I remember winters when I was a kid. My folks had this little stand-alone gas heater, which didn’t look like much but had the capacity to warm up the whole open plan living space – especially if you grabbed the dog and got under a blanket with it. Now that I live in a house with a central heating and cooling system, all zoned and everything, I sometimes think fondly of that little box and the simplicity of its one row of flickering gas flames.
Not to wax too poetical – mum has since hinted that it might have been a bit of a fire hazard. Still, it’s funny what you take for granted when you’re a kid, not to mention what you find you look back on with nostalgia as a grown up. If I’m honest, I think a big part of it is the lack of responsibilities – for example, as a kid, I never had to scour my schedule for a spare block of time in which to book a central heating service. Melbourne is starting to get cold now; must prioritise that.
That said, I think I worried more as a kid. Like, I remember getting really confused and bursting into tears once when we were on holiday and I couldn’t work the hotel’s split system heating. Melbourne kids of the 90s, can any of you relate? Technology then was not what it is now – no nicely designed touch screens, just a confusing bundle of remotes, each one a bulky slab of ineffectual buttons. If you were lucky, some of them would even work. More often than not, though, they were all out of batteries.
Ah, memories. Don’t even get me started on paper-based filing systems of my primary school years, or the dependence on my parents’ desktop computer and so-called ‘word-art’ that characterised my early high school career.