WE did it. It wasn’t easy and was quite scary. We couldn’t do it for too long as it was quite stressful. And, I don’t think we could do it again.

“Did what??” I hear you shouting – silently – at the page.

We turned our phones off. Yes, both of them. Yes, off. No, they weren’t even on “silent” or “airplane” mode. These were definitely off.

We had decided we were in desperate need to relax.

I’d had a big check-up on Friday and, even though you nonchalantly tell everyone you’re not worried, there’s amassive “what if….” playing around your brain, until you get the important all-clear. Which, I’m thrilled to say, I got. Phew.

But, a stressful time it had been, so, we visited my sister’s lovely cottage by the seaside. We had it to ourselves and decided to chill and cut ourselves off for a few days.

Hence phones off.

Wine open, fire going, take-away ordered, we settled in front of the TV for the evening. Papers scattered and lights dimmed, perfect. Mmmm.

But, then, I thought I’d better just text my sister and let her know we had arrived safely and all was well at the cottage. Just one text. Ooh, but when I turn my phone on, there are three unread texts. Oh well, better read those quickly – just in case.

One text says a friend has texted husband-Al but hasn’t heard back. Right. 

Another asks if we are about for a surprise party and needs to know ASAP. OK.

The other is from a friend who just sounds very down Oh dear.

“Please don’t feel you have to call me but I’d really appreciate it”. Oh dear, what have I done? I’d opened a can of worms and they had no intention of wriggling back in.

So, a call to despairing friend, text to sister and reply to party invite done, I have to let husband-Al know that he is being sought. His phone then goes on.

Similar scenario on his phone – my friends asking how my check-up went?

They’re concerned as they’ve tried my phone but it’s off.

I’d better send a group text to let them all know.

I turn on my phone to hear the familiar beeps that let me knowmy email box is creaking at the seams.

Group text done, I just check a few emails, including one from my accountant checking I’d paid my tax – ooer. Best do that while I’m online.

Husband-Al is now listening to music on his phone, I’m trying to work out how to transfer money and messages of congratulations are pouring in.

We worked out that we managed to be totally phoneless for...two hours – crazy.

I remember when I was young that I was given a two pence piece for a phone call in an emergency.

Or, I could transfer the charges. At home we had a ‘party-line’ we shared with a neighbour but not all my friends had phones at home.

There would often be long queues outside phone boxes, waiting for teenagers to end their ridiculously long boyfriend/girlfriend/love me/leave me chats.

People would knock on the sides of the boxes to hurry people up.

Parents had no way of checking where children were at every given moment.

Off you went with your 2p and a knowledge of every phone number you could possibly need.

To this day I still remember our phone number – Brixton 4366.

Crazy, I just about know my own number and husband-Al’s now.

It’s hard to imagine now, having to sit on the stairs using the one phone in the house, to cries of Dad saying “get off the phone!” How times change.

From having just a coin to keep in touch, I now live a life where I feel I have to be totally contactable everyminute of every day.

Well may be not EVERYminute, I mean, we did last two hours. Mmmm.