This half term has been a nightmare. All week, I have been busy catching up with all the urgent and overdue business that I have chosen to ignore since I got back from my holiday. Meanwhile, the kids have been moaning about how bored they are and it has driven me to distraction.
I blame a variety of sources for their discontent – the weather, for one, because with the exception of a couple of days, it has been quite abominable. But I have to say I lay most of the blame firmly at the feet of my kids – for their inability to keep themselves occupied and their lack of appreciation of how far we have come in the last 25 years in terms of in-home entertainment.
Every time they have complained that there is nothing to do, I point at the 28” screen in the corner of the living room and calmly explain that boredom was what the telly was invented for. If there’s nothing but makeover shows and daytime soaps on the box, I then point to the array of videos and DVDs. If they decide that they are not in the mood for Batman, Titanic or Gladiator, I remind them that they have a Playstation. If they tell me that they have completed all their games, I suggest they go on the internet, after all, with goodness knows how many billion web pages, there has to be something there that interests them! If, at that point, they shrug their bored little shoulders, I drop to my knees, proceed to pull my hair out and yell,
“IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO - IMAGINE WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE?!’
The World Wide Web was just a virtual glint in Tim Berners Lee’s eye. Computers were huge bulky machines used by white-coated boffins on the telly. Computer games were limited to Space Invaders or Pac-Man and could only be played in amusement arcades. There were no videos, let alone DVDs and television was just BBC1 and ITV with a small amount of programming on BBC2, in between the test card!
Bored? They don’t know the meaning of the word!