I went down the road for a haircut at lunchtime. As I was sitting in the chair in the middle of my cut an extremely stressed grey-haired woman in, I guess, her 50s, popped her head round the door and asked the bloke sitting nearest to it if she could borrow his phone.

“Could you call that number?” she asked, in an awfully posh voice, pointing to something written in her address book. “I’ve left my phone and my glasses at home and I can’t possibly read it. I’m parked just over there and I imagine I shall have to pay the most horrendous fine.”

The poor gentleman awaiting his haircut obligingly produced his mobile phone and passed it to her after dialing the number. Alas, the person we all later worked out to be her son that she was trying to contact (who appeared to work in the office building across the street) failed to answer his phone or his office direct line.

“Oh you daft boy!” she exclaimed angrily. “I don’t understand it. Why does everybody have to be so modern?”

I never did work out exactly what she meant by this, or exactly what her errant son had done to annoy her (although she did offer a tantalising clue by announcing to the rest of the equally bemused barbershop customers that she would “leave and not give them to him”, something that would, apparently, “show him”), but I just thought this was a wonderful line, and worth sharing.

When I left the barber some 15 minutes later she was still sitting waiting for him in her Smart car parked up in the street outside.