"One small step for man", as that very brave fella' said when he landed on the moon but I have just taken a giant leap forward into this technological age! Mind you, in my second 'giant leap' I fell flat on my face - why are you not surprised? I had better explain.
I am getting old - yes, I know, 'the horror, the horror'! - but I am thinking ahead of the great game of life. As you regulars here will know, I am a 'book-a-holic'. Almost since I first learned to read I have never been able to contemplate life without a book to hand. That's the good part but alas the less good part is that most of the books were rubbish! Even so, I recommend the habit because it is relatively cheap and the supply is endless.
At the moment my eyesight is pretty good but the 'Memsahib' is suffering with an eye infection and it made me wonder what I would do if I was unable to read easily. No worries, the solution is to hand, thanks to those smart-arse techies who run the world these days - audible books! Naturally, I turned to 'SoD' for advice but he said I needed one of those all-singing, all-dancing i-phone-thingies which cost about a zillion quid and require you to go to college for a year to learn how to use them! Given that I make, on average, about one phone call a month on my old-fashioned mobile, usually from the local supermarket to the 'Memsahib' asking her where I will find the bread counter, the expense seemed excessive and knowing me I would either lose the bloody thing within a week or break it!
However, there is one bit of modern technology I have mastered - the Kindle! Naturally, the one I own is now qualified for museum status and it does not have an audible book feature. So, with total bravado I entered the Amazon web site and emerged some time later - well, actually it was ages later as I tried to grapple with the language! - with a brand new Kindle Fire-thingie for £50 quid which, I was assured, would link to audible books.
Of course, and I know you will not need to be told this, but I forgot to buy headphones! So, man of action that I am, I pootled off to PC World where some 15-year old techie-swot tried not to snigger as I asked for some headphones. Faced with a display of roughly 500 different types, naturally I reverted to type and ran my finger down the prices and chose the cheapest!
The next hideously tricky task I had to face was working out not how to operate this fancy Kindle Fire but, er, how to switch it on! Dammit, why do they always make the buttons so tiny and flush with the surface and then paint them the same colour as the casing so you can't find them? Then, of course, there is this business of pushing or pulling or stabbing your finger over the screen in order to change the images and then . . . no, I could go on but I fear I may be boring you! In the end I did manage to switch it on and I did manage to buy a book and by pressing everything in sight, suddenly, a voice began to read it.
It was at this point that I found the titchy little hole into which one inserts the headphones which I duly did - to absolutely no effect. The voice continued to read from the speakers but not a word came through the headphones! In a fury, I made a racing start that (Sir) Lewis Hamilton would have admired, and headed for PC World and that stupid boy who had assured me that the headphones were compatible with a Kindle Fire. I marched into the store, collared the spotty youth and demanded to know why he had sold me earphones that did not work? He took my device and pushed the earphone-thingie firmly - and fully! - into the socket and, lo, it worked, I just hadn't pushed it in far enough. Cue: collapse of stout, red-faced party!
Last night I listened to the first five chapters - I will give you my review later ... hang on ... where are you going?