There was an Incident on Wednesday night the nature of which remains unclear to me but the upshot was that some damage was inflicted on my phone involving water and one of my children, the intermediate consequences involved some shouting and stomping and a broken mug and the ultimate result is that I have no phone for some, as yet undefined, length of time. I have tried many times to call the shaggy haired, eye-contact-avoiding youths who are holding it hostage, but they do not answer the phone - I mean, who under 30 does that - their voicemail box is full and they do not respond to email either. Clearly I either need to join their WhatsApp group (no I have no idea what that is) or go round in person like a vengeful pensioner and glare at them and nag until they languidly give in (I am very familiar with this tedious discipline technique). I am not up to either of those things. It took me about 90 minutes of psyching myself up to get as far as the post office this morning (Eireann, your book is now on its way, sorry it took so long).
As a result I am phoneless and it is making me agitated-slash-paralysed. Why go for my usual lengthy morning walks when my virtuous step count will not be recorded and when I cannot distract myself by listening to Our Mutual Friend (Mr Boffin was just becoming unhealthily obsessed by lives of misers)? How can I take artfully arranged pictures of the old hen's large eggs next to the new hen's tiny brown ones for as many as three or perhaps four people to pity-like on Instagram? Perhaps most importantly, why the fuck did the alarm clock app I downloaded onto my laptop not wake me up this morning, leading to the most almighty 8am panic? I do not know. I need to readjust to analogue life and engage with beauty and peace and prolonged periods of uninterrupted abstract thought but instead I am mainly thinking Dark Highly Specific Thoughts about the responsible individual. I have become as shallow as a saucer and as easily distracted as a toddler by a packet of raisins. I have no inner life.
Assuming they do not relinquish the phone for some time, I need to plan my life better (first step: purchase a basic alarm clock). I need to take my book and drink expensive tea at Comptoir Florian where phones are banned and use my Beaux Arts membership to go and stare at Breughels. I need to cook nourishing soups (ha, I am SOUP KRYPTONITE, every soup I try and make is disgusting) whilst listening to informative radio programmes. Sit in cafés with notebooks and pencils writing short stories. Learn to play a new Chopin Etude. Of course I will do none of these things, but will sulk around the house more tied to my laptop than ever, perhaps reaching some tipping point of acceptance just as the phone is finally relinquished by its infant captors.
What would you do if you suddenly had a week free from the tyranny of your smartphone? Or are you perhaps already one of those ahead of the curve refuseniks? My sister is trying to become one but she is far more disciplined than me.
10% Rediscovered Uniqlo cashmere mix sweatshirt joy
10% New trainer discomfort
10% Chapped hands
10% Unable to believe I will ever write anything again
10% Coffee and walnut cake
10% Puny Dutch exam triumph (I came top! 90%! I must be honest, it was not very difficult and the marking must have been pretty generous)
10% Invoice rage
10% TMI about the neighbour's UTI
10% No more salty breadcrumb chocolate panic
10% Cold Comfort Farm