Today we got up and made plans to go to Chester Zoo, before discovering it was £15 a head. It’s not outlandish, I guess, especially if you make a day of it, but I felt that since it was around 11am already we wouldn’t be doing that. Plus with our digital camera being dead we wouldn’t have been able to take any decent pictures of the animals, either.
Deciding we’d go to Chester Zoo some other time, Fliss suggested that I could go and get Elisha a bike seat and then go on a ride up the trans-pennine trail in the direction of Southport. This sounded like a good alternative, since Aunty Mary had given us a cheque to pay for said bike seat and a helmet for Elisha when we saw her at Easter.
I was introduced to the ZX Spectrum by long-time, on-off family friend, Alan Green in late 1982. I’d go round to Alan’s house and sit in the corner of his lounge, where he had the Spectrum hooked up to a portable tv, and play the early games for it with him.
Alan always tried to get me interested in programming for it, too, saying I should work my way through the manual, which had examples and an index of every command that could be accessed from the Spectrum’s rubber multi-function keypad. Initially I gave that kind of thing a wide berth, as playing games was so much more fun than all the heavy duty stuff.
By the time I got my own Spectrum for Xmas 1983 I was right into it, though, writing loads of little programs in Sinclair Basic – most of which would draw random circles on the screen, or ask you for your name before PRINTing it out in random colours (Or pseudo-random, in the case of the Spectrum – there’d always be an emergent rainbow pattern that formed if you filled the screen up with “random” colours).
After finding out via Yahoo! Messenger on Monday afternoon that my company was planning compulsory redundancies, I didn’t much fancy my return to work after holiday on Tuesday.
As expected, the day was long and the atmosphere was grim.