Thursday, 19 November 2015

before internet

Was there a time?
I can just remember, hazily, a time, yes - paper, pen, libraries, phones fixed to a plug in the wall, dangling boingy cable attached to a large plastic banana-shaped handset.

My boyfriend at the time had a fax machine! I can remember the wild excitement; people queuing up to use it, and then the even more wild excitement when he purchased an Apple Mac - one of those, that in my mind's eye, resembled a beige cereal box with a tiny screen.

While clearing out a bookshelf yesterday, I came across the early version of today's Smart Phones - The Filofax.
My Filofax - how proud I was of it at the time. It was the lifeline in my job (stylist). Information stored of transport companies, prop houses, photographers, etc. But unlike a smart phone, the information stored within had virtually no order; a vague nod to someones surname, or street name where someone might have told me that Fred so and so lived - he who might be able to lend me a vintage Bentley for a photo shoot, or whatever I was sweatily tracking down at that moment in time.
When I look at this book now, I realise I had a map of it in my head; knew which thumbed page to alight on for Aardvark courriers, Harrods food hall, or Nina the makeup artist. Even without looking in the Filofax I could recall over forty telephone numbers (I checked once), now, I can call to mind about six.
How did I do that job without emails? I can't imagine now the endless phone calls, checking a re-checking dates, times, deliveries. But I did. We did. The world did function, even though you could only go to the bank between certain hours in the afternoon.
Below, a page from the afore-mentioned book, including a piranha and a phone number for Ryanair - imagine, no booking a flight on-line . . .

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