Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?
The green space was where I grew up and where my mum and her family grew up. The houses are now obsolete, cleared away in the early seventies, but it was time of them to go. Houses with outside toilets in the garden and no running hot water no longer fitted in modern day life. I was no longer there to witness the demolition and mum and dad were glad to be offered somewhere else to live, it was ll in the redevelopment of London. Dad had more than an hour’s journey by underground to his work place, he was not getting any younger and moving to somewhere near where he worked was welcome. Probably if I had still been living there, I would have raised opposition to moving to a place called Dagenham which was packed with council houses all looking alike, something like the little boxes in Pete Seeger’s song. Yes the indoor toilet had arrived although still with a chain to pull for the flushing system. The little compact boxes with the handle were still reserved for the wealthy. Mum and dad had a bath - big deal. There was still no shower but the bath was there.
They got funny ideas about how to decorate this new house, buying printed pictures on the local market of strange far east ladies that really did not suit into the furniture style. Most of our furniture from the slum in Bethnal Green was left to be thrown away by the demolition men, included my old school exercise books which I was particularly sensitive about. It was six years of my studies in high school, complete with the discovery of algebra and geometry: my first steps towards becoming a wannabe scientist, finding how to construct an atom bomb, or at least thinking about how they did it. All these records disappeared, mum thinking “good riddance to bad rubbish”. On one of my visits to the new house in suburbia I said I would like to take the books back to Switzerland with me. I was confronted with puzzling frowns and mum said “we left them in the old house”, meaning they were no longer in existence.
Yes, I still miss my first attempts at a Pulitzer Prize or Nobel prize, but I suppose you cannot have everything. It is one of the reasons I now blog. Does anyone know of a Wordpress blogger that has achieved fame and financial rewards? Probably not. I am still thinking about writing a book concerning 50 Shades of something, but I do not know what. Somewhere on a desolate mound of paper in a termination plant there are the written records of my first attempts.
And now I sit outside on the patio (or deck), sweltering in the hot sun and hoping for inspiration from a glass of ice cold water. We have been registering the hottest temperature in Europe this week, around 35° C, with no signs of a meltdown. This hot weather spot is known as Omega Block. It seems revenge is nigh from the world, now that would be a topic for a book, but I must hurry before someone else gets their first. Wikipedia tells me that the Omega block is a dangerous pattern of long-term heat setting up over Europe this week, and forecast models suggest it could stretch beyond the weekend. The unusual aspect of this heatwave is not only how early it’s coming — heat of this magnitude is more typical later in the summer — but how long it seems likely to last, meaning we are doomed and I will have to hurry in writing my bestseller. I envisage a Switzerland where the valleys, towns and village are submerged in water, the ice melting in the Alps. One ark will not be enough to rescue all the cows we have and so our architects are probably kept busy desigining a super boat to accommodate all the cows we have.
I myself have decided to plant rice in my garden as this will probably be the only plant that will grow in our new climate. I am now checking where I can buy rice seedlings on internet and now I have found a link telling me How to grow Rice. Well at least I will have a pastime when Omega changes European life style. I have visions of becoming rich and famous, solving our agricultural and food problems. I must now go to town. A visit to the hairdresser is programmed and I want to visit the local store. Perhaps they have a selection of Chinese coolie hats. Yes, the things that develop when answering a simple daily prompt: the mind boggles.