My story is a long one, and I am somewhat ashamed of its beginnings. It all started with a Tandy breadboard system my parents bought me when I was about nine. I started by building crystal radio sets, and miniature traffic light systems. Who knew, then, that what seemed like an innocent passtime would develop into the all consuming monkey on my back that I carry today.
By the age of eleven, I was hooked. I helped an older man (one of my teachers) build a completely solid state organ. It wasn’t entirely him – I don’t blame him, I wanted to do it – he didn’t force me. By 1979 I’d graduated on to harder stuff – discovered hexadecimal, too – and started building complex circuits, including computers. By 1984, I’d even designed cassette interfaces for the Commodore Pet and was heavily into 8088 programming. I had to admit it, I was, and am, a GEEK!
But, now, age has brought some level of control. I can walk past a Maplin’s without looking in the window. I can go into PC World and buy only what I went in for, without browsing the shelves for tech I don’t have. I can watch the Gadget show purely to admire the lissome figure of Suzi Perry – well, almost – and I don’t just buy everything Apple without a second thought.
But I can’t sleep past 07:00 on the day the postie’s due to deliver some e-smoking kit. And today is one of those days.
But how my postie loves to tease. He arrives at the top of our street in a red Patmobile, and then tosses a coin. Will he do the signed for stuff first, or will he do the letterbox rush? Will he do the letterbox stuff and then go and do the rest of his round before doing the signed for stuff?
Only he knows what goes through his head. He knows I’m awaiting two deliveries. He knows I’m in. he knows I’m like a kid on Xmas morning waiting for the all-clear to tear open the pressies.
So he delivers an insurance claim form and some bit of tat advertising something entirely unappealing, and then drives the Patmobile off somewhere else.
And here I sit, waiting, wondering, wondering, waiting, dragging deeply on an eGo XL cartomiser factory filled with Janty RY4, idly stroking my Omega and adjusting a 601 to get the draw just right.
He’ll come… oh, he’ll come… and then….
But he hasn’t… I am bereft. Disconsolate…