14 May 2017


Chaos reigns but not where you would expect it. In this instance it applies to a chaotic mind, where confusion and anxiety go together.

It all started the day I broke my iPhone. Really, I should use the word SMASHED rather than merely broke. It was all the fault of an unexpected caller who literally crept up behind me, causing me to drop the phone onto a tiled floor. You should have heard the crash! You should have seen the mess! You should have seen my face!

Later, but not much later, I got in the car and drove to the o2 shop. o2 is an offshoot of British Telecom, which of course won’t be of any interest to you. I’m just writing this story as it is.

So the short long story goes like this……

I needed a phone, although looking back I ask the question WHY? I have a house phone, which is seldom used except by nuisance callers, and an iPhone in case someone needs to get in touch when out of the house. However, an iPhone isn’t just to make calls on, it is a diary, notebook, timer, news reader, list maker, and a load of other things, like reading email, but … a phone?  So, in order to continue something I was used to having, I needed another one.
The model I chose, still an iPhone, is smaller than the last and fits in the pocket easier but everything else is going to need a lot of getting used to.

But I am jumping the gun here…

One thing missing from the phone was the game of Scrabble, which I love, and which goes some way to keeping the mind functioning. I had to replace it, which proved easier said than done.

You will have noticed earlier that I mentioned email. I have three accounts and one of them was the one that kept me in touch with Apple, and Apple in touch with me. Trouble came when my new phone wasn’t recognised by Apple or the other email providers. Even though email addresses were the same, the phone had really upset the apple-cart (a UK expression and nothing to do with Apple the company).

I tried and tried to get through on the old password, but they weren’t having it. No, I had to provide a new one. Several times. Apple needed a new one, Yahoo needed a new one, as did Google. Fortunately AOL and Google were easy to deal with, no problem and as straightforward as they come. Yahoo and Apple needed new passwords because they were linked to each other by me, and Google because..... well, because it was Google! 

I panicked, then panicked a second time. By the end of several more panic sessions I decided to call on Luke. Luke, you may remember, is the young man who does odd jobs for me. It struck me that at his age he would be able to deal with the likes of Apple without the fear I felt.

It took Luke a couple of hours to convince them that I was a genuine case but eventually he managed it. What’s more he downloaded the Scrabble. GREAT!

I am okay now, but goodness only knows for how long. Apple keeps asking for my password as early as switching on the ipad or phone but I have to ignore it because Luke didn’t write down the various passwords! Now I’m wondering how long before it affects me. Next time he comes I will ask if his memory is good. 

Insertion: Did I say Google wasn’t a problem? Well, since writing that comment it has changed its mind. It has decided to BE a problem. Password not recognised – and the brain can’t remember, and it wasn’t written down. I think another call to Luke is due.

All this has affected the brain. I get nervous for all sorts of reasons, mostly silly ones. My friend – who is two years older than me – said it is quite normal and that it would (might?) diminish. She made me feel better, bless her. As for the brain, I guess there’s no hope of it ever behaving like it should. Forgetfulness is now the norm but thank goodness I can still write.

If only I could remember passwords!
A few hours later: Consultation with Luke revealed the password that I'd forgotten. Now noted in black ink, several times. All he does is press a button, whereas I have to sweat it out and get nowhere. Oh to be young again, even a jaunt back to my sixties or seventies would help me out. 

Anyone want to buy a new iPhone?


  1. The same happened to my mother-in-law and her iPhone, iPad and Mac (yes, she is into Apple products). She upgraded her iPhone but the other two gadgets started playing up.

    Confession time: I hate Apple products. Having used a Mac before, I cannot say that I would accept an Apple product even as a present. Nope, Samsung still is the king.

    Greetings from London.

  2. Cuban, I have heard others say the same about Apple. I wish I'd known before going down the Apple route. Trouble is I tended to copy others or follow their advice rather than exploring the field for myself. Maybe when I was younger it might have been different.

  3. Ah-hah! I have that same problem, kinda, sorta. I have given up, I only use the phone as a phone. Am stuck with a phone that I absolutely hate. I only answer the numbers that I have put in the memory, all else get deleted or ignored.

  4. "the phone had really upset the apple-cart (a UK expression and nothing to do with Apple the company)."

    OMG Valerie, that made me laugh! How clever you are!

    I feel your frustration because when I first got a Smart phone (which was only a year and a half ago) I was so confused with how to get all my various accounts and passwords connected so that I could use the phone to check these accounts when not at home. And it's funny you mentioned Google because that's the one I had the most difficulty with because it wanted to link all my accounts together under one email and password. Luckily, I finally figured it all out but OH MY GOD, was it ever frustrating.

    I was thinking of getting a new Smart phone over the summer months, but hesitated because I didn't want to have to get used to using a different phone and its software. In fact, two days ago I spoke with a sales associate at an At&t store who told me not to get a new phone just yet because the model I have is still very good (and working), and to just wait until the new models come out in the Fall. I was grateful for his honesty and recommendation.

    Glad you got a new phone and that Luke was there to help you out.

    Have a super Sunday, my friend!

  5. I have to write down my passwords too. If only I could remember where I put them.

  6. SJQ, my phone has been switched off all day, that's a first for me. Must remember to keep it up and let people ring on the landline.

  7. Hi Ron. Have you never heard the expression 'upsetting the apple-cart'?

    If you stick with the same server you will find that the installed programmes are the same. I remember when you wouldn't have a cell phone - now look at you, smiles. The sales person gave you good advice.

    Re Luke, I could not have coped without him taking over. Youngsters, eh? They know SO much.

  8. i have my passwords written down, no way would I remember them. I'm due a new phone but I can't face the hassle you just went through, so until mine dies completely I'll just keep plugging along.

  9. Janet, for years I have kept passwords in an A4 folder and never had any trouble. This latest hiccup came about all on its own, the servers taking it upon themselves to ignore the old and demand new. That's how I got into a mess, and the memory thing didn't help. I don't blame you for plugging away if it's not necessary to change. I wouldn't have changed my phone but smashing it on the floor didn't help. I'm almost frightened to touch the new one.

  10. Valerie I'd be lost if my passwords were not written down.

  11. Jimmy, my passwords were always written down but the acquisition of a new phone created problems, because then I was 'unrecognized' and passwords weren't trusted. I can see the logic - well, almost.

  12. Ah, the kind of story of hard luck and human struggle I enjoy. (Usually, they are about ME!) Don't you just love how something seemingly easy becomes impossible through no fault of your own. You're smart, You're wise, you can figure out new things and items with a little research...and yet... They continue to make things that make you look foolish in front of others. And remembering passwords? Forget it! (Literally!) My wife razzes me for having the same password on EVERYTHING! It is the only way I can survive in this new world of Tech. You are not alone.

    Glad to hear you at least have Scrabble back.

  13. Love this post Valerie! I think it is perfectly normal to not remember passwords! My word, when I count up the number of passwords I have for various accounts, it's enough to make my head spin. I have all my accounts listed alphabetically, with the corresponding password. It helps me keep my sanity. Thanks for writing about something we all can relate to!

  14. The Great Ethan Allen you make me feel better about things. I am normally smart where technology is concerned but this one pulled me right down to rock bottom. I used to have the same password for everything but I can't remember when or why it changed. Hah, yes, Scrabble keeps me sane so I'm glad I've got it back.

  15. Carole, I have an A4 folder full of vital information, including passwords. As you did, I typed them all in alphabetical order and for years never had a problem - until now, and that's only because of Apple.

  16. I am the one that helps my Mom out with her IPad. I'm not an Apple user so it takes me a bit longer to figure it out. If I'm really stuck, I go to my Daughter who is fluent in most anything. I'm glad you have Luke.

  17. kden, I wish I wasn't an Apple user. One I was a whiz on computers and stuff but not now. I could work anything out - but not now.

  18. This is a coincidence as I had to buy a new phone yesterday. I dropped my old one on the bathroom floor and though it worked for a while, with a cracked screen, the hubs said it was time for an update anyhow. I get very attached to my things, l know them inside out and hate change. It is an iPhone like my old one but a tad bigger. I also have a battery pack attached which makes it feel even bigger. There is also a pad you lay it on which automatically charges it, without plugging it in. The pad is plugged in but not my iPhone. You just lay that on the top. The man at the store also told me to put my thumb on it several times which took my thumb print and now it automatically switches on without me having to type in the password all the time. It will work I suppose until it doesn't. As for the memory thing, well, we're all going to be in the same boat at some time, using the same paddle, paddling down the same river. I think I am ready for the paddle :))))

  19. They are more than what I want to take on Val!!! Your story just confirmed that even more.

    I have a cheap Blu cell phone from Amazon, that works just fine for my needs. 25. is pretty good too!!! With a battery that just doesn't quit. I have enough techie challenges on my PC, thank you!!! Teehheeee....

    Don't sweat it Val, this tech stuff is not reality, in spite of it seeming to be SOOOO important in a lot of people's lives. I think it is particularly sad to see very young children so attached to these gadgets.

  20. No thanks. I still haven't figured out our ten year old cell phone. The things are improved the more confused and lost I become. Some days I wish I could adopt the horse and buggy life style of some of our neighbors. They are Amish people. We are what they call everone else "English." Except for modern medicine I think I could jump back to the 18th century...:)

  21. I also have an iPhone and it too is the smaller model, called the SE. I can honestly say that I don't know all the functions it can perform. And passwords can be such a hassle to remember all the ones we need to set for our devices, especially when some require the use of symbols, capitals and numbers...don't these companies dealize that older folks have a tougher time?

  22. Hi Denise.

    'I get very attached to my things, l know them inside out and hate change'

    Me too, and it comes as more of a shock when things are different.

    Reading your description of your new phone brought shivers to my spine.You have a pad to lay the phone on..... and there was me thinking I had bought the very latest. Thinking about it, though, that might confuse me altogether - along with fingerprint ID etc. I KNEW I should have gone for an ordinary old style phone without gadgets.

  23. Geraldine, during the last couple of weeks I wished I was a five year old.... I certainly acted like one.

  24. TB, it is refreshing to know that I'm not the only oldie who has tech problems- and fears. You are right, in the 'olden' days people weren't faced with technology as we know it today.

  25. Beatrice, companies either don't realise or don't care that some folk don't understand technology. You are right, the real problem with passwords did start with the introduction of capitals and figures. Harder to remember, at least for me.

  26. I have an iphone and an ipad and I can't remember the password for either of them, so I always "cancel" the question when asked as I know I'm likely to lock myself out of my own device!

  27. LL Cool Joe, I did the same. Every time I got the flash to 'please enter your password' I clicked on cancel. In the end though I was forced to deal with it - with help!

  28. Sorry to hear that you had to go through this, Val, but I am glad you found some good help to get you where you needed to be. Take care of yourself.


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