Life's a puzzle without an iPhone

19:31, Sep 14 2012
Beck Eleven

I have no idea what is happening. At all. Anywhere, anytime, with anything - and it feels good. You really must try it sometime.

I have been on this thing called a holiday. A week-long event whereby one does not have to think about anything more taxing than what is appropriate footwear for a hill walk, what to order for dinner and during which transaction the eftpos receipt will say "declined".

I'm on a road trip with friends, driving from Christchurch to Blenheim and onto the Abel Tasman National Park and then Wellington. By the time this is published, I shall be thinking about flying back to the city of road cones (and probably feeling in need of a holiday to recover from the holiday).

The reason I have no idea what is happening is because something very stupid went down while packing. I forgot my iPhone.

This is a rookie mistake because I've been living out of a suitcase for the better part of 18 months. On average I pack a suitcase every three weeks which means, among other things, I am probably the most accomplished suitcase packer in the country.

We had only just hit State Highway 1 when I went looking for my iPhone. I could not find it. I considered jumping from the speeding car but showed great restraint and instead alerted my travelling companions who immediately dialled it. I perched my handbag on my shoulder in the manner of a 1980s breakdancer and awaited the comforting chirrup of my iPhone.


The sound of no ringing was deafening.

The sick feeling started deep in my stomach and travelled north into my throat. I became twitchy. Good grief. What was I supposed to do? Look at the view? Interact with my companions? About an hour later, the techno fever died down. I came to the conclusion that people would survive without me tweeting every inch of my holiday. I wondered what I would miss out on.

Now, after 120 hours without phone or internet access I have emerged, blinking and confused, back into the world to discover David Bain is engaged, the earthquake is about to be dramatised in a TV series and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee's title is becoming even more of a misnomer with him saying people need to stop "carping and moaning" about their progressless lives.

I calculate I have missed six family dramas, 104 Facebook updates and least 11,000 or more 140-character thoughts that have passed through my Twitter newsfeed. I even managed to consistently fall asleep before midnight without the aid of a podcast whispering me to sleep.

One of my travelling companions taught me the art of the cryptic crossword. Since then we have parted ways, I have been left to my own devices and am all but completely useless.

But as a team of mixed doubles we were invincible. We completed the weekend one and sent it off in the hope of splitting the $30 prize.

Imagine if we won that . . . I could buy a book of crossword hints. My God, if I get the hang of the cryptic crossword I may even try a sudoku (only joking, it involves dirty old maths and disgusting old patience).

I know as soon as I arrive in Christchurch I will be back to a life of constant updates but I shall long remember the holiday of September 2012 as The Week Of The Great Disconnection. In light of my new liberation, I implore you to switch off for a day or two and see how it feels. Now turn to Your Weekend and see if you can beat me in the cryptic crossword.

The Press