During my 20s and 30s I always hankered after the latest gadgets. In the early 90s mobilephones started to take off (not literally) and Orange was launched in 1994 with just one phone the Nokia 2140. I proudly sported the now nicknamed ‘Orange brick,’ which l keep as a memento in its original box as its a design icon. Sadly I disposed of its 1998 successor the ‘banana’ phone. This found instant fame as Keanu Reeves used one in the Matrix, as a phone it was crap though and after two faulty models I moved on. At about the same time I owned various ‘Walkman’ type cassette players which got progressively smaller and pricier with it.
Then CDs came on the scene and although owning a large record collection I started buying them in earnest and owned at least 30 before I actually ventured out and bought a snazzy CD player to listen to them on. At Greenwich market I fell in love with a massive piece of antique pine furniture which was over 5 foot tall and 4 foot across. It was being used as a display unit in a shop as it was divided into square cubby holes, then filled with teddy bears and other tat but which I deduced were more nobly suited to store my CDs. Cheekily I asked the owner to let me know if ever she would be willing to sell it. My luck held and one day she did call. I
remember being very hung-over one January 1st and promising an equally hung-over mate the tasty cure of a bacon sandwich in exchange for him coming with me to help lift it into the car and home. I worked out it would hold about 450 Cds and I made it my mission to eventually fill it.
Suddenly Cds weren’t the coolest thing on the block and Minidiscs hit the streets, so I bought the latest and tiniest player before realising just how pricey Minidiscs actually were and how few recordings were available. In desperation I bought some Robbie Williams albums!
When digital cameras shook the world of photography at the turn of the century I shelled out a now incredible £1000 on a snazzy Sony digital camera with the memory card costing almost a hundred more. I bought it duty free thinking I was getting a bargain – idiot boy. Nowadays, a decent one is a fraction of that and even swanky semi-pro SLRs are less than a grand too.
The only problem was I could not afford a decent computer or printer to make copies of my pictures so I stored them on the memory card, ruthlessly deleting any not up to scratch ones to make room for new ones. Curiosity definitely killed my cat one day as I wondered what the button marked ‘Format’ did so I pressed it. ‘Are you sure?’ the camera asked, ‘don’t question me camera!’ I said, finding out the hard way how hundreds of carefully saved shots can be lost forever.
I was a confirmed Luddite when it came to mobile phones. I wanted one that simply makes calls and send texts and used the same Nokia 6230i that I bought back in 2005. In fact I own two as I still use my Orange version for when I visit the UK. Then one day on their swanky mobile someone showed me the TV highlights from the Liverpool match we had both just left Anfield from. So the hunger started anew but…. It was the night before Christmas and I announced that I had changed my mind and wanted to remain forever in caveman mobile land. A terrified look passed across my lovely wife’s katherine face and she disappeared muttering something about needing to wrap something.
The next day Katherine presented me with an Android phone thingamabob, there was a hastily written note attached saying she would take it back for a refund if I really did not want it. Cue sheepish look from husband! I curse and swear at it as I struggle to bend it to my will. But I have only thrown it once (so far) and the sofa broke its fall. I am trying to love it – Ug Ug!