As a departure from writing novels, short stories and plays, I have embarked upon a work of non-fiction which examines the enormous changes that have occurred over the last seventy two years of my extremely varied existence. It is almost incomprehensible to remember that many of my generation grew up in houses that were incredibly basic and freezing cold in winter with frost on the inside of window panes. Mostly, central heating did not exist and the first task in the morning was invariably to attempt to rekindle the dying embers of the previous evening’s coal fire, or relight it altogether. Similarly, it was often the norm to have to crank start the early primitive cars with starting handle – not very funny with a bellyful of porridge – none of the luxury of simply turning keys to ignite the engines ! We have gone from this to an age largely controlled by technology where computers and smart phones almost rule the world and people communicate with, or through, these as opposed to directly with each other.
Systematically, the ‘people factor’ is being replaced by ‘devices’. Youngsters growing up today live with their hi-tech ‘toys’ and are somewhat lacking in intercommunicating skills with ‘real people’. This is quite frightening and beggars the question as to where we go from here.
During my quite amazing lifetime, I have always regarded communication with others as ‘the stuff of life’ and, throughout the book, there will be anecdotal episodes and stories involving people, injected into the the overall changes as I have perceived them. As such the book will be also be semi-autobiographical. It is both cathartic and therapeutic and, if nothing else, it will serve as a personal legacy, in many places full of humour and impertinent observations – all of which I am thoroughly enjoying writing !