I’m expecting an important phone call in the next 24 hours or so, but I don’t know exactly when it’s going to come. I’d forgotten what the anticipation of waiting for a phone call is like – I remember when A. and I were courting, and for about half an hour before the time we agreed to talk I’d be pacing up and down, making sure the phone was still working, all those sorts of things.

You have that sort of nagging sensation at the back of your mind that it might have rung while you were upstairs, or had to pop out, or were doing the washing-up, or whatever. So you check the Call List on the phone, perhaps do a 1471. Then you realised that while on the phone to 1471 they might have been trying to call, so you quickly hang up.

E-mail isn’t actually much better, as it is well known that e-mails can disappear without a trace, or be delayed for days and days. I don’t know how many test messages I’ve sent to myself just to give me peace of mind that e-mails are getting through. But of course it’s a partially meaningless test, as it only really shows that you are capable of sending an e-mail to yourself; it doesn’t say anything about the e-mail route from the sender on whom you are waiting.

One of the nice things about our courting period is that we had two phone-lines in our flat (we had ISDN), and as I was paying for it I snaffled the second line for myself, and the only person who had that number was the future missus. Mind you, there were one or two amusing occasions when someone had dialled a wrong number and I answered saying “hello honey. kiss kiss kiss kiss.” I suppose that’s one of the nice things about caller display, in that you know who is calling (or at least can make a reasonable guess based on the number).