Sunday, 12 June 2011
A Moveable Feast
I described myself to an old friend as 'a moveable feast' when she asked for my current telephone number, because I only use my mobile telephone nowadays. I now read that this is becoming the norm among the under 40's. For the first time in my adult life, I cannot tell you what my landline number is. I do not give it to anyone as a contact because I never collect messages from it. The landline receiver sits unused in the kitchen behind the microwave, its only function being to enable the broadband from BT. I am keen on community or 'oral' history because change such as this creeps up on us and before we know it, we have forgotten - or risk forgetting - that for years, things were different. In our house when I was growing up, if the telephone rang my parents vied not to answer it: 'You go. 'No. you go' 'I went last time' etc. When I started work as a reporter on a daily paper in Cardiff, all such compunctions had to be overcome - one was endlessly on the telephone to complete strangers - but in advancing age they have returned. I do not like the telephone. I prefer email. The Enigma of Arrival by V S Naipaul is a fantastically good book, keen Proustian-quality observation and speculation on every page, every line. It is the sort of book that nourishes one's daily life.