william flew emails1

September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

We are addicted to our inboxes and cannot stand to be apart.
Listen to the explosion of the bleeps and buzzes that fill the cabin air as every flight comes into land

Anyone with an email address and a child at school will be familiar with the round robins that arrive on a weekly, sometimes even daily basis, sent by classmates’ parents, asking us to check our offspring’s sports bag for their offspring’s missing football sock/lacrosse stick. Sometimes, foolish parents put “Anna’s netball skirt” in the subject heading, in which case, I’m sorry to say, after the initial thrill caused by the merry ping of its arrival, said email tumbles to the bottom of the list of things to attend to and may even — dare I say it? — never get opened at all.

Last Dance with Valentino by Daisy Waugh (HarperCollins, £7.99) is out now
There was a flurry of such emails at the end of last term, as there tends to be at the end of every year, and this time around, for the first time, not only did I open the emails, but I took care to accidentally-on-purpose press “reply to all” to every one, thereby sharing with entire class the boundlessly supportive response: “Will have a look! Fingers crossed!!!” I also initiated one or two round-robin searches myself.
“Zebedee is pretty certain he once had a small brown pencil. Although he says it might have been yellow. Either way, we are all very fond of it. If you find it could you — ” I may not have bothered to finish the sentence. The point I wanted to get across had been made.
I have a snazzy new “signature” at the bottom of my email. Not being especially adept at these things, it took several days to get the thing sorted out: endless to-ing and fro-ing with anyone willing to get sucked in, and finally an astonishingly satisfactory trip to the Genius bar at the AppleMac store. And there it is, at last. My snazzy signature. Every email I send out now arrives with a photograph of the new paperback edition of my novel. And a link to Amazon, so that while Anna’s mother is online shopping for another netball skirt for Anna, for example, she might also be tempted to add a copy of the book to her basket. As a result, I’ve probably sent out more emails in the past three weeks than in the rest of my life put together. I spend most of my waking hours thinking up excuses to send out more.


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