Telephone Numbers

We now come to phone numbers themselves. Take the phone number 0122 524593, an ordinary ten-digit number. Apply exactly the same principles as before.

The first stage is to break this number down into pairs of digits. 01 - 22 -52 - 45 - 93. And then translate them into letters: OA - BB - EB - DE -NC. We are then reminded of five images of people and their actions:

Ossie Ardiles (playing football) Betty Boothroyd (banging, order!) Eric Bristow (playing darts) Duke Ellington (playing piano) Nadia Comaneci (balancing on a beam)

We combine these people, alternating between person and action, to give us one complex image:

Ossie Ardiles is banging and shouting 'Order!' at an unamused Eric Bristow, who is playing the piano, accompanying one of Nadia Comaneci's delicate routines.

Location is, as ever, essential when remembering phone numbers. It is no good memorizing the number in isolation. It belongs to someone and we must connect the above image to that person. In most cases, the simplest way of doing this is by setting the scene at the house or office of the person whose number we are trying to recall. I remember the number of the person who delivers our logs, for example, by setting the corresponding scene outside his house.

Or take the phone number 0606 922755. Broken down into pairs, the number translates into the following letters: OS - OS - NB - BG - EE. This gives us the following persons and actions:

Omar Sharif (playing backgammon) Omar Sharif (playing backgammon) Nigel Benn (boxing) Bob Geldof (knighting) Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards (skiing)

We combine these to form a complex image at a relevant location, alternating between person and action:

Omar Sharif playing backgammon with Nigel Benn, who is being knighted by Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards.

I have outlined the process in detail. With practice, however, you will automatically see images of persons and actions when confronted with a number. I do it automatically now. Life becomes so much easier when you don't have to write down things such as phone numbers.

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