Yesterday in Strasbourg the corpse of man, who had been dead for three years, was found in his apartment. The radio had been on 24 hours a day for those three years and the window wide open. Nobody had missed him or enquired about him because his rent and bills were all paid by standing order. Yesterday I cooked a success and a disaster and shared the enjoyment and disappointment with my wife. I spoke to our son in London on the telephone several times about his next shoot ( he’s a food photographer) and to our daughter, who lives nearby, about the nightmare of builders in her house during half term. On my way to the dentist I waved to a couple of acquaintances as our paths crossed on the nearly empty roads passing through the nearby forest. I even mouthed a “bonjour” to the widow of the recently deceased farmer who used to live opposite us. She now lives elsewhere for the majority of the time, but was visiting her old home yesterday. In essence, not only were people aware of my existence and me of theirs, but we also communicated and shared life. That this sad event should happen in a busy metropolis was the least surprising part of the news. It is clear that social networking and virtual reality is paramount and that without them there is a real chance of exclusion. For me to say that our eyes are glued to the screen and the keyboard is akin to the owner of a crack den warning of the dangers of drugs. The dead man was old, but that is like saying that the Mayor is fat. There is no need to modify the noun except, maybe, with the adjective “alone”.