I expect an important telephone call.

I gaze at the telephone in anticipation. It sits there, not ringing. This is frustrating, as I don’t really want to do anything until I receive my important telephone call.

I check my watch. It is 7.20am. It strikes me that businesses in London might not yet be open. But I do not want to go out, as if I go out then the important telephone call will happen just after that point. I make myself some toast instead, ensuring that I remain within hearing distance of the phone.

The phone does not ring.

9.01am. The phone is still dead and silent. There was some talk of a meeting, before the telephone call. I would imagine that this might have started at, say, eight. Allowing for a few wafflings and goings off at tangents and wonderings what the HR implications are ect ect ect then surely it should be time for them to call. I wonder if 9.01am is too early for me to call them and demand to know why they haven’t called me.

I make a cup of tea. The telephone sits there, smirking. I drink my tea. I decide that I need to go to the toilet, but I know that if I go to the toilet then the call will immediately arrive and I will have to rush out mid-stream and talk to them covered in wee. I take the cordless phone into the toilet with me.

The phone does not ring.

10.30. I am now worried. The meeting has clearly over-run, or did not start until late. Or London is on a different time to the Village.

Noon. If the meeting has gone on until now, then they will probably go for lunch directly afterwards, being in London and all that. I should rush out and get some milk. Except if I do that then they will decide to eat at their desks with take-away pasta salads and cappuccinos, being in London and all that. That would be an ideal time for them to make important calls.

I stay in and stare at the phone. It remains stubbornly devoid of trill.

3pm. Lunch must be over. The Industrious Builder asks for my opinion on some paving slab work. I take the cordless phone with me, explaining that I am awaiting an important call. He is impressed.

The telephone ri – I answer the telephone.

Booooooo. It is not my important callee. It is only my mother. I explain that I am awaiting an important telephone call. She is not at all impressed. I ring off anyway.

3.30pm. I realise with alarm that the important call probably arrived whilst I was on the phone to my mother. I hurriedly dial 1571, to see if this is the case and if they have left a message. There are no messages. Boooooo again.

3.32pm. I realise with alarm that the important call probably arrived whilst I was on the phone to the 1571 service. I hurriedly dial 1571 again, to see if this was the case. There are still no messages. I am downhearted, especially given that I am now locked into a Sisyphean nightmare of recurrent 1571 consultations.

5pm. I give up, and send a stroppy email. I have no important call. I have no milk.

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