The phone with a plectrum

The first one was masculine, matt black, its business-like keys covered with clear plastic, its back tightly held in leather-look black. The display was that Sinclair ZX81 black-on-snot colour and it had one ringtone. RING RING! I remember getting my first text, it filled the entire screen with the one line 'Hello dear'.It was from Matthew, who knew all about high-tech kit and how to use it. I, on the other hand, didn't have a clue what it was, who it was from and what to do about it.I said 'hello' back, which worked for me, though the words didn't appear and the phone stayed strangely silent.

The second was the exact opposite, smooth, stylish, electric blue cover and tiny buttons which could only be pressed with a hair or bristle. It was the size of a postage stamp and stuck to the end of my index finger. I once accidentally popped it in my mouth, mistaking it for a throat lozenge. Fortunately I didn't swallow, an incoming text warned me that it wasn't the Strepsil I was trying to dial Noel on.

After the Blackberry, which was like talking to a calculator or using a bristle-less hairbrush, came the silver slide phone, which could double up as a mirror compact and had the added bonus of big numbers, set to multi-colour, for my ageing eyes to see clearly. It had pictures and everything.

Now the new communications system has arrived, it's gone back to the black back and clear front, but there are no buttons, I can't find them anywhere. Granted, it has an FM radio, MP3 player, full-size theatre screen and surround sound, QWERTY keyboard that comes, goes and changes size at the touch of a well-manicured nail, sadly I fall at the first hurdle there having climbers' fingers with nails filed on Yorkshire gritstone, and the one-hand short, one-hand-long nails of a lapsed guitar player. There are rumours that it makes and receives calls, but I can see no evidence of that.

Still, it comes with its own plectrum. so I can go back to playing the guitar while I figure out how to use the phone.

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