Friday, February 06, 2009


So it’s early evening and I am waiting to collect my tribe of friend, neighbour and eldest son from the Peter Singer Lecture at State Library, when I notice this young girl sitting cross legged, in a deserted courtyard area, on her laptop.

Looking a little more closely, I note that she has her mobile phone, and what looks like a mini modem? Perhaps it was an ipod thingy, not sure. She also has on bright green headset with a microphone, and she’s laughing and nodding and looking into her laptop, at her friend’s image.

“She’s on a live video chat” I think to myself, and I slowly turn and take her photo with my mobile. The image is quickly emailed to my home computer, and I know it will be waiting for my in my Inbox when I return soon.

Gone are the days when people wrote on postcards, and kissed them before popping them in the letterbox, destination unknown. Now collectors find new homes for old cards found in antique shops. I have a collection myself, sewn and embroidered war cards, fading inked writing pleading:
“Where are you and why don’t you write back to me?”
“Leave tomorrow for the Front, I wish it would stop snowing, I am so cold.”
“Please give my love to mum and dad and tell them I miss them.”

Gone are the days when you would buy a small block of airline paper; usually blue, and thin and fragile, to be filled with delicate handwriting before licking and sealing the glued edge. I wrote to my older sister in London for years using these. We were always impressed she would receive them within three weeks.
Three weeks!

My friend’s father collects stamps; he has done for years and his collection fills an entire spare bedroom of his home. Neither sons nor his daughter are interested in the collection, but it’s this man’s life and love.

What will happened to it I wonder? It’s in the past, the future is digital and no stamps are needed.

Having just closed my own website of 10 years, I now find myself Twittering at random times during the day. If not Twittering, then there’s Facebook, and a host of other applications I haven’t bothered or had the time to learn.

We can only do so much, and learn new applications or sink in the mess of humanity.

Interesting times indeed.

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