River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Notes from a newcomer

January 2007

Marion expresses her concern at the way every day things have changed over the years.

Goodness, it's 2007, already. Seven years of the 21st century have rolled by and I still haven't quite got the hang of it. Perhaps I should have been put down in the year 2000 - rather like Sir Walter Raleigh in 1066 And All That who was executed for being untidily left over from the previous reign.Here are a few of the things that make me feel like the last of the dinosaurs.

Paying by cheque: have you tried doing this recently? By the time the shop assistant has called the manageress and made three phone calls to verify your identity, you have forgotten your name, anyway.

Policemen: no, not because they all look so young but because so many of them are short, fat and wear glasses. What happened to the burly six-footers who reassuringly paraded our streets?

Shopping online: I'm a tactile shopper who likes to see, feel and even smell the goods before I take out my cheque book (sorry - debit card).

Pregnant mums: the ones who stroll around in January with their tums exposed to the elements. It always reminds me of the song 'Baby, it's cold outside!' I imagine the baby saying, 'It's pretty damn chilly in here, too'.

CBBC: Radio 4 announcers are forever telling me 'You can hear this programme on CBBC'. Really? Where? How? On what planet?

TV news presenters: why do they have to stand up halfway through the news bulletin? They look much more relaxed seated behind a desk where they belong. (Actually, I could go on at some length about news presenters. The way they turn to each other and smile at the end of the programme has me grinding my teeth - and why do they constantly repeat each other's names, like a badly written play where the author needs to remind you who the characters are.)

Podcasts and ipods: no need for any further explanation.

Tablecloths: using them makes you a bit quaint, apparently.

Tumble dryers: I rate them as a very poor second best to hanging your washing outside on the line. 21st century people think the opposite.

Reality TV: how can watching sad B-list celebrities eating insects possible count as entertainment. Where is the talent? Where are the jokes? Where is the glamour?

Celebrities: A, B or any other list, they fail to interest me. I read Hello in the hairdressers simply as an exercise in trying to keep up with the rest of the world, but after poring dutifully over the pages, I still can't distinguish Paris Hilton from Britney Spears. Feel quite proud just knowing the names, really.

Language: but the other day, I heard myself saying that in no time at all my young step grandson (not yet three, bless him) will be going to uni. Uni? I may be a stranger in this century, but I seem to be picking up the lingo. And that's cool (no, not cool as in unborn baby - cool, as in that's okay).

Marion Clarke

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