The Speaking Exchange is a US initiative that connects retired people living in care homes with students learning English in Brazil, via Skype. A YouTube video of the service in action shows the older people clearly look forward to the chats, the Brazilian youngsters improve their English and both have developed strong bonds. The UK offers a similar service – Cloud Grannies – which puts retired people in touch with children in India. In the end, my mother decided to buy herself an iPad. For years, my suggestion that my mother should get a tablet has fallen on deaf ears. Then, her trusty old PC broke, a friend sang the praises of her own tablet, and the next thing I know, she is Facetiming me.