WITH some reluctance, I have shrugged off years of indifference to the modern world, and upgraded my mobile phone.

It was a situation forced upon me, because my previous device simply gave up the ghost, and refused to allow itself to be charged.

It was plugged in all night, but had even less charge in it when I got up then it had before it was connected to the mains.

“You must have forgotten to turn the plug on,” said Mrs Hextol, who has learned over the years that me and electrical devices tend not to get on.

However, a check revealed the plug was indeed working, and even a change of charger failed to introduce a spark of life into the machine.

Now I have to say that the mobile was not a new one.

In fact it was Mrs Hextol’s cast off from three upgrades ago – so it really owed us very little in the realm of person communications.

It was certainly a step up from the original mobile phone which came into my possession some years ago.

It was as big as a sliced loaf, with an aerial that unerringly found a nostril or an inner ear whenever activated.

All it did was make and take calls, with stuff like texting, selfies and booking holidays many years into the future.

I was once entrusted with it whilst at a function, where it made my jacket hang at a curious angle.

But after a few drinks, I completely forget what the weight pulling my clothes out of shape was.

At some point in the evening, I became aware of a ringing noise echoing round the premises and was really curious as to where the annoying noise was coming from, until a fellow guest inquired: “Are you going to answer that bloody phone in your pocket or not?”

My dead phone was a pay as you go device, and I had contrived to build up a credit balance of almost £60 on it, mostly because I never rang anyone it.

No-one rang me, because I haven’t a clue what the number is!

I only used it as an alarm clock on the dark mornings, and as a stopwatch when reporting on the affairs of Tynedale RFC.

On the odd occasion it did ring – usually a wrong number, or someone telling me my internet connection was about to be disconnected – I would leap several feet in the air before swiping hopelessly at the screen and spectacularly failing to answer the call.

However, I wasn’t going to lose out on the £60 credit I had built up, so I took a trip into Hexham to an emporium specialising in mobile phones, prepared to be baffled and bamboozled by the world of gigabytes, free minutes and wifi passwords which have always been Mrs Hextol’s department.

The girl in the shop was most helpful and advised that the time may have come to leave pay as you go behind, and get a contract phone.

“I can transfer all your contacts, features and photographs from this phone on to a new model in a matter of moments,” she promised, but her face fell when I told her I hadn’t got a clue what the password to access my account was.

Luckily, Mrs Hextol worked it out, but the girl’s face fell still further when she took the back off my phone.

You could tell she had realised what a venerable and out-dated piece of equipment it was.

It might have been put together by Alexander Graham Bell as a prototype for his electronic talking machine, but she gamely tried to copy the data from old phone to new before accepting she may need the modern equivalent of the Rosetta Stone to complete the process.

However, she did her best, and I am now delighted with my new found ability to roam the internet at my leisure, without having to spend hours in front of my rather pedestrian PC.

I am doing my best to remember my number.

The only call I have received was from Mrs Hextol checking that the phone was actually working, and my taking of photographs is coming on a treat.

However, I seem to take more inadvertent self portraits than shots of that which I am attempting to take.

My only regret is that I have so far been unable to find a way of conducting my favourite internet pastime on my new machine – my games of Scrabble which involve opponents scattered across the world.