Life Last summer when my computer had lost the will to start up, as a stop gap I purchased a GameBoy. Not Advance. Not Colour. Not the small one. The chunky original GameBoy. It was fifteen pounds with four games in the local Game. The friend I was with thought it was a crazy idea, but I was fulfilling one of life’s small ambitions. When I was a student, when this little wonder was released I was more interested in buying food than spending a hundred pounds on this little joy. So when I spotted the chance to fill in that gap from my past I jumped at it.

It happened again the other day. My portable CD player has drifted up to silicon heaven, but rather than busting however much a decent one of those can be I decided to get a portable cassette player instead. I’ve got some book on cassettes to catch up on them, and if I could do that on the move, so much the better. Fiver in Argos for a cheap one as a stop gap. When I got there, yes, five punds would get me an Alba which would probably do the job. But for double the price I could buy a Sony Walkman.

I remember the release of the WalkMan even at a tender age. The only cassette player I had at the time was one of those bacolite numbers with one speaker and that eventually spent most of its time plugged into my Acorn Electron. The idea of actually carrying music around with you was a skill proposition and I did get a cheap clone from the local chemist eventually which did the job of letting me listen to the film soundtrack to ‘The Jungle Book’ on a train. But I still really wanted a Sony Walkman, partly because of the name, but mostly because that’s what the rich kids had.

So when I was handed the thing over the counter in it’s plastic moulding I couldn’t help reality checking with the clerk.

“A Sony Walkman.” I said. “I remember when these first came out they were hundreds of pound. Now £11.50 in Argos.”

“Hmm..” said the clerk, “And aren’t we showing our age that we can remember that.”

I grinned. He was right.

And the Walkman is right. It’s small and silver and sleek.

Now all I have to do is wait a couple of decades and I’ll be able to get a PS2 and an iPod. Can’t wait.

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