One Hundred Possessions project – Sorry I haven\’t posted recently.

I\’ve been unpacking my books. Boxes and boxes of books. I haven\’t counted them yet, I haven\’t dared. I just know there must be more than… er… one hundred of them.

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These are the survivors of a ruthless cull that got rid of hundreds of books in various different ways. I really want to keep each one, but where will I put them?

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I\’m also finding that I haven\’t actually read one in five of them so at least I\’m going to do that. Maybe it\’s just as well that I can\’t get to my favourite Waterstones in Truro, my home from home for so many years. There\’s a Waterstones in Hampstead too but I try not to go in because I just CAN\’T BUY MORE BOOKS!

One Hundred Possessions project – must just text…

Obviously my phone has to be one of my One Hundred Possessions, but it wouldn\’t have been only twenty years ago. Whatever did we do before mobiles/cellphones? Well, we managed, children.

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I\’m very ambivalent about including a phone in the essential One Hundred. That\’s because it\’s a very good example of a certain insidious type of possession like laptops, e-readers, cameras.

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They are the techno-possessions which change our behaviour, my behaviour. I don\’t want it to, but it does.

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For instance, there I was having dinner at a restaurant with my genius D.o.P. brother Gavin, and what did I do? I actually had my phone on the table and I texted during the meal! I mean! Aargh! Of all appalling bad manners – I absolutely hate it when somebody does it to me and as for idiots who text and tweet in movie cinemas – my rage approaches the homicidal.

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I caught myself eventually and switched the bloody thing off, apologising profusely. Gavin is immensely cool and only commented that everyone assumes stupidity in someone who texts during a restaurant meal. He\’s quite right. I do myself.

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So… why? Well clearly, I blame the phone. It can\’t be my fault that the mobile phone is a thing that seems to insist on its importance over the actual physical presence of someone near. It\’s the entrance to a huge web of connection with people who aren\’t physically there – which is the point, after all. But why do they take precedence? Is it because there are so many more of them figuratively packed into the mobile? Or is it because a thing just is more important than a human being, and more so when electronic.

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Do things really outrank human beings?