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A dimension called The Twilight Zone

 

I NEED TO GET OUT! I need to escape from this house.

Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen flooded with high tech domestic appliances that I don’t know how to operate. A heated indoor swimming Pool, the wafer thin TV set with endless channels and perfect decor that would make any guest gasp in awe.

Sounds perfect to you?

 

 

I’ve lost track of what day it is. I don’t know how I arrived here. I’ve tried to escape on numerous occasions but the front door won’t budge – same with the back door and the windows. The combination of the huge windows and the loud ticking clock reveals sunrise at at 6.42am and sunset at 7.27pm every day. My observation during my time here is that the Spring, Autumn and Winter seasons don’t exist.
I need to get out!

I can’t get my head around the aroma of freshly baked bread creeping into the bedroom at the crack of dawn. Breakfast all laid out on the kitchen table. The rumbling of the washing machine. The hissing of the steam iron in the utility room. The bedrooms laundered every day- the endless supply of toiletries in the bathroom – it’s like a 5-star hotel with invisible housekeepers. I hear footsteps and a dialect I don’t understand. I see dishes being put away, freshly ironed shirts floating into the wardrobe and the vacuum cleaner roaring back and forth in the hallway. Still I see no people.

I crave for company  – just one person who I can talk to – someone who I can help me understand why I’m here. I just need someone. I want to see a face – a man, a woman, a cheeky teenager – anyone!

 

 

The cellar … maybe that’s worth another try. I open the door and head down the steep dark steps. I stand in total darkness at the bottom of the cellar. This is the point where I chickened out last time but I need to take a leap of faith to escape. One step, two steps … three … four … more steps into the depths of blackness. It’s so hot down here. The heat intensifies as I feel beads of sweat soak my entire body. Still I persist and take a few more hesitant steps. The heat is unbearable. I turn around in defeat and head back in the direction that I’d entered. I slowly climb the cellar stairs and re-enter the kitchen. I slump on a chair and start beating myself up over my failed attempt to escape.

‘What did you do on the outside?’

Who said that? Where are you?

I saw him briefly in front of me. Before I could reply, he’d gone … poof!

I sit and consider. The outside? It’s slowly coming back to me – every single violent detail. The final piece of the jigsaw falls into place as I climb off the chair and head upstairs to bed. I know what to expect tomorrow and the day after, and the day after that. I lay my head on the pillow knowing there is no escape whilst holding up the imaginary white flag.

I’m in a different dimension. A dimension of submission and loneliness. A dimension of regrets and mental torture. A dimension of predictability for each day. I’m in a dimension called The Twilight Zone.

 

 


 

Enjoyed this story? My factual article on Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone can be found in the latest edition of Yours Retro.

20180701

 


 

A nostalgic collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover

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Nostalgic computer memory: The Vic 20

 

FLICK on the 14 inch television, connect your Vic 20 and get booted up! What would you like to play? Take your pick – Supervaders, Bomber Run, Cosmic Cruncher, Hoppit, Hunchback, Pit, Emmet Attack, Space Invaders, Pacman? How about Hunchback? Slide the cassette into the cassette reader and get that game loaded! The message ‘searching’ appears on the screen as the mighty Vic 20 seeks out the program on the cassette. ‘Found Hunchback’ …loading’. Soon you’ll be swaying and jumping whilst attempting to rescue the beautiful lady.

The Vic 20 was bold and proud.  It had a limited amount of available memory but who cared? If you wanted to boost the memory then you could splash out on a RAM expansion. Additional RAM meant the Vic 20 was able to handle more complex games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frustration!

Ever tried to load a game in the cassette reader when suddenly the dreaded error message appeared on the screen? It’s then a case of re-booting and trying again. Repeat the process until successful.

Maybe you’ve had a go at computer programming and spent most of the day typing in a programme from the user manual. There’s only one word to describe this task – Painful! Once you’ve spent most of the day typing the programme there is no guarantee that it will work. I remember spending a whole day typing in a gaming programme called Killer Comet. After sorting through all the typing errors, I watched in anticipation to see what would appear on the screen. My 8 hours of programming and correcting resulted in a large white rectangle flashing across the screen from left to right. So much pain for a flashing rectangle!

 

Nostalgic status

Today the Vic 20 has serious nostalgic status. If you want one you can bag one on eBay. It  was one of the earliest, affordable home computers. Looking back, the graphics were seriously pixelated but was a huge improvement compared to the earlier consoles. I loved the Vic 20 – I’d  play games until the early hours of the morning. The Vic 20 is gone but not forgotten.

 

 


 

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A nostalgic recollection and  collection of blogs featuring a fun and factual look back at British advertising, leisure and entertainment from the yester-years are featured in the new hardback book, Section N Underpass. Release date November 2018.

Section N Underpass Cover