Monday, June 2, 2014

The simple things...

May - the Month of the Persimmon - is over, which means it's four months since Kevin arrived. I've eaten more of the sweet orange fruit in the last month than ever before. In fact I'd never had one before I moved to NZ. I cut them into four and usually (but not always) scoop them out with a spoon. Before coming to NZ I'd imagined "persimmon" was pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, but here they put the accent on the first.

Yesterday was the first day of winter, but you wouldn't have known it. What an absolutely stunning day it was. I didn't need anybody else to be able to appreciate it. This is what the beach at Seatoun looked like:

When I was in a café at Seatoun I saw an article in the paper about the popularity of retro technology with young people. Cassettes, typewriters, Polaroid cameras... fair enough, they've all been replaced by something (I guess) better. You can get digital Polaroids now. But wristwatches? Seriously? The clock on your mobile phone isn't an adequate replacement in my view.

For some reason that article made me think of teletext. It's well and truly been supplanted by the internet, but it was cutting-edge in its day and very convenient. There was none of the double screening that people resort to now. The BBC's version of teletext was called Ceefax and started way back in the mid-seventies, though its heyday was the eighties and nineties. I still remember some of the page numbers now - football was 302 and it was update minute-by-minute during games; the exchange rates were on 241, Mum's favourite page. The 400s were the weather pages, famous for the pixellated Lego-like maps. There were even games you could play, one of which was called Bamboozle. Sometimes a "page" was in fact many pages, and I'd have a knack for getting page 17 out of 21, when I really needed page 16, which meant I'd have to wait maybe ten minutes for it roll all the way back round. But back then I usually had a spare ten minutes. My grandma got a teletext-enabled TV long before we did (we were always a long way behind with technology) and for my eighth birthday she arranged a "happy birthday" message to be displayed for me on Oracle, ITV's teletext service. I miss teletext - there was something comforting about it (there was a real person on the other end), and it's a reminder of a simpler time. It went for good in late 2012, at the final switchover to digital TV.

As I said, yesterday was such a nice day that I didn't want it spoiled by any people, but as promised I saw Julie at her rest home. She did her best to spoil the day and make sure I absolutely never ever see her again, but I said I'd try and find some serviced apartments for her to move to, and that improved matters. She needs to get out of that place fast.

With it being a holiday, the autism group didn't run today. Instead they ran a games afternoon. We played Upwords and Bananagrams and other similar games - more up my street than some of the stuff I've been playing lately.

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