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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Then and now.

I’ve never had it so good.

I was just musing about what we have now and what I was used to in my Childhood.

So I’ll bore you with a few comparisons.

Breakfast cereals

Then: Half a dozen at the most.

Now: Whole shelves stocked with every texture and flavour that you could possibly imagine.


Then: The wireless. Driven by valve technology and the size of a microwave.

The Television. A minute screen housed in a, usually hideous monstrosity of a cabinet. Black and white picture  and only one channel available (BBC). And they only broadcast for a few hours a day.

Now: You can now receive radio on your mobile phone.

Televisions have now expanded to any size you can afford, are in colour, and have vastly better picture quality. Now I can watch squillions  of channels of utter crap, downloaded from a geosynchronous orbiting satellite. (Here I think my quality of life has taken a nose dive).


Then: My first car was an Austin Cambridge that was underpowered, heavy, and rolled more than a tea clipper in a force 4. It was so bad that when cornering, you turned the steering wheel half a mile before the bend. If you didn’t, you became street furniture.

Now: I have a car that is capable of twice the speed of the cambridge, it is also comfortable, safe and will last a few more years than the cambridge.


Then: Everything was bought from the Butcher, the Baker, and the candlestick maker, (You get my gist) and was a delight, as to the personal service experience.

Now: We have supermarkets where although prices are cheap, this blogger avoids with a fear akin to a stake shown to a vampire. *Shudders*. Luckily the other half likes them.


Then: if you were lucky you had an inefficient gas or electric cooker, a sink with, if you were lucky hot water, and a larder.

Now: Where do I start? Built in oven, fridge freezer, microwave, electric kettle, toaster, sandwich maker. Need I go on and add a “George Foreman grill”.


Then: Letters, postcards, telephone, and telegrams. Letters and postcards were extremely efficient as they actually arrived the next day, Often twice per day post, One post before 8am and the other before midday. Telephones actually had a dial and were sometimes a bit hit or miss, bur they did perform their function. Telegrams were the forerunners of E mail, but cost a fortune for a short message.

Now: My flabber is gasted, in how I can communicate with anyone I want, from anywhere.

Anyway. The point of this post is just to highlight the difference in life and to ask the question “Is our quality of life better”

In a tech sense it is, But in a social interactive sense we are failing.

Answers on a postcard Email


  1. Showing your age now you old git :)

  2. Was life better then? I many ways it was but communication has improved although it's far less personal I think. It's just too easy to thump out a couple of words in an email. The preparation needed to hand write a letter is part of the respect shown to the recipient. Changed days indeed.

  3. We certainly were not 'spoilt for choice' with regard to commodities and entertainment as we are now. And whilst the huge advances in personal communication has enriched our knowledge of the wider world and what it is up to, we are still starved of the basic goings on in third world countries and the like. Technological communications are denied those who are suffering the most - no wonder there.

    But where we have opened up our view from the street we lived in, and the place we worked in, we have lost both at the same time. Had we not been able to write so easily across counties and continents, we may still have a community that spoke to one another across the garden wall and the road. Perhaps prejudices may have remained stronger, but so too may have a community spirit.

    When does ignorance become bliss?

    For me, it's when I can repair something with my hands, without sophisticated technology, clean up, start up, and hear it running sweet. Cast off, and take a run up the pound and back. Kettle on.

  4. One of the things that I think strange is this.

    When I was a (ahem) young man the local bobby was a person to be feared - if he told me to stop hanging around a street corner and get myself off home I did so.

    But I felt safer then and felt that the police would look after me if I was in trouble. I don't feel that way now.

  5. Have to pick you up on the shopping, although acknowledge I may just be lucky.

    I buy all my meat products from the local butcher and it's cheaper than the supermarket, and we have a good yarn about gardening, golf and suchlike.

    I buy all my fruit and veg from the local fruit and veg shop run by nice Sri Lankan lads. Cheaper than the supermarket AND top quality. Example: large, luxurious South African avocados for 75p versus horrible, shrivelled Israeli ones for 90 - 110p in the supermarkets. Quality banter thrown in for free.

    Supermarket is used for other stuff - bog rolls, tea/coffee, slabs of Diet Coke etc.

    So. Don't assume supermarkets are cheaper. Support your local traders!

  6. I well recall my parents first Telephone .. it was a dark blue, slim-line BT "Silver Jubilee" special edition .. back in 1977, we thought it was the "dog's danglies" .. Lol

  7. Subrosa.

    I still write letters to businesses but foe speed attach them to an E mail with a covering note.

  8. Mike.
    I would love to use the Butcher. But it closed years ago. same with the Baker, Greengrocer, and the Bakery. However they've all closed. All we have left is a convenience store and a papershop.


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