Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My father, who is now 85 years old, has often expressed to me recently his astonishment at having lived into the twenty-first century. He was born in 1927, and ahead of him, although, of course, he did not realise it at the time, was the Second World War and the threat of nuclear annihilation. He made it through. He imagines himself as a child, sitting on the step in front of his house, trying to envisage at that time that he would still be alive today. Inconceivable! The turn of the next century was not even a shimmer on the horizon. The twentieth century was only about one third of the way through.

Change is almost synonymous with life, and there is, perhaps, no generation that has not imagined itself to have lived through more change than any other. However, my parents’ generation may have some justification for this claim. I won’t take the time to list here the monumental changes that the world has passed through since 1927. Some of us have lived through some of them, be they scientific, political, social or technological. Nor do I need to list the things that we take for granted today, that were scarcely imagined in 1927.

I was born in 1957, which in some ways represents the dawn of the “modern” age. It was the year in which the first satellites were launched into orbit (the Sputniks); it was the year in which the International Atomic Energy Agency was formed. Computers (of a “primitive” variety), television, international commercial jet flights and Rock’n’Roll were already in place. Most importantly, it is the year in which Frisbees first hit the marketplace.

We have not progressed as far in the exploration of space as we might have imagined in 1957. The Atomic age has fulfilled as many nightmares as dreams. But at least we still have the Frisbee! The important things endure.

Some of us are currently participating in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. As part of that I encourage you to visit the Blog of the author of A Solitary Life, Colleen Sayre. Next Wednesday, as part of the same event, I will tell you more about the background to my own novel, Maybe they'll remember me.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Phil! My father (82) used to say he just wanted to live to see the year 2000. As that year approached, and then flashed right by, he revised his wish annually. I think we're up to 2050! He's in great health and if anyone has a shot, he does! I agree that our parents' generation can stake a claim to "most changes in a lifetime." As for long-lasting favorites of an earlier era: my vote is for the hula hoop!