Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Electric dreams

The best bit was when they gave the family a power cut.

The first episode of Electric Dreams on BBC4 put a modern family into the 1970s. They start in 1970, then move on one year per day and get the gadgets to go with it.

It felt almost authentic. I don’t remember anyone having such extreme interior decoration, and we couldn’t afford a Teasmade or video games. But the arrival of the stereo (joy) and the colour telly (horror: I decided my parents had sold out) were right on time.

Back in tellyland, Dad had a great time getting nostalgic about choppers, music centres and pocket calculators. Mum spent all day in the kitchen.

Seeing how primitive the washing and feeding facilities were then made me realise how heroic my own mum actually was at the time: coping with a job, four children and a husband who expected his meals on the table to deadline.

Nostalgia? I don’t think so. I don’t miss boredom, televisions that break down, and the cold, cold floor when you get out of bed in the morning.

But one thing I do miss. The morning after I watched the programme, I tried to find someone at work who had seen it so that we could have a conversation. I failed. In the 1970s, that would never have happened.

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