Musings & Jottings

Grey skies and rain, with the radio announcing the death of Maeve Binchy; the sad loss of one who has provided so much good reading for so many readers.

It is a fact, but one that is no easier to accept even while acknowledging it, that as one gets older, all the well-known people in the news, as well as those with whom one has become friends, or known all one’s life, drop out of the picture upon which one’s life has been based. The numbers become more precious, the fewer they become.

True too, that so many give up corresponding by letter; failing eyesight, and arthritic fingers often contribute to the decline, but with postage stamps the price they are, the diminution is not surprising; soon, I fear, letter-writing will become exclusively for the rich.

Even the phone rings less frequently than before.  Days are so busy, and spare time has become so precious for everyone.  During weekdays, I tend to check to see what’s on the television before phoning as so many watch the soaps as religiously as once I listened to Dick Barton or Saturday Night Theatre on the radio of yesteryear. It might be my imagination, but sometimes I get the impression I may have called at the wrong moment, or like me, the person on the other end thinks it’s another of those nuisance calls.

Which brings me to another pet grizzle: those wretched automatic answering systems that insist you press one, two, or three; then send you off on another wild goose chase through the digits, hash or star keys, and finally, when you think you might get to talk to a human being, you are addressed by someone who is reading from a snag sheet, and cannot answer your queries because their accent make their response nearer gibberish than your own language

Of course, telephoning abroad brings in the time-factor, so calling friends in another country necessitates checking on the time zone, and that can be off-putting to anyone’s spontaneity.  This has resulted in my using email more and more – with  family, and those friends who also use the internet.  Now in my late seventies, I have encountered a reluctance among my contemporaries to use this means of communication, but among those who have, we chat each day, or send the latest snippet; mind, with mounting charges for telephone and broadband connections, these too will soon pass into the exclusive realms of the rich too.

9 comments on “Musings & Jottings

  1. 1annecasey says:

    Love this post Maureen – you are a hoot! Beautifully written of course as always. Have you considered stand-up comedy? : )))

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  2. Wonderfully accurate xD. The sad truth of it is that many of the people answering the phones are Indians and somehow they manage to be as unintelligible and robotic to Indians as they are to people from abroad.

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  3. I hate automated answering machines and customer care services too!

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  4. Judy Smith says:

    Both of my grandmothers lived past 95 and retained sharp minds. My paternal grandma told me one day that the hardest part of growing older was outliving her friends. Near the end of her life she had only a cousin left to correspond with, and when those letters stopped I think she set her heart toward leaving us. Grandma wrote the most wonderful letters, and I’ve saved all the ones she sent me — many with little pressed flowers for headers. Her garden was amazing.

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  5. And you have been left with wonderful memories.

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  6. I know the feeling of the automatic answering machines and operators that transfers your call to nowhere after waiting for what feels like a forever. When my mom got sick last Christmas, I was getting frustrated when I could hardly hear my dad on the phone the calls kept dropping. I was using an international phone cards which kept deducting its minutes even if I haven’t talk to person yet. Emails are a great way to communicate. Lately, I’m using facebook messenger and works well with friends and family all over the world. Happy New Year to you and your family.

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    • Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to think your thoughts and put them down for us to read.

      I agree, Facebook can be fun; I enjoy looking at, and reading about, the things my friends get up to.The youngsters are so uninhibited, but I’m not sure I want to put selfies and the like up there for all to see, though I’m happy to put thoughts into words and words on to the screen. Happy New Year to you and yours too.

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