About fifty years ago I bought myself a radio. I wanted one I could carry round with me to listen to in the garden or in my bedroom and so I went to the shop in Sherborne and bought one. I can see it now two shades of grey plastic and quite small and light. I don't remember there being any complications to the purchase I just asked for what I wanted and paid for it and that was that! I had that radio for years and when I met and eventually married Mr M he too had a radio of about the same vintage or maybe a little older so then we had two (neither is with us now though - mine got broken when some piece of furniture we were trying to move fell on it and we can't remember what happened to Mr M's) We can't remember ever having bought any other radios (though maybe we did but have forgotten) until Mr M bought me this one, which is also a CD and tape player, probably in the 1990s .....
Yesterday being another blue sky day we went to Exeter for an outing - this is the car park at the station as we left. As we were in Exeter I went into John Lewis to have a look at what they had. Well there were all shapes, sizes and colours. There were DAB digital and FM radios, some with clocks and alarms, clear OLED displays and an inputs for your iPod/MP3 player (not that that mattered to me not having either of them). Some had built in Bluetooth and some had a listen later facility. How was I to know which I wanted and what all this lot actually means? I managed to find a salesman to help me but I really do think that people who do understand all this technology find it really, really difficult to conceive how it is that some of us really don't know our DAB from our OLED! I hate this feeling of being a total nincompoop but I did eventually choose a radio and wanted to buy it and what do you know they didn't have one in stock!! I think I will continue with the one I have and not bother with a new one after all!
The other thing I was interested in was a laptop - I use the desktop computer which I share with Mr M and I thought it would be good to have something of my own and, as I like to write, something I could use whenever and wherever I wanted to - in the garden in the summer or at the kitchen table whilst waiting for something to cook and so on. Once again I came unstuck as there was so much choice and all I knew I wanted was a keyboard that I could touchtype on easily and comfortably, but it seems they can do all kinds of things I might never want as well as some I might, they have different sized memories (so what? Although I now gather they work faster the larger the memory) , they can be Blue tooth enabled (what exactly is Bluetooth anyway) some had 8GB of RAM (good bad or indifferent?) built in webcam (I do know what that is as I do use Skype!) and innumerable other specifications. They don't come with any of the packages I would want such as Word
and you can't buy said packages singly but only in a pack along with Excel and
various others which I would never use but not with Publisher which I might
like. My mind was boggling with all this information and I decided to call it a day and maybe buy a new fountain pen instead!!
Then there is banking - not so long ago I received in the mail a new Debit card with instructions to cut up the old one and guess which one I cut up by mistake?! No problem, I thought, I'll just telephone the bank and get them to post me another one. Haa! - no such luck of course, and it took me over half an hour and left me in tears telling Mr M I must surely have the first stages of Altzhiemer's as I really couldn't remember any of the stuff I was being asked for. When I did eventually get myself set up with a new password I was told not to write it down - not write it down are they mad!!! And then have to go through that experience all over again next time I wanted to speak to anyone about my account? No chance - it IS written down if only I can remember where!
Life was so much simpler years ago- we had bank accounts and even cheque books or maybe just cash in our purses, the scale of choice was so much smaller and technology hadn't raised its head to the same extent. Sometimes I can quite see the attraction of being a hermit living alone somewhere off-grid and having nothing to do with it all. Oh for the simple life!!