Acts of selfie preser­va­tion

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SUSAN KURO­SAWA

ARE we over the selfie phe­nom­e­non yet? Please say yes. Friends put pic­tures of their lit­tle ones in merry Christ­mas cos­tumes on Face­book over the hol­i­days and called them “elfies”, which was great fun. Selfie sticks are not. I have just had my first en­counter with one of th­ese ridicu­lous ad­vices. It popped up in front of me last week­end out of the au­di­ence at the Sym­phony in the Do­main, part of the Syd­ney Fes­ti­val. It looked like some sort of periscope or long-necked sci-fi creature stick­ing its nog­gin out of a bog.

Its owner posed and primped and swung her hair into fetch­ing waves, ap­par­ently obliv­i­ous to the pres­ence on stage of the im­pec­ca­ble Syd­ney Sym­phony Orches­tra and Wil­liam Bar­ton, didgeri­doo player par ex­cel­lence. My view was im­peded, I was dis­tracted, she was more in­ter­ested in pout­ing than watch­ing the orches­tra. What was the point?

The Go-Pro sports cam­era? Do not get me started on th­ese con­trivances, which whoosh up at you in the waves at the beach with the speed of a shark.

I am also madly an­noyed by that whistling sound that some phones make (Sam­sung Galaxy?) when mes­sages come in. It sounds so like some­one re­ally whistling and is most dis­con­cert­ing when, say, a plane has landed and ev­ery­one reaches for their phones and an eerie cho­rus erupts. Mine goes tweet, tweet, like a ca­nary gone batty, which is bad enough, and a col­league had one with a duck tone un­til we forced him to change it as we were all blink­ing well go­ing quack­ers. I am still de­voted to my Mole­sk­ine note­book with rib­bon page-keeper and my trusty Ger­man-made Sta­bilo pen. Although I some­times wish that said writ­ing in­stru­ment came with a bit of gad­getry up its rub­ber-en­cased sleeve.

I saw a pre­view of Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice a few days ago and best thing about it (aside from the al­waysre­li­able Colin Firth, ever Mr Darcy in wet blou­son shirt to me) was the tremen­dous amount of James Bond-in­spired wiz­ardry, from su­per-spy watches (Bre­mont, I be­lieve) that fire sleep darts to im­mac­u­lately laced Ox­ford shoes shoot­ing out poi­soned neu­ro­toxin blades (a flash­back to From Rus­sia with Love, surely). There were even am­mu­ni­tion-fir­ing black um­brel­las.

Fash­ion la­bel Mr Porter has brought out a Kings man­themed men’s fash­ion line, in­clud­ing the dap­per likes of a blue vel­vet smoking jacket with silk-gros­grain shawl col­lar and black watch tar­tan tie. None of the cloth­ing is bul­let-proof, how­ever, and the line’s Con­way Ste­wart foun­tain pen (ours for the equiv­a­lent of about $1200) can­not be re­mote-ac­ti­vated to fire poi­son, which is re­ally just as well, given I am on the verge of snap­ping.

I am also an­noyed by that whistling sound some phones make

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