By Brian Hall
Monday 12 Sep 2011 14:43:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles





Aye. I am not one to jump to the ringing tone in the house out of some insatiable curiosity to see who is on the other end of the landline. I learnt that a long time ago, when I was in a job when everybody wanted you, every hour of the night. My ex had an annoying habit of leaping to the call of the alarm bell, and then either putting me on, or pretending that I was not in. I preferred to hear who was on first  via a loud ansa machine - friend, or foe, kind of thing.


During the last few days, I have certainly had some odd and occasionally stressful calls, and I dont mean the robotic, cloned voice asking you if you can pay off your Barclaycard, or that of her mate asking if you want to increase your Barclaycard limit. Or that of some Southerner asking if you want a nice conservatory in the garden, when you then tell them, politely if you are in a good mood, that you have nee garden and could not afford a nice conservatory if you had a bloody garden.


 No. I am talking about the various calls that land on you from family, mates, and acquaintances.


One boomed in about a Play me and Graham are writing together - anybody who has read this blog might recall that this refers to the play that only me and him, and that bloke up the road, are going to. Sorry, Wraithy might come along if he is free. IF, that is.


 Anyway, Graham, or Marchy as he is really known,  originally from the very posh Highfields Estate up Rowlands Gill, was about to come up with an inspirational idea, but then got distracted - he was on his car mobile, and got road rage. He disappeared over the horizon - cut off - no doubt, chasing the character who caused his anger. Reminded me in passing of a little known phenomenon. Bicycle Rage - I have had it twice - but dont want to go into the details of what happened next. Except I did need to ring a mate to let off steam.


Another landline communication blasted in, this time about Kev's Magpie DeckChairs enterprise. He waffled on for a while, reminded me that I was going to publicise these seats, and I felt forced to remind him that there was nee way I was getting involved. Maybe his receptive ear section was not working, as he added that that was champion, then  - good luck, he said, your department. Must ring him back to check if his phone can hear replies at the other end.


Family life can of course be a serious threat on the telephone. Older daughter left a message wanting me to make a telephone call to see if I could change a date for a voluntary placement I found her, related to her studies. Yet another call to make, I thought.


Coming round the pass was a message related to the birthdays of my 2 younger daughters. Any parent with a kid aged over 9 months will no doubt recognise the stress levels and planning associated with such events. Bring back the days when you just got a bloody card, a football, and left the house to show it to the lads, I thought.


Another family matter emerged via the call of an elderly Uncle, who could complicate things for Britain at Olympic level. He is after a wheelchair and a ramp, many calls have been made to sort it for him, but he has thrown some kind of spanner in the works. This then led me making another call to Our Kid, who then got involved in another call, etc. etc.


I admit to a love of telephone calls which amuse me though. One mate is continuing with his preparation for the Great North Run, and likes to give me a regular update on his training regime. Saturday's seemed to involve a 10 mile run - so far, so good. But he added, in all seriousness, that he was then looking forward to 10 pints of Guiness and a takeaway on the night after his morning training schedule. And he wonders if he is fit enough to do it - not drink the pints, that is, do the Run!!!


Another good one blasted in. My ageing Aunty Mary told me about a neighbour of her's in sheltered housing, who was fed up with a boring visitor landing on her - the latter never used a telephone to warn her.  Mary's neighbour heard the boring visitor shout outside her door and proceed to come in. This force a quick reaction from the harassed neighbour, a sprightly 83, which led to her hiding in the nearest sanctuary - her wardrobe. After the tedious character sat for a couple of minutes, she wrote a note, and left, thus allowing Mary's neighbour to leave her wardrobe. I might try that next time I leave my back door open, if I canna be arsed to hear just how many ailments the bloke down the road has had - overnight!


NUFC fans reading this will notice that I have not mentioned the main topic which emerges from most calls. NUFC news, debates, arguments, and rumours. I dread to even think of listing some of those calls I have had over the years, and had to sit down immediately to take in the news. 


tarah                        Bry


ps one telephone call will be gladly taken, however. And I wont need to sit down, as I will dancing around my kitchen in joy. Wraithy - ring me to confirm Mike Ashley has gone, will you??

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