The thing with getting older is that time speeds up. You think something was only a year or two back and it turns out to have been seven or eight years; something that was, ooh, sometime in the last decade was in the last century. Though of course there are some things that seem to have been around forever and, actually, they only began in living memory (all right, not in my memory, but certainly in my mother’s) like the NHS. Up until the late 1940s, if you got sick or hurt yourself and didn’t have any money, you had to make do as best you could with home remedies, which were not always all that effective. Outside of reading erotica, I have a small fondness for vintage girls’ stories, and some of the treatments for injury or disease as depicted in these books really are enough to curl your hair. But we have had the NHS for seventy years and, underfunded and overburdened as it is, we should appreciate it and all the amazing people who work for it.
On a completely different topic, I spent Saturday night on The Boat 25. This is one of the longest running kinky special events on the London scene, and out of those 25 trips, I think I have probably managed to make at least 20. In fact, I think it was during the very first one that someone staggered up to the organiser and announced ;It’s going to be a great night,someone’s had an orgasm already’ when the boat had barely left the pier. (No, what makes you think that someone might have been me? Hush now.)
It’s also, as i found when I opened the copy that fell through the letterbox this morning, 15 years since ETO magazine first appeared. I blagged my way onto their mailing list around the time they were putting together their launch issue, and have been reading it ever since, often anoraking away if a mate has an article or press release included. The current issue contains quite a few retrospectives, as you might expect, and there is some fascinating stuff about the ways in which the world of adult entertainment and sex-related products has changed since the longish, hottish, now you mention it, summer of 2003.
The thing I find the most startling, though, is that 25 years have elapsed since I wrote what turned out to be my first ever published novel (though it came out in a softcover format and was sold in newsagents, on the magazine shelf, rather than in bookshops).
As with any old book, I find parts of it fairly cringy to read now,, but bits of it are sort of OK. The oddest thing is how many things have changed in the wider world to make such a book fairly bewildering to anyone born after about 1985. Someone does have a mobile phone, but it is treated as a peculiar and exotic device (which has to be broken at a crucial plot point so no one can use it to call for help) but no one Googles stuff, and there are references to buying a band t-shirt via a small ad in a music paper, and having to wait weeks for it to arrive.
I’m also in the process of refurbishing something that came out five years ago next month, and holy shit, the world has moved on at too fast a pace even for that. Characters use the Interweb, but no one’s got WhatsApp, no one mentions Facebook and no one seems to have heard of Twitter. People text each other, and use internet chat rooms, but that’s about it. Still, there will be some noise about that once the refurb is done and the results available…
And now I am wondering whether this post should have gone on the other blog, which is supposed to be the one for reminiscences and is a bit tumbleweedy at present. Nah. It’s fine here.