Monday, October 17, 2011
1971: We'll make you happy
We were quite early adopters in our family. But it was more a case of keeping up with the Joneses than any burning desire for new technology.
Our cul-de-sac was a hotbed of rivalry and competition. I often heard barbed remarks about copycat table lamps or place mats. Number 16 had an extension, everyone had an extension. And all identical too. Someone gets a chest freezer, before you know it's crinkle cut chips with every meal.
But we were one of the first to get a colour TV and, though they'd been around for a while, they weren't widely seen at this time. Some neighbours - the hippies with the bare boards and flowerless garden ("We only like trees," I was told) - didn't even have a TV, which aged six I was mystified by.
So when the day came in 1971 when our colour TV arrived it was a big day indeed. The man came quite early on, I recall, and because it was going to be a major operation installing it, we were sent out to play and told not to come back until we were called. We were on tenterhooks all day long and couldn't wait to see it.
So when the time came we rushed in to find wire everywhere but a working colour TV, my life changed forever. The first thing I saw was the opening titles of The Partridge Family. I didn't realise all the little cartoon partridges were different colours. The scales fell from my eyes and I've never stopped watching it since.
It's not always brilliant being up to the minute though. We got our first video recorder in 1981. Unfortunately, it was Betamax.