Now that the phones have stopped ringing…

From today, the 17th of May 2014, I will begin phoning my Facebook friends one by one. There are many on my friend list of 365 that I haven’t spoken to for over 25 years, there are a few that I haven’t spoken to since we were 7, and there are a couple whom I have never met at all!

No one phones anyone anymore. We keep up with each other’s news via short broadcasts on screenery. The voice has fallen silent.

I grew up in a house where the phone rang all day, and in the night too. The only way to stop the constant ‘bring bring’ was to take it off the hook completely but then the police would phone our neighbours to instruct them to run around and tell us that the phone was off the hook and no one could get hold of my Dad.

In that house, my high chair was directly under the phone on the wall and ‘Hello’ was my first word. I loved the phone. I think that the extent to which I miss it qualifies me to write a blog about how, as humans, we now feed each other news and comments in an impersonal way.

Why don’t we say ‘Hello’ down a phone line anymore and what effect does it have when we do?

It would have been my Dad’s 78th birthday today and in a way this is a memorial to him. He loved his patients and he loved his computer but all he ever wanted to do was unplug the phone. He was born too soon!




  1. I heard your broadcast on Saturday live this morning, and I agree that a phone call and actually speaking to people is so good. I personally do not use twiter, facebook text, and other modern methods of communication, as nothing is as personal as a phone call.
    It was lovely to hear you and it takes me back to the time that you and your sisters were members of the brownies and guides in Heather many years ago. Good look with your phone calls.

  2. Hi Annabel it was great to hear you on the radio a little while ago. I don’t think I have spoken to you since days at Ashby School but of course had contact with your sisters through my girls babysitting for Ruth and Hannah and child minding Ben (don’t remind him!). Say hello to them and do remember me to your Mum who was valiant enough to help me on a few school trips to France from the Ivanhoe. I’m wholeheartedly with you on your mission: the art of conversation is dying and so many people hide behind their phones and avoid chatting. I even still write letters to some friends! Anyway good luck with your blog and with your book writing. Shan Dyer.

    1. Thanks so much Shan! You were the best French teacher at Ashby! I’ll pass on your good wishes to my mum. So glad you are with me on my mission.
      Lots of love,
      Annabel x

  3. Hello Annie. I, too, heard your radio broadcast in the UK. Sitting in Sainsbury’s carpark trying to not look strange while I sat there and waited until your time was done. I said to Philip how proud I was of you and how delighted you would have been to have been interviewed by that esteemed crowd.
    I hope that you, Martin and the kids are well and your Mum, Helen and everyone else too. Hear tidbits of info from Pauline but would love to hear from you in person. I dont mind what number of the 365 I am. I know that you are connected with Philip who maintains the family facebook!
    Chat soon. Love to everyone
    Kathryn W. (cappuccino 🙂 )

    1. Hiya Cappucino! Did I reply to this? I thought I had! Looking forward to speaking to you on my blog. Let’s make a time soon. I understand you are back in the UK permanantly. That’s amazing! Can’t wait to hear how you are all doing. email me your number, I’m still annabelpoppy on hotmail.Loads of Love, Axxxxx

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