Quite soon after Mum and Dad had split up Dad took me on a trip down south the visit some old family friends – Pat and Frank. They had become friends (I think) when we lived in Albury – a lifetime earlier when Mum and Dad built their own home and after waiting six and then eight years got my brother and I. When Dad and I visited they had moved to a property just out of Albury with deep valleys and lots of boulders. It was windblown, bitterly cold and desolate. They had built a house that had the most impressive open fire and this nobbly carpet I am still determined to have in my own house one day.
Their kids were older and had moved out but they had an old caravan just near the house which was where one of their sons would stay when he came to visit. I remember catching yabbies with Dad, cooking them and being shocked at just how little ‘meat’ you got for all the effort catching them. We went rabbit shooting and I got to shoot a rifle which made my shoulder sting for hours afterwards. I watched as dad skinned rabbits and was neither repulsed or impressed. Yeah, it was a weird trip.
What I remember most was hanging out in the caravan for hours on end where there was a video player and this cool Sharp tele, just like this one:
And what was I watching? Every single episode of Fawlty Towers (you know there’s only 12 right?) over and over and Minder. Yep, Minder. This was quite an education in comedy and the UK criminal underworld but comedy mainly (obviously). My life is still so heavily referenced by Manuel, Basil, Sybil and Polly. I can still sing the Minder theme even though I have never watched it since.
While sitting in that caravan watching Basil yell at Manuel while Sybil yelled at Basil feels like a 100 years ago the company who made the tele I was watching it on really is 100 years old this year. It started with a metalworking factory in Tokyo in 1912, making a belt buckle. Then came a mechanical “Ever-Sharp” pencil and then, Japan’s first crystal radio. And that was just in the first 12 years.
One of the ways Sharp is marking its 100 Year milestone is its Share campaign. Load up an image or video of something memorable (as opposed to the dull and forgettable) to its Share website and be in the running for one of two (because winning both would be silly) a trip for two to the West Coast of the US or heaps of Sharp products.
Off you go then.