Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Back in time

"It was better back in the good old days..." people say. I say bollocks.
We've never been as well off as we are now, and however much we gaze longingly at the past through rose tinted spectacles, we will always blot out the reality of how things were.
This is a strange phenomenon. In general we find it so easy to complain about the things that go wrong, like the bus not turning up, the supermarket not having your favourite cheese on the shelf, or selecting a drill from the set only to find it's blunt or bent.
Yet when things are going well and we have nothing to bitch about, do we say as much to others?
No. We just muddle along because whether we realise it or not, things going right is pretty much normal.
Maybe we should take stock more frequently and appreciate it when life isn't doing its best to hammer us into the ground - finding happiness in the good times might restore a little balance to the times when life is less than perfect.

For example, I'm typing this at work because my internet connection at home has become so crappy it's basically unusable.
We've been on to British Telecom who thought it's because our router is faulty, so we agreed to a new 12 month broadband contract in order to get a new router for nothing. That was supposed to be with us on Monday, but has yet to arrive. The wife tried repeatedly to call BT yesterday, but couldn't get through, and now it looks like there have been thousands of people left with no broadband thanks to a major hardware fault.
What this means is that for the past few days we've effectively been hurled back to pre-internet times; so no email, no Netflix, no Playstation Network and no porn.
When your internet access is good, you pay no attention to it. When it fails, you wonder what the hell to do. However good the 'good old days' were, it's not so much fun when you find yourself back there.

When the council started replacing all the sodium streetlights with modern LED ones, I was not happy. Leaving aside the fact that the existing ones still worked just fine and any energy saving costs would probably take an eternity to realise given what it must cost to carry out the replacement, I found the more directional, piercing light they emit distracting when driving along the street at night.
Then a couple of days ago I drove down a street that still had the old sodium lights and was surprised at how strange it seemed. Amazing how quickly we get used to things.
There are times when I really do wish we could turn back the clock for a while, but not when it comes to things like healthcare and medicine, cars that were always breaking down, and long cold winters when we actually had snow.
In the days when everything was shut on Sundays we often moaned about how dull it was, but in the modern world where everything is 24/7, I sometimes think having one day a week when everything just stops would be wonderful. As long as I still have wifi of course....