Part 3: No Phone, #MercuryRetrograde & Suddenly I’ve Gone All Bridget Jones.

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen FieldingOne-week without mobile phone has turned into two-week nightmare owing to both replacement and second replacement phones being faulty. Only plausible explanation for terrible bout of luck is Mercury is in retrograde (MIR). This is no longer a quirky experiment rather disaster on scale as loosing a limb. OK not quite, but you get the picture. Palpitations of heart from stress induced by absence of phone are equal to sitting A-Level examinations one hundred times in underwear. As a result the last two weeks have seen me ungraciously propelled back into 1990’s style living in manner of Bridget Jones. After surviving the first week by mainly being drunk, here’s how I face planted through the second.

Rachael Butler’s Phone Free Diary.

Day 7: Sunday.

48 hours until I get my phone back. Alcohol units 11. Calories 3,025.

1pm. Had a fabulous morning hiking up Man Tour in Derbyshire for a couple of hours with a friend I met in Sydney. Feeling very smug with selves for embracing Sunday mornings not being hung over and instead being active in manner of Australian #hellosundaymorning. Opted for a pub lunch of pie & mash as a reward.

6pm. Returned home to Doncaster to lovely family Sunday lunch of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and homemade pavlova for pudding. Everyone is drinking red wine. Would feel selfish not joining in. After all, I’ve been away for six whole years. Is wonderful to have all of the family together over good food and wine, feeling loved by wonderful family. Go on then, may as well just finish off the bottle…

Day 8: Monday.

Only 12 hours until I get my phone back. Alcohol units 2 (v.g), compliments given 2 (excellent job of spreading positivity.)

10pm. Feeling positive, poised and zen like in preparation of promised new phone at 8am tomorrow. Ran 10km with dog first thing, then took train to Newcastle to meet new client. With exception of getting horrendously lost walking in Newcastle without Google maps, day was a great success. Had lovely gluten free cottage pie and boutique beer on train ride home. Rude not to it is complimentary in first class, after all. Was so impressed by glamour of wonderful Virgin train travel service that told lovely staff member on train how wonderful he was and wrote on Facebook sharing wonderful view on service. Is important after all to give praise where it’s due.

Day 9. Tuesday.

9am. Hurrah have got new phone. Am no longer be Bridget Jones. Odd thing is, am scared to open phone and disturb presence, zen and oneness have developed over the last week from absence of phone. Do not know if I want 24/7 connectivity back again. Rather enjoying talking to actual people face to face and significant productivity gain from new found 3 hours, no longer spent suffering from life envy induced by aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Rightmove and Tinder.

Day 10. Wednesday.

Hours without phone: an eternity. Alcohol units 24 (all phone insurance companies fault) Calories zillions but hopefully will throw up given amount of wine consumed so they won’t count.

4.30pm. Woke up delighted to have phone again. Only to discover that new phone does not work to make actual telephone calls. New phone is indeed faulty. Am again without actual phone until tomorrow. For fucks sake. Is only 4.30pm but consider it absolutely acceptable behaviour to crack open a bottle of red wine whilst on house telephone in form of 1990’s Bridget Jones complaining politely to phone insurance company.

6pm. Have drunk entire contents of bottle of wine, when my friend Jonathan asks if I’d like to go out to Bawtry for tea. He’ll drive. I warn him I’m a bit tiddly.

8pm. Love lovely staff at Coleman’s of Bawtry and lovely Jonathan. Upon hearing about phone trauma Jonathan ordered me another bottle of red wine and lovely waiter jokingly brought me a funnel to drink it with. Suspect he later wished he’d brought a plastic beaker.

10pm. Oh dear. Suspect am very drunk and rather embarrassing dinner date. Have just broken wine glass whilst talking with hand motions. And I wonder why I haven’t got a boyfriend…

Day 11. Thursday

6am. Water, water, must locate water.

6.05am. Have located glass of water on bed side table. Can now feel H2O molecules infiltrate brain cells most in need of rehydration.

6.10am. Oh god. Memory brain cells have been rehydrated. Suspect might have been a bit drunk in restaurant last night. Hopefully wasn’t too embarrassing. Best keep eyes closed a bit longer.

7.30am. Message off Jonathan on iPad confirms was indeed very drunk given he’s asked ‘How’s the head’. Thank god it’s Saturday.

7.40am. Fuck fuck fuckety fuck. It’s not Saturday. It’s Thursday. Have five clients today and the first one is a telephone coaching session at 9am. Double fuck fuck fuckety fuck. Do not have actual phone to make call and cannot use house phone because dog will bark throughout the conversation. Where the fuck are the fucking Nurofen?

10pm. Benefit of being very very hung over is that thinking about more than one thing at once is absolutely impossible. As a result, have been extraordinarily productive. So with exception of missing first coaching session owning to absence of telephone to make call on. Have done ironing, hoovered up, been for run, been into office, run four successful coaching sessions, answered all emails, set up new phone and attended fundraising evening at pub in Finningley with my friend Faye where I won a £20 voucher in the raffle. Excellent.

Day 12. Friday.

Number of iPhones in possession 2. Number of working iPhone’s in possession 0. Burglar alarms set off 1, number of times said fuck 1,000, alcohol units 9 (totally acceptable)

 8.45am. Something is not right. Phone will not connect to internet then just shut down completely. THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING.

 9.10am. Am now late for interview for radio station on Doncaster Market and have no phone to a) record interview b) take photos for blog. Fuck Fuck Fuck.

11.30am. Do not care about phone anymore. Might stop using one all together. Morning on Plane & Armstrong stall in Donny market was fantastic. They were so welcoming, funny and learnt loads about butcher industry. Plus they had a phone charger that charged phone. Actual phone will still not connect to internet but at least managed to take photos and videos.

12.30pm. I fucking hate all Apple products. I pay an exorbitant amount of money for iPhone, Macs and iPads because apparently everything is so simple a two-year old could sync it. Now phone is not working feel totally and utterly let down, but worse than that feel totally stupid because cannot fix technology a two-year-old can use. On top of all of this am starting to worry for my health. Heart is beating very fast, a likely result of anxiety induced from absence of connectivity with email, WhatsApp, Facebook and internet. If I have a heart attack in next week would not be surprised in the slightest. This level of reliance on technology cannot be good for humans in general.

1pm. Apple guys in shop cannot fix phone (makes me feel much better), guys in EE shop cannot get network to work. They tell me I need a new phone. This is my third phone in 2 weeks HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING? Then I see a note from my bestie in Australia telling me Mercury is in Retrograde (MIR) and everything makes absolute sense. Communication fails massively when it’s MIR – texts don’t get sent, emails misinterpreted, phones break etc. It’s also a terrible time to buy new electronic equipment as it’s likely to break. Tell myself to remain calm and find inner zen. This is no one’s fault, it’s a result of planetary misalignment.

6pm. Nightmare of MIR continues. To deal with stress from phone decided to go for a run after work with friend Liam. Get back to office after run to find office locked up. Cannot get into office as keys are inside, cannot open padlock on door because security number is in phone and fucking phone is broken. Eventually get into office after asking stranger to call office owner but then end up setting alarm off for 20 minutes because alarm code is saved in broken phone. Seriously FML. I need a drink.

Days 15. Monday.

It’s bank holiday weekend. But I’m in a terrible mood due to phone induced stress. Luckily am with sisters who told me straight how annoying I am and to snap out of it asap. Love lovely sisters. Ended up having a fabulous weekend without phone and didn’t care in the slightest because am surrounded by people I love and who love me back despite the fact I am a times a bit of a nightmare. Weekend ended up being amazing, doing all manner of wonderful things like going for afternoon tea, cheering on the Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster, having nice meals, drinking lots of Prosecco with friends, went to food and wine festival in Derbyshire and had lots of cuddles from my gorgeous 2 year old nephew who doesn’t care in the slightest that I don’t answer the phone anymore and am no longer on WhatsApp.

Have realised in second week of not having phone that it’s no longer socially acceptable to ask another human being if you can use their mobile phone. Look of absolute horror and subsequent twitching on friends face when you ask if you can borrow their mobile for a sec, is equal to asking if you could borrow their husband for ten minutes to have sex. Can only conclude that we’re now in an age where it’s more socially acceptable to ask a person to borrow their knickers than it is to borrow their mobile phone.

On the plus I am assured from insurance company that I will get a new phone that actually works tomorrow morning. If phone doesn’t work tomorrow will likely throw self off cliff, oh hang on, won’t be able to do that as need Google maps app on phone to locate said cliff. Fingers crossed it won’t come to that…

BDx.

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