Today we are on grandparental duty. Our daughter is doing some training prior to going back to work after maternity leave. She has a couple of months to go yet but they want her to do the training and I think they might even pay her for turning up. Which is not at all bad.
So here I am, having walked the baby in the rain, snatching a little time while she sleeps in her pram.
I read an article recently about a primary school which put up a notice asking parents to greet their offspring with a smile and a proper greeting instead of continuing their mobile phone business at the school gate. The writer was a little indignant about this, declaring that the school had no right to tell him how to meet and greet his child. But how hard is it to put your phone away and have a proper conversation with a child at the end of the school day? If you tell him that your electronic media is the most important thing then it's hardly surprising if all he wants to do when he gets home is play on the X Box.
By the time they reach secondary school, of course, most children have a phone of their own, ostensibly so that they can contact busy parents when necessary, but also with an element of keeping up with the Joneses. And then the schools have to police what goes on and make sure that phones are switched off during school hours.
The schools also make use of the technology themselves and not just in the classrooms. Our grandchildren's secondary school contacts parents by text for a variety of reasons. Newsletters are sent out by email instead of on paper. If there is a problem of a child taken ill or, heaven forbid, misbehaving and being put into detention, parents are incormed by text and asked tomcontact the school. Nowadays they give detention fancy new names; in our grandchildren's school they call it a "New Hope" but I'm pretty sure everyone knows what it really is. At one time schools had to give 24 hours' notice but mobile phone technology means that misdemeanours can be dealt with on the spot.
Someone else who seems to be up to date on modern technology is Mr Trump's senior advisor Kelly Conway. The question of the rumoured wire-tapping of Trump Tower rumbles on. Britain has been accused of being involved, something which a GCHQ official has described as nonsense. But Kelly Conway apparently knows that surveillance in the modern world can take many forms. This is what I read yesterday:
* ITV REPORT 13 March 2017 at 2:57pm Obama could have spied on Trump using a microwave, Trump aide claims without offering evidence.
Donald Trump's senior adviser has suggested Barack Obama could have spied on the President using a microwave.
Kellyanne Conway says she has no evidence to support Mr Trump's claim that the former president "wiretapped" Trump Tower phone lines during the election.
She pointed to recent revelations about government surveillance to suggest it was possible Obama used a different technique.
Speaking to US newspaper The Record, she said: "What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately, including microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera.
"So we know that that is just a fact of modern life."
So there we are. It's good to know that everyone is so up to date.