Although there has been something quite pleasant about not having any form of telephone that worked here, and having to stand at a certain spot in a field to call anyone was fine on sunny days, the recent tendency of showers to start just as I go out to do so has persuaded me that something had to be done.
My Skype phone arrived today. £9.95 from Serif's Gadget Store and of reasonable design compared to some bricks I've seen, appropriately enough in a DIY store, it worked as soon as it was plugged in and I'd registered. That enables anyone with a Skype phone to call me for free and I can call anywhere without having to put my wellies on. Bliss.
With the addition of their SkypeIn service, people without Skype can call too. The number's 0208 133 4333 which is almost memorable. My Skype ID is andrewx.com if you're interested.
Gmail's chat facility has also proved really simple and a nice way to communicate for free with a couple of people who have it. In fact, I prefer that in many ways but maybe that's just because I'm always happy to hear from the people concerned.
So, as long as my computer's switched on and the internet's working I should be contactable again.