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Frank Hovis

Genuinely Good Modern Things

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I am in general a traditionalist. I still use fountain pens and much prefer reading on paper to reading on screen. Some things, however, represent real improvements on the past.

Leaving aside obvious things like washing machines I'll start small.

Mine is: the fleece

Like a jumper but much better for the outdoors (jumpers still have their place, I wear them indoors), it has zip pockets to keep things secure and the way that those pockets are attached mean that envelopes go on the inside easily, zip front for when it gets warm, and collar to turn up.

Machine washable, dries quickly after washing or a shower, and comes in different weights so I have a winter, spring/autumn, and summer weight.

Extremely cheap and depending on cut and material (pill resistant) can be smart enough to wear with a works uniform.

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Induction hobs. If you can't have a gas hob, then induction is a vast improvement on other electric cookers.

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I am in general a traditionalist. I still use fountain pens and much prefer reading on paper to reading on screen. Some things, however, represent real improvements on the past.

Leaving aside obvious things like washing machines I'll start small.

Mine is: the fleece

Like a jumper but much better for the outdoors (jumpers still have their place, I wear them indoors), it has zip pockets to keep things secure and the way that those pockets are attached mean that envelopes go on the inside easily, zip front for when it gets warm, and collar to turn up.

Machine washable, dries quickly after washing or a shower, and comes in different weights so I have a winter, spring/autumn, and summer weight.

Extremely cheap and depending on cut and material (pill resistant) can be smart enough to wear with a works uniform.

I'm liking you more now Frank. I have some lovely fountain pens! :blink:

What about the electric keyboard? It never goes out of tune, and isn't as heavy as a real piano.

What about Blu-Ray players? Fantastic.

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Guitars.

Vastly improved quality control and the consistency in production that CNC routing allows mean that the value for money in modern instruments is superb.

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Guitars.

Vastly improved quality control and the consistency in production that CNC routing allows mean that the value for money in modern instruments is superb.

Absolutely. It's very hard to find a dud! For somebody starting off nowadays, you will get a lovely instrument for not much.

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I'm not effluent enough to have one of those. Still got a DVD player.

Go on! You know you want one. Go for a good name like a Panasonic, or Pioneer. The Tesco own brand sh1t-jobs will not last.

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I will add Cars. Apart from their complexity, modern cars are astonishing when compared with what was common 40 years ago.

  • They hold together; don't rust too much.
  • They go well.
  • They are economical; sometimes astonishingly so.
  • They can be quiet and comfortable; depends on the car of course.
  • and so on....

PS - I love real pens and jumpers.

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Kindle. Especially all the free stuff you can get for it.

Those quick drying trousers, shirts etc you can use for travelling.

The 'sharing economy' - freecycle, Ebay, etc. So much easier to buy/sell stuff than it used to be.

Self-publishing (Amazon Createspace). It's helped me to build up a decent second income from the comfort of my armchair.

Dog sh*t boxes. Seriously - the cultural change to cleaning up dog sh*t is still heart warming for someone who grew up in the days when trailing excrement into the house was practically an every day occurrence.

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I will add Cars. Apart from their complexity, modern cars are astonishing when compared with what was common 40 years ago.

  • They hold together; don't rust too much.
  • They go well.
  • They are economical; sometimes astonishingly so.
  • They can be quiet and comfortable; depends on the car of course.
  • and so on....

PS - I love real pens and jumpers.

Yes, I remember the days when a ten-year old car had holes in it and the sills were stuffed with chicken wire and polyfilla.

This does not happen now.

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The simple little two man dome tents you get for £50. Light to carry, durable, so quick and simple to pitch, totally insect proof if you keep the fly sheet closed, survives anything this country'll throw weatherwise. VAST improvement on the tents of my childhood.

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Kindle. Especially all the free stuff you can get for it.

Those quick drying trousers, shirts etc you can use for travelling.

The 'sharing economy' - freecycle, Ebay, etc. So much easier to buy/sell stuff than it used to be.

Self-publishing (Amazon Createspace). It's helped me to build up a decent second income from the comfort of my armchair.

Dog sh*t boxes. Seriously - the cultural change to cleaning up dog sh*t is still heart warming for someone who grew up in the days when trailing excrement into the house was practically an every day occurrence.

I was very surprised when a mate of mine picked up the dog's poop with a plastic bag, and put in the poop bin. Nice and thoughtful. I didn't think he would do that! :blink:

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The simple little two man dome tents you get for £50. Light to carry, durable, so quick and simple to pitch, totally insect proof if you keep the fly sheet closed, survives anything this country'll throw weatherwise. VAST improvement on the tents of my childhood.

They were yurts! weren't they? Ghengis? :blink:

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Chicken wire.

Polyfilla.

Indispensable.

According to my Uncle.

Bet he sold some good cars! Mr Daley?

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Kindle. Especially all the free stuff you can get for it.

Those quick drying trousers, shirts etc you can use for travelling.

The 'sharing economy' - freecycle, Ebay, etc. So much easier to buy/sell stuff than it used to be.

Self-publishing (Amazon Createspace). It's helped me to build up a decent second income from the comfort of my armchair.

Dog sh*t boxes. Seriously - the cultural change to cleaning up dog sh*t is still heart warming for someone who grew up in the days when trailing excrement into the house was practically an every day occurrence.

I try not to pee myself too often, even when travelling. :blink:

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Mine is: the fleece

Like a jumper but much better for the outdoors (jumpers still have their place, I wear them indoors), it has zip pockets to keep things secure and the way that those pockets are attached mean that envelopes go on the inside easily, zip front for when it gets warm, and collar to turn up.

Aren't you describing ... a cardigan?

val-doonican-cardi_3361781k.jpg

Yes, that is Val Doonican.

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Magic ...

beer-widget-how.jpeg

You can't drink that stuff! Didn't you know Yorkshire makes fine ale? :blink:

Actually I thought your "good modern thing" might be a hoop-and-stick. What a way to travel? ;)

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VHS players! I have just got one, and look forward to viewing 'Friends' boxed sets.

Just bought my Mum a mangle too.

Betamax was the thing! "Mangle two" sounds like a sick video nasty of the 80s.

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LED torches. When I was a boy, a torch needed huge batteries that lasted about 25 minutes, and you had a feeble bulb that would burn out if you looked at it the wrong way. Now you can get an LED torch that will light up a building from 100 paces and runs on a couple of AA batteries that'll last for months.

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