Tomorrow’s World – colour TV

Technology, huh. We thought Auntie Wynne was kidding us:

“No, honestly kids, it’s true. Raymond Baxter said so. They’re making televisions in America that can show colours!”

Wonders never cease.

Back in the days of nodding dogs, Auntie Mair, (across the road), had a kind of perpetual motion machine on her kitchen windowsill that kept us entertained for hours. We called it the Dippy Birdie. It was actually a sealed glass tube with a bulb of pink fluid at the bottom. The ‘head’ was made of felt and it wore a hat with a feather in it. The tube was pivoted and the bird dipped its beak in and out of a glass of water. Once set in motion, it just kept rocking to and fro and never stopped.

Nowadays everyone has a duvet on their bed. But do you remember the days when beds were made up with sheets and blankets? Our friends Sue, Bronwen, Glyn and family had just returned from a long spell living in Canada. We couldn’t believe it when they came back … sleeping under huge ‘pillows’ … continental quilts.

Having been raised in a top-loader house, I remember being cynical when I first saw an automatic front-loading washing machine:

“Surely, when you open the door, all the water will flood out…”

Years later, in a Cardiff bed-sit, with water dripping down through the ceiling from my upstairs neighbour’s kitchen, I realised that that particular fear was well founded. For all our society’s preoccupation with technology, we never quite get it right, do we?

Take energy for example. I reckon that the great electricity-generation debate – wind farms or nuclear? – is easily resolved. Have a row of Dippy Birdies with turbines attached.

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