Ringing Through Time (Featured Post)

Growing up in the Victorian town that we still live in, there are certain features of it that stay the same, no matter what century or decade we're in. The vast majority of the town is a conservation area and as such, features have to reflect that. Woe betide anyone who wants to rock the architectural and metaphorical boat with something for the 21st century, and by and large I don't have a problem with that. The heritage of this town is too important and beautiful to spoil, and it's the features like a bright red postbox from the Edwardian era, or a 1950s' phone box with the tell-tale panel windows that make this town what it is.

When I was a child, we lived in such a conservation area and had both a post box and telephone box within a hundred yards of the house. It was just as well because our home phone didn't make outgoing calls; with two teenage boys, the phonebill would have been astronomical. I learnt at quite a young age how to use the public phonebox, having been sent over with my 10p coin and with an elder sister to keep an eye on me, the instruction was to phone home where my mum was waiting with the brown, corded telephone in her hand ready.

As ugly as I thought that mushroom brown, rotary dial telephone was at the time, I saw an identical one in my vintage-loving friend's house recently. It brought back many happy memories of smuggled phone conversations with the extension phone cable, sitting untaggling the twisted cable and developing an aching ear from holding the handset up to my ear for too long.

Technology moves along at a fair old pace, and although letters have turned into e-mails, and telegrams have turned into texts, the one thing that is guaranteed to make a smile appear on someone's face is a phonecall. Family members are no longer close by and a telephone call can make the gap seem minute enough that a loved one can feel like they are in the same room. As my brother prepares to move to Australia (almost certainly permanently much to my distress), our family's need for good landline phones that won't cut out after ten minutes when the batteries run dead, is ever more apparent. It's going to be difficult enough dealing with the timezone difference, let alone a dodgy phone connection.

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