My Mum and technology – get me a gin – not a glass – a bottle now!

Smelling salts for Alison. My Mother  phoned me on her mobile ( for the first time ever as she hates it) I assumed something was wrong. It was. The conversation went something like this.

“I’m on my mobile. That other walkabout phone thing you bought me doesn’t work”

Oh dear I said whats the problem?

“Well when I pick it up it just makes a noise…one long noise.”

You mean the dialling tone?

“No it’s definately not the dialling tone”

Adamant she was so I decided not to argue but go with the flow.

“OK Mum… Well why don’t you stay on the mobile and I will try and phone your walkabout phone from my landline to see if its working with incoming calls?”

“Oh OK”.

So I rang her new walkabout, as she stayed on her mobile. It  rang. ‘Oh ” she said  as she picked it up. “Hello…you’re there”.

Yes. I am.

So we agreed it was working.

“OK” I said “now you press the red button which will cut this call off. Then press the green button so you can try phoning me back”


I repeated it.

“Oh right” she said

“OK” muffled shuffling “I have hit the green button” and as she did she shouted “yes! yes! I told you  that’s the funny noise now. Can you hear it ? I am holding the walkabout phone up to my mobile for you to hear “.  Which I couldn’t

“No Mum I can’t hear it but just put this number in…”

“Oh OK “she said as I listed off my mobile number and heard her poke each number into her phone sighing in that resigne-d there is now way this is going to work -sort of way.

“OK that’s it done” she said as my landline started to ring.

“Its working.” I said and  picked it up . “Hello” I said.

“Hello” said a confused woman on the other end. My Mother.

“Its me Mum don’t blow the whistle”

So she now had her mobile phone in one ear and her landline in the other.

45 minutes drive away, so did I.

“We are now talking on four phones” I said.

“Oh”. She said.

Teenwolf by now was rocking back an forward with tears rolling down his face.

“Shall we put them all down now?” I asked sounding a bit Fluella Benjamin

“Yes” . She said.

“Right When I count to 3 hang up your mobile AND the walkabout phone.”


“I said whenI count to 3 hang up you mobile and your walkabout phone OK?”


“She’s already hung up. Get me a whisky please” I asked the hysterical teenwolf

My hot flush raised itself another few degrees.

To heck with technology.  Next time it’s a pigeon with a leg for a message to be tied round it.



Writer & broadcaster.

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