“Since Mercury rules communication, it’s said that everything goes haywire in that area — emails get deleted or bounced back, mail is returned, calls go out into the ethers, etc.” (www.astrology.about.com)

So put it into your diary: December 26th to January 15th, 2010. In 2010 it’s April 17 – May 11; August 20 – September 12; and December 10 – December 29. So try to get your technology organised long before it begins. Allow extra time for getting to places and have a book handy to read when people arrive late, plans get mixed up, have backup plans for the no shows etc etc. Don’t move house. Learn from my experience these last few days.

Mercury Retrograde hit me early. Today I managed to get a tape stuck in my car’s cassette player (yes my car is from the stone age, or the 90s) and continue to suffer the consequences of rash decisions involving ordering electricals over the net. My recommendation – don’t do it. Go to a shop instead. Nothing replaced face-to-face communication.

Not only did I have to wait more than a week and make a number of calls just to discover my new iPhone and modem were sitting at the post office, but now the only way I can talk about the stupid snail-pace modem is to call and sit on hold for hours. Did I mention I hate technology?

Last night (I admit, after a couple of beers,) I managed to drop my old phone in the toilet of Four N’Hand (my new local!) I hadn’t even flushed! I know what you’re wondering… Yes. I did do it.

Flushing first (praying the phone wouldn’t disappear down the rabbit hole) I put my hand into the basin and fished out the screaming Nokia. He was not a happy chappy. I took him apart and dried him out but alas, this morning he took his last breath.

No more phone. But of course, it’s meant to be, right? I have an iphone sitting on my desk patiently awaiting its awakening. So first thing this morning I walked up to the local Virgin store.

“First you need your account number from Vodafone.” Vodafone was a few shops down so that was easy enough.

“How much will it cost to terminate my plan early?” I asked, praying for a small figure, a small figure, please a small figure.

“Around $30.” Phew!

“Just one more question,” I said to the Vodafone sales clerk. “My bills have dramatically increased in the last few months, I’ve cut down this month but can you please just tell me where my latest bill is at?”

… “$280”


I have a $49 cap that I thought I never exceeded until two weeks ago I received a bill for $160. That was bad enough. Now $280??? What the? What the? I didn’t think I’d been making more calls than usual.

Another hour was spent on their phones to their head office, discussing what the heck was going on. They managed to halve my bill, from which I was more than grateful for although the sceptic had not quite shut up. $280 is more than outrageous.

Returning to the Virgin counter with my account number I made another wonderful discovery – the iphone’s sim card holder was gone.

“It’s probably on the floor of my apartment,” I told her. But it wasn’t. I engaged in yet another horrifically disgusting experience, going through the garbage I had thrown out that morning. An image of a little square piece of plastic sitting inside a banana peel or some kind of rotting vegetable scrap entered my mind. No luck there either. I moped around in frustration. Surely it would be here somewhere, I thought as I comforted myself with a large bag of gingerbread cookies (thank you Lisa)…

Eventually I gave up. With no energy to walk back to the junction I jumped in my car. Traffic. Parking. F**king HELL. Next time I will walk.

“You might have to go to the Apple Store on George St to get another one,” they told me when I finally made it to the Virgin shop. “But try the accessory shop first.” Eighty bucks later (twenty on the tiny square of plastic, and sixty on other “essential” screen covers and protectors) and finally I could leave the manic mall. Once I could locate my car, that is. If you know Bondi’s Westfield Carpark, you know that knowing your car is on “P3” is not enough to locate it. Try other entrance. And another one. Eventually I found it.

So here I am. Back in my little paradise that really does feel like home. Still of course with Internet that doesn’t work (currently using my mother’s prepaid 3 modem which happens to work fine) and getting out my anger writing this blog is even more therapeutic than the ginger cookies. And even better, Leigh, my techno-savvy saviour, helped save the day – now I have a phone that works (even if it’s a different number for a short while) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Mercury Retrograde leaves me alone for a little while. I’m optimistic. But I’m prepared. Are you?