Thirty years of change

15th March 1998 was the date on which our middle daughter ended her thirtieth year. Towards the end of the day the idea came to me of looking at my day and seeing how many changes in everyday life there had been in the course of her lifetime. In the following account of my day anything that could not or would not have happened thirty years ago is in italics.

The Ides of March

I got up and had a shower, the water having been heated overnight by an automatic timerto take advantage of cheap rate electricity.I emptied the dishwasher and ate some museli for breakfast. Then I switched on my personal computer , read my E mails and checked the Charlton web site on the Internet . A Japanese car took me to Coventry Station where I paid for my ticket with a credit card . I caught a train to London provided by Virgin Trains, a privately owned train operating company. During the journey, I listened to the the radio on my Walkman . When I arrived at the Valley, now an all seater ground I paid for an extra ticket for the Notts Forest game with a debit card. I phoned my wife on my mobile phone and among the things we discussed were a CD I had bought the day before and a video that she had bought. After the match, where the fourth official signalled the amount of stoppage time , I went to Waterloo to catch Eurostar . We were in the Channel Tunnel before the Charlton Live programme started on commercial radio . The train reached a sppeed of 300 km. an hour . I went to sleep and woke in Brussels, capital of the quasi-state known as the European Union where the next day I was to meet officials of the European Commission.

So you see, things do change a lot, but change generally occurs incrementally so we don't realise how fundamental it has been.

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Wyn Grant

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