My mobile phone rang. Well, being a smart phone, it doesn’t just ring, it plays the opening bars of some upbeat musical arrangement, flashes a light show fit to beat the Hogmanay fireworks and vibrates at such a rate it rockets across the desk.
I have to leap like a Division One goalie to save it before it hits the deck. My performance is often more Alan Rough than Gordon Banks, so much of my time is spent retrieving said phone from under beds, tables and sofas.
Not so bleeding smart, then, are we, phone?
This time it was the sofa. I was well out of breath, as you can imagine. And dusty. Not a good combination.
“Hello,” said I. Generally speaking, this is a good way to start the conversation.
The sharp, grating voice at the other end was that of a young woman, probably from the Wirral/Liverpool area, and she had said these lines a million times probably that day. Everything came out in one line, like the exhaled hiss of a bored cobra.
I have provided some semblance of punctuation. I have kept the constant question mark. Headsets, for some reason, cause the voice of the wearer to rise at the end of the sentence, like American Valley girls. It may be the pressure on the skull.
“Hello? Is this Susan?” It’s that irritating first name thing that gets me. This is not a call from my mother, a dear friend or indeed the Cosmos, it’s a girl with a headset clamped to her ears who has never met me and yet here she is passing herself off as a long-lost pal who might have been at my hen do, dandled my first born on her knee and would offer me a kidney should the occasion demand.
“Yes,” I snapped. I realise this is no way to address a worker, comrades, but I was by now exasperated, and sneezing. There’s a lot of dust under that sofa. Ukip would consider me quite the slattern.
The spirit of Jimmy Reid hovered reprovingly at my shoulder. I determined to do better.
She continued “Hi? My name is Samantha? I’m calling from Voda O2VirginMobile?”
“Uuummm . . . yes?”
“It’s just a courtesy call? To talk about reviewing? Your contract? Can I just check? You are Susan? Can I just ask? A security question?”
“Uuuummmm . . . you called me? Should I not ask you a security question?”
Clearly, this is not in the script. I was just about to ask her mother’s maiden name. But she hung up.
Nuclear hobby gets a reaction
MIND you, a hobby is one thing, but creating a nuclear fusion reactor is another, which is what young Jamie Edwards has done, at the age of 13.
At this rate, the boy will run out of brilliant ideas by the time he’s 21, which will lead to him being an embittered young man who will be spurned by the entire scientific community and he’ll take off in a giant huff, buy a white cat and build a huge underground lair in Switzerland.
Then he’ll start demanding huge sums of money from the world’s governments or he’ll atomise Cumbernauld.
Glassware collection is shattering
IN my youth, the exhortation to do something useful in your spare time was unrelenting. Stamp collecting, writing to pen pals, spotting trains and conscientiously keeping note in a jotter of every aeroplane you saw were all parent-approved ways to pass the time.
Until recently, my son has spurred the allure of the pastime, that drive to collect, record and catalogue. But now, at last, the hobby gene has kicked in.
I am proud to say that my son is now a passionate collector of glassware. And not just any glassware. Oh no, this boy is niche.
Glassware, 2012 -2013, sourced from the kitchen cabinet and always containing Irn Bru.
He has them on display on a special pedestal in his room. Well, the bedside cabinet. And the top of the chest of drawers. Oh, and the little table on the left of the computer shelves.
They remain on display until gathered by a furious mother, who can’t help but notice the orangey-yellow gunk on the bottom resembles the new Scotland away strip.
That’s probably why I don’t like it.
Scotland strip is pure mince
I REALISE that reference to long-ago goalkeepers may have given the mistaken impression that I actually know something about football. I do not. But I do know that football strip for the Scotland away team is, to use a fine phrase from the Scottish fashion cognoscente, “pure mince, by the way”.
It’s a fashion term. Lynne McCrossan, diva and doyenne of the fashion world here at this mighty newspaper told me long ago, so it must be true.
She once advised me on my fashion choices, you know. Well, she advised me to stay indoors.