Monthly Archives:

June 2024


SWB on dilly-dallying

A big thank you to everyone of you lovely people who read my latest post on the auld menopause.  I received so many messages and comments or folk met me out and about and said it chimed with them. I’m glad- the Mothership is regularly suggesting/imploring that I stop being so open and telling my business but I’m not going to heed her advice, because a) I find it cathartic and b) I think women have shut up for long enough  and that by airing such matters we might all feel a little bit soothed that we’re not alone.

The other morning I sent Herself a message to say to listen up because I was going on the Frank Phone-In and she WhatsApp-ed me back with the tersely worded reply, “Tell me it’s not about your menopause?” coupled with a ‘hand-over face’ emoji. As it happened, it wasn’t, it was to chat about Marie Kondo making more money from our human frailties, by peddling a box where you shove your phone so you can get a moment’s peace.

You can buy a Faraday Box for as little as twelve quid off Amazon, but ‘the queen of con’ as I’ve taken to calling her, is charging £75 because hers is tastefully coloured in Farrow and Ball shades of beige and apparently blends delightfully with one’s kitchen. (Providing, I suppose, that one’s kitchen is beige, which mine is not.)

I appreciate that many of us are in thrall to our devices, and get twitchy when they aren’t close to hand. But instead of buying a pricey box to sit in our way, we could wrap our phones in tinfoil and try leaving them in the other room? But of course we won’t, so we’ll just keep on going as we are, looking at the bloody things all day long, which is my current state of play.

Take today, for example. I’m presently trying to write a short story, and as fiction is not my usual medium, it’s proving tricky. I lift my phone to ease the pain of feeling frustrated and untalented. First, I check my Parkrun result from earlier. Yes, I think to myself, I’m faster than last week, AND I came in before LSB*. Yeooo. Next I read a disturbing WhatsApp message from a mummy group which says some P7 kids already have boyfriends and girlfriends, and not only that, but buy each other expensive gifts! Heaven help us. To comfort myself,  I scooch over to Instagram, and watch a reel about a man who takes his cat paddle-boarding and the sea and sky are a dreamy blue and so I start fantasying about my holidays. This prompts me to wonder should I invest in eco-friendly sun scream because my friend said she tried one and it reduced her prickly heat and is kind to coral and sea-life. I’m tempted to order on line but then I think to myself, FFS NO! you’re supposed to be writing the short story because the deadline is June 10 and you haven’t even finished the first draft and you are SELF-SABOTAGING! So now I’m still not written the story but I am at least writing this which is something, I suppose.

So this proves that I am hopelessly addicted to looking at  my phone and maybe I do need a Marie Kondo Faraday Box in muted shades of beige.

It pains me to say it, but Kondo is right: mental clutter wrecks your head just as much as the detritus on your counter top, and so fairplay to trying to flog her boxes, because it raises the elephant in the room that phones are a fecking menace and if people are even tempted to pay £75 to address the issue, then that proves it.

I did lift an old copy of Red Magazine the other day and came across a review of ‘Indistractable’ by Nir Eyal which I found useful. He suggests we  interrogate the reason WHY we’re reaching for the phone and ‘surf the wave’ of being tempted and wait ten minutes. Maybe I’ll try that first, and save a few bob.

*For any new readers, this is my husband, Stevey, or My Long-Suffering-Bastard