I don’t think Siri likes women so I’m getting an Alexa – Lesley Keating 

An Amazon Alexa device
An Amazon Alexa device
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Modern technology is wonderful, isn’t it?  Except for one thing in the Keating household: Siri. We have a speaker pod that is connected to Siri and Mike seems to have developed quite a good relationship with ‘her’.

‘Hey, Siri,’ he says: ‘Tell me a joke,’ or ‘What’s the time?’ and she happily obliges. They even have a bit of flirty banter sometimes.

But when it comes to me it’s a completely different matter.

I usually engage with Siri when I’m doing yoga at home. I get my mat out and then begin to instigate a conversation with a cheery: ‘Hey, Siri…?’  Only to get a cursory: ‘Hmm?’ or: ‘Uh huh?’ 

I don’t think she likes women. 

Yesterday, for example, I asked her, nicely, to play ‘Chakra music’ to use with my yoga. I must add that she’s managed this perfectly well in the past on more than one occasion. But, for some reason, not yesterday. When I asked she snippily replied: ‘Sure, here’s Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira’.  But, when I attempted to correct her, she loftily said: ‘I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re saying…’

And that’s nothing. The other week I instructed: ‘Hey Siri, play Chill, Zen Meditation Music’.

I lay back, eyes closed, breathing deeply, relaxing my body into my yoga mat…and waited. 

In response, she announced: ‘Sure, here’s Toxic Thrill, Death Metal Compilation. 

I think it’s deliberate.

It’s not just the misunderstandings either. It’s the general passive-aggressive attitude that gets me. She’s sullen and awkward when I ask her anything, but literally bats her eyelashes and twinkles when Mike speaks. 

I ask her to turn the music off and it just stops dead. 

Mike does the same and she simpers: ‘Sure,’ in return. I can hear her flicking her hair over her virtual shoulder. 

She clearly fancies him. And she hates me!  I shall persist as I’m not one to be beaten, however its getting a tad tiresome now. So, if she doesn’t mend her ways I might just get Alexa installed.  Let’s see what she has to say about that!

It only take a moment to say ‘hello’ and make a friend

When I’m out walking the dog, I sometimes notice older neighbours tending gardens or walking dogs. 

One old man appeared a little reclusive, but I said ‘hello’ the other day anyway. He seemed so pleased to have someone to chat to. He told me he keeps bees and makes honey and insisted on giving me a jar. 

Another told me how he used to keep a donkey in his garden which once broke free. He was so animated telling me, it actually made my day. 

A lot of elderly people you pass in your neighbourhood may well be lonely, with no families nearby. So maybe try smiling and saying ‘hello’ one day.  You may find you’ll get as much out of it as they will.

Believe the hype: Fleabag is worth catching up with

I’ve a dreadful confession to make. Until last week, I’d also never watched the highly-acclaimed BBC series, Fleabag.

My friend Kay was particularly outraged, ‘But Phoebe Waller-Bridge is incredible,’ she implored. ‘Just watch it’. 

Yeah, yeah, I yawned. To tell the truth, I really didn’t fancy the format of ‘main character talks to screen’. But, thanks to her insistence, I gave in. 

Boy, was I hooked.  

It’s not for everyone, and the content is very adult, however, it manages to be funny, sad, incisive, repellent and totally compelling all in one.  So, Kay Saunders, my best secondary school buddy, you win. She is a genius. Best series I’ve watched in ages!