The WWW didn't really exist when I started using the internet. We had bulletin boards, arcane chat room protocols, some weird techy stuff that allowed me to send e-mails to the USA from London if I routed them through Hong Kong (don't ask, I can't remember how I did it) and most communications revolved around what would today be called ecosystems, for example CompuServe and America On Line. All the ingredients were present for social media but there was no integration. The internet was for techies. That soon changed, and we changed with it.
The William Rhodes Secondary Technical School in Chesterfield was often the school of choice, above the grammar school for those who passed their 11 plus examination. On the recommendation of my junior school headmaster, I went there: it was, he said "a school for individuals." It was wonderful and when I had to move to another area, I was heartbroken. In the intervening years, things have changed. It's sad.
It's difficult to understand what happened at the end of the week before Christmas. Egypt's resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories was first delayed, then withdrawn after Israel pushed diplomatic buttons in Washington and found incoming President Trump to be an ally. Then four countries put forward their own resolution and that was passed, because for the first time in a long time the USA did not exercise its veto to strike down a resolution critical of Israel's illegal acts. That the Resolution was passed is a very good thing. But it's toothless and...
I woke this morning expecting to pack for a trip, do a few bits and pieces at work, put the data I need for travel onto a portable drive and clean the house so I don't come back to a dump, all after enjoying the first cup of tar-like coffee that starts my day.
When I was young, and we had our first TV, I remember hiding behind the settee (I'm a Midlands lad, "sofas" were for pooftahs) when The Daleks appeared on Doctor Who. I remember my Aunt laughing as she came down from the "box room" where she was staying for a couple of days and banging the door into my feet which protruded. Now, rather older and, one hopes, rather wiser, I'm looking at my TV room and wondering if there's space behind the sofa (see, I'm reconstructed) for me to hide while the results of the US presidential election are announced.
If you are British, you will know that there are a number of reasons why the BBC earns its licence fee. Mostly, it's not the junk TV like Eastenders, nor is the dreadful BBC website which is journalistically bankrupt and often barely literate. And it's not the platform for stridency that is Woman's Hour. No, it's things like its excellent drama on TV and Radio and Radio 4's "Letter to America," now sadly dead along with its creator, and Desert Island Discs. Sadly, the Roy Plomley years have gone and good as his replacements have been, it's not the same without those warm, avuncular tones....
I know: for the past x decades, anyone who says "I don't like Mondays" is accused of plagiarism but it's not true. I'm a lot older than that song and I've never liked Mondays. I can't get the hang of Wednesday afternoons, either, although that's for an entirely different reason.
David Cameron, speaking in Japan where he is attending the G7 Summit, has said that the young, in Britain, should register to vote. He says it may be the most important vote of their lives and it is for them to decide what kind of country they want to live in. He's exactly right.