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i’ve had enough now

Seriously. Roll on Friday. Mobile-less March has chip chip chipped away at me and now, much as I’d love to say “What an amazing experience; it’s taught me things; I don’t need a phone in my life; everything still functions perfectly well without it”…such a statement – without any kind of addendum – would be untrue.

I don’t think it’s really through any fault of my own. And these last 30 days (and counting) really have taught me some things. I won’t be using my iPhone 5S as an alarm any more and I definitely won’t be taking it with me into the bedroom from here-on-in. However, in the last few days, it’s become blatantly apparent, that you CANNOT cope in a normal every day world any more if you don’t have a mobile phone. Or, at best, it’s made very much more difficult than it would otherwise be.

Things just happen fast these days. If you don’t have – or never had – a mobile phone perhaps it doesn’t matter too much, as you’ve never got used to living permanently with one. However for the other 98.9% of the population not having a phone is kind of a big deal.

#Lockedoutofinternetbankinggate was just the start of my financial-phone-connected-woes.  And I have to confess that on Monday 29th February, had my phone had any battery power left, I would have failed my month-long-mission.

I wanted to pay my friend for the flights (she’s currently paid out double for both of us) to Ecuador. Went through the whole process, filled in all the numbers, all the reference information, everything they could possibly want to know to set up a new payment, clicked the ‘Make payment’ button and BAM: “Please insert the OTP (‘one time passcode’) number we have just sent to your mobile phone”. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Well…., I was already approaching the “had enough now” place which I currently find myself in at this point. I didn’t care. I stomped over to my phone, grabbed it from next to the tiffany lamp, rammed the power button and……..



So I took a breath. Realised what I was doing and how I was about to fail (!), just 4 days before the end of my mission.

Took another breath.

Swore a few times. And decided this was fate and that it really didn’t matter all that much. Emma received a (slightly ranty?) Facebook message but she is totally cool and can wait until Friday. Which is fine.

Because on Friday I can turn my mobile back on. Well, I think I can. Please keep everything crossed (I can’t be that unlucky  – it’s had a whole 32 days to dry out)!

The thing that annoys me, is that there is no solution here, other than welcoming my mobile phone back into my life. Essential-life things would not happen, if that was not occuring. Or they would – eventually – but only with about 300% more effort expended. Like by going into the bank, at the right times, on the right days and probably contending with the world’s longest traffic queues and slowest cashier desk queues. It’s. Just. Not. Cool.

Admittedly I’m not having the best few days. I’ve felt a little bit low since the weekend and you can’t deny that some of that can be attributed to the lack-of-smart-phone-contact with the world. Oh and today as if it knew my WORK MOBILE PHONE decided that it would give up the ghost and DELETE ALL MY CONTACTS. Poof! Gone! That little bit of a security blanket in case anything did go wrong has disappeared. Now if I get stuck, and I end up broken down, in the car, on the motorway, in the dark, at night. by myself, with no torch – but a map which my Mum bought me this weekend (not much use without a torch) – I WILL be up Shrek creek without a paddle. My anxiety level just increased by about 600%. (I’m not sure why I’m working in 1oos of percents here or in multiples of 3, but roll with me).

As if that wasn’t enough, on top of everything there’s PMT. (Could have planned this whole thing better). And that was unexpected. Because – of course – I don’t have the little mobile phone app which tells me when I’m due on, at the moment. So it kinda snuck up on me. Yesterday I was proper radgey. Northern word for you there: Radgey. “In a rage”. Cross. For no apparent reason. Just at the world. In general. Couldn’t understand it. The penny dropped later (‘oohhhhh’).

And that has continued over the last 48 hours. Exacerbated by things like the aluminium tomato puree tube splitting and spraying “surpriiise!” jets of thick tomato gloop across the kitchen side board, microwave door and very face. The sweet potato cakes turning out to be much stickier than it said in the recipe, meaning splodges of orange and green (coriander) mush smudged across the buckwheat flour pack, my kitchen floor, the kitchen taps, the folds of my dressing gown cuff. Squeezing lime freshly into the cut on my middle finger which I somehow managed to create whilst opening the detergent tray on the washing machine??!???!

I got proper annoyed tonight. So much so that I actually had to go and buy a bottle of red wine. Because the small glass that the bottle from 3 weeks ago yielded was just not enough to get me through the evening.

It probably sounds a weird thing to say (and tells you a bit about why I probably needed to sever myself from it for a while) but if I had had my mobile all this would have been more bearable.

I could have told my friends I had PMT (which makes it better somehow – especially when you have no-one else to take it out on!). I would have put a photo of #tomatopureeexplosion on Instagram and video’d my sweet potato gloop’d kitchen so that at least someone else (and maybe even me in a week or so) would have been able to laugh at it. There would have been some entertainment value to be had from the ridiculousness of what happens to be my life. But without a phone…well it’s just me and a big fat mess.

So… in conclusion: it’s been a learning experience. I’ve realised what I can drop after my #mobilelesslife(for a month).

1/ using my phone as an alarm

2/ taking my phone with me into every room in the house

3/ having my phone in my hand permanently

4/ taking my mobile phone with me into the bathroom

5/ feeling like my phone is an appendage I can’t cope without, for more than 2 hours

6/ using my phone as a permanent Sat Nav (as mentioned earlier Mum and I now both have a most excellent AA 2.5 mile to an inch map which I highly recommend you get into your life, just in case there’s a sun flare or a zombie apocalypse and suddenly you need to know how to get from A to B without 3G. Samurai sword and vintage address book – with family and friends addresses – optional.)

7/ checking something on wikipedia when I’m out with friends

8/ having my phone where I can see it when I’m out with friends (and checking it). It shall now be left where it belongs, In my handbag. I might even – hold the front page – TURN IT OFF!

8/ looking down at my phone instead of out at the world when I’m travelling. Because whatever might catch my eye at the edge of the here and now now, is likely to have more to offer than that “what is happening now” somewhere else

9/ using my phone for recipes (Cookbooks are so much better: you can even add notes to the pages of the recipes you’ve done)

10/ using my phone as my primary means of communication. The best discoveries I have made during the last month are old school land-line phone chats and the joys of receiving and sending letters/cards. Call me old fashioned but that’s one vintage thing we should all be championing. Bring back the snail mail!


HOWEVER with all that said, there are things that unreservedly I am looking forward to enjoying once again come the 1st April:

1/ Internet banking (like seriously, who KNEW?)

2/ Listening to music just on the spur of the moment when I fancy it (and also for learning songs and practising pre-gigs – kind of essential that one)

3/ Chatting casually to friends (so call me a FOAMO but I feel like I DO NOT KNOW what is going on in any of their lives right now..and when I have PMT and am feeling sorry for myself and just sprayed tomato puree over the kitchen, some perspective from someone with a more rational brain than my own would be helpful).

4/Chromecasting (god, I miss Chromecast from my phone “oh you fancy watching something…tap here…e Voila!..HD on your non-HD TV” (Just. Brilliant).

5/ Looking something internet up quickly (which is just helpful to know in this very second)

6/ Instagram (I’m a creator and I miss composing random spontaneous pretty photos almost more than anything else) and much as I love a proper camera you CAN NOT beat the immediacy and vivacity of getting a shot right now and posting it with a location tag within 20 seconds of a moment.

7/ Having it there, supremely handy, wherever you might be with all the phone numbers you might possibly ever need (but also having these written down in a quite charming, old school address book)

8/ Emoticons. Just because why not? They have an indulgence akin to chocolate I think.

9/ Convenient, mobile, first world, totally hassle free and scarily consumer friendly shopping. Probably on Amazon.

And weirdly that brings us full circle….

One of the things I love my mobile for most is one of the things I hate it for most: it’s tied me to consumerism almost without me being able to do anything about it. The power of internet capitalism! Banking and internet shopping literally at your fingertips.

Talk about changing the shape of life!

Much as I would love to time-hop back to the 1920s, sadly Doc and Marty won’t be escorting us back there in a Delorian any time soon. Yesterday’s charming, comparatively sedate-slowness has gone forever. Like it or not, we’re right here right now (when not staring down into a mobile anyway) we’re stuck with these teeny tiny, clever, seductive handheld devices which make it oh so easy for us to control our lives with a couple of taps.

And that’s the thing – is it us controlling our lives?

I hope there’s a balance to be had. Perhaps giving up your phone for one twelfth of your year can go some way to reminding us about that.


Little note: The main reason and motivation for me insanely deciding to given up my phone for March is to raise money for Project Riandu (in August I go to Kenya to help alongside other volunteers who are building a much needed secondary school for deaf children).

Whilst to date I’ve raised £615 towards the £1500 target, less than half of that is down to my mobile-less efforts which FRANKLY are worth more than that (ahem, in my humble opinion…and thanks to all those lovelies who have gone out of their way to sponsor me – love you!).

So, if you’ve enjoyed my blogs, I’d be really grateful if you’d consider making a small donation? All your money goes to actual bricks and mortar as I’m paying my own expenses.

Please visit my online donation site (BTMyDonate, so no charges or commission taken);  – even just £5 is a whole bag of cement which will hold up walls, inside which lessons of immeasurable value will be taught to hundreds of young people who just happen to be deaf:


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