A couple of months ago, I bought the most exquisite set of cordless home phones I’ve ever owned. I’d seen the Colombo Two (named after the Italian designer Joe, not the Seventies mac-wearing detective) in a design magazine, and coveted them them for weeks. I waited patiently for their release, and made a special trip to Selfridges – the only place in the UK you could buy them.

The space-age retro curves, the way they fitted in your hand, the dinky blue LED interface, the sleek buttons, even the disco-ish typeface used for the numbers were all spot on. What’s more, these beauties were orange, and as you can tell from this web site, that always does the trick for me. They were just perfect. Except they weren’t. When you made a call, there was always a loud hum in the background, like the amplified strangling of a bumble-bee. For weeks I persisted, in the vain hope that things would get better, and strenuously defended my babies when Deborah dared suggest there was something wrong with them. Finally, I threw in the towel. I went to Robert Dyas and bought a cheap set of black, no-nonsense BT phones. You wouldn’t call them objects of desire, but they work perfectly. The word ‘what?’ is a stranger to me once more, and my clients have stopped insisting we communicate by email. Please get in touch if you’re interested in taking some barely used designer handsets off my hands, and you don’t mind the score Form 10, Function 1.

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