Panic. I tried to erase all the stored messages on my land line telephone this morning and managed, somehow, to turn off the answer-phone function.
I'd set the phone up several years before, hadn't tinkered with it since; the instruction manual was long gone - and I couldn't fathom how to restore my recorded message inviting callers "to leave their number."
The same predicament at 30 would have merely irritated me. I've done plenty of more stupid things in my life without worrying about the deteriorating quality of my grey cells.
But now 67, failing to master re-programming my phone, in my frustration, seemed like a sure sign of approaching senility.
When did we all start being so conscious - or rather self-conscious - about dementia?
It's always been there but I'm willing to bet it wasn't judged as the same threat to the elderly as cancer and heart attack by my parents' generation.
Any way I taxed my ageing brain when I'd stopped beating myself up about my failing mental powers. The bottom line was I could always buy a new phone if I couldn't find an instruction manual online.
As it was I switched the phone off-then-on at the mains and the phone message function was as before my fat thumbs had disrupted it. Panic over until the next time.