A Sign Of The Times


DOES anything demonstrate the way the times have changed more clearly than what we pack to go on holiday these days? For my 40th birthday, sometime ago it must be said, my father created a brilliant collage of photographs from my first 40 years. It is in our hall and I look at it regularly, but in writing this column one picture really caught my eye.

It was taken in the mid 1970’s on a family holiday in La Manga, and is of me in a pair of trunks, wearing a Sombrero, reading a book while stretched out on a Lilo (inflatable air mattress to today’s generation I suspect), and pretty much summed up the innocence and simplicity of holidays back then: a couple of books, your Lilo, sun cream, and a roll of film for your camera and you were good to go.


I bumped into a family over here on holiday recently who had some children who would have been about the same age as I was in the afore mentioned photo. Apart for the sun and the sun cream I couldn’t spot one other similarity! The books had long been replaced by a mix of audiobooks and digital book readers a la Kindle and iPad. Am not sure that they would have known what a roll of film was, but they had digital cameras, along with Mobile Phones, iPod’s, Video Cameras and something called a Nintendo DSi XL whatever that is. I reckon that they could never move more than 3 metres away from a power socket, would happily bought a portable generator if they could have got one checked onto the flight, and heaven help them if they ever got close to any water. With all that technology it would have been a financial disaster for the parents.

Now I know a lot about technology, love it to bits, am addicted to all the news stuff but to take it all on holiday with you? Doesn’t that sort of miss the point of a holiday? To unwind, get away from it all, where the only recharging of batteries should be your own not your technologies!

Appears not, so in at attempt to be helpful here is a list of gadgets that you will probably see this summer in Spain: iPad (although reports say it doesn’t work in the sun), a Netbook for those that can’t bear to be parted from Facebook, Twitter and the internet, a Sony Bloggie (pocket camcorder shoots footage in full high definition, and boasts a 5x optical and 20x digital zoom), Logic3 iStation Go for portable tunes via your iPod, and the Huawei MiGi, 3G dongle that saves searching for a WiFi hot spot.

Progress? Would love to hear your views on that one!

Reflections From A Balcony In Spain: By Chris Marshall



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