Two days ago, my mobile instructed me to insert sim card. Since there was already a sim card in it, I went to one of these emporia staffed with young persons in stain-proof uniforms, so that they could sneer at my poor old piece of communication equipment.
'No, the sim's OK,' she said, selecting an ancient item from amongst a museum of phones to test it in. 'It's your phone - time for an upgrade!'
I wondered if taking the mud out of its innards would work, but apparently not.
'Well,' I suggested, 'what about a sideways-grade?'
She looked blank.
'An equivalent,' I said, 'one that I can use to text and phone and listen to the radio. I don't want anything else.'
'Listen to the radio?' The blank expression deepened. 'No one listens to the radio!'
'I think you'll find I do,' I muttered.
'But you can download podcasts!'
'Handy for live travel news, that.'
Some thought was applied by two young persons, and they decided that a relatively cheap Nokia was the only phone left in the universe on which you could listen to the radio. Unfortunate, as the layout of Nokias and I don't get on, and it is not built like a handheld suit of armour, which it needs to be to survive with me. It's already fallen apart once under very little provocation. You can't set the alarm to go off every day at the same time, but have to reset it each night (as I discovered in a panic this morning), though to be fair I never told the young persons I was advanced enough to use the alarm (maybe no one uses alarms any more). The worst thing so far, though, is that this phone uses exactly the same sound to tell you a message has been sent as the old one did to say a message has failed to go through.
Where did I put my carrier pigeons?
Though to be fair, again, it's very hard to listen to the radio on a pigeon.