"You can't cancel!" shrills the voice on the phone. "It's in the diary. That's final!" Though I'm hardly a model of reliability, it is my friend who flakes on our arrangements most, and I'm offended by the implication of her words. What does she mean 'I can't cancel'? Why does she care suddenly?
Great teachers can make such a difference to a youngster's education. They know their pupils intimately; they inspire and encourage them to learn and to enjoy learning. But even the best teachers hit limitations; there just aren't enough hours in the day to know everything about every pupil they teach. But technology is starting to change that. In the coming years, a lot of the legwork, and the burdensome aspects of teaching will be assisted by technology.
I lead a very 20th century life in the morning, well before work begins and the rest of the family ruin my peaceful breakfast. I read my papery newspapers, write notes with a pen and occasionally sketch - badly - the comings and goings in the back garden.
Of course I could just go and seek out a pirate version of the book. I'm sure that someone has already ripped the Kindle version of the book and made it freely available on a pirate website, but I'm a writer myself. I know that people who put months of effort into books deserve to get something for their efforts.
Even the best teachers hit limitations; there just aren't enough hours in the day to know everything about every pupil they teach. But technology is starting to change that. In the coming years, a lot of the legwork, and the burdensome aspects of teaching will be assisted by technology.
There's been a lot of talk lately about two things that are going on in primary schools at the moment. Synthetic Phonics, which is the government prescribed method of teaching kids to read and write, and iPads, which are starting to play an important role in schools and learning.
With the news buzzing about WhatsApp's sale to Facebook, my thoughts turned to tech accessories. As a devoted Apple fan, I make no apologies for the extreme bias towards items that fit their products in my selection below although most pouches can also be used for other tablets, as well as in place of a regular clutch bag to pop your phone and other bits into.
Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be available for those who do.
So where is this sense when it comes to directions? It turns out that this sense, or lack thereof, seems to be latent in grid cells in my brain. Last summer, neuroscientist Joshua Jacobs, of Drexel University, along with his colleagues, tested fourteen people who had electrodes implanted in their brain for epilepsy therapy, and learned that humans have similar 'direction cells' as animals.
We put a lot of effort into our festive celebrations. Food, drink, family, friends and presents all come together (hopefully) to make the big day a special occasion. But one thing I often leave until the last minute is planning how to get there.
As one of the tech journalists lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Apple's pre-Christmas line-up, I got to get my hands on a the new iPad mini with Retina display and the new iPad Air, which is due to go on sale on 1 November. Both are lovely, but it's the iPad Air that is grabbing all the headlines, and rightly so.
After Jobs' death, Apple seemed to have lost its streaking edge. But, do the times look promising and do things look like they are binding themselves together? Well, for starters, we certainly hope so!
The Hudl is no powerhouse, but it's far from being something to dismiss out of hand. You get a lot of tablet for your money - and it's a great present for younger children who don't need the raw power of more expensive alternatives.
Life can get pretty complicated, with a million and one things that need to be done at once. Sigh. Luckily, in a cave somewhere, they've found the Ten Commandments of Clutter.
Technology, it is often yet accurately said, sets you free. Nowhere is this more true than it is for disabled people, like myself. You often do not think about it: like so many other things in our day to day lives, it just fades into the background. Yet without technology, I simply couldn't be myself.
Over the next few days thousands of normal people will be plunging into the depths of updating the core operating system of their Apple mobile phones and tablets... we are all geeks now, and happily tap away at iOS7 updates and Android settings as we'd they'd been born clutching a smartphone.