August retro rewind

AS WE ROLL INTO SEPTEMBER, I’ve been reflecting on August. A number of things come to mind. Let’s face it, the weather has been a bit shabby during August … there were a number of occasions I’ve had to flick the heating on (shocking) and pack an umbrella into my manbag for a trip to the local shop.

Luckily a damp wet August was brightened up when I tied the knot with my beautiful Sarah (clarification … this was not a case of us saying ‘August is looking a bit wet and miserable, lets get married to brighten things up’ …  the wedding was planned 8 months earlier). Well it was no surprise that the weather on our wedding day was pretty wet but luckily we had a contingency plan that prevented our guests sporting dodgy coloured Wellies on the big day.

I admit I’m not a romantic guy. My idea of a romantic evening would be watching a Tarantino movie whilst downing a bottle of Red or watching the brilliant ‘Life on Mars’. Many guys would wine and dine their loved ones but sadly I don’t fall into that category. It was no surprize when I popped the question to Sarah … ‘Fancy coming to a computer gaming show?’ Without hesitation she answered ‘Yes’ (that’s my girl!) and off we went (in the rain) to the MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) for the Power Up event.

The Power Up event was fun. Old games and consoles and more recent ones too. We jumped from table to table trying (and failing) to get to grips with some of the modern consoles and games. Afterwards we headed to the retro gaming section. My eyes lit up when the first console we clocked was a Binatone loaded up with the legendary Tennis game. I had last played this probably back in 1979 (I won’t hide the fact that I’m old retro). It was Sarah’s first experience of this classic game and it took her all 30 seconds to learn. We were Ping Ponging in no time.




Next up was Space Invaders. It really felt we had been sucked back to the 80s. It reminded me of my school days back in London. There were times arguments got really personal between pupils and curses flying between them would involve family members. ‘Your mum plays Space Invaders for the extra man’ was the curse which came to mind whilst playing. I’ll let the old school retro geeks work that one out.



Next up Pacman. We loved Pacman. Amazing to think that the idea came from a slice of Pizza. We played doubles. The response of the Joystick was slow (UP, UP, UP damn it!). The ghosts were sneaky and the power pills didn’t last long enough. Still, we certainly managed to get our retro fix.



Other retro things to report which brightened up August was spotting a Raleigh Chopper in the town centre. I quickly pulled out the iPhone and took a photo of the retro bicycle. It provokes painful emotions each time I see a Raleigh Chopper. When I was younger I wanted a Chopper. I hoped my parents would buy me a Chopper but instead I got a cheap version of a Raleigh Grifter (kind of like a Supermarkets own label of the real thing). I remember some guys staring at my cheap imitation and asking ‘What bike is that?’ Actually whilst eyeing up the Chopper I saw in town, the thought did cross my mind to hack away at the cable holding it to the railing and ride away into the sunset.  I’ve not quite recovered from my childhood Chopper disappointment.



A good friend sent me a photo of an old cigarette machine she spotted whilst on a day out. I remember seeing a machine like this in the Grand Junction Arms … way back in the 1970s when you left the pub smelling like an overflowing stale ashtray.



All in all a rather drab August was brightened up with a Wedding and retro spotting. I’m looking forward to what September brings. I see September as a new season … a new school term and getting back into some kind of routine etc. I’m looking forward to some dry weather (praying) and what new retro stuff can be uncovered. I’m excited! Come on September!