A couple of things:
We went out for a meal yesterday evening. Sitting on the table to my left was a couple, man and woman (that needs specifying these days) of around 45-50. They appeared to be well dressed and professional people. To my right was another twosome, two older guys around 65-70.
The 50 year olds spent 98% of their time with their respective smartphones. Their conversation level was nil and I (after a couple of glasses of wine) almost burst out laughing at the sight of them thumbing their little screens for all they were worth. Now they could have been professional people who were still working, messaging colleagues, although it was well after 9m. (Spain …eat late….Janus…remember?). So I couldn’t resist leaning over and taking a sneak peek…yep…Facebook. He was updating his status on Facebook.
I glanced across to the two older guys. They had a litre of red wine and were very much enjoying the moment, chatting good food, a real social occasion.
It made me wonder. Did I have the past on my right and the future on my left? If so, I am glad that I am geting older. FOE suggested that the couple on my left would probably have just sat quietly staring at each other, had they not had their phones with them.
I guess most younger people would have found the situation quite normal and not even noticed that the phone couple hardly spoke to each other.
My other point for today is rather sad. I keep a Christmas list for cards and presents. It is quite handy when out doing the Christmas shopping, to remember who I still need to buy for. I keep the list in an excel sheet and just do a quick update each year. This year it was quite hard deleting all of the dead ones since last year.
22 thoughts on “Funny old world innit”
That is very sad – both the smart phone couple and your list. I wonder what office parties are like these days? Silent except for furious texting. It’s an addiction equal to many others.
Janus: The things that we used to do at office parties are no longer socially acceptable 🙂
I am surprised a couple in their fifties could be so uncouth. Such is life.
I found my wedding album the other day. It was sobering to note how many guests are no longer around.
Yes, the Grim Reaper looms ever larger. 💀
I’m known for walking out on people who stare at their smart phones during a meal or insist on taking unimportant telephone calls during a scheduled meeting. It only has to happen once before people take the hint. I usually have a book with me and will also start reading it if they continue to insist on staring at screens only glancing up on occasion to make sure they’re still there.
One of my favourite quotes:
“I’ll never be able to be here again. As the minutes slide by, I move on. The flow of time is something I cannot stop. I haven’t a choice. I go.One caravan has stopped, another starts up. There are people I’ve yet to meet, others I’ll never see again. People who are gone before you know it, people who are just passing through. Even as we exchange hellos, they seem to grow transparent. I must keep living”.
OZ: Not only the ones that have passed on either. I went to my ex-mother-in-law’s funeral two weeks ago in the UK. Two pretty little bridesmaids had become fat middle-aged women. It burst my bubble of remembering them as they were. I think that it was the mature age of the couple that surprised me too. I expect it with youngsters but the youngsters are getting older.
Christopher: You sound like an old colleague of mine from my Rolls-Royce days. He was quite a character, wore a dickie bow and blazer. One day we were in a pub together when two women came to the next table. One leaned over and said “Do you mind if I smoke?” He replied , “Go ahead.”
Five minutes later he leaned over to their table and asked “Do you mind if I fart?”
I nearly fell off my chair laughing. They were not amused.
I wonder how he would react to people who attend to their phones during a meal. 🙂
Gaz, which bit of RR did you work for? My Dad was at Parkside, Coventry.
All the above!
I have had the same small address book for personal not business use all my life. Horrifically there are very few left living in it. I thought about buying a new one as it is quintessentially depressing every year to open it and do the Christmas cards and then decided it could see me out.
The other fascinating thing is how many addresses some people have had and others have only one!
One card is sent to an address where the recipient is still sleeping in the same room in which he was born 62 years ago.
I would have spoken to the couple who didn’t talk and asked them how long they had been married and whether it wasn’t time to inter their relationship honorably? (Then left quickly!)
Janus: I served the first two years of my apprenticeship at Parkside, then moved to the Industrial and Marine Division at Ansty. I finished up in the design office. I was at RR for 17 years. Small world innit?
CO. My parents both died this year. They had a similar address book which they had used for at least 50 years, which I found while sorting things out. I have two brothers. One was at his original address until last year, the other had two addresses and phone numbers in total. My addresses and phone numbers took up two pages of the book. 🙂
Janus, I don’t know how familiar you are with Parkside but there was a lovely story about a guy who had recently died while I was there. He was born in a row of terraced houses about 200 yeards from the main entrance gate to Rolls Royce. He went to school at the end of the street and at the age of 14 began to work for RR (I guess Bristol Siddeley in those days). He got married in the Parkside church and moved into one of the houses in the row where he was born. For family holidays they used the RR bus and company holiday scheme. He retired at the age of 65 and died two days later and now lies in the Parkside cemetry. He spent his life within a radius of less than a mile. How’s that for sad?
It doesn’t surprise me gaz. staggering how many people in wales haven’t been beyond Cardiff in a lifetime and only there a couple of times!
CO: in Central Minnesota there is something known as “Stearns County Syndrome”. Many, many people are born in Stearns County, grow up in Stearns County and then marry someone who also was born and raised in Stearns County. Many will only go to the Twin Cities 2-3 times in their lifetimes and never leave Minnesota. There are some who have never left Stearns County at all.
When my parents retired I took them to Wales to get a Border Collie from a dog rescue centre. This was the only time that my mother left England. She had no appetite for travel.
She got married in 1948, lived in the same house until she died on 18th April this year and her ashes are buried in the garden. Her mother, who died many years ago, lived eight doors away, where my mother grew up. She lived 90 years within a 50 meter radius apart from holidays to Lowestoft (where my Dad was born) or to Cornwall.
I don’t actually think travel makes you any happier from what I can see. I guess whatever satisfies you. I dislike travelling but have had to do it all my life. I rather envy those living in one place forever.
Gaz, it was armstrong Siddeley akshully. My Dad’s cv was quite similar.
CO: much of it depends on why one travels. I’m sick of travelling — no, really. I’ve had enough of moving from continent to continent. At the moment, however, I have little other choice. Many old friends I have to travel to see. Either they do not have the time, mostly my old Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese friends. The Japanese can barely manage a day off, much less a proper holiday! My second family own a small business in rural New South Wales and are lucky to be able to take a day off! They operate the only post office for miles and are always busy. Happiness comes from within and home is where there are friends, kindred spirits and laughter.
I also think that travel doesn’t add to one’s sense of contentment or happiness. I have two children. One is a home bird, similar to how my parents were. She is now 42 and still in Nuneaton. The other one has travelled all over and still travelling. He has recently taken a job with an audit company whose clients include red cross, children in need etc. and was in Sudan, Ethiopia and Niger in the last few months. In January he’s off to Iraq. He loves it. But I can’t say either is happier than the other. Their is a lot to be said for home and close family and friends, but also a lot to see the world. I left my ‘nest’ at the age of 38 and still sometimes miss the closeness.
We certainly could not have this kind of conversations, if we would have lived like my in-laws. One must choose whether to stay narrow or enlightened; one cannot claim to have lived life to the full, if they don’t have a comprehension of new ideas. But yes there might be a difference between happiness and fulfilment.
Nonsense, case in point, me. Lived life probably far too full by most people’s standards but have managed to remain remarkably unaltered by ‘new ideas’ especially socialistic non judgmental. drivel and PC.
As the old girl used to say, send them round to the trademan’s entrance and ‘count the spoons’ after they visit! i do not wish to be ‘enlightened’, probably subsequently very expensive at the doctors!
Gaz, to complete the story: my Dad was also apprenticed at AS in1923, became a draughtsman in the design/development office. Retired in 1972 at 63 when there was a big rationalisation at Parkside.
Janus, I started at Parkside in 1972 just after they went bust. Left RR in 1989.