Catherine Anne is great. She's a longtime Facebook friend that I'm hoping to meet at some stage (probably when Stanley and I eventually get off our arses and get married). We met on a sort of love-in group for people who adored the Tudor Monastery/ Edwardian/Victorian/Wartime Farm programmes FB forum - a specifically we love Peter Ginn angle (most intelligent and gorgeous historian/archeologist). She's really funny and has tidied up quite a number of my bad moods just by writing a very wry Facebook status. Her friends keep telling her to make a book of them, or just, y'know, write a book with herself talking in it. About whatever, doesn't matter, we love her voice.
Anyway, she wrote me a small bit of Observations, and I'm hoping I can cajole her to keep at it, and periodically do me another one, whenever she fancies it. Cos you're going to love her quiet witty voice too. She'll make your day better.
Dreams of Futures Past
As I got up this morning, and stood in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, I reflected that all was not as it should be. I was prone to a small bout of resentment and general discontent. I was, in short, still pissed off with Tomorrows World. Allow me to explain. When I was growing up in the 70's, at about the time that I realised there was more to life than Basil Brush and Playschool, I was fortunate enough to tune in to Tomorrows World. For an imagination already fired up on watching Dr Who, Star Trek and UFO, T.W. offered a tantalising glimpse of the giddy whirl that my future held.
Pocket calculators, digital watches ......... HOVERCRAFT!!!!!! ....... This is it (I thought back then), this IS the future.........this is what my life will be!! I'll rise to a fully automated house where everything is taken care of by a bit of quick programming, I’ll eat my delicious meals prepared in mere moments in the intelligent microwave, then I’ll don my matching silver bootees and cape and zoom off to work in my own personal HOVERCRAFT (as you can tell, my pre-teen mind sort of fixated on that point). All manner of leisure activities will be available for my delectation, there'll be no such thing as dusting, and I’ll be mistress of my own fate.
Which brings me back to this morning. Standing in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil. Raymond Baxter, Judith Hann and the rest of them LIED TO ME. Granted I’ve got a microwave, but I view it with the same sort of suspicion and distrust that the Spanish Inquisition employed when it was suggested that the earth revolves around the sun. In the years that I’ve had it, I’ve probably spent more time boiling lemon water to CLEAN THE MICROWAVE than I have actually cooking food in it. I’ve got a few kitchen gadgets, but they're mostly manually operated (I’m still getting to grips with my Habitat Garlic Press - an item purchased on a whim whilst dallying with the idea of being cosmopolitan and 'edgy' back in the very early 80's).
I’ll be the first to admit that life's come on a bit since the seventies, which seemed to revolve around shortages and power cuts, with occasional trips to Rhyll (anyone from the potteries will get that last bit instantly) mingled with going to school looking as if I’d spent the night napping on a Van der Graaf generator because mum thought nylon bedding was soooooooo much more convenient than boring old cotton. But on the whole, Tomorrows World did for me. It gave me expectations and hope, a sort of hope that has since been crushed (after all, even the most creative imagination is stifled when facing the stark reality of either walking for miles in the rain or chancing the rancidly Bohemian atmosphere of the local bus service, BECAUSE PERSONAL HOVERCRAFT DO NOT FEATURE IN YOUR LIFE*).
There's nothing for it but to begrudgingly trudge on, occasionally muttering ''bloody Raymond Baxter'', and dealing with the harsh realisation that they're never going to actually build a food replicator, and it's time to start cooking lunch.
(*Yes, ok, look, I admit it. The personal hovercraft thing has sort of stuck with me all this time. and should my rarely purchased Euromills ticket ever prove to be a winner, it'll be the third thing I demand from my list (number 1 being Tom Jones to turn up at my local pub and sing 'What's New Pussycat', and number 2 a pet aardvaark called Gerald).