The other day - Wednesday, it was - I telephoned one of my fellow Lions only to hear a recorded message telling me to redial, inserting the area code 01273 before the number. The next day it happened again, with a different local number. Then I learned the reason. Brighton, along with three other towns, is running out of telephone numbers and likely to be out completely sometime between next year and the year after. Or maybe the year after that; not that the exact date is germane to this. Apparently, by adding the 01273 when we all make local calls from other numbers on that exchange, the number of numbers available is increased.
Now that seems quite illogical to me. Let's take a very simple example. The series from zero to nine (0 to 9) comprises just 10 numbers. OK so far? Now lets add a prefix. Say, 33. We now have a range from 330 to 339. But that's still just ten numbers. By extension, if telephone numbers range from 200000 to 999999 (I know they don't, but i don't know the lowest and highest phone numbers on the Brighton exchange), simply adding the area code 01273 at the front of them makes no difference to the total numbers available.
Or is there something I'm missing?
The second tale concerns Facebook, Brighton Lions Club and our local newspaper, The Argus. I have confessed to using F/b for the Lions and I posted a piece a few days ago about not being able to use our regular venue for our annual fireworks display. To my surprise, I received a phone call yesterday from a reporter on the local paper asking me a few questions - just out of interest, it seemed. Later, he called again asking even more questions. He had, he told me, mentioned this to the editor and they proposed to run a story.
Given that we have always found it extremely difficult to get the local paper to publish anything, I was astonished and delighted to receive an email this morning from somebody who had read the article - which appeared today.