Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Life without a phone

Recently my phone broke. I am more than happy to admit that I am a lost shell of a man without my phone, but I am shocked with just how bad things can be.
On Friday I went to London to see Neil (he is one of my best friends, who despite moving to London may get a post dedicated to him at some point). The first problem was that I didn't know how to arrange to meet him. In the dying seconds of my backup phone battery, I text him saying when and where I will be arriving. I got to Marylebone station and waited, to no avail. I was already picturing myself sleeping in the station, one eye on my bag containing my Playstation 3, and fighting off the security as they tried to drag me out. I tried turning my phone on, hoping my suffering had encouraged it to work long enough to call him. Thankfully it did! Problem averted.

On Saturday morning we set off on an epic quest to get my PS3 and Phone fixed, in opposite sides of London. I won't get into the epic journey, and about the boy who broke my Playstation, but I will say that weekend service on the tubes are terrible. Even if you write down where you want to go you will end up having to go somewhere entirely different and walk. And my phone is my map. And I had no phone. We wandered around a part of east London, up and down a very long road too many times for me to enjoy. Eventually we found it using maps on the side of bus stops. How degrading.

While in London I was hoping to meet my favourite blogger friend, though I had no way of contacting her, so this too had to be postponed.
Later on the night we were going to my old housemates new house warming party. Getting there was painful enough (as I said, weekend service on tubes) but we found a route we could take that only made a few changes. We sat on the tube as it went to a couple of places, and then it stopped... for ages. A voice on the speakers said that someone has "taken ill" at one of the stations so there is a delay. We sat quietly as a homeless man with bandaged feet asked for money, saying he was an ex-serviceman. I don't think I believed him, but Neil gave him a pound anyway. The voice on the speakers said they strongly advised finding alternative transport, so we got off.

Apparently the person who had 'taken ill' had actually fell in front of the train. I hope I never 'take ill' like that.

I asked a friendly policeman directions to the part of Camden we wanted. He taunted me by whipping out his phone and showing me the map. On the way we befriended a crazy looking youth who happened to be going to the same area and was also lost. A few minutes of small talk later and he left us as we pinpointed the house we wanted. Looking up and down the street, I asked Neil what the road name and house number was. He looked at me horrified, as he expected I wrote that bit down, as he was just writing down the tube directions to get there.

I died a little inside.

Suddenly the world seemed dangerous, as I stood clutching my Playstation 3, iPod, DS, games, 2 bottles of alcohol, 3 phones and camera. I don't usually carry this much, I just had to get things repaired, and wanted backup things to do on the train. But now everyone wanted to steal it. A guy cycled past wearing a mask over his mouth. We stood around for about 45 minutes trying to work out what we could do. Using Neils phone I tried phoning Leigh, Joe, my sister, and other numbers I could remember, but to no avail. Neil looked like he had lost the will to live.

Then I remembered the phone battery trick! I always thought it was a myth, but at this point I would do anything to avoid having to spend the night on the streets of London, and inevitably have to whore myself out to get home. I took out my phone battery and gave it a little rub, placed it back in, and it worked!! I had just enough time to take 4 numbers off my phone and start calling them until someone was able to help me.

The party was good, except at the end I was lying on the bathroom floor in my boxers being sick. I didn't expect to wake up for my 10am coach home, and when I actually did I was still incredibly drunk and walking like I'd just won £10 on the lottery.

I can guarantee the whole weekend would have gone so much better if I had my phone. Saturday night would have ended with everybody sitting around a table, sharing anecdotes about business and other things that make you successful... instead of people asking who blocked their sink.


  1. Travelling on the tube at the weekend is bad enough - to be unlucky enough to have a "jumper" on your line ... oh dear!

    Thank you so much for the plug - you are such a sweetie!

    Hope you get your phone fixed soon - see you next time you're in "town"

  2. Yes I really think you should devote a blog to Neil and don't forget about the playground incident when you first knew him. We all love Neil.