Thursday, May 08, 2008

Don't say a word to her!

Please, please, please do NOT say anything to my mother. Not a word. She'll just get all of these ideas into her head, she'll want to do something about it and she'll want to join in. And really I don't want that. Not really.

No, I'm not talking about this, I'm talking about Grandad's post on computers being made for older people. You couldn't have kept it to yourself sir, no?

Microsoft UK is developing a "senior PC", which will have a simple interface and be aimed at older users.

The PC will come with software that allows users to manage prescriptions as well as simplified tools for everyday use, such as managing photos.

Photo owned by pepewk (cc)

Now I love my mother. Honestly. She's one of the only two I have, but she's the one that reared me, that changed nappies and stayed up at night when I was sick and so on. And while I'd like to see her being a bit like Olive, the 108 year old blogger from Australia or Maria from Spain who's 95 or even jurassic Grandad himself, technology and herself have never been the best of friends.

I can completely empathise with the very funny Bec's apprehension at her dad being on Facebook now. It's funny how parents are similar :
He rang me up a few weeks ago to inform me about this new brilliant previously unknown website he had just discovered that you could join and meet people you know on, and how amazing and ground-breaking it was and how he just thought that I should probably be told about such things because I work in computers and I should really keep up to date on the latest trends.
I can so see my mother doing that to me. And there are certain photos, never mind comments, friend stories or videos that I'd prefer my mother not to be worried about. Remind me to tell you about this some time:

But to highlight just why I'd be very apprehensive, let me share this true story. (It may help to read it in a culchie accent)

After years of "sure why would I want one of those things?" my mother finally let me buy her a mobile phone.

'Tis a very simple type - none of your fancy wap or bluetooth or even a camera - push buttons, press green, talk.

Image from

We sat together for an afternoon, me going through it patiently, writing things down, ringing the phone, her answering, her ringing me, me answering, ringing the house phone etc. She said she had it. I thought she had it.

I left for Dublin.

She was off to Kilkenny the next day and we had arranged that I would call her at 2pm just to see how her hospital appointment went. I called her at 2. No answer. 2.05 no answer. 2.15 no answer. And so on.

Checked if she was at home - no response there either.


The phone was ringing, it wasn't switched off. Had she turned it to silent? Had she lost it already?

Later that evening I got a call from home.

"Where were you earlier? I tried to call. Is the phone okay?"

"Don't talk to me about that bloody phone. Terrible yoke. We were up early to go in, so I put it into me bag. I had it charged like you told me. Off we went.

I took it out at half one. I said to save you the money I'd give you a call. I dialled your number and pressed the button - nothing.

I tried it again - nothing.

I pressed the red button like you showed me to make sure it was on - nothing.

I tried ringing your sister - no answer. I tried your uncle - no answer. Couldn't get the thing to work at all at all.

So I brought it back to that shop you bought it in, looking for a refund. I didn't have the receipt but sure they could have rung you.

So I told the fella behind the counter that the phone was a dud and he should be ashamed for selling them and that I'd complain to the ombudsman and everything.

And he looked at the phone

And he said

"Mrs, sorry about that but that's your TV remote control".

True story, I promise.

And now there's a chance she could get onto a computer?

Uh oh.

Do not tell her a thing!


  1. *giggles*

    Had a similar experience...

    "My mobile only ever works at home. Useless bloody thing!" - A friend's Mother, standing outside the local shop.

    "That's a cordless HOME phone!" - Me, laughing my ass off.

  2. Meanie!

    I could teach her how to follow you on Twitter :roll:

  3. Brilliant!!

  4. Darragh - just saw this post but that's the loudest I've laughed all week. Reminds me so much of my mother. She has terrible trouble with phones but keeps asking me for a computer.

    Some shyster in Vodafone recently sold her the most useless phone... for her - elderly and recovering from a stroke. I've been researching for ages and got her a similar one to the photo in your post (but that looks a bit better). She doesn't ring as much but is insistent she's not having trouble with the new phone. Can't believe in all my googling, I didn't come across an easyuse phone.

  5. Bwahahaha! Just saw this.

    Brilliant - In my Dad's case, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. He could teach your Mum how to "download email up to the world wide web". He would also however teach her how to take every single spam message deathly seriously.

    "Why do these people think I would be interested in such disgusting things? I'm very angry they would insinuate that I would entertain such nonsense, is there a telephone number there, I'll ring and complain"

  6. Just read this now. Brilliant!

    If this radio thing doesn't work - and sure even if it does - I reckon there is a book or three in you Mr Doyle.

  7. Just happened upon this because of David's comment! My Mum's only 41 and just recently grasped texting, she still does it all in caps. Nonetheless, she managed to find my blog within about five minutes.

  8. Ahh this is fecking brilliant Darragh, I'm crying with the laughter over this, can just imagine your mam in the shop giving out yards to the bloke behind the counter!!! Very funny.

  9. You asked to be reminded about your stories, so consider yourself reminded!! ;-)

  10. You asked to be reminded about your stories, so consider yourself reminded!! ;-)