Sometimes I feel that new technology is designed by perverse people, strictly for the purpose of raising negative emotions from the rest of us mortals. For example, I have a cordless phone in my house. My parents bought it for me a few years ago. It has worked flawlessly since, if I exclude losing the handset when the battery was already low; next time I needed it, the battery had totally gone so I couldn’t use the "make it ring" function. Was 2 weeks before I found it—the laundry bin if you are interested.

The address book, however, seems designed for mockery. There’s only space for 15 contacts. So this is what the designers think of me, that my social life is so miniscule that I only phone up 15 people? Worse, is the reality of the situation that I only have 11 numbers in it and, of these, one is phone banking (I’m scared of the internet) and the other is for recovering my mobile when I throw it in the laundry bin.

Now, though, it’s got worse. The first entry is for Ade Wolfson, whose death I am still coming to terms with. I change the addressbook rarely enough (i.e. never), so that I’ve no idea how to remove the entry. It sits there, poking me everytime I make a call. This little thing seem cruel.

Perhaps, though, it cuts both ways. I remember my grandfather‘s funeral. It was summer, and a warm day. Inside the church was cool and pleasant. During the service, a butterfly fluttered around the pews, flying up to the ceiling. It was a beautiful moment. In an incredible act of irrationality, I couldn’t help but think that this was my grandfather, flying away and it was comforting to me. Later, my brother talked about the butterfly; he’d been thinking the same thing.

Originally published on my old blog site.