If Dan’s Grandfather Can Do It………


This morning I reacquainted myself with our Downton garden where I found signs of impending autumn. Phantom hydrangeaThe phantom hydrangea turns pink during that season, and is beginning to do so now. Leaves are starting to fall, and, although the day was warm and sunny, the early temperature was a little cool.

HoneysuckleA new honeysuckle, saved from the jungle of the early summer, now clings to the golden arches. ClematisSimilarly rescued, an unidentified clematis now festoons the copper beech. Cyclamens are emerging into the light. CyclamenOne has fought its way through rough soil beneath the holly near the head gardener’s den.

Calls to my Blackberry phone, even after I have returned from France, are very crackly. I therefore decided to request what is probably only my fourth upgrade in about fifteen years. This meant a trip to O2 in Christchurch. The process of making the necessary adjustments to my contract, filling in the forms, and choosing and setting the new Samsung Galaxy took all of two hours. For starters, the computer indicated that I wasn’t eligible, so the assistant had to work manually.

Dan, who attended to me while Jackie sat beside us, was a delightful young trainee who occasionally needed help from his willing and more qualified colleagues. It was really quite an entertaining afternoon, the highlight of which was probably the selection of a new device. Dan was not phased by this elderly gent saying he didn’t want internet and didn’t feel comfortable with touch screens. He asked me how old I was. When I told him he replied that his grandfather was in his eighties and was very effectively using a phone that carried all the facilities once confined to a computer.

Obviously I had to opt for what was good enough for Dan’s Grandad.

Jackie regretted that it would have been rather undignified for her to emulate the little boy who, in boredom, silently rolled around under the chairs whilst his father was discussing his contract.

Afterwards she drove us to the cleaners at New Milton, then home to Downton.

This evening I failed my first test with the new device. I received, or rather didn’t receive, a call from my friend Jessie. Not knowing how to answer it, I missed it. Fortunately, by the time the subsequent voicemail message came in, I had figured out how to respond, so was able to listen to it and return the call.

We dined on cod, chips, and mushy peas at Daniel’s in Highcliffe. Jackie’s drink was coffee, and mine was tea.

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