Is it (a) the kitchen (b) the phone or (c) multiple choice?

Baby George will soon discover the relevance of his ears to using the mobile phone

Baby George will soon discover the relevance of his ears to using the mobile phone - Credit: Archant

It’s been a week and I have barely noticed I don’t have my mobile phone. Other people, I know, end up gnawing the furniture, humming their ringtones and asking if they can stroke your Samsung when parted from their own beloved smart phones but I have suffered not a jot. In fact, apart from online supermarket Ocado being unable to text to say my groceries will be delivered by Martin in Onion Van, no one got in touch.

Survival. Eat your heart out Bear Grylls. I can do a week without a mobile phone.

I had left my £15 blunt-edge, pay-as-you-go model behind in Saffron Walden when I delivered baby George home. He loves devices such as remote controls, phones and computers. He likes to press buttons and find out what happens. It is one of the early skills children acquire, both literally and figuratively.

I had locked my keypad and let the little fellow play with my it. He presses buttons, puts the phone round the back of his head and says: “Dada.” He hasn’t quite worked out what ears are for.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I’d left the phone with my 13-month-old grandson.


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“What’s the worst that can happen?” my husband asked, rhetorically.

Well, what if someone from a TV production company was trying to ring and tell me I had won £20,000 and a luxury holiday in Simon Cowell’s LA home after I correctly completed the lyric: “Is this the way to...” as (b) Amarillo, successfully avoiding the incorrect answers (a) the ladies room and (c) Beccles.

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I’m guessing they’re not trying to trip you up with these questions. If I had taken the call and won the prize, I might have found out if the music industry mogul has his chest waxed and other information one might regard as “too much”.

But other than this unlikely scenario, I could think of no reason why I might need my phone so I said I’d pick it up the next time I was in Essex.

My son offered to email any text messages through but I told him not to bother. I was not mis-sold PPI and texts that say: “Hi, you failed to top-up your phone this month so you have missed out on your £10 bonus” are so tiresome.

Meanwhile, if John in Cabbage van wants me, he has my landline number. I have been stocking up with easy-cook food because this week we are having a new kitchen installed. It had to happen. The worktop round the sink has absorbed so much water it has frayed. The colour of the cupboard doors never did match the cabinets, the mixer tap is held together with limescale and the extractor fan makes the whole house vibrate.

I’ve been dreading it but my husband has been masterful: “No we don’t need to live in a Travelodge. We’ll be fine,” he reassures me.

My plan had been to move out until it was all over.

“What if the water is off?”

“Lynne, it’ll be fine and will you stop packing that case. It’ll only be for a day or two...”

He’s right (I think you’ll find he generally is, Lynne. Ed). There’s always Evian. We originally planned to create a huge kitchen by extending into the garage but changed our minds. Seduced by TV show Escape to the Country in which everybody covets a big farmhouse kitchen, I had been imagining an idyllic family scene: all of sitting round a big oak table: two golden labradors at our feet; freshly baked scones. What is wrong with this picture? Well, there are only two of us; we don’t have dogs; we don’t bake.

I do occasionally venture into the countryside, however. I recently went out to Sutton, near Woodbridge, to meet the village’s Ladies Group (and three men). As I drove along the road that tracks the bank of the River Deben, past Sutton Hoo, I couldn’t help wondering, as the rain lashed and the gales, sweeping over the flat landscape, rocked the car, just exactly what it was that attracted the Anglo Saxons when they sailed up the river.

Did Raedwald in Carrot Boat survey the riverside and think it looked a lovely, unspoiled spot to set up camp or, maybe, bury a ship? Or was Hoo the prize in a competition that offered a gold helmet and a fabulous new kingdom to the person who correctly completed the lyric “All the nice girls love a...” (a) sailor (b) Saxon (c) kitchen (d) smart phone.

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