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APPY DAYS

When the wife is away, on the iPad iPlay.

I love it when my wife goes out for the day. Not because I’m glad to see the back of my bundle of joy – although I must admit that is an unexpected pleasure – but because I have a passion. A guilty pleasure if you will.

It all started out innocently enough, when two Christmases ago my son gifted me an iPad. As the family stood around making the usual oohs and aahs befitting a present of this obvious expense, I couldn’t help but think: “Why in God’s name has he bought me this?”

I know that sounds ungrateful, but it was way outside the usual socks or smellies gift zone I was used to, and to be honest, it downright scared me. Let’s just say that back then, I was somewhat Neanderthal when it came to new technology – even struggling to get to grips with the dizzying array of buttons on the remote control. I’d regularly turn the Sky box off when I meant to increase the television volume. Panicking that I’d broken something, I’d then proceed to shout and swear at the TV in a spirited attempt at abusing it to work. I hated that remote control.

Fast forward two and a half years to a wet and windy Monday afternoon and how things have changed. The phone rings. “Who’s that” my wife and I both say in unison, “Who on earth could be ringing at this time?”. The questioning of who may be calling seriously hindering our ability to answer the phone to find out who it is. After what seems like an age, my wife picked up the receiver. It was her sister Pam.

A call from my sister-in-law only meant one thing – an invitation for my wife to meet up with her. A day out. Eight hours of freedom for me. I eagerly listened in.

After hanging up, my wife sheepishly informs me that she is going on a Mildmay Pensioners’ day trip to Hastings, but Pam wants it to be a ‘girl’s day out’ – is that OK with me? Feigning hurt feelings, I turn her day trip into a guilt trip – I will be perfectly fine. It’s important that she spends ‘quality time’ with Pam. I can get on with household chores I’ve been putting off. No bother.

The day of the trip arrives. I escort the two excited ladies safely to the coach and wave goodbye, forlornly. I turn and exit, beaming – free at last. The day opens up before me and I intend to ‘carpe diem’ like it’s my last.

If you haven’t guessed it already, my guilty pleasure is my iPad. More specifically, my iPad enjoyed on my own.Where I can watch my TV programmes, listen to my music, play my games without comment (“at your age – grow up!”), watch classic You’ve Been Framed! videos on YouTube (“at your age – grow up!”) and generally loaf about online.

Here’s a break down of my Appy Days itinerary:

08:30
Wave off wife and sister-in-law.

08:40
Go to supermarket for provisions (eggs, sausage, bacon, beans, white loaf, pork pie, Branston Pickle, ham, cheese, beer, crisps and large store-made salad with dressing).

09:00
Make world’s biggest fry-up (eggs, sausage, bacon, beans and two doorsteps of white bread) while singing along to Hits of the ’60s playlist on my iPad (free music via the Spotify app – you’ll never pay for music again. Ever!).

09:30
Eat aforementioned fry-up sitting in the garden. Drink tea while catching up with news and current afairs on The Guardian app. Wash up. Tablet (medical not electronic) and toilet break.

11:30
Move from garden to living room sofa. Spread-eagled. Switch to Netflix app – a feast of televisual titbits for £7.50 a month. I choose a gritty crime drama with a psycological twist. “Too violent” for my wife. I love them. Two parts. Two hours of whodunnit heaven.

13:30
Lunch. Pork pie (Melton Mowbray, of course), Branston Pickle (on the side), cheese and ham sandwich, crisps and bottle of beer. Play a few games of solitaire on the iPad. Wash up and set alarm on iPad for 15:30. Sofa. Afternoon nap.

15:30
Wake up. Eat remainder of crisps. It’s time for the matinee film. Back to the Netflix app on the iPad. Decide upon a sci-fi special effects blockbuster. “Too loud” for my wife. I love them.

17:30
Throw store-made salad into a big bowl. Add dressing. Mix. Put in fridge.

18:30
Pick up wife and sister-in-law. Drop sister-in-law home. Wife looks guilty that I’ve been left home alone. Suggests Fish and Chips for tea as a treat. I tell her I’m trying to eat more healthily and that I’ve made a salad. Approving look from wife.

I have officially won the day!

At Age UK Islington, we’re here to help you get to grips with new and exciting technology. If you are interested in seeing how an iPad can connect, entertain and inform your later life, call 020 7281 6018 to enquire about attending a technology class where you can find out more.

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