on the journey to Tesco, and it was only as I exited the last one and saw the Tesco petrol station that I relaxed. Of course, I also said thank you to my car for getting me there safely.
Because we all talk to our cars at some point or another, don't we? I'm not ashamed to admit that on cold mornings I give my car encouragement to start and to warm up quickly. I say thank you for getting me to my destination safely (on long journeys), and thank it for not breaking down. However, I will concede that my giving my car it's own voice and having my own conversation with it may not be something that many others do.
With my car filled, I did my grocery shopping. As it was payday I did a "Big shop" and got all the things I had run out of. I spent over what I had budgeted for, but had got some good deals too.
By the time I got home, it was 6pm - and I was greeted outside my home by a bearded angel bearing gifts. This bearded angel (also known as the Bearded Messenger of Loveliness) was my very good friend Alyn, who had popped by to give me presents for no other reason than just because.
The presents Alyn bore were fabulous - but also potentially lethal. They were two knew roasting tins / baking trays and a super sharp knife. I knew it was super sharp because it came with its own safety sheath. You know if a knife is really sharp when it has to have a muzzle on it to stop it hurting people. Ironically, that knife came in vacuum packed packaging that you needed a really sharp knife to get into. I carefully got the knife out of the packaging and looked at it. As I did so, a single thought came into my head: I'm going to lose fingers.
The roasting tins were lovely - but really heavy. I had no doubt that a blow to the head with either one of them would render most living things unconscious. But I wasn't complaining- in fact I felt very humble and lucky to have such wonderful friends as Alyn and his lovely partner Emma.
Alyn had only popped round while his take away was being prepared, so all too soon he had to go. After he went, I decided to have take away too - I had pizza and chips, and blooming lovely it was too. The only down side of that evening was the fact that I was unable to share my good mood and gratitude to my friends via my usual medium of Facebook. Although I felt like my arms had been cut off, I was getting used to the idea of not being a slave to texts or status updates.
But would that continue?.......