Thursday, 22 October 2015

Back To The Future 2

ITV2 and gin were the order of the evening yesterday. Having spent the afternoon preparing my daughter for today's zombie fest that is her school's annual Pumpkin Day (pumpkin muffins with blue icing and purple glitter for cake stall - check, ensure recycled Halloween costume from last year still fits - check, carve pumpkin and glue with feathers and wool - check) and wishing that these adorable crafting activities didn't always end in an argument, it was time to get drunk. Er, I mean, take stock. For I had time-travelled 30 years, albeit at a rate of, well, 30 years (although each one seems to go that little bit quicker) and had at last made it to the future visited by Doc Brown and Marty McFly in 1985. October 21st 2015 was here.

Had you asked me aged 12 where I thought I would be in 30 years, I am not sure the answer would have been "gin-drinking Yorkshire housewife", but that apparently is where all the education and qualifications I was working for at the time have led me. My school would be proud. (Especially given how shit I was at Home Economics.) And I wouldn't have said I'd be mother to just one highly strung only child either, but rather a whole Von Trapp posse of them. But hey ho, sometimes these are the hands we are dealt.

It's a Delorean!
Louwman Museum, The Hague

Being a lady of a certain age, in 1986 I was part of that hysterical teenage gang that had a crush on Michael J Fox - all five foot four of him. (We're the same height! It was meant to be.) You know the type - 13, spotty, bad bouffant hair, electric blue mascara, cerise polka-dot ra-ra skirt, giggling and squealing in the vicinity of boys. I developed a brief interest in skateboards, bodywarmers, fast cars and Huey Lewis And The News. But then I found out Michael J Fox smoked, so I went off him, in my goody-two-shoes kind of way. I don't suppose he thought it was any great loss.

Having reacquainted myself with Back To The Future 2 last night in the company of a glass of Mason's finest, I am looking around our house to see how it compares to the 1980s prediction. We are naturally constrained by living in a ramshackle Victorian terrace rather than a new-build, plus my husband and I are technologically challenged and always years out of date when it comes to household gadgets. But what do we have, out of all the crazy things in the film? Well, not much, it would seem. No flying car - just a Nissan Note and no space to park it. No pink Hoverboard, just a pink Princess bike and a pink scooter to fall over in our hallway. No pizza rehydrator - just a breadmaker and a diametrically opposed slow cooker. No self-tying trainers, unless Velcro counts. (Though I expect my daughter would claim she owns a pair, since hers apparently come with a ready-made Mummy slave.) No fax machine because, duh, they died out in the 1990s. No biometric thumbprint keys, but my daughter's school library does issue books using them.  No Google Glass or Apple Watch (not called as such in the film, obviously), though they at least exist. Our spectacles and timepieces have retained their original functions, for now. But instant online weather forecasts - yes! (But reliable to the second - no.) Flat-screen TV - yes! Skype video calls - yes! (If I could just remember my password.)

They didn't see smartphones, apps, Twitter or Facebook coming. Let alone blogging.

Not a hoverboard
Not a pizza rehydrator
Sadly, medical rejuvenation packages are not much more advanced than they were in the 80s. No new colons or spleens for the Doc Browns of 2015. People still die young of terrible diseases. No cure for Parkinson's either, the hell of which Michael J Fox has endured for 25 years. Having watched a dear family friend battle through it for the last decade, popping pill after pill but becoming ever limited in her mobility and her world, that's one cause very close to my heart.

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