The selfie that broke my iPhone

It’s all very embarrassing. There I was, feeling virtuous for venturing out on Bank Holiday Monday despite the rain. I made it all the way to Starbucks, where I remained as the drizzle turned to a torrential downpour. Several hours, two lattes, and a salad later, though, I felt it was time to go home. I had my beautiful Ted Baker raincoat with me so I confidently strode out into the deluge. By the time I reached my front door, my Converse trainers and my jeans were soaked through. Instead of going inside, however, I thought I should capture this moment with a photo. Famous last words…

Now I haven’t been having a lot of luck with my phone these past few years. Last year it was stolen from a bar in Mendoza; not so long before, I was walking and texting and flung it across the ground so that the screen cracked; like everyone, I’m always struggling with battery life; and earlier this year, I tried to update the software and the phone froze for two days. I tend not to back up my phone regularly – I like living on the edge – so each time I lose several months of app downloading, settings changing, and personal messaging.

In this case, a minute or two of photography in the rain resulted in an unresponsive screen and, as I soon discovered, water droplets in the SIM drawer. I put it in a bag of rice – thank you, internet, for that tip – and two days later it worked perfectly well. After charging it in the car, though, it died a quiet death and would not turn back on. A cheerful man on Apple’s online chat told me that it was a hopeless cause and emphasised that liquid damage was not covered by the warranty. Despite his protestations, however, I booked an appointment with the Genius Bar in Covent Garden… and, would you believe it, there was no liquid damage after all and they replaced the phone for free under the warranty. A Christmas miracle!

Selfie in the rainThanks to the magic of Apple Photo Stream, you can even see that ill-fated selfie… (Although, of course, that whole back-up thing doesn’t seem like such a great idea now with the iCloud/JLaw debacle – which, by the way, is a criminal invasion of privacy and not a Hollywood scandal.

When it comes to technology failing, it’s probably our photos that we’re most concerned about losing. My favourite quote from The Beach: “I don’t travel with a camera. My holiday becomes the snapshots and anything I forget to record is lost.” Ironically, though, the film with Leonardo DiCaprio ends with him in an internet café downloading the group photo they all took when things were still hunky-dory. Because we love photos. We love documenting the good times, we love sharing them with others, and we love to reminisce about them years later. So that we can remind ourselves of past holidays and friendships, show our children how we used to be cool, show ourselves how we used to be young, and look back in our old age on a life well lived.

The moral of the story? Think twice before you take out your phone on a rainy day. Back up your back-up. And, should the worst happen – as it has for me now many times – then accept it with grace and poise like I did. After all, it’s only a phone…

Fearless Fridays: From teaching to inspiring creativity in the local community


This month, I’ve been talking to Wayne Cullum about his experience of leaving his teaching job behind to set up an art and soft play space in his local area. As Wayne soon discovered, starting your own business requires a whole range of skills and tasks beyond the business idea itself, in his case involving […]

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Ice buckets, donating and Doing Good


This week, our newsfeeds have been flooded with videos of friends and stars alike participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The campaign has raised a lot of awareness, a lot of money, and a lot of questions as to whether or not it’s actually doing good. It’s unclear where the ALS campaign originated, much like the […]

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Reason over Passion: Confessions of a cold fish?


The other day, I watched a Ted talk by Isabel Allende about passion. I also went to the cinema and saw 1,000 Times Good Night, in which Juliette Binoche’s character is so passionate about her calling that she abandons her children in order to pursue it. And on the plane I sat next to a […]

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The Story of Your Life – Would you read it?

panamericana, pan-american highway

In one of the many insightful posts my friends are sharing on Facebook, I recently found this thought starter: “If someone came up to you and handed you a book and you started reading it and you realised it was a book about your entire life – would you read it until the end?” Apart […]

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Learning, falling, and taking that leap anyway…

Jumping from the diving board

My niece is taking her first steps. She’s a bit unstable, she sometimes falls, but soon enough she’s back on her feet and reaching towards you. It’s scary and it’s uncertain but there she goes, again and again, until eventually she’ll be as stable and as sure as the rest of us. Somehow we forget […]

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Tattoos, James Blunt, and nights like this…


There’s nothing like a bit of James Blunt to get you all moody and sentimental. This world is getting colder. Strangers passing by No one offers you a shoulder. No one looks you in the eye. I’m not calling for a second chance, I’m screaming at the top of my voice. How was I so […]

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Fearless Fridays: From management consultant to healthy eating guru

Laura Thomas Happy Sugar Habits

This month’s career change interview is with Laura, whose story starts with a blog about Happy Sugar Habits. The concept of eating low sugar is one that is deeply familiar to me, having first been introduced to the Montignac low GI diet in 2001. My dad as well as my aunt and uncle saw the […]

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A Weekend in Malta (So… when can I go back?)

Mdina stone bridge

I have to admit that I knew little of Malta when I booked this trip. I had been looking for somewhere not too far from London with a combination of good weather and good culture for a long weekend with my mum. Malta was the golden ticket, with a flight of a little under three […]

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I fainted #LikeAGirl


Last night, I went to see Julius Caesar at the Globe Theatre in London. Actually it was at the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and it was absolutely amazing. A medieval quartet played as we entered, and the theatre itself was small and intimate, with real candles and no artificial lighting or microphones. We had standing […]

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