After all, home entertainment sounds so dreary. And I can hardly title a blog, TVs, computers, gadgets, smartphones, iPads, video/DVD recorders, fax machines, can I?
All suggestions for a better title will be carefully considered and will most likely be rejected. Animated boxes was another one I thought of before anyone thinks they can steal a march with that. Living was shorter.
Come on. Hands up. Or fingers to the keyboard more like. How many of you have a television and/or a computer in every room?
Oh!! Excitement!! I can do another poll 🙂
When we were living in Sydney, a landlord friend who felt sorry for us (the same one who took us to the register office in his white transit van) lent us a TV. Can’t say I was that bothered but as it was approaching Wimbledon I suddenly perked up at the gesture.
On returning to the UK and my parental home we decided to buy a portable TV to put in our bedroom so we could escape Coronation Street, Emmerdale Farm and the rest of my parents’ staple television diet. It was a Hitachi, made in Wales.
More than ten years after buying that one, and not having a single problem with it, I might add, we invested in a real size television. No, not a flat screen, just one that was bigger than 17 inches. The portable looked rather diminutive in our large sitting room and the screen seemed to be getting smaller. We bought a Grundig, which I bought on the advice of my Ethical Consumer magazine (more on ethical shopping next post). It came with a free portable although we did try to argue for a discount instead. And failed.
We had TVs coming out of our ears so we gave the Hitachi to my parents so my mum could watch grand opera in bed while my dad watched rugby or cricket in the lounge. Or vice versa. It didn’t work of course. When we asked if they had a TV point in the bedroom they thought we meant an electrical socket……
The Grundig pair came to Spain with us but sadly both eventually succumbed to a dust seizure (they all do that). So we have been TV less for er… not sure how many years. We did that before too in our second house. And because of the stupid rules in the UK, we had taken the portable to my parents to store so that we couldn’t get caught for having a TV and no licence. I won’t get into how many letters I received telling me to buy a licence for a television I didn’t have.
Music? Never bought any stereo, sound surround or anything like that. Nor tape recorders.
We did buy a Video player to go with the Grundig (my upmarket days). We still have it, and all the useless videos…..
Computers. The first was an Amstrad in 87 or 88 when we had our first house. Floppy disk only because I was too tight to pay for hard disk as well. We sold it for £50 to someone doing some work on our third house. I bought an IBM c 93. It got chucked out last year, it was technically still working.
But the rot had set in back in 2001 when we were renting the Villa from Hell in Spain and there was a power cut which destroyed the hard disk. A clever Spanish computer chappy bodged together something to fit on the outside (totally electrically unsafe) and asked if we needed the floppy drive. I said no which was really stupid of me. Hey, it was a stressful time living in the VfH and trying to buy a Spanish property that didn’t have sixty million caveats.
We’d always promised me an Apple when we had some spare money. Now, as this post is about consumerism, I should say that unlike the Vauxhall Astra and Layla, I was not buying into advertising. Or aspirations. The simple truth is, that Apples were always the computer used on newspapers, and in my PR life by decent graphic designers. So, having cleared that one up, it was a professional desire not an aspirational one.
I bought one in 2006 (iMac something). Loved it. Next year when we moved to Gib I bought a laptop (MacBookPro – large screen). Expensive. Love it. Naughty thing broke down though just after I’d had the one year warranty. Ferocious bill for repair. Still love him, darling Hal.
So in 24 years I had two computers, and yet I have bought two in two years. Such is life. I am well out of date with my Mac OS (operating system). I can’t even remember what big cat I am. A tiger maybe because they have had leopards and snow leopards and lions since then. It’s getting to the stage where I don’t get updates because I haven’t changed the system. I really, really loathe the idea that I need to keep changing my software, or my hardware, because some new upgrade comes out.
And why should I? A computer that works fast enough for me is good enough, because I am the first to complain about slow computers. We had a crazy policy at work of exchanging computers around the organisation based on the totally spurious fact that accountants used spreadsheets so therefore needed the fastest computers.
That explained why every time I got a new, ie not so new computer, that nothing improved. That was why my 50 or 100 page document crashed, why my graphs wouldn’t insert (or even work), or my spreadsheets wouldn’t open. So I’m having to redo all my edits and changes (costing vast amounts of money on my salary – or rather vast amounts of my time as I didn’t get overtime) – just because some computer manager outdatedly thought the only ones needing big computer memory were accountants with spreadsheets???
‘Phones. Mobiles never really interested me, but partner bought one of those suitcase versions back in the 80s and has had them ever since. We’re in double figures on this one – but who isn’t?
Faxes, as above, but he wanted one for work, so we’ve always had one, still do. Can still be useful amazingly.
No flat screen TV, no Kindle, iPad, iPod, or anything else like that really. Oh, a Sony Walkman bought to learn Spanish with my Linguaphone tapes. Partner threw it out thinking it was beyond repair and has not yet stopped being reminded about that one.
Some years ago (ie a lot) we had a three day week in the UK when we were short of electricity. Many of you will remember it. At our home we lit candles, a fire, and listened to the radio. Sometime we played cards or dominoes by candlelight. I liked it.
1 Hitachi portable
1 Grundig portable (free)
Currently – none
1 Grundig (or maybe 2?)
Currently – the same because not yet thrown out 😦
Currently the darling Apples of my heart –
1 Apple iMac (desktop)
1 Apple MacBookPro (laptop)
oh, and this one –
1 HP something or other (forgot this one – had to buy something when Hal was poorly)
Currently – 1 iPhone (one previously stolen), and 2 Nokias
A few, currently – one working, one not working and the printer allegedly does it too.
Oh, I forgot printers.
1 Canon laserjet (b&w)
2 crap HP jobs
Another Canon laser (B&W)
A Brother coloured thing (also the current fax)