I had the Sky guy round this week to try and sort out the conglomeration of cords behind the tv and simplify the system.

As I'm intending to rent out my home for a couple of weeks while away in January, I'm not keen on receiving a call at the other end of the country from the tenants asking how to get the TV going using the three remotes for the surround sound system.

It's quite the rigmarole, but one we've been enduring for several years.

Turns out the TV was in need of a good tune-up. He went into all kinds of settings I didn't know existed to update the quality of both image and sound.


While he was there, I asked if he could get our VCR going again. He looked at me in surprise, like everyone does when they discover I still have a video player.

It's for watching old home videos. Mum has dug out a box from the '80s and '90s of our childhood, including milestone celebrations such as Christmas, birthdays and weddings.

I have been wanting to revisit these for a long time, not least to prove to the kids that I didn't live in black and white days.

I mean, can you believe it? The cheek of them. That was my parents' and grandparents' era.

How has it got to the point where my childhood was the ''olden days'', as they put it? I vividly remember many things like it were yesterday and it definitely was in colour.

But, unlike my predecessors, I have the colour imagery to prove it and, the following day, wasted no time in having a home video night. How exciting to finally show them their late grandparents in action.

Like a big reveal, I popped the cassette into the player, pushed play and waited. It simply made a clicking sound. Realising it was at the end of the reel, I rewound it, explaining to them that with videos you can't just skip backwards and forwards.

Finally, it clicked to the start of the tape and I pushed play. Static.


We waited … more static.

By now the kids were getting a little impatient.

"I told you you lived in the olden days, Mum," quipped one.

Really, this technology was the bomb in the '80s. I remember we had one of the first video players around and how cool we felt to push record and be able to re-watch our favourite shows.

By now, I was stabbing buttons willy-nilly, just trying to get the thing to work.

And finally we had motion! But alas, it was a very grainy Channel Two recording of True Bliss coming to town. Someone must've taped over our family Christmas.


I told my mum because whoever did that would have been in big trouble back in the day.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't into True Bliss. Then again, neither were my brothers. Maybe it was me.

So, the home video night has gone on hold while Mum delves back into the archives for more and, meanwhile, I will just keep defending my childhood in all its vivid glory.