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The Future that Never Happened

Many a youth, including mine, was spent watching a multitude of movies supposedly ‘set in the future’. Now, the older more mature me finds myself living in that so-called ‘future’ and I’m not too sure it turned out quite as those movie directors predicted. Maybe that’s for the best in some instances. But there were also some wicked ideas and gadgets that should have been well and truly invented by now. Here are my top ten memorable future predictions that never quite materialised.

1. The Hover-board from Back to the Future 2 (1989)

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We all remember this one. Michael J fox looking super cool and futuristic – out-smarting all the bad guys, that is until he got stuck on the lake. Come on, we all know hover-boards don’t work over water! I think every child in the world wanted one of these, including me. Never having even mastered the art of balancing on a skateboard, I’m not sure how safe a device like this would be for me to ride on. But a few laughs and broken bones later I would have still been the envy of all my mates. Set in 2015, we still have a year to go for this predicted gadget to hit the streets! I think the big kid in me still wants one.

2. Flying cars from Bladerunner (1982)

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This classic film portrayed the archetypal future that many of us still envisage could happen. The dark, grim, overcrowded and over technical environs with the ultimate prediction – flying cars. So where are they then? Bladerunner is far from the only film to see automobiles of the sky being a sign of things to come and for me they have formed a firm basis of my view of the future. Given that we have some awful drivers on our roads already though, I think it might be best if this one stays fiction for a while longer. After all, car crashes in the sky are going to cause a lot more mess than they do on the roads.

3. Transporter from Star Trek

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‘Beam me up Scotty’. We’ve all been subjected to an episode of Star Trek at some point in our lives (and some people are even fans!). But one great invention that will always hold a place in our hearts is the transporter. How much easier would life be with one of these? How much time we could save? Just about to board a five hour flight home after a family holiday, or facing another long commute home from the office? Imagine how more productive we could all be if we could just stand on a little circle, press a button and arrive at our destination in a mere jiffy.

4. Memory implants from Total Recall (1990)

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Who remembers Arnie getting an implanted memory for a vacation to Mars? Okay it might have all gone a bit awry in the film, but it’s kind of a neat idea in theory right? Or is it? After all, half the fun of memories is making them – so this would completely skip out the crucial bit. Yeah it might be nice to have a memory of a vacation in the Maldives, but I would much rather pack my bags, get on a plane and actually experience it in the here and now. Mind you, being set in 2084, we still haven’t quite hit the expiration date of the this prediction yet – so watch this space.

5. The Neuralyzer from Men in Black (1997)

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Ever done something you wish you could forget? Or even better – wish others could forget? All those naughty moments could be wiped from the memories of those who you don’t want to remember. We would be able to act fearless in the knowledge that no-ones recollections are going to come back to bite us. That’s where the neuralyzer comes in – a quick flash and all is forgotten. Great idea in principle, that is until someone else uses it on you! Somehow I think this little gadget could be open to some serious misuse in the wrong hands.

6. The time machine from Back to the Future (1985)

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The ultimate invention of the future – the time machine. The Delorean from the Back to the Future movies is a classic to say the least. Who wouldn’t want a time machine? Just imagine all the times and places we could go to. Go back and change some of those dodgy choices we made when we were younger – or head to the future to see what events have in store for us. I would definitely follow in the footsteps of Biff Tannan with his Grays Sports Almanac – to ensure my future millionaire status! 🙂 But okay, maybe we would need to be careful, after all a small change could have an almighty ripple – have you not see ‘The Butterfly Effect’?

7. KITT from Knightrider 

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A proper blast from the past. Who doesn’t remember David Hasslehoff and his ‘super-intelligent car’. Sure to help you out of the most tight scrapes, this is a must for any thrill seekers out there. But picture this – tired feet after a day shopping, weighed down in shopping bags and a grouchy toddler in tow who insists on being carried ….. cue the arrival of KITT pulling up in front of you, saving you that long trek to the car park. Or even better …. had a few too many drinks after a night out and not fit to drive …. KITT is like your own personal chauffeured car, without the chauffeur. It drives itself, talks and is mega intuitive. I need one of these big time.

8. Prisoners fight to the death in The Running Man (1987)

Set in 2017 – apparently in two years time prisoners will be fighting to the death to survive a brutal televised game show – think Hunger Games style for the younger readers amongst us. The ultimate punishment for felons – I guess this would be one way to address prison over-crowding. It’s a bit like stepping back to the barbaric gladiator arena of Roman times and I’m not sure my stomach is quite up to a pizza and this viewing on a Saturday night. I can also see a fundamental flaw. The prisoners who survive are going to be the meanest, bad-arse and cunning ones. What happens to them? They get to go free – back out amongst society. Hhmmm – not sure they are the ones we want to let out.

9. Human like robots from Terminator (1984)

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This is actually one thing I am really surprised not to have seen by now. Well okay, maybe not quite proper human robots just yet, but I thought we would have been closer to the whole robots doing everything for us era. I would like a little maid robot who cleans the house, cooks dinner and does the shopping – even better there’s no fear of the OH being tempted to get waylaid. Imagine all the time I would have to sit on the sofa, put my feet up and get lazy. Actually, I’m not too sure what I would do with my time. And what happens if the robot malfunctions – it could be ultimate chaos. Just looked what happened in Terminator, they had a full on robot rebellion.

10. Cryogenics from Vanilla Sky (2001)

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Who needs immortality when you have cryogenics. When your time is up you can be frozen for future resuscitation. And while you’re having that much need recuperative nap – you can even have a pre-picked dream playing in your head. The predicted future for the mega-rich, this is one of those inventions that has often formed the basis for discussion in the media. Imagine being able to preserve our loved ones, never having to say goodbye permanently. There is something quite appealing to this invention. Okay, okay I can see some small issues with population growth, the health system (I mean how much is going to start going to go wrong with our bodies after being alive for 200 years), inter-generational mating (eeek)! And if it’s a luxury of the rich – where does that leave the rest of us?

 

This post was written for the WordPress weekly writing challenge. This weeks prompt is Time Machine!

Judgement

It’s Friday Fictioneers time and the prompt this week is the picture below. Here is my 100 word piece of fiction:

The harsh metal feels cold as I grip my fingers through the mesh of the shaft door, awaiting my moment of truth. My anxiousness rises with the sound of the approaching elevator and the culmination of all my misgivings.

As the doors open, I step inside the grim interior; graffiti depictions of angels and demons scrawled across the walls.

The deep-throated words “going down” echo in the enclosed space and my eyes sting from the soaring heat.

I throw myself forward and hopelessly claw at the closing doors, one last attempt at escape before I begin my fateful descent.

Day 29: Healthy Recipe

Wow, it’s the penultimate day of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Writing Challenge. I’m not sure where the last 29 days have gone, but here’s my contribution for today. 

I am sharing a healthy recipe I found when looking for a carbohydrate heavy dinner the night before a race. I stumbled upon this yummy recipe at the Running Bug. It takes minutes to make and is super filling and tastes amazing. I eat it all the time now – race or no race.

The original recipe had anchovies in it – but I can’t stand the things, so replace them with black olives instead.

Tagliatelle with Rocket, Parma Ham, Tomatoes, Anchovies and Buffalo Mozarella

Nutrition per serving (serves 4):

Energy (Kcal) – 734

Protein (g) – 734

Carbohydrates (g) 79 of which sugars (g) 6

Fat (g) 29 of which saturates (g) 11

Salt (g) 2

Fibre (g) 3.2

 

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

 

Ingredients:

400g tagliatelle (fresh if possible)

4 tinned anchovy fillets, finely chopped (*I replace these with black olives)

2 x 125g packs of buffalo mozarella

1 pack of parma ham (4 slices, 75g), torn into long slivers

8 sunblush tomatoes, roughly chopped, or 2 ripe fresh tomatoes chopped into small cubes

Pack of wild rocket (80-100g)

3 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

Parmesan shavings to serve

 

Instructions:

1. Bring large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions.

2. In large bowl, combine anchovies, mozarella, parma ham, tomatoes and rocket with 2 tablespoons of olive oil

3. When pasta is cooked, drain, reserve spoonful of cooking liquid

4. Add pasta, spoonful of cooking liquid and remaining tablespoon of olive oil to anchovy mixture, toss together and serve with plenty of black pepper and parmesan shavings sprinkled over.

A Little Treat

When I headed out this morning for a new pair of work shoes, I warily crept back into the house on my return, waiting for a sigh from the OH when he spotted my ‘other’ purchase! In all honesty though, they were a bargain too good be true. I popped into our local factory outlet store and couldn’t resist a pair of Skechers Shape Ups for less than £30 – it would have been rude to say no. I’ve been eyeing up these bare foot technology shoes since they first came on the market years ago, but have never been able to bring myself to part with the sum of money they were asking for them – I am feeling mighty smug at todays bargain shopping skills.

A few years back the appeal was all about getting toned buttocks, but now I have more fundamental reasons for wanting a pair. My current stream of recent aches and pains is reaching the point where people daren’t ask me how I am, for fear of a long list of whinges escaping my mouth. But my lower back especially is becoming an increasing frustration. It’s been weeks since I last went for a run and I am missing my favourite pastime immensely. Although I am desperate to get back out pounding the streets again, for once I am listening to my body and having some rest time …. but my patience is wearing thin. My new Skechers promise to help with posture, core strength and reduced pressure on joints – sounds like just the recipe I need!

They might be a bit clumpy and unattractive, but nowadays I am past caring – needs must and all that (blasphemous thoughts I would never have dared to think a few years ago). But right now I need comfort, support and any help I can get! 🙂

I will keep you posted once I get to take them out for a spin …..

Day 28: Home Fitness

Its Day 28 of the Fitness blogger 30 day writing challenge and today it’s all about fitness in the comfort of my own home. Home fitness DVD’s have always been something I’ve indulged in. I like to go to organised classes when it comes to aerobics, but sometimes doing a DVD in front of the TV in your own lounge can be a lot less hassle and fits better into a busy schedule. Now I’m juggling a toddler, part-time job, blogging and looking after the house – trying to fit it all in can be a challenge sometimes. I often stick something in the DVD Player and then contend with my 3-year-old trying to join in! Press ups and planks are a lot more challenging with a toddler trying to climb on your back.

I tend to go through phases as to what types of aerobics or fitness DVDs I like, but some of my all time favourites have to be:

  1. Billy Blanks Tae Bo
  2. Ministry of Sound Workout: Pump it Up (the first one)
  3. Insanity
 
I also recently found a great site for Pilates classes called Pilates Anytime, which has a brilliant selection of different length routines – so I pop along there sometimes too.

The Wasteland

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers again and this week the photo prompt is:

They had been walking all day and Joe’s legs were weary, every step feeling like a lead weight was tied to his feet. He looked over to Carl, his sun reddened skin peering out above his bearded chin.

‘Do you think it’s much further?’ Joe asked.

‘It should be round this corner.’

They had been searching all week for the camp – in need of refuge from the arid landscape. As they approached the final bend, hope and relief was replaced with defeat and fear. The never-ending, harsh landscape stretched out in front of them, still no sign of the camp they so desperately seeked.

Blurred colours

Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes, but now I’m unable to focus past the haze of colours and blurred lines that represent my present. A lost soul amongst the uncertainties of what the future holds, grasping onto the last semblances of sanity before the madness takes hold. Before the image of last night, now imprinted on my brain, life had been picture perfect – bright, happy days, filled with the sunshine of family love. We had been childhood sweethearts, married young and raised a loving family in our perfect white picket fenced home. A devoted wife and mother, my life had been dedicated to the primping and preening of others needs, forgetful of my own self-worth. My family happiness integral to my whole sense of being and my own hopes, dreams and ambitions put on hold for the benefit of the greater good. Yet no sense of regret or resentment compounded my commitment and joy. Years of dedication passed, our children growing into adults in their own right, finally an opportunity to refocus and reignite our love and passion for one another again. But you chose a new fire to ignite, home not sweet enough to satiate your lustful hunger. ‘It wasn’t me, it was you’ – the classic one liner – an attempt to placate and soothe my emotions. A lie you had been living for so many years. Years which had been my sole purpose in life, now washed to meaningless by your false facade. Why seek love in the arms of another, when complete devotion was already at your door? The affection and love of years past now tarnished with your deceits. Would it not have been fairer to set me free before my prime had passed – I shouldn’t have been the cage that trapped you from your true desires. Colours are blurred, my hold on reality lost, your indiscretion now the definining moment of our lifelong relationship.

This piece of fiction was written for the Speakeasy weekly writing challenge number 151. This weeks challenge required the use of the quote ‘life had once been defined by linears and absolutes’ being used as the first line of the story. There was also the below photo prompt this week:

Day 24: Fitness Gimmicks

Day 24 of the Fitness Blogger 30 Day Writing Challenge and the question today is:

Have I ever fallen for a fitness gimmick?

I am verging on a marketers dream – an easy sell if you catch me in a weak mood. So, the answer is – oh yes, I most certainly have fallen for the odd fitness gimmick here and there. I actually find myself talking myself ‘out of’ buying fitness gimmicks, repeating the mantra ‘those fitness models did not get abs like that without a whole lot of hard work.’ But every so often I find myself swayed by the false promises of getting a body like ‘that’. I know I should know better, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. The most recent gimmick I found myself falling for was the Ab Circle Pro. Reeled in by the repetitive ads on the fitness channel I found myself wooed. Looking online and seeing the price of a new one, I safely managed to exercise some self-control and talked myself out of a silly purchase. That was until I saw a second hand one at half the price – a bargain too good to turn down. Pleased with my new purchase and determined to get abs to die for, knees in the straddles and ready for some hard core ab action – I pushed and I puffed and I didn’t move! Maybe the machine is made for lightweights or something, but I couldn’t budge it. If anyone has seen one of these, the idea is that your bottom half rocks from side to side in a semi-circular action, working deep into your core. Sod that, I was well and truly stationary and not going anywhere in a hurry. Needless to say I wrote that purchase off and resigned myself to another gimmick biting the dust!

Day 21: Caffeine ahoy

I must apologise, I am setting a dreadful example for my own initiated challenge, as I am horribly behind with my posting. We might have hopped off for a sneaky weekend away (sans kids) and my blog has been sorely neglected as a result. Get ready for a barrage of catch up posts to make up for lost time! 🙂

So it’s Day 21 of the Fitness Blogger 30 day Writing Challenge and the question today is whether I am a coffee drinker. Until recently, this would have been a big fat NO. I was never a coffee fan, finding the taste too strong and bitter for my liking and a bit harsh on my stomach. Something quite strange has happened though since starting the 5:2 Fasting Diet – I have acquired a taste for black coffee. However, this liking has only taken hold on fasting days – perhaps I am so desperate for food that I am attracted to the strong flavour of coffee to fill the void? Or maybe I would just consume anything I am allowed to on these days to save gnawing my own arm off! I’m not sure what the answer is, but this non-coffee drinker is moving into new and unknown territory. I don’t think I will ever be the world’s greatest fan, but I am starting to acquire a new taste sensation.

The Gypsy in me

‘Hey, come and look at this one,’ the OH calls from the kitchen.

I push myself tentatively up from the sofa, pain coursing down my left calf. Feeling like an old granny I hobble into the kitchen, struggling with the sharp jab in my leg. I peer over Rob’s shoulder to see the pictures of an attractive three bedroom house on his iPad. ‘That looks nice,’ I comment.

‘There are plenty of rentals out there for the same as what we pay now.’

It has been six months since we moved into our new home, excited at the prospect of being the first people to live in it. As the trucks and diggers rumbled past, we were confident that within a couple of months we would be amidst a brand spanking new housing estate, with prime position opposite the new park area.

This morning, I lost my footing on the half tarmaced driveway of the building site we still live on. A rather undignified fall and a few pulled muscles later, I feel like it might be the final nail in the coffin. Frustrated at the constant stream of mud, work machinery and builders, home isn’t feeling all that homely!

I think me and the OH must have some Gypsy heritage running through our veins, unable to settle anywhere for too long. Six to twelve months is the norm. We did manage a whole two years in one place once. Then there was the time we moved into a caravan as a temporary measure for a couple of weeks – a good few months later, we were still living in our cosy little home.

It’s been six months now …. are our feet getting jittery again, all under the guise of frustration at living amongst the outside mess and chaos. I think some seeds have been planted, the first steps of keeping our options open. Another couple of years and we will be tied to the strings of a local school for our little boy. Perhaps we should pack up, buy a caravan and wear off some of the jittery feelings! Or maybe we should just move house again – one last time! 🙂

This post was written for the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid no. 150.