Lines of Connection

WordPress have just sent me a notification telling me that today is my 5th Anniversary since registering with them. It’s hard to believe that it could be 5 years ~ but I remember well that January night in 2011 when I decided to give blogging a shot. Never, ever did I think that I’d still be here or that I’d have made so many new friends and connections through this whole medium. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts and engage with them in some way.

As you know, Social Bridge is all about connections and what caught my eye as I sauntered through a little village by the sea today was this ‘antique,’ that wouldn’t have been so out of place 5 years ago but which seems like as if it belongs to a parallel universe now.

Telephone Times

Remember the feel of dialling out numbers that were so much shorter than they are now. The first one of ours that I can remember is 8442. And then all the rigmarole about making a ‘trunk call’ through the operator, not to mention an international call.

I wonder what news and gossip was exchanged on this particular phone. How many fingers dialled numbers? How many whispered calls were made in the dead of night? How many times was that receiver slammed down in frustration and fury? How many times was it picked up tentatively and then silently put down after a change of mind about making that call? How many times did it hear those special words: ‘I love you too?’ 



Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

44 thoughts on “Lines of Connection”

  1. Oh! I remember trying to call “Home,” to Killenaule 14, which was also the only bank in town. It often took several hours to get to the local exchange. Then to make connecting more difficult the operators would let me know that “Everyone was at the church for devotions”. Connecting is so much easier now, or is it? Congratulations for five years, many of which I’ve enjoyed with you.

    1. Hi, thanks very much for your lovely comment.
      I know Killenaule well and the fact that you were ringing a bank house certainly resonates!!!! All that business of having to have the phone switched up to the house from the office downstairs…..

  2. Yes…congratulations Jean – I know I have really enjoyed your posts:):) love the old telephone…I have an old typewriter, black imperial still working just in need of a new ribbon….it is the same model that I learnt to type on many many years ago:)

  3. Congratulations on your recognition of being with Word Press for all these years. Communication is a wonderful thing…I still have the Princess phone along with some others as I still have a landline phone only mine today has buttons and other features. I do have a cell phone (pay as you go) but don’t use it too much. I communicate via phone or e-mail…

  4. Congratulations on your blogaversary. I’m coming up to three years.
    Happy days looking at the phone and remembering the rows over making too many calls or being on the phone too long.

  5. Congrats, Jean! Pop the cork! I remember “party lines.” Did you have those? Where you shared lines with other households. I would pick up the phone and somebody else would be holding a conversation on there. They would be talking about “nothing” and if it was urgent I would ask to use the phone, but because I was a teen/kid they would invariably say, “Go away. We have grownup conversations.” hahaha

      1. They were definitely crossed lines and speaking of cross, the adults would get so cross with us kids over those phones!!! They were definitely worse than the kids.

  6. Well done for maintaining inspirations and connections for 5 years. I remember before we had a phone at home the trek to a public telephone box armed with a fistful of coins aiming to get magically connected to Kerry or Tipperary!

    Looking forward to you reaching your decade of blogging. Regards Thom.

    1. Thanks Thom. I must say I miss having public phone boxes around as I don’t always have a mobile with me and there seems to be an assumption now that everyone has one on their person.
      Did you get away with ‘reversing’ many calls? I tried that a few times too often!

  7. Well done Jean – our first number was 2171 – that is one of the later plastic handsets. Ours was bakelite with a drawer in the base for writing in numbers. It was permanently glued to my sister’s teenage ears 🙂

  8. Firstly congratulations on your 5 year marker. Ever since I have found your blog I have felt welcome here and I say found an extra sister.
    Well as to the phone I remember our first one at home ( as a child) it arrived as Dad needed it for union business if family needed it we were expected to pay. Eventually we got our own phone.. Mind you using the phone was a privilege, and never to be abused. I remember the second phone was two tone green and I for one thought it was beautiful. Oh! The days of whispering into the phone so no one would catch you!

    Our mobile phone above. 🙂

  9. Congratulations on your Happy Five!
    You have written such beautiful words about a humble old phone. I still remember the dialing sound and touch. A whole era waving good bye.

  10. My parents still have a telephone with a dial, and it is attached to the kitchen wall. In a nod to their increasing inability to reach the phone before someone hung up, we got phones and bases for key points around the house. But, go figure, when I am home, I still answer the one on the wall, and usually, dial from it. I like the feel of the dial in my finger, and the sound it makes as it whirred back to the base. What a nice little reminder about “reach out and touch someone.” 🙂

    1. Suz, lucky you that you still get to use the old style phone. You’ve just reminded me of play phones that I had as a kid and an ‘operator’s’ set. I got endless hours of pleasure making calls to all sorts of people from that.

  11. Congratulations and happy anniversary, Jean. I love those old phones! It’s hard to believe that we didn’t even have a phone at home when growing up. The upside was that we had a lot of knocks on our front door instead! Looking forward to many more posts across the coming years from you. P

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