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Friday, 2 May 2014


It is one of the most annoying songs ever. Yet it sums up perfectly my "Yesterday".

Yesterday dawned full of promise. I had a lightness in my step which belied my years. I had plans, I had things to do. I had events to be part of.

Like going to the bank and depositing £150 - a rare event to be savoured. I fed each £10 individually into the automatic teller, until the real live security guard had me in a double arm lock. My behaviour looked suspiciously like money laundering - O.K. I look like a Russian plutocrat.

"King Lear" with Simon Russell Beale, That was the fare to be served up that evening. Anticipation! 19:00 hrs couldn't arrive soon enough. He is unnaturally talented. Unfairly so. He can play comedy, modern, the Bard, he even knows a bit about music. He makes that other queer Stephen Fry seem stupid. He is my hero. I love him in a non consenting non sexual, non Max Clifford sort of way.

How to wind the clock faster...

Well, I'd been getting rather pissed off with my Nokia smartphone. It runs on Windows and of late they've become rather mucky. Things don't play, signals drop wi-fi goes why bother? It's so 2012. And I such a sucker for status items. A new phone and it has to be a iPhone 5S.

So switching on my Nokia Maps I headed for Oxford Circus and the Apple Shop in Regent Street. I walked in, and walked out. It was manic. Where do all these young people come from. More importantly where do they get the dosh to buy all this high (over) priced kit? Look I've earned my pension, I spent years serving the nation and if I want to waste it on a memorial stone to Steve Jobs who are you to quibble. But these kids with student debts and mortgaged parents...

Off to John Lewis instead. A bit of retail therapy there and I felt emboldened to enter Job's Cavern of A Few (but highly desirable) Delights. So emboldened that I grabbed the first hipster service dude and said I want an iPhone 5S. 16/32/64 gigabit, what the hell! Except at over £700 the 64 gigabit seemed rather vulgar. I wasn't some Arabian moneybags for Christ's sake.

I settled for a dinky black 16 gig babe. Swipe the card and onto the techno guy who'll set you up and running. Except I had a Microsoft powered phone. The death struggle continues even after Steve's untimely shut down. Never has any adviser in any Apple Store successfully transferred the contacts from a Microsoft phone to an Apple. But my adviser, strangely called Regent Street, until I turned his card over was about to be the first. And I was to be his...experiment.

I do not know how many times I signed into Apple/ Apple Cloud/ all of my e-mail accounts. I forget how many computers I was linked up to, or how many other customers he managed to sort out in the two hours we spent fruitlessly trying to transfer my VirginMedia contacts to that lovely,lovely piece of hardware I just paid and arm and a leg for. I left saying I'd sort it at home. I'm still not sure I've paid for the bloody phone since I agreed to be e-mailed my bill. It ain't arrived.

Oh, the other thing was that being a Microsoft phone, linked to an Orange network, Apple couldn't switch SIMs - whatever that means. It meant me having to trundle off to the local EE shop and incant "SIM swap", to which the reply was you're fuckin' Orange we don't recognise you. Phone a friend!

I pause here to relate my digital conversation with Orange this morning. To recap, to get my super fuckin' iPhone 5S nano SIM I had to phone Orange. The Minotaur labyrinth is nothing to Orange's Help Line. It is a parody of the English language - no wonder the company's owned by the perfidious French. It took me three calls and 20 minutes of excruciating R&B  and teenie rock ( I'd rather listen to Clarkson rabbiting on about the arse end of a 911) to get through. I now have to wait a life time for my nano sim and go through the anguish of activating it. At my age life's too precious.

And so to Lear.  Anguish, self knowledge, piteous torment. He was lucky.

He didn't know he was born.


Steve said...

2 papers cups connected with a taut piece of string. No connection problems. Though the coverage isn't great

John Gray said...

I am such a tecno phobe
( can't spell)
I have no idea of what you were talking about

Barry Coidan said...

Dear Steve and John, you're a match made in heaven.

Jack the Hat said...

Using the old dog and bone is a real pain these days.