(Mr McGowan was a tenant of Roland Tudge, my uncle.)
'Old Mr McGowan had problems with his television. Clueless on most aspects of life, his lack of a picture in part confused him, at the same time he knew why the picture failed to materialise. His television, he explained to me, was an old black and white set. As all the programmes are now broadcast in colour, he wouldn't be able to get a picture anymore.'
I know the feeling. I haven't a clue regarding this digital changeover thingymagig. Another extract from August 1985.
'My grandmother was similarly ignorant of the modern world. She never really came to terms with 20th century living. She watched television almost grudgingly, though nothing would entice her to change channels; that was a visitor's prerogative. On occasion would appear the testcard instruction, 'Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible.' 'Little Grannie' would greet its appearance by a visit next door to enquire if their set was similarly afflicted.
Neither was her grasp of modern 'materials' and their fallibility designed to allow her descendants peaceful sleep. Plastics she tolerated, after all they were even around when she was a young women. Unfortunately by the 1970's 'Tupperware' was the choice of food container by those considering themselves sophisticated. (And thus provided for gran by her doting 'brood'.) Gran tested this modern phenomenon by placing it in her oven, containing fresh garden peas and subjected it to normal oven temperatures. The resultant 'gooey' mess took patience and perseverance to remove, whilst the fumes were to be avoided due to possible toxicity.
Gran merely remarked she thought little of this modern rubbish. The possibility of such a demise ought to have been evident. For only weeks previously she had amused but alarmed us by 'testing' the durability of her newly acquired plastic bucket. Clearing the hot coals and ashes from her ancient 'range' she loaded the bucket and proceeeded to carry them, via room and passageway to the dustbin in the yard. The bucket handles and the top half of the bucket were the only parts to survive the journey. Hot coals and smouldering plastic littered the journey, the smell of burning 'rug peg' matting and linoleum could be smelt for days. Again gran pontificated on the imperfections of this 'new fangled' plastic compared to her old, much used enamel buckets.'
I know the feeling. I have stopped passing cars similar to my own to enquire what certain buttons were for. Understandable, not really after four years ownership. I swap computers when I think they're full. Move things, delete things, compact things, HOW! (I have the Dummies Guide, I can't follow it!) I take photos with supposedly the world's most advanced compact and the results have a fascinatingly unpredictability, a form of exciting photographic Russian Roulette. My attempt at drying my hands up the exit of the Durex machine in the pub toilet are legendary. Is it the onset of Alzheimer's? Unlikely, I reckon I've been like this since the age of seven! Is it me; is it hereditary; is it my age. Am I on my own where where modern technology is concerned. What is your achiles heel. You tell me!