surinenglish

THE MUSIC MAKER

No particular place to go

One of the many joys that phase two of the confinement deescalation process has brought is the permission to potter aimlessly about once again. I'm sure it's not expressed in precisely those terms in the official government guidelines but, nonetheless, it's surely what they mean: "Go forth now and potter, my friends, and let thy souls be nourished."

Many is the comment I've been privy to lately, both personally and via the media, expressing a new found wonder in life's most humble experiences. It's a pity that it's taken a global health scare to rip the scales from the eyes of so many and, rather selfishly, I do hope it doesn't mean that millions of people who hitherto took their dubious pleasure in consuming stuff, will now begin to join the Association Of Lifelong Potterers. Arrivistes are categorically not welcome - there simply isn't room for too many of us. No, I'm hoping the current fad for life's simple pleasures will pass as swiftly as it arrived and the misguided masses will return to their shopping centres and video games forthwith.

Anyway, you can't consider yourself a genuine potterer if you have your mobile phone on you - it's a surefire giveaway where amateurs are concerned and I've seen far too many examples of this outrageous faux pas lately to be worried that the craze will last too long. Quite clearly, wandering around with no discernible objective loses all its charm if the spell can be broken at any given moment by a bleep or a ring or that really grating whistling noise which I think corresponds to Whatsapp but might be TwitFace or InstaSnaps or any other one of the devil's inventions. No, the whole point is not to be disturbed in your tootling unless it's by a giggling child, a pretty young woman or a random bloke offering to buy you a pint for no reason in particular. Ideally, of course, it should be a young, pretty, giggling woman offering to buy you a pint but life can be cruel.

My mobile phone has all but given up the ghost, probably in protest at having spent the last ten years being not very mobile at all, rather left lying on the kitchen table while I've tallied forth, closing the door behind me daily in search of fresh pastures for general mooching.

A friend of mine has just offered to replace it with a fancy phone that he doesn't use any more but, without wishing to sound ungrateful, I'm thinking of just getting one of those 1980's answerphones if they still make them.

"Hello, this is Harry Potterer, out doing what my name would suggest. Please leave your message after the tone..."