Thursday, 6 June 2013
Take a look at the above calculator, bought from WH SMITH's (or was it WOOLWORTH's?) in Portsmouth Shopping Centre (or was it Southsea?) in February or March of 1985. (The ol' memory is beginning to fail me, I'm afraid. Let's just go with my first impressions - there must be some good reason why they were at the front of the queue.) Amazingly, the original batteries lasted for about 23 years before needing to be replaced, which surely must be some kind of a record. (Much like the 12 inch black plastic disc with a hole in the middle up in my attic.)
I've addressed this subject before, but it always amazes me how having a tangible reminder from a particular point in time brings home one's recollections of the period in much sharper focus than would otherwise be the case. Memories somehow seem dimmer and more distant without a physical manifestation to accompany them. When I look at the above calculator, it's almost as if I'm back in my bedsit room in Buckland, using my newly-acquired SHARP EL-508A to add up my weekly earnings from my freelance work for IPC MAGAZINES in London.
Just think - I've now had that calculator for more than half my life, although sometimes, when I'm lost in dreams of days gone by, it seems as if it's still a fairly recent acquisition. Then it's as if someone's suddenly hit the fast-forward button, and the movie-clip playing in my head of that particular time accelerates to the present day - making me realize, with a start, just how much water has gone under the bridge since those days back in the mid-'80s actually took place.
I'll bet the following has happened to you. You've sat down to watch a movie on TV which you remember seeing being reviewed a couple or so years back when it was doing the rounds in cinemas. "Wanted to see that at the time," thinks you, "so I'll watch it now!" After it finishes, you see the copyright date in the credits and nearly fall off your chair. "1995? No way! It only came out about 2 or 3 years ago!" Go on, admit it - it's happened a few times I'll bet. And you know you're getting older the more often it occurs because, as we all know, time seems to pass much faster the older we get.
Anyway, now that I've suitably depressed you with thoughts of how brief life is, wouldn't it be great if you could punch in a figure on a calculator, hit the subtract button, and somehow suddenly find yourself magically younger by that very number of years? Why aren't scientists working on such a device as I type this fanciful nonsense? If they're not, they should be. I'd be first in the queue to buy one.
Posted by Kid at Thursday, June 06, 2013