Sound Advice…

I thought it was about time for a little light relief on this blog, after a long spell of photo posts only, and newly inspired by CHUCKLEMUMS, here we go…

By the late nineteen-eighties, the electro-mechanical automatic telephone exchange (just put ‘Strowger Switch’ into Google) had served telephone users for up to around a hundred years – although much less in the more remote parts of the UK, such as parts of rural Scotland, where you still spoke to an operator to connect every call, as late as 1970 (quaint, eh?)

But now, telephony was seeing the greatest revolution since Mr Strowger’s invention: the fully electronic telephone ‘switch’ that was much smaller, worked much more quickly, and needed much less maintenance. It could also manage all sorts of natty little party tricks that we take for granted nowadays, like three-way calling, call waiting advice while you were on another call, and automatic diversion of your calls to another number (with variations.)

But this wasn’t all. With this great new package of technology came another novelty: digitally stored speech that, for instance, told you “Sorry, there is a fault” (that one didn’t happen often) or “You have dialled an incorrect number.” And when dialling, after a pause of around twenty seconds of not entering a digit, we now got told to “please replace the handset, and try again.”

Around this time, I knew a little boy who was then about three, and was fascinated by this. He would sneak up to the phone at home, pick up the receiver, and wait, without doing anything else… until his mother would get wise. “Peter!”* she would say. “What did that lady say? Did she tell you to put it back?”

On one particular occasion, this kind of interrogation was met with a classic, priceless, carefully-intoned reply:

“Please replace the tea-set, and try again!”

Sound advice, in certain situations, I would think, for parents everywhere. Thank you for reading.

*The boy’s name has been changed, to protect, er, me.

modern telephone
For a little longer, yet?

 


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My Sunday Photo: 22 May 2016

MaigoldThis early, beautifully-scented rose came into flower in my dad’s garden last week. It’s called ‘Maigold’ and flowers prolifically in late spring and early summer, then still has a few blooms later on.
Judging by most cut roses on sale in shops, if you want roses with any significant scent, these days, you need to grow your own!

Edit, Monday, 23 May 2016:
I’m also linking this to:

A Mum Track Mind
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My Sunday Photo: 15 May 2016

Field of Oil-seed RapeDriving home through the countryside yesterday (14/05/16) I was struck by the sense of open space given by this view, especially after a week of working indoors. The scent, which I sadly can’t give you, only added to the effect. The lone tree (you can just see the top of it in this photo) also seemed symbolic; beauty in solitude is not loneliness, but a stimulus towards positive reflection.

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My Sunday Photo: 1 May 2016

Morning DewThere’s hardly anything to say, is there? Every fine morning – and we do get a few, occasionally – this kind of picture is waiting for us, if we can be bothered to look!
The sheer majesty of nature is there in the simplest things. And, you know, the financially richest people in the world might never stop to see it. Perhaps that makes them, overall, the poorest.

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My Sunday Photo: 24 April 2016

Evening LandscapeIn landscape photography, I find light is almost everything. A very ordinary view can suddenly become special, if the lighting changes – something that happens very often in England! This shot was taken in the early evening. I had stopped to watch this scene for a few moments, when suddenly the sunlight played the trick I’ve caught here. The whole event was over in seconds.

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My Sunday Photo: 10 April 2016

Porcelain Bowl at MontacuteBy now, I think you all expect flower pictures from me! Well here’s another, but with a difference: the flowers are painted onto a very fine porcelain bowl, that is part of the marvellous collection of all kinds of things at the preserved stately home that is Montacute House, in the South of Somerset – a wonderful place, which I visited last week. It’s certainly worth a visit, if you are anywhere near!

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My Sunday Photo: 27 March 2016

MSP160327Walking (once again!) through my beloved Wollaton Park, on a dull, uninspiring day, I was almost slipping into a ‘nothing to see, here’ kind of mood, when I found this leaf on a shrub. I’ve cropped this picture a little, but left plenty of background, so as to show the contrast. For a moment, I had to think which season it was supposed to be – but it was a beautiful scene, none the less. I needed to be reminded that their is so much beauty in nature, all around us, all the time.

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That Firefly Phil bloke, still knocking out photography and other stuff.