Monday, 1 July 2013

Trauma in the dark - Betsy

BetsyMy normal programme when going to bed is to set myself up with my talking book machine, a glass of brandy, a jar of water and my telephone handset standing in a round wooden container safe from spilled brandy or water.

After cleaning my teeth and washing my face I then do some stretching exercises before climbing into bed, sitting up against a pile of pillows. I am now ready to listen to my talking book and sip my brandy from a juice glass which has a thick bottom and straight sides.

On this evening I got into bed only to realise that I had forgotten the phone, so I clambered out of bed in the dark, groped my way to the hall where I turned the light on and then carefully crossed the living room to pick up the phone from where it rested on my answering machine.

Retreating with great care, I turned off the hall light and confidently made my way in the dark to my bed, placing the phone in its usual container. When I heard the slop of liquid I knew something was wrong and, you guessed it, I had placed the phone in my brandy glass where it fitted perfectly.

The liquid was spilled on the bedside table and on my bed. Quickly picking the phone up I cursed as I estimated how much brandy had been lost, and gathered some tissues to wipe off the liberally dripping phone.

At this point my phone bells began to ring urgently and in panic I started pushing buttons on the phone which did not respond, of course.

Still swearing I took the phone to the kitchen to continue dripping on the sink and started searching for my cheap backup phone in a living room cupboard, now having turned all the lights on. Such a backup instrument had done service before when I had dripped water into my handset when answering the phone while I was in the bath. Sometimes it shut down in protest for a couple of hours.

Removing my spare phone from its box it seemed that all the wires had tied themselves in knots and it took some time to get it connected. My caller had long since given up. Dialling 1471 I recognised the number of my friend in Chesterfield. However I had to re-listen to her number several times to remember it as I was used to merely pushing two buttons on my phone and the number was rung automatically. Finally I could laugh at my mishap with my friend.

But I was not laughing the following day when I discovered that my regular phone had two numbers, 0 and 1, that would not work. Probably my frantic pushing of buttons when the phone began to ring caused it to fail. Have you ever noticed how many phone numbers have a 0 and/or a 1 in them? I now had to consider at each call I made whether I could do it from my original phone or if it was necessary to use the standby phone which kept falling on the floor.

After much consternation I finally opted to buy a new phone and got a sighted person to set it up for me. There are many ultra modern speaking mobile phones for blind people but it is impossible to get an ordinary home phone with an answering machine that will speak the menu so I could set it up myself.

The moral of this story is be careful where you place items in the dark or you too might have a drunken telephone! Safeguarding my brandy is of prime importance to me so I shall be most careful in the future.