The appy wanderer: smartphone walking in our cities’ green spaces

Go Jauntly is a new walking app that uses photographs rather than maps to guide users on routes around woods and byways. We put it to the test in south London

Best photos of the day: juvenile chimps and snazzy racegoers

Photo highlights from around the world, including Cherry blossom time and balloons over the Channel

Staying Socially Connected – A Short Story

My latest short story called “Staying Socially Connected” is available on Kindle

Here is an excerpt – The heroine of the tale, Sheila Walker, is going home on the bus. She has just had a wonderful conversation with another woman, Julie, who is just getting off the bus.

Julie stood and slalomed her way to the front of the bus. She was replaced by another young girl who landed in the seat rather than sitting down. The girl was gripping a small console. She immediately started playing a video game. After a few seconds…

“Damn!” said the girl.

“What’s the matter?” asked Sheila.

“I just crashed the Ferrari into a pole.”

“Is that bad?”

“Yeah – hello I mean of course, what’s the point of stealing a car if you then crash it before selling it, especially if it’s an expensive one?”

“You’re playing at stealing cars?”

“Yes, at level 3 which is more difficult.”

“Is it?”

The girl then noticed that Sheila had a book, notepad, and pen.

“Wow you still use a pen and paper? Haven’t you got an Android or i-phone?”

“No I still read books too – I got it from the library.”

“I’ve heard that people still do that – I only read things online. You know that the contents of a website have to grab their reader’s attention within four seconds, otherwise they will move on to somewhere else? And there’s always somewhere else on the Internet.”

“I didn’t know that no – I don’t look at too many websites.”

“You should be into it and get online more often. Anyway, I have decided I like you so I am going to take a selfie and you can photobomb if you want; just smile and look at the phone.”

“Photobomb – what does that mean?”

“Deliberately place yourself in someone else’s selfie and a selfie is a self-portrait usually with a camera phone.”

“Right thank you for the explanation – I will look at the phone.”

The girl gave a countdown “3-2-1” and then pressed the screen. She looked at the phone.

“That’s quite good, have you done that before?”

“No, I’ve never photobombed before – that was the first time. Anyway, my stop is the next one, so I need to get out.”

“No problem – talk to you later.”