A mobile phone and an angel

I had a mobile phone for about three weeks and lost it. My latest theory is that it has been eaten. The bottom drawer of the chest of drawers in our bedroom is the prime suspect, but I have been unable to persuade it to disgorge its treasure, and I don’t really care enough to fork out for a replacement: having to remember where it was all the time became irksome, and I felt my world shrink rather than expand as my whole attention became channelled through the annoyingly small buttons, the ? texts and voicemails. Goodness knows what would happen if I had one of those palmtop, blackberry Ipad things. My obsessions would rule me. I take great pleasure in advising the kindly newsagent that “No, I don’t need a top-up, thank you. I don’t have a mobile phone.” He smiles and agrees, “That must be a relief”. It is.

A couple of days ago, I realised that my daughter’s mobile phone was lost. We looked for it everywhere, in the process clearing out our entire home and having a painless tidy up. Seline was even to be seen on the back lawn, searching over the grass and round the block for it. No joy. The small hand-held device on which she plays games and texts her friends was no-where to be found. I was unsure whether to be sad, or grateful that we didn’t discover it soaked and short circuited, or shattered beyond recognition under the wheels of a car. In any case I suggested that she ask her angels to help her find it. She rolled her eyes and carried on searching, pulling out her bed to look beneath it.

Unaccountably cheerful, I thought about it, and asked God to send me Seline’s phone. Recovering it would not only save about fifty pounds but also a journey into the centre of town and a confusing choice of several shops (“outlets” they call them these days) peopled by youthful assistants who talk very fast and don’t understand that I don’t understand what they are saying.

Having been woken early by a particularly enthusiastic blackbird, I drank the cup of barley coffee that my husband brought me. While I was sipping it gratefully, my daughter popped her head round the door, and asked, “Why do I have to have a bun (which I had lovingly filled with ham) for lunch?” So I offered to eat that for her while she made herself a “proper sandwich”. Wolfing down the delicious bun was no sacrifice for me, and completed breakfast in bed very nicely, thank you. I then waited for the family to depart before sinking gratefully under the sheets and going back to sleep. I am not sure why the prospect of holidays is so exhausting, but that is my excuse.

I was woken by the phone ringing loudly next to the bed. I prefer my old-fashioned, heavy appliance, which is reliably solid and stays where it is put. It is easy to dial telephone numbers on, too, which is helpful: they seem to get longer all the time. At the end of the line was the efficient voice of a woman PC advising me that a mobile phone had been handed in, if I would like to go and collect it? Yes, certainly, I croaked. I upped and dressed and had my second breakfast quickly, before setting off.

After taking a wrong turn, I arrived at police HQ and showed my ID. The desk staff checked some details – whose name was on the phone? Yes, my sister with the unusual name, Seline’s aunty was there. Within half an hour I was home again. It never occurred to me to ask how they knew to contact us, or to enquire who had handed it in, so that I might thank them. Their thoughtfulness was the answer to my prayers and will make my daughter smile this afternoon.

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