Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Explore - A Memory from an Object

I didn’t have, or even imagine, a phone I could walk around with until R was born.

All my most private teenage conversations (boys, exams, what to wear to the school disco) took place on the bottom stair in the hallway. Like a tethered donkey, I could only move in a circle, as far the bottle-green spiral cord could stretch. My mum and brother would both find excuses to go up and downstairs while I was ‘on the phone’. Moreover, I knew all my friends were in the same situation so we had to develop intricate codes to preserve our privacy.

Going away to university was, as it should be, the first step to independence, but even here the only way to guarantee my phone conversations would not be overheard was to walk into town to a payphone. The college payphone was in the main hall and everyone could hear everything: “I do. You know I do. Me too!” I developed a regular ‘phone home’ routine of early Sunday evening, when the queues tended to be shortest. The, then, most important phone calls of my life were made from public phones: the first and only time I rang my dad at work to tell him I had achieved my 2:1 degree and the time I told my mum I was off to spend a year abroad. They cried at the other end both times, as I recall!


1 comment:

Sian said...

The first mobile phone call I ever made was from the hospital the day after TTO was born. My sister had a new mobile and she let me try it out! It feels like centuries ago now