Now Playing: Fogey...
Topic: Generation Next
London: one of the world’s great cities. Correction: the greatest city in the world. Throws a better party than New York, has superior shopping to Los Angeles, nicer parks than Paris (but no Bois du Bouloigne!) London was the first city in the world to pass the 10,000,000 population mark, which it did in the early 20th Century. The world’s first megacity. I love living here. And yet, I find myself spending 99.99% of the time, in a single square mile or so of my own familiar “Manor”.
Riding the tube was such a novelty yesterday. I haven’t been on it for months. The Northern Line, which used to have worse trains than anything I saw in Morocco or India, now has funky red white and blue brand new trains. When I first came here a decade ago, the Northern Line trains still had wooden floors, 1950s blue-and-green chequered seats… a throwback from the days into the 1980s when the London Underground still had wooden escalators and smoking carriages (imagine that now!!)
Anyhow, my point is that just being able to remember these things makes me feel ancient.
I remember the days when colour television was still enough of a novelty for some people to turn the colour saturation to the max (to get every penny’s worth of value from the telly, I suppose. The televisions all had teak-effect cabinets (some even came in a kind of cupboard so when the telly was off, one could shut the screen away) — and in real terms they cost enormous sums.
What made me laugh was a group of 12-13 year old kids talking on the radio about how their grandparents don’t understand how so much music fits into an MP3 box the size of a matchbox… “Yeah, in their days they had to put records on record players and they were really huge,” the children explained.
What a hardship that must have been! Plus you had to turn the disc over half way through!
First time I saw a VCR rewinding and fast-forwarding through that evening’s television I remember thinking… WOW!
Well, we do live in the future these days… were the old days always so good? Of course they weren’t. But like I say, just being able to recall the era before computers became a fixture in most British homes does make me feel very ancient indeed…!
One question: when do we get to hover down to the shops in luminous green pods? (Just like in Dan Dare!)