Just as my wallet began to tremble, I tentatively inquired whether Mrs L might like a larger, newer, altogether shinier phone, say perhaps an iPhone 15 Pro Max in natural titanium. Canny tech whizz that she is, she enquired as to what colour the case was.

I thought I’d make a checklist for swapping the phones. Having backed both up, I reset the 15, deleting everything. Then, I began to recreate Mrs L’s setup through a phone-to-phone transfer. Naturally, it failed.

I still had nearly five hours before we had to leave for lunch. Don’t panic.

I tried again. Eureka. It worked.

The next part of my cunning plan was to upgrade Mrs L to a dual-sim world. Our Cyprus sims can be Esim, allowing us to insert a physical card for our old UK numbers, which we both maintain. I logged in to the provider’s site, pressed the activate button, and the page leapt to the home page. Wait. What? I tried again. Same result.

I still had four hours before we had to leave for lunch. Don’t panic.

I hit the button for live chat support. The first support professional decided that it was all too much and terminated the chat. Oh.

I tried again, but this person decided that I needed to speak to “orders” and left the chat. Oh.

I was resigned to leaving the esim for another day when suddenly Polyvios appeared on the chat. I immediately got the impression that this was the fellow I needed. Confident competence flowed through the screen. Polyvios apologised for the malfunctioning link and begged my patience while he generated a new sim for me.


The mail came through; I scanned the QR code and installed the esim. I thanked Polyvios and requested that we repeat the process for my number, as I had zapped mine in the reset. In passing, I mentioned that Mrs L’s phone had no signal, so I was rebooting.

Still no signal. For ninety minutes, we wrestled with the phone’s settings, trying everything to get the thing working.

I still had a bit less than three hours until lunch. Don’t panic.

Polyvios was trying to persuade me to go to a store and get some face-to-face help. I calculated. I could be there in an hour, but then I would be an hour’s drive from lunch.

I still had more than two hours until lunch. Don’t panic.

“Right, Polyvios. Mrs L’s phone isn’t working. I’ll just put her physical SIM back in. Let’s get a new SIM for my number.”

There was a pause in the chat.

“The physical sim won’t work any more.”

Swallowing my fear. I posited that we should work on my phone, which had neither an esim nor physical one, so we could hardly make it worse.

Mrs L had joined me in the office.

“So my phone doesn’t work at all, then?”

“Ummm. No.”

I could see that the rest of my day was going to be less convivial than I’d hoped.

Time to panic.

As Mrs L stomped off for a shower, I emphasised to Polyvios that, as of now, my wife's phone and my phone didn't work at all—a significant deterioration from earlier, when we both had perfectly functioning phones. I may have hinted that my afternoon and, indeed, week were likely to be hard work unless he could rescue me.

Polyvios got to work on my sim and ping, and the email arrived.


Activated. Full signal.

“You couldn’t maybe generate a new one for Mrs L, could you? Just in case.”

I still had an hour or so to lunch. Don’t panic.

Naturally, the second ESIM was installed without incident, and I soon had finalised Mrs L’s phone as a dual sim powerhouse.

We set off for lunch with our new phones and Mrs L’s new watch sort of talking to her phone. Sorta.

Hopefully, that will all settle down; if not, I’ll do the whole unpair, re-pair dance.

Naturally, there are still email accounts to be re-authorised, internet banking apps to re-authenticate, and a million and one other applications that everyone has forgotten they ever had are demanding attention. Oh, the joys of an upgrade - or downgrade, in my case.

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