Childhood Memories

Childhood Memories

Good Evening my fellow techsperts,

Once again, apologies on the hiatus with writing, I have been taking my annual breaks, both with my partner and “Shire Sisters.” I promise that there will be much more regular writing going forward, especially with a pending trip to IFA in Berlin. Are any of you going?

Whilst many of you maybe thinking why are you writing a blog on a Friday night and not down the pub sipping on G&T? Well, I had an idea and I had to get it on paper (or screen) and I wanted to share it with you all.

My Childhood & Me:

As many of you reading this know the person behind LTT, I realise that for those who don’t know me it might be worthwhile putting myself out there a bit more; something you may have seen within my Instagram feed. Yep, that’s really me! I have to admit that blogging can be extremely daunting, knowing that people are reading your views and opinions and ultimately making opinions themselves. I may not be everyone’s cuppa tea, but for those who follow and continue to read, I hope this post enlightens you a little more.

So…

About me then.

You all know my 1st name by now.

My surname is a Latvian mouthful and means potato. My Grandad escaped over to the UK in the War where he met my Nanna, fell in love and lived on a farm with pigs; dreamy right?

I was born in 1986 in a town called Wakefield in Leeds. Yes, I have a predominantly Southern accent but I will never lose the “proper” way to pronounce “Bath or Path!” Come on people, we all know there is no “r” within these words. Any clarification needed and I’ll send you a voice clip. According to the Mr, I am a Hybrid or “Northern Fairy.” I say I am the best of both (I am aware I am making myself sound like a loaf of bread).

My 1st 6 years were t’up North, but due to my Pops being made redundant we packed up and made our way South to Buckinghamshire, where the majority of my childhood was (with the exception of weekends when we went to Pop’s in Kent; you get the picture).

In total I am now 1 of 10 (number 8 to be precise), with extended family coming from re-marriages and step-siblings coming together to form one big crew, which is ever extending with nieces and nephews.

(Pictured here with the bestest of Big Bro’s around aged 2/3)

I went through a terrible haircut choice around 14, where I was such a skinny bean that from behind I could have been mistaken for a boy. Tomboy through and through until one day I popped on a skirt and I believe my Mumma literally cried with joy. I mean these days for a girl to be constantly in trackies (namely Reebok) and trainers would be normal right?

I went to uni at De Montfort in Leicester or commonly known as DMU (the better of the two…) where I studied jewellery design. I know not what I do now, but who knows at 18 /19 what you really want to do? Plus a few years later I had the honour of designing my Mumma and Stepdad’s wedding rings, so it hasn’t completely gone to waste.

I have two fur babies; my black and white kitties who are called Bruce and Selina. Kudos to those who can figure out why?

So what does all this have to do with technology?

I never found my childhood easy and tend to block out any memories between the ages of 8-15 (this is not a therapy session and will not go into the nitty gritty details), but there are a few things that I do recall enjoying and using as escapism in the form of technology. The ability to take myself out of a toxic situation, meant I could drift off into fantasy lands and battle with various characters. Not only this, but the beautiful sounds of different genres of music from contemporary, to Motown (still one of my faves), to full on rock, growing up was all about listening to certain artists that I resonated and connected with. Those who could truly speak to me and get me through it all.

But what were my favourite childhood tech toys? Ready to get retro?

ORIGINAL NINTENDO GAMEBOY

This was quite possibly one of THE best gifts I got as a child. Having grown up around my two brothers for the majority of my early years, naturally I wanted what they had. And I got one, plus the big bulky light (“lightboy”) that went over the top so you could see what you were doing in the dark.


I recall using this on long night drives when going away in the UK and trying to beat the holiday traffic.

The games I played the most were Tetris (absolute classic) and Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice in particular used to frustrate me because as soon as you’d died on a level it would take you all the way back to the beginning. Tetris on the other hand felt like a hypnotism with the falling bricks and my fingers automatically knowing which buttons to press without really having to use too much of my consciousness. Some would probably say that was a skill…

I would have to agree!

I am not going to sit here and talk about battery life, as really we expect things to run 24/7 now and we all know this certainly didn’t. That being said, I never as a child got frustrated with it. I simply loved it.

NINTENDO 64

Ok so not my own, more like my big brothers, but this was my 1st taste of a larger console with some more technical games, if you can call “Street Fighter” that. It was more like luck with all the button bashing that I would do to try and get the special move and KO my bro.

He I am sure would say he always won…no no.

It was also the 1st taster of the Super Mario games, ones I would also love on the Nintendo Wii…Go Yoshi!

HIFI SYSTEMS & SONY CD WALKMAN

I had a couple of great HiFi systems growing up, but I do remember when I got my 1st one with both tape and CD capabilities, as well as a remote.

It was an absolute revelation.

Like I briefly mentioned, I used music a lot to escape when growing up. In retrospect, it was great as it allowed me to explore so much music that I think has allowed me to really expand my mind into trying new things. Whilst I cannot remember the exact model, I do remember it having two separate speakers as well as two tape slots and it was a Sony.

I used to be one of those girls who liked to pretend to be a Radio DJ and create my own playlists by taking recordings off of the radio (is that even legal?), whilst creating my own script in between songs. I am sure it was absolute tosh and hence I don’t have a career being a famous DJ, but at the time I thought I was the bees knees.

1st ever tape bought : Michael Jackson “History.” I cannot imagine going back to forwarding songs to get to your favourite one. That’s what I now use “Ok Google” for. Yes, I am becoming a robot.

1st CD : … I believe it was either something like Take That Greatest Hits (do not judge) or Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans.

As I grew up I realised that music could be portable, so grabbing a chubby highlighter and the Argos catalogue, one Christmas I circled this as an ultimate wish list for a pre-teen. I can say I was lucky enough to get one. I was on the go, jigging along as I walked around and pretended not to hear my Mumma asking me to do chores around the house. *

*NOTE* This never truly worked, just delayed the inevitable.

THEME PARK & THEME HOSPITAL (PC)

As there were a household full of teenagers it became evident that we would need to purchase a PC (please don’t ask me which one as I don’t have a clue). Running off a very old Windows system that would need to be started 1/2 an hour before you could use it, then another LONG amount of time to connect to the Internet as well as the god awful connection noise (*&%^$£^!!”)*, our PC was great.

QUESTION: What even was that noise and why?*

Before discovering Theme Park and Theme Hospital, I would play on games like Minesweeper or use Paint to create “masterpieces.”

Did anyone else cheat in the games to get more money? Come on it’s a game, we all did it…

“The hospital administrator is cheating..!”

What happened to simplicity like this? It is now so developed you can create twins of yourself that seriously creep me out. Mannerisms and looks of me behind a screen. One is enough surely?

NOKIA 8210

My 1st ever phone…

What a beaut. And actually for the time period a very small, compact handset, with a battery life of a week. Why has technology developed so much but batteries haven’t followed suit?

Gap in the market people.

I understand that the amount that is on a phone these days, as well as spec and usage will inevitably make it less economical on battery. We have become a generation that has 80% of the population with a smartphone, using them on avg. for 24 hours per week and people checking them within the 1st 5 mins of waking up. Am I one of these? Absolutely, so I would like a battery life that meant I didn’t need to plug in every night. Apple phones I have always found to be the worst culprits.

Anyway, I was so excited with my Pay as You Go phone that I would walk around with my head held high and with utter confidence; I was a proper grown up. I remember it would use two costs of texts if you even went one letter over one message, hence why the age of abbreviated text came into fruition to save money.

This was my 1st taste of snake too; something I have as a retro game on my smartwatch and have competitions with my colleagues to see who can get this highest score.

Later down the line, I upgraded to the infamous 3310, with the interchangeable case. The ultimate game changer in the phone market of it’s time.

So that’s a little insight into me and what I enjoyed as a kid. Having sat here to write this, it has made me think that maybe my interest in technology was fueled a lot earlier than I ever envisioned. I used it as a form of getaway. However, I do think that many people today are trying to run as fast as possible to escape it…funny how things can take a turn on their heads. We have developed technology so much in the last 20 years as something we have wanted and now we are creating technology to help us to switch off.

I’ll leave you with that thought.

Until next time my fellow techsperts…

Laura

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