Thursday, 15 January 2009

Noughts

It was a brave new world indeed when we entered the 21st Century, which as every pedant will tell you was January 1st 2001. However, pedants be damned, because the real knees-up for the second millennium's passing was on December 31st 1999. I remember it well. I had a stinking cold. I watched everyone else celebrating on the telly. I (probably) said something really grouchy. I went to bed at 10.30 p.m.

At the time, just the very number 2000 was mind-boggling. Normally, it was only associated with crackpot doomsday cults and Nostradamus. But then, there we were. February 19th 2000. Went to shops. Had sausages for tea.

My point is, however big a psychological barrier it may have been - and let's face it, it wasn't, it was simple mathematics - I've gotten rather used to living in THE FUTURE now, I have to say. As we plod on towards the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, I increasingly find years such as "1996" appearing to me as quaint and fusty old relics. God, I'm getting old. When did I get so old?

Of course, the final ignominy is yet to come. For people of my generation, at least. We've all grown up surrounded by a world where the elderly were born in the same Century as us, numerically speaking. I always wondered what it must have been like for my parents, dealing with grandparents who were born in exotic sounding years like 1874 or suchlike. Well, chaps, when it's our turn to start looking our age as well as feeling it, rest assured youngsters will point out that we were not only born in a different Century to them, but in a different bloody Millennium. Such a time bomb exists for me within my own family, as my niece was born in 2006. Luckily, by the time she starts school in September 2011, the education system will be so dumbed-down I'll have died of old age before she has learnt to count to a hundred. Phew.

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