Sunday, 15 August 2010

Busy day today, well lazy day really. A summer barbecue for Beverley's school, governors, parents and teachers, and then the train to Carlisle. There I am meeting up with Paul to watch the Liverpool v Arsenal match, in one of the big sports bars. They have so many giant TV's, all in HD, you can go to the toilet and still watch the match. When you are buying drinks at the bar there are TV's behind the bar and I guess if you were so drunk that you fell over, there's probably screens on the ceiling too.

Me aged 6
A far cry from the technology of my childhood. When I was about 6, we had a huge radio in our kitchen, one of those old one's with valves in the back. When it was on you didn't need to have the radiator on in the winter, you just sat close to the radio. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I was never sure why. The rest of the family sat in the living room and the TV was in the corner. Well adjacent to that corner was the kitchen door, and that's where my chair was beside the kitchen radio, so I could watch the TV but not be seen by the rest. I could see them all through the crack near the door hinges! When I got bored I used to play turning the radiator off and on, putting my ear on the cast iron lump and listening to the water gurgling through the valve. I used to forget and leave it on, so they selotaped dozens of sewing needles to the tap to stop me touching it. My dad forgot one time and grabbed the tap full on and screamed as they shot into him. He blamed me! "You bastard"(that was his pet name for me; along with 'imbecile') "we wouldn't have to have put pins on the tap if you would stop playing with it!" It was my first experience of 'poetic justice' when someone falls into their own trap.

So the radio seemed like a good friend, it talked and I could talk back to it, and if it shouted I could turn it down, and I could switch it on and off when I wanted. If the TV was on and I had the radio on really quietly, with my ear pressed up against it, they couldn't hear me. I wasn't interested in human voices, I had seen pictures of UFO's and I was listening for messages from deep space. Sometimes I would hear Morse Code and think that I had struck gold, but then I saw 'Wagon Train' where they cut the telegraph cables and realised that we humans used Morse Code. I would scan the Long, Medium and Short waves every night, examining every crackle, sometimes falling asleep until I was awoken by the others going to bed. I got my first electric shock off that radio, when I took the back off to see what was inside. It looked harmless, nothing was moving! However I must have touched something scary because my whole body went into spasm and I couldn't control anything, including my bladder. It was only the falling onto the floor that saved me by pulling my hand out of the radio. Every muscle in my body ached for days and my eyes were blood shot; I looked like Dracula! My mother took me to the doctor and he said, I probably had a cold coming on; doctors hey? I looked at that radio with so much more respect after that!

1 comment:

  1. Electric shock....aches and pains just like dancing until 2am....well you did say you and Diane were plugged into the mains. I just didn't reaslise you actually were.

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