Sunday, 23 November 2008

Ooh what a night, late November 1968...

It's been a bit of a week, with our boiler giving up on heating water and consequently having to bathe kids and a grumpy spouse via bucket chains from kettles and saucepans in the kitchen at the other end of the house.

It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't burnt out the shower trying to fill the bath from it last weekend.

Could be far worse, though - the heating could have packed up as well. I didn't live anywhere with central heating until I was in my thirties, and now seem to have turned into a great big southern softie.

It really does become very easy to take for granted things which one used to live happily without.

For years I lived without either a fridge or a television. I've resisted the coming of each new white box into the house, but always relent in the end, except for answerphones, which - if not the work of Satan - only seem to exist to further increase slavery to communication.

When these records were released, I think that our family owned a fridge, a cooker, a radiogram (record player and a vast valve radio which didn't pick up anything much despite having a great big ugly aerial in the form of a long trailing pink plastic ribbon hanging out the back and rising up through the room on the next floor, ending up in the roof) and a black-and-white television.

We used to have to switch the TV on about five minutes before the half-hour of kids programmes in the morning, or the half-hour of kids programmes in the late afternoon started, so that it could 'warm up'. Likewise with the radio. I used to switch it on in the evening and turn off the main light, playing records by the green and orange glow of the great machine.

Our smallest took my solar-powered/wind-up radio a couple of weeks ago and put it in the bath to see if it would float.

It didn't, and neither would it work again afterwards. That's his Christmas present sorted out, then.

It almost made me wish for the days when it would have taken several large blokes to move a radio a few inches to the left or right, and you would have needed to dismantle the aerial and unplug speakers (themselves the size of small wardrobes) beforehand.

Our aforementioned two-year-old is quite capable of turning on computers, and is also adept at finding the button which makes parents (and our local librarians) shout when he presses it and switches them off, losing any unsaved information in the process. I was thirteen when pocket calculators first reached the shops, and my first pocket calculator was the size of a small box of chocolates, and certainly wouldn't have gone into any pocket I had ever possessed.

From those simpler times - when electrical items were almost always solidly encased in big heavy wooden boxes - for your listening amusement, is the third and final batch of hits from the UK top 40 of November 1968.

I'm struggling to track down some of the hits of December, but if I can find most of them I'll cobble together another compilation next month.

1 comment:

The Little Pink Pixies said...

So it was you who burned the shower out....I thought it was a spooky coincidence.

Mrs Mikey.