Today’s tehgraun tells me that Ofcom says that 4% of adults in the UK aged 25-44 don’t have a mobile phone. I didn’t realise we were that unusual. Apparently I’m a “handset holdout”. Actually I just don’t like the telephone much, and don’t want to spend money to be able to use it any more than I have to.

And these days I don’t seem to use it much at all, which is very good. We don’t seem to be in the Oxford phonebook, a number I’ve never used has been printed next to my name in the University phonebook, and my own College keeps getting confused and listing at least one wrong number in its own internal directory. I think this is pretty much ideal.

UPDATE: And, as fellow refusnik Jamie says, “Anyway, I have a postal address, an e-mail address, a landline and a webpage. How much more do you want, you nosy bastards?”

Ireland beat Pakistan!

It’s at times like this that I suddenly recall that my nineteenth-century forebears had names like Kalaugher, Kelly, Driscoll, O’Reilly, McCarthy, MacGuire and McAuly (not to mention plenty of eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish Brookes), and I feel more Irish than I actually am…

… although it looks as if you have to be called O’Brien to play for the Irish cricket team.

(Similarly, one of the minor pleasures of watching Wales beat England is the affinity provided by the knowledge that my great-grandfather Alfred Mathews took the field for Wales against Scotland on 9 January 1886. It was his only cap, and Scotland won on the day, but it’s enough for me. It’s interesting to be diasporic in an almost entirely non-diasporic kind of a way.)

Dead Socialist Watch, #267

Rebecca West (the pseudonym of Cicily Isabel Andrews, née Fairfield), socialist and feminist writer; author of, among others, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), The Meaning of Treason (1947), and a short book on St Augustine, which I quite like. Fiercely anti-Communist in the 1950s, she always denied being sympathetic to Senator McCarthy. Born in London 21 December 1892, died, also in London, 15 March 1983.

Rotator Cuff

Apologies for the silence over the last few days, which means, among other things, that Karl Marx (14 March) got left out of the Dead Socialist Watch on this particular trot through the calendar.

Turned out that what I thought was upper arm cramp last week was in fact a rip in the tendon in one of the rotator cuffs in my left shoulder. I noticed at the week-end that I couldn’t really lift my left arm into even a horizontal position, let alone anything higher; on Sunday night I stopped being able to sleep comfortably; and on Monday and Tuesday it became quite inflamed and produced a lot of pain, so I’ve started doing sensible things like going to the doctor and finding out what’s actually going on in there, and I think everything’s on the mend now, with industrial quantities of ibuprofen working its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving magic.

As a Boston Red Sox fan, I thought I knew a lot about rotator cuffs — Pedro Martínez’s rotator cuffs were about as familiar to New Englanders as David Beckham’s metatarsals. But whereas Pedro damaged his RCs by striking out lots of New York Yankees (or something similar), I hurt mine through the altogether more sedentary activity of reading Fénelon on the sofa at home. Perhaps it’d be safer if I gave up reading altogether.

Anyway: I still can’t lift my arm above the horizontal, but now it doesn’t hurt anymore, I don’t really mind.