Saturday, 29 October 2016

A fun look back at technology from the past

I still have the photos I took on one of these.
This week I thought I'd share some of the technology I remember from my young days - just for fun.

My fellow baby boomers will smile and nod, X gen may rack their brains for some distant childhood memory from their parents time and X gen will just scratch their heads. 
No teenager would be without one
This will test even some baby boomers. The fastest message sender in its day.

We had an even older one when I was a kid. You had to pick up the receiver, turn the handle and ask for the number you wanted. "Appin 8 please"
I used to fill this up when Mum and Dad had a shop. Do you know what went in it?

I had my record player but Dad still used one of these
I actually operated one of these in the late 1970s
And the pencil you carried wasn't just to write on the label
Pre photocopiers
I didn't actually use one of these but I did work in a pay office and have to calculate working hours from the cards.
How many of these do you remember?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

What if?

Have you ever pondered 'what if'?  A couple I thought of are:
What if Remus, and not his brother Romulus, had founded Rome. Would we be calling it Reme today?
What if it was James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, who wanted meat between bread while he played cards and Lord Sandwich had led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. 

Would be eating cardigans and wearing sandwiches? 

Many creative people have pondered ‘what if’. Here are just a few well known examples:

What if four siblings stepped through a wardrobe and entered another world?The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis

What if a man fell in love with a woman who hates him?Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

What if a boy discovered he was a wizard and had to go to school to learn magic?Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, J.K. Rowling

What if a boy was raised by wild animals?The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

If you are a writer, asking ‘what if’ may spark your best work yet.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Glimpses of Past Lives

I was fortunate to be given a small metal trunk recently. 

It contained generations of photos, personal letters and other keepsakes. The letters spanned sixty years and were written not just to one person but between several family members located in Australia, New Zealand and England.

I carefully sorted through all the items putting the letters and photos in neat piles. I glanced at the assorted items of memorabilia and pondered, what does one do with a 75 year old plait of hair and 85 year old baby teeth in little bottles?

I turned back to the letters and photos and conscientiously sorted them into date order then selected the photos that had notes on the back telling me who the people were or where they were.

I carried the pile of letters and selected photos tenderly into the lounge room, placed them on the table and made myself a cup of tea.  For the next few hours as I read the letters, and put the photos in perspective, I was immersed in the past.

The letters were handwritten, many in pencil that were faded, but my interest in the story they told made compelling reading as I was transported back in time.

My trunk of memorabilia provided valuable information for research I am currently undertaking for my next book but the people and stories have also inspired a future book.

I thought how sad it was we don’t write letters to family and friends today that will tell generations to come how we lived and loved. Today, communication with loved ones far away is by email, Internet social media and texting; formats that won’t survive and stories that will be forgotten.