gubster's Diaryland Diary

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The quest for a simple life

When I say British telephone boxes, what do you think? The sentence brings to mind that unique symbol, that ICON of British life. The red painted wooden phone box with little glass planes and the painted crown on top. This is surely a symbol you can 100% identify with the UK.

But where have they gone?

From my house to the train station there are 6 phone boxes. (This in itself is very strange as they are usually difficult to unearth) Now from those 6 none are red, in fact they are all a colour in between transparent and black, a grey plastic colour, made that way from the car exhaust along the road. Every one has a .........’unique’ odour, and if indeed you hold your breath to brave being in the filthily plastic box for long enough the next problem is picking up the receiver ( if there is one) I am sure the NHS will not cover any illness picked up from these grubby handles. Payment is a battle, as 4 out of these six have jammed coin slots. When it all boils down, only one out of six actually works.

So I throw the coins in and try to tap in numbers without touching the keypad or the receiver or the box, while looking for the number to call, while straining to hear what the person is saying against the back drop of roaring traffic (the only working box is strategically placed beside the traffic lights) and by the time I get to hello I am so dizzy from holding my breath that I hear beeping in my ears…….but wait its not in my ears its this stupid machine demanding more coins. At night time these grubby boxes become illuminated. A beacon to all to profess their useless existence.

Perhaps my current social experiment of ridding myself of that quintessential, indispensable 21st century tool the mobile phone was ill advised. It was my aim to have real communication with real people and be in one place at one time mentally. It proves quite complicated to live a simple life.

10:59 a.m. - 2008-07-31

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