Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekend Wind down :: with your Mobile Phone

Ally Blake winds down this weekend with...not with her feet up on the couch, not with a good book, not even with a block of chocolate. But with...her mobile phone.

Can you remember a time when you didn't have one? When you could safely leave the house sans phone in your purse? When you could organise to meet a friend for coffee, or let the kids go off on their own at a footy match, or not call your hubby when he was on his way home from work to remind him to get milk?

I've had a mobile phone since I was in my late teens. A big, clunky, grey thing with heavy buttons and a fat aerial. Boy oh boy was I proud of my purchase! the thing cost a fortune to use, so I only had it "in case of emergencies" (don't we all ;)), and I hardly ever remembered to turn it on because nobody ever called me on it anyway.

But the mobile phone is like an extenstion of me. A slick, shiny, glossy, smooth extension. A comfort. A diary. A time filler. A friend...

Last week I was at mothers group when my six month old reached out and grabbed another little boy's hand. too cute! Out pops my mobile phone and my hubby doens't have to miss out on such a sweet moment.

The number of times I've been waiting - at the airport, at an appointment - and forgotten to take a book is innumerable. Panic set in. How will I fill my time? Staring at the horrible sailboat pictures on the walls? People watching until my eyes blur over? Nu uh! With my mobile phone I can play games! Lemmings anyone?

Whack a set of tiny headphones in my bag and Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra and George Michael can keep my company anywhere I go.

My plot of my current Modern Heat novel, THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL came to me over a conversation about mobile phones.

A restaurant in my parent's home town of Brisbane banned them. Patrons were literally not allowed to even take them through the door. Anyone with a phone had to check them like a coat. Like unwanted bulk at a nightclub.

My mum (like my hero Damien) hurrahed the idea. Being one of the masses who hates the constant buzz and whir and ring a ding ding of mobiles when eating. I (like my heroine Chelsea) on the other hand couldn't give a hoot. To me the sound is so much part of the beautiful white noise of modern day life.

I mean if we ban mobile phones in public places for being 'intrusive' what's next? Crying babies? People who chew too loudly? Hideous picutres of old sailbopats on walls of doctor's offices?

Okay, can you tell I'm beginning to lose my breath? This is meant to be a wind-down. A way to help you relax over the weekend.

Hang on a sec while I grab my mobile, hit 2 and get my mum on the phone no matter where in the world she might be. In the garden, at the shops, out for coffee. From my mobile to hers, even though she lives over a thousand kilometres away, I'm never more than ten seconds from hearing her voice.

How's that for a comforting notion?

Ally's latest novel THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL is her third Modern Heat and is out in the UK as we speak!

Grab a copy now to find out what happens when a gorgeous, entirely too privileged for his own good, Luddite in a suit meets a lively dog groomer with persistent shampoo stains on her skirt and a past filled with disappointing men. Throw in matching mobile phones and match-making friends and you'll get yourself a Modern Heat!

Read an excerpt on her brand spanking new website, or better yet, go buy the thing! You can get it online now at Mills and Boon.


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  2. ah, very funny! Your dog groomer sounds like my kinda heroine!

    When we were dating, we had a mobile phone the size of a brick. Didn't realize that the 'cheap call' plan kicked in at 7.30 - half an hour later than the landline - so while he was away on exercise, ran up a $700 phone bill. In those days, that was a lot of dough! Especially as we took turns driving the 300km each way to see each other most weekends when we weren't away.

    Now I have a funky PDA that pops up a qwerty keyboard so I can tap out a text message in seconds!

  3. My husband came home last night with the whole of "Superbad" the movie on his phone!

    So now he's going to load up movies and take headphones so he can watch movies on the train going to work. How crazy is that???


  4. Mobile phones have saved my neck on numerous occasions. And I can't imagine even having to live with a phone cord anymore. Times have changed!

  5. Oh, and since Gunnar the contest dog has picked a winner from the comments on last weekend's wind-down, could Debora please contact me via my website at She has won the book I was giving away. Sorry it took so long, there was a little R&R in there this week.

  6. Ally,

    Just finished The Magnate's Indecent Proposal and loved it (if you want laughter, tears and a really hot hero go buy this book), but have to admit to being more like Damien than Chelsea.

    Have just upgraded my mobile and when I went to the Orange store the guy doing the upgrade showed my old phone to every guy in the shop. 'You could get money for this on ebay, it's vintage!' pointed out one of them. And now, of course, I'm lost with my new gadget laden phone, took me ten minutes to figure out how to make a call on the flipping thing.

    I also have to fess up and say I hate being called on the darn thing if I'm out and about — and I feel weird about calling other people on theirs, what if they're doing something important? Plus I think it's sad to see two people in a restaurant together and one of them is chatting away on their mobile. What's that about, anyway. Come on, can't you just talk to the person you're with?

    That said, have to tell you a funny story. My teenage son (who like Chelsea is a mobile fanatic) recorded a new ring tone on his dad's phone which was him shouting 'Dad answer your phone!' When it went off that day in the office, my husband thought he was having an out of body experience, and rang home to check that Joey was okay. Boy, did he feel like a chump.

    Heidi (who, as you can probably tell, is avoiding working on her new WIP)

  7. I hate phones. Don't like the land line one and *really* don't like mobile phones. If I'm out I'm out!

    I did feel bad about my phone phobia until I read an interview with Dame Helen Mirren and discovered she shares it! I do have a mobile now but that's only because one of my friends was so frustrated at not being able to get hold of me she held me prisoner in her kitchen while her daughter went to get her old mobile out of the toybox. One SIMS card later and I was connected. Rarely turn it on though. vbg.

  8. I'm like Natasha. My mobile is old and never on. I don't like talking on the phone and I think it's bad manners to constantly be breaking off what you're doing to answer a text or take a call when your with someone else like at the checkout or eating dinner. I think it's like being electronically tagged.

  9. I hardly use mine either, but my husband has his all the time for work. His has e-mail capability and everything. And it doesn't ring that often, thank goodness.

    The dinosaur is mine, and really just for when I'm driving somewhere and I break down, or I'm running late and have to call the school for the kids. But we only use about 5% of our minutes a month...and we have a basic package!

  10. I have not caught on to the whole mobile phone thing. I have one for emergencies in the car, but I never actually call anyone on it and no one except my husband knows my number. When we had a dear friend and UK exchange student living with us, she'd text me and I finally managed to figure out how to text her back--one word--HA! I couldn't figure anything else out :)