Thursday, 28 November 2013

Christmas is a Coming.

    I know it might come as a surprise, being as no mention has yet been made but but Christmas is apparently just around the corner. (Only joking, QVC first mentioned Christmas in June!) Being as it's been a particularly harrowing year I've decided to treat myself to a special present in this festive season. Rather different and mind bendingly more expensive than presents received in my far distant childhood in the years after the war. (No, not The Great War, honest!)
    Much prized as a little boy was a small cannon, three or four inches long that fired matchsticks, much to the alarm of the family cat. Similarly prized was a John Bull printing outfit (excellent for printing rude words out of sight of inquisitive adults) and a Subbuteo football set (the figures were made from pressed out 'cardboard. (Such were the limitations regarding the availability of suitable materials years after a costly war.) Dinky toys were always much prized (I remember especially a 'dustbin' lorry.) 'Rupert' annuals were always eagerly awaited prior to Christmas and any child lucky enough to receive a Hornby train set was indeed favoured. The 'rich' kids in the village proudly peddled their bikes in full view on Christmas morning. My family was not so wealthy, my first ever bike, from a  richer relation, was by virtue of passing the Eleven Plus; even that was in fact second-hand! The good old days? What do you remember of childhood presents, my friends. What in particular will stay in the mind forever?
    A joke I remember from childhood concerned a poor boy from the village. "And what would you like for Christmas?" asked the father.
"Something to wear and something to play with" replied the young boy.
And on opening his only Christmas parcel the boy was bemused, but not over surprised to find a pair of trousers with the pockets cut out! (My apologies for my lack of taste but our village humour often lacked the 'niceties' of our more sophisticated, urban cousins.)
    I suppose the most obvious changes in life since my childhood has been in the amazing advances in technology, affecting virtually all aspects of our lives. This blog post is delivered via a computer. Yet I remember writing in school with a pen, replenished with ink from an inkwell set in the school desk. Which might suggest I know about computers, which I emphatically do not. I can use one, just about. So my latest purchase, delivered next week, will really test the old grey brain cells; I've ordered an iPad. A 32 gigabyte, iPad Air with retina display. Not that I understand any of this. I'm now entering the world of the computer geeks, and I don't even know what an app is! I've never been one for technology. Unless you count the Meccano sets we boys (Very sexist were our childhoods after the war) had for Christmas. Very limited sets, unless you were 'a rich kid' in which case your set would build astronomic engineering projects, cranes for instance not much smaller than the real thing.
    But I'm looking forward to the iPads arrival. Not that I'm completely clear as to what an iPad can do! Any advice or encouragement welcome! Time will tell, you're never too old to learn or so they say. Famous last words? I hope not! 



13 comments:

Nota Bene said...

Games. Computer games. You'll be an addict in five minutes. The you can check out your Facebook page, your Twitter account and send some Snapchats. Don't forget to Instagram the Christmas tree, and Christmas lunch. The you'll find some apps that everyone says are brilliant, but no one actually knows what they do.... :-)

CWMartin said...

That joke truly was nasty, something my Father might have told! I was ironically amused to see a pre-Christmas post on our Thanksgiving Day. Hope you are doing better since the surgery, and have a great season!

Helen Devries said...

Well, when you find out, will you tell me!
i'm supposed to be getting a smart 'phone whatever that is...and it's bound to outsmart me...so what an I whatsit would be like i cannot imagine.

Harlow said...

'App' is short for 'application' which means something you can do with your iPad.

Keith Smith said...

Toys were in short supply just after the war, so when I looked in my stocking on Christmas Day I found an apple, an orange, a strange looking yellow cucumber which turned out to be a banana, a second hand football, and some left over homemade bonfire toffee. Best of all was a REAL German semi-automatic gun! No ammunition though; pity. My dad had brought several guns back from the war as souvenirs. I now had a proper gun when I played cowboys and Indians with my friends who only had sticks as guns.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nota Bene
High. Don't have a Facebook thingamy, Twitter yes but never use it and what are Snapchats?

CW Martin
High, thanks. Whoops, Still retain my childhood sense of humour you notice!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Helen
High
I reckon I'm one of about six people who don't own a mobile phone!

Harlow

High. Bet you have a technical background. I haven't a clue!

Keith

High. The street cred of a real gun must have been fantastic!

Valerie said...

Ken, you will love the ipad... honestly. And for your information you can get Kindle on it, which is where I read your book.

Troy said...

I have to say that my iPad is the best purchase I have ever made in terms of usefulness and value for money for the amount I use it.

Mind you, I now spend far too long in bed in the morning enjoying the warmth of my duvet whilst using my iPad rather than getting up and sitting at my PC.

Then during the evening googling things on the iPad that have come up on the TV (films, actors, music - background information) and checking e-mails quickly during the adverts. I complain sometimes that the adverts aren't long enough - can you believe that!

Bitchy said...

I have always had a love/hate relationship with my mac... Have a smartphone that I love a Samsung Galaxy. Have lots of apps I hardly use but cannot live without and have a few of the brain games on both . Trying to keep my mind sharp. I think it is like most things they are what you make of them...And you can make most of them any thing you want...
Merry Christmas glad to see you back at the keyboard again.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Valerie
Hi
Didn't realise you could get Kindle on it. And clearer than a kindle!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Troy
Hi Im learning all the time!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Bitchy
Hi
Haven't got a phone. How much for a 'decent' one but not top of the range?