Keeping up with the 20-somethings

I normally wear two hats to college. No, I don't mean I sport some sort of snazzy beret with a woollen balaclava on the top or anything like that, although now I come to mention it that does sound rather a fetching combination.

I normally wear two hats to college. No, I don't mean I sport some sort of snazzy beret with a woollen balaclava on the top or anything like that, although now I come to mention it that does sound rather a fetching combination.

Actually I was referring to the fact that basically I have to be two different people. You see in English I tend to try and act my age, while in Media Studies I don't. Well when you're 50-plus, and pitched into doing things with people who are on average 30 years younger than you are, it's hard not to regress to being 20-something too.

Now this is great, as I get to relive my youth but also kind of weird as all the things I considered cutting edge technology back then are thought of as merely being quaint now.

Like my little cream coloured transistor radio. Gosh, the joys of lying in bed with it clutched firmly to my ear as I tuned in to Radio Luxembourg and the pirate radio ships, Caroline and London.

It was positively state of the art compared to my parents' massive wireless set. In fact my little 'tranny' played such a huge part in my early life it has even starred in one of my college presentations on the subject of 'identity'.

There was no way I could have listened to it while walking my dog or jogging though, not that I ever tried - jogging that is - not walking my dog. Oh, it was portable in so far as you could move it around, but I'm afraid the minute I wedged the trendy little earpiece in my ear I could hardly hear a sound.

Most Read

That's why I stare in fascination and sheer admiration at the miniscule MP3 players and iPods that youngsters carry about with them today. Indeed I have been known to put on my reading specs just to be able see them.

'Oh, it can hold up to 7000 songs,' my fellow students tell me, totally blasé. That's the equivalent of about 600 LP's er, I mean albums!

Now the nearest I ever came to downloading anything was taping a few songs off Radio 1 and some snippets of the latest hits played on Juke Box Jury using my family's reel-to-reel tape recorder. Tapes came from a little shop in Eagle Street and cost 13 shillings and 4 pence each - the equivalent of about 66 pence today. And no I'm not about to go into a 'those were the days mode' - far too aging.

Suffice to say it was quite a bit of cash which shows just how important this activity was to me - that and the fact I'd sit clasping the microphone for hours in front of the wireless in the hope that a favourite tune may come on - well I didn't have a record player. Okay, so it sounds pretty primitive I know but believe me in the 60s it was the height of ingenuity.

Nowadays of course there's lots of ways you can download things and they're constantly being updated. Take floppy discs for example. Up until recently I thought they were fairly high-tech for storing information. Just how wrong can you be? Now it's all 'burning' CDs and memory sticks.

Oh, if only they could be adapted to plug into humans…what better invention could there be?

Once upon a time I used to love cops and robbers style police programmes. Dixon of Dock Green, Gideon's Way, Z Cars, Softly, Softly, you name them and I've been glued to them. At least then you knew who was who - cops were cops and robbers were well, robbers.

It made you feel safe and secure knowing there were people like PC Dixon and DCS Barlow about. The blue lamp outside the police station was an emblem of a force you could rely on. And inside, behind the desk, there would always be a friendly bobby ready to be of assistance. But I can't stand to watch them now. Well, things just aren't what they used to be.

Take The Bill for example. Anyone visiting the police station in that programme does so at their peril for it's almost odds on that they'll be caught up in some hideous explosion, car crash or siege. Whilst something as innocent as registering a missing cat could mean being interviewed by a pathological liar, drug addict, drink-driver, wife beater or killer. No wonder there's no lamp hanging outside - it would only lead to a blazing inferno.

Boy, I'm glad I don't live anywhere near Sunhill!

Somebody shake me please. I can't believe chocolate bars and other sweets are soon to carry 'health warnings'.

Apparently confectionery manufacturers have noted the government's wish that we be more active if we indulge ourselves with fattening products.

Now although I appreciate that it's good to know their calorific values etc. I really think this is taking things a step too far. Who knows what could be next.

Will bus drivers make passengers get off and walk if they catch them having a crafty nibble? Will office workers be forced to nip to the loo for a quick munch to avoid having to workout on government sponsored exercise machines?

And what about passive chocolate eating? Will those who don't eat chocolate blame their cravings on those who do?

As far as I can see these companies haven't properly thought this through. Well, would you dare suggest a hormonal woman gets off the settee, when she's in the midst of devouring a bar?

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter