Saturday 6 December 1986

…In the afternoon we went shopping and visited the new
Bejam that has just opened.
They were giving away gas-filled balloons and I got one.
Now it’s almost dead.
This evening mum and dad went to a concert and we went
to granny’s house.
Uncle Andrew was there.
He showed me an electronic portable telephone.
It has no wires – just an aerial instead…

More evidence that the 1980s were starting finally to seep into my life.

The “electronic portable telephone” was all the things TV clip shows have told us these objects were like in the mid-1980s. Yes, it was huge. Yes, it came with an equally enormous battery. And yes, it looked thunderously futuristic.

But then my uncle *was* thunderously futuristic. He was the first person in our extended family to own a colour television, a video recorder – a home computer, even.

He and his family lived in Southampton, all of which fostered an impression in my mind that the south of England was awash with gadgets and gizmos. No doubt it was also furnished with a thousand Bejams.

Meanwhile my hopes for our family purchasing any one of the above items remained as dead as my helium balloon.

2 thoughts on “Saturday 6 December 1986

  1. Nearly 15 miles away in Portsmouth we had a rented Baird television set which looked like a crate with the wonders of ‘SuperSound’ and didn’t get a Bejam until 1990… Progress? Glacial…

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