Amazon is so quintessentially middle class because it offers something modern and old fashioned at the same time. It offers you the immediate satisfaction of purchasing something (which is close to the Now Generation which demands instant gratification) and then you have to wait for the item to appear which means that it ticks the Delayed Gratification which is part of the sterner approach which characterizes the more “Puritan” aspects of the ways in which my generation was brought up.
I do not wish to give the impression that I was subject to a childhood of callous deprivation, no indeed. I have to admit that, as long as what I wanted was reasonable, I generally got what I wanted – but not necessarily when I wanted it. Only my birthday and Christmas, the tenth and twelfth months of the year were those capable of producing money and goodies. Easter meant an Easter egg while the occasional visits to Grandparents might produce half a crown. Things had to be planned.
But then I was of the generation when a six part series on the television (which we eventually got when I was ten) could last a month and a half – and not be over in a week as seems to be the case nowadays. We were used to waiting. The kids today with their mobile phones would not believe how long my parents had to wait for a phone line to be put into our home and then it was a party line!
My tennis shoes were Dunlop Red Flash; my bike was a Raleigh Star Rider. As far as I remember the Dunlops were the only choice because no one could be expected to play tennis in daps. They were the wrong colour for a start. Choice was limited. The other choice for the bike was a Raleigh Palm Beach – but that didn’t have a three-speed and, after all, I did pass the 11+!
For one birthday (well before I had reached double digits) I actually asked for a stapler. I still have it. But what child today would have such a reasonable request. Though thinking about it, I am not sure that many kids of my age would have asked for such a thing then. Though the Head of Maths in my last British school would have understood as she had a stationery fetish even more pronounced that I.
Leaving such things to one side I am quivering with excitement because a whole series of returns and purchases should trickle through over the next week or so.
My new camera has lasted less than 60 days with the zoom refusing to function so it has been sent back to Amazon who assure me that a replacement is on its way. My FDC albums should be arriving soon as well as the Olympic FDCs to fit inside them. My push for ecology in the tea department should have its energy saving device in place before the month is out and a lone book should be with us soon. All to come.
I now have taken to using the Kindle store and have started purchasing books to add to my collection of volumes “in the Cloud” and therefore safe and sound. I know how it all works but it still amazes me that I can, for example, read about an Argentinian book recently translated into English in my Kindle version of The Guardian, click into the Amazon store and have the volume downloaded and paid for within twenty seconds. It is probably just as well that such a thing was not available for me when I was younger!
So, not only does our next visitor arrive tomorrow, but also the delight of her presence will be enhanced by various deliveries throughout her stay. And the sun is shining and the holiday mood continues.