I did not buy a mobile phone until my son had been at school for a term. Until then, when he was at kindergarten or school, I was at home, where there is a perfectly functional landline phone. However, after that first term that I spent on the major uncluttering effort, I was ready to go out occasionally during school hours. So out of respect for my son’s teachers, I bought a mobile phone. I gave the number to a very limited number of people, because I don’t want to be contacted when I am out of the house during school hours. Generally I don’t want anyone phoning me when I am not at home. So most people don’t know that I have the phone, and those who do are aware that it is only on during school hours when I am not at home, or by pre-arrangement. I particularly do not tell the people who think that phones are to be used to summon people at their will. Several people have complained to me about friends or family who don’t have their phones turned on, or who did not answer their calls, or did answer while on the toilet. The list goes on. They are the people who don’t know about the phone, and probably consider me a crank. I don’t mind.
Recently, in a noisy shop, my phone rang and my son heard it while I did not. The phone was in my backpack and we were expecting the call. I began to wonder about other calls I had missed. Perhaps my cheap phone was not faulty, and perhaps I hadn’t left it in silent mode after a yoga class. Perhaps I just wasn’t hearing it behind me. So I have changed my habits, carrying it in my hand or pocket when using the backpack. And I made a little pouch for my bike handlebars, to use when everything else is in the basket on the back of the bike.
The design is remarkably simple. I cut the leg of a pair of my son’s jeans that were on their way to the rubbish bin (nobody wants to buy jeans with holes in the knees, so not suitable for the op shop). I stitched across the cut edge to make the bottom of the bag, and across the corners to form a base. The velcro loops to attach the pouch to the bike handlebars were inspired by the velcro loops that held the pram bag in place – and those four velco loops reliably held many heavy loads. Then, to close the pouch, a couple of buttons and elastic loops – the open end just folds over, as on some fancy bike saddle bags. It was a very quick effort, and I am happy with the result.