Chatty Update – January 2019

Hello and welcome to 2019! I was sitting there today thinking how absurdly futuristic the time we are living in is. I was at a soft play and overheard a grandad telling his charge that no, he couldn’t go on the slide with him. I looked up to assess the voice’s age and wondered how it would feel to be older. As I looked (nosed) I thought how I would like to ask him about his experiences of the war and it occurred to me that this old man would have barely been born at the 2nd world war’s end. I remembered reading somewhere that soon the 2nd world war would no longer be in living memory.

2019 – almost 20 years after the millennium! That’s somebody’s lifetime! Rumours were rife that all the computers would shut down and the world would end as all the electronic dates wouldn’t be able to fathom the 01/01/00 date. Such a privileged generation we had to mock threaten ourselves with the idea of evil tech. It’s laughable now of course.

I checked out from the outside world on the day the schools broke up for the Christmas holidays. I switched my phone off and put it in a drawer for a few days to hone my attention span and spend some time with my family. It was all too easy for me to defect to hermit status. Should I say defect or revert? I’m not sure. Either way, the result of it was that I read a lot.

The hibernation period over Christmas was lush. Visiting family I waddled from house to home like King Henry the 8th sampling wedding breakfast menu’s. Travelling no more than 10 minutes drive from the base of home. On one of the days after Boxing Day I ambled over to see if the library was open. I live within walking distance of a library. It’s one of the best things about my life. I was delighted to find it was open because (and I can’t remember why now) I really needed some books/info about the First World War. I also discovered the library’s online ebook service. It is brilliant! So I’ve read a lot, and I’ve also been watching a lot of T.V.

All those elements combined have led to some reflection and contemplation which I have enjoyed. The banishment of the phone meant a freedom to think in long-form rather than this quick, short, almost meaningless thought pattern that mimics the social media feed scroll. Reading about the war has made me contemplate how much life has changed since then and how different times were. I also read The Diary of Anne Frank. Now every time I use the toilet I find myself thinking ‘I’m so glad I can flush the chain without being fear of being detected.’

I watched 2 great films worth mentioning. Dunkirk, which is a war film. It is about the evacuation of 330,000 British and allied troops from the French beach in 1940. The pace of this film is exquisite. I would go so far as to say it is the best film for pace I have ever seen. The other film was Ready Player One. Directed by Steven Spielberg is possibly enough of an accolade. It is a great film set in the not too distant future – 2045 – where everyone has these VR headsets and they all play in a space called Oasis. I had heard some hype about this from people on twitter who had read the script. It seems the script has been around a while and the film has been greatly anticipated.

I think 2019 will see the big boom for VR. The book I read earlier in the year by Jaron Lanier and his TED talks, Zuckerburg’s very public massive investment in VR, and a book I am currently reading called Future Presence written by Peter Rubin all point toward the big take off for this tech this year. And it is going to change everything. If you haven’t already, then deffo watch Ready Player One. Especially if you like 80’s references.

I’ve also been watching loads of TV. Netflix – You, Bates Motel. BBC – Mrs Wilson, Les Mis, The Long Song. And actually I’m going to wrap this up now so I can go and watch another episode of something.

Overall it’s been a great end to the year. I’m feeling hugely grateful for all my mod cons and life in general, horrified at the lack of value placed upon the lives of our forefathers, and a great foreboding feeling about the future with VR. Oh and if I hear the word brexit one more time I’m moving to France. Oh wait…

3 Comments

  1. 1st February 2019 / 2:13 pm

    It’s a really interesting point that the Second World War will soon no longer be in living memory. My Grandad died a few years ago – he was in the RAF in the war and the last man in his squadron to survive. He didn’t talk about it much but when he did I felt so proud. My children know all about it – we need to keep these stories alive through our children and grandchildren so that while the experiences may not be in living memory we are still connected to them. x

  2. 2nd February 2019 / 8:48 am

    My sons have just been studying world war 2 in school, whilst I already knew a lot about it I learnt even more. I was lucky enough to join them on their school trip to Cardiff Castle where they took us on a tour of the shelters in the castle walls used in the war. They had actors dressed up like wardens who told stories of the war – it was such a fascinating day out. I loved reading your post and will have to look at Ready Player as I love Spielberg but not seen that one.

  3. 2nd February 2019 / 9:56 am

    My sons have just finished studying World War II in school, I was lucky enough to go along with them on their school trip to Cardiff Castle where they showed us the tunnels in the castle walls used for shelters in the war. They had actors dressed up as wardens telling the kids all the stories about the war and they really brought it all to life. It was fascinating. I loved reading your post, its amazing to think that those with real memories of it will no longer be about. My grandfather was haunted by it, never spoke of it much but my Nan says he came back a changed man. He was at the liberation of the Belsen camp which was horrific. Thanks for the film recommendations, I’ve not seen the new Speilberg film yet, definitely one for the list.

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