Shackled to fate

A column provides information on the first arrivals in Australia by Europeans. The Rocks, Sydney.

So I did something very silly the other day. I was at the birthday party of a work colleague at her house, in the garden to be precise. I had a few beers, as expected. There was a huge ice bucket at the bottom of the garden filled with our beers and as I went to get my 5th (maybe 6th?), out slipped my iPhone from my pocket and straight into the bucket. 

It was a big bucket. The few seconds it was in there seemed much longer as I frantically pushed the beers and ice cubes around until I found it. This is much harder at night whilst mildly intoxicated. Into a bowl of rice it went and here I am typing to you on it. Woohoo!

I went to the Apple Store to get the charger port cleaned out, I was told that although it is working the water damage indicators have been set off and it is a matter of time before it shuts down. How marvellous. You would think waterproof phones would be a priority for a company that has successfully launched face recognition and living in a country that is very coastal, it would put my mind at rest if they were.

So I just have to wait. Days? Months? Who knows. I hope to one day live in an age in which we don’t have to wait for the expiry date to hit, whether it is a disease of the human body or the technology we use. It is a weird time for us to exist, a time in which we can diagnose disease and predict how long we have before it takes over without being able to stop it in its tracks. This sucks a lot. So today, I thank the lucky stars that it is my phone going down this path and not me.

I knew there was something I should be grateful about today!


Cars are modern horses

A sausage, bean and chese melt, the first in a couple of months as I have really tried to cut down before travelling this year. A large coffee because they ran out of regular cups and were feeling generous. This holiday is off to a flying start!

I love airports. They fascinate me. After a very stressful last minute pack I have finally made it to the airport. I am lucky enough to have a very convenient metro system that takes me from the city centre to the airport terminal doors in roughly 20 minutes. This means I can enjoy a few bevvies and not worry how much the airport parking will cost for seven days, all for £3.30.

Ports of the air, the new and quicker way to travel and unseen for centuries. Oh how lucky we are to have them. Sea ports are great and all, however one cup of coffee and a pasty would not be sufficient to fill me travelling by sea from the north of England to the south of Spain. Isn’t it amazing to be able to travel such vast distances in so little time? I would get over it but I do not want to.

Like the car is the new and improved, air conditioned horse of today, airports fill our increasing demand for travel. What is next, the space port? Vaccum-tunnel port? Whatever it is I am sure to be as excited as historical sailors would be to see the ports of today.

A new purpose 

I wonder when the last petrol station will close it’s doors. When there is no longer enough business from the cars driving by or flying overhead. What will they become?

Will they become diners? Maybe they will slowly deteriorate like aircraft in a scrapyard until the land is bought and houses are built. Maybe some will be preserved as museums, teaching future humans about fossil fuels and the cars of 2017.

I have no idea but it is fun to guess. It is fun to look around and wonder what aspects of our normality will be needless in future. I hope some of these are preserved for us to remember, even if there is a new purpose. Will telephone boxes be a good place to place defibrillators? Will petrol stations be a good place for electronic cars to charge?

Will airports be a good place for space centres in a future with increased space travel? I’m sure as time goes on, the past will be a great home for new possibilities and ways of life. What we need to do is ensure that we are willing to change the present and let the past make way for the future.

I’ve played basketball in a church on a full sized court. I’ve dined in the carriage of a train that was once used as transport and now sits on the beach. I’ve visited a castle that was once for defence and now for entertainment. With every attraction that has been transformed from the original purpose, not once have I wished it was back doing what it was built for. Why cling to the past with so much future potential?

I read something beautiful today. Your future self is watching you right now through memories. I sat and thought about it. I felt detached from my future self yet loved by him. Although my cells will be different my memories won’t be. We will have the same mutual loves and needs. 

I hope my future self has a future that hasn’t been forced into staying the same as I see it presently. If it does, apologies to my future self, I didn’t want it to be that way. 

If not, future self, I told you so.

Future freedoms 

Historical buildings are beautiful. Historical religious buildings are not exempt from my opinion. Churches and cathedrals take my breath away with ease, they do regularly.

To me, religious buildings do not vary too much. They do a little, but you can easily guess what worshipers you will find inside by looking at the architecture. That is the problem for me, there can only differ so much. Largely, the main differences are fairly subtle. The local Church for Chinese Christians is unique in it’s appearance in my city. It is simply a building like every other in the street, with the words ‘Church for Chinese Christians’ along the front in bold text. Whenever I have seen a church differing in design, it is because the inhabitants have taken an average building and converted it into a place of worship.

I snapped this image a few years back when my sister sailed from Portsmouth to Amsterdam for the successful Tall Ships race. The Spinnaker Tower above dominates the skyline in Portsmouth, and when I take trips to see my family on the Isle of Wight, a good hour long ferry ride, I take a moment to scope out the tower on the mainland. This is what excites me about the future. A world in which architecture has that free pass to venture into new areas. I know that the past hasn’t been a total nightmare for architects, shackled to a strict religious practice to adhere to, however it will be great for many future architects to think of something new without the first thought being ‘I wonder what God would want here?’

The Spinnaker Tower above isn’t the best tower ever created, but to me it’s a pretty one. It made me think of the interesting shapes and designs we will have to look forward in the upcoming decades whilst I flick through old photos.

And looking at some of the brutalist concrete buildings of the sixties still standing today, dare I say that I kind of wish that religions had more of an input?

That was a thing?!

People had to go into those boxes to call people?

People had to put letters in that red box to contact other people? It would take days to reach them?!

Those horrible grey poles used to light up the street?

It’s funny how all the old buildings on the land behind have been demolished to make room for more modern homes, I wonder how long phone and post boxes will stand the test of time?

The old future is similar to the new past

English beaches act as a time machine, with constant reminders of former glory days. In a time when resorts flourished, families flocked to the beach in masses for their holiday. Hotels were full and fish and chip shops thrived. We see the now run-down hotels and bricked up promenades as a history lesson of tourism. 

It still is beautiful, many landmarks have been free standing since invasion was the main reason for travel.


Times have changed as have trends. We now fly across continents, easier than ever before. Whilst at the beach above a friend highlighted the change in demand. To think the main holiday in the fifties was a domestic trip is pretty inconceivable now, with so many great european destinations under a two hour flight.

It is seen as old fashioned. As will our current holiday trends, we just don’t know it yet. In the future our offspring will hopefully get the opportunity to fly to various planets, leaving Earths gravitational pull with as much ease as an aircraft leaving the tarmac. How old fashioned will our current vacations seem? 

‘What? My great granddad had to stay on Earth for his travels?!’

I’m hoping that is the response. If humanity would work together to improve our travel methods instead of strategically planning to blow them out of the sky we would be a little closer to space travel. All this protesting against gender equality and gay rights is a total waste of potential. It is vital to just shut up and move on to prevent our future from the same arguments we waste our time with today. Just grow up and help the world leave behind the days of discrimination which will inevitably be a dark and distant memory anyway. Let’s make sure the past is not too similar to the future.

Isn’t it better to be the first in an exiting new era of equality or be remembered as one of the last generations to become extinct fighting it?