Taking Stock - June 16, 2014

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These days when I want to know something – say where to buy dog food at 6.30pm on a Sunday – I turn to the web.

It’s in my pocket, all the time (unless I’m on a train or at the bottom of the garden where reception is best described as ‘sketchy’)

But I still remember the time all we had was Teletext.

Oh the excitement when it arrived at Stocks Towers.

It was almost like magic that one moment you could be watching Paul Daniels (I liked him, but not a lot) – the next you could be checking the latest headlines, picking up team news for the weekend or playing hilariously bad games.

The most intensely used numbers gradually worn off the remote control – which had its own dog shaped holster perched on the arm of the sofa.

Saturday’s were when Ceefax got the most punishment page 306 reloaded maniacally at 4.50pm in case of any late drama.

Granted there were problems – like the danger of falling asleep as the concert guide page scrolled through 172 Joan Armatrading dates.

Then there was the fact nobody could watch the magic lantern until you were done – not unless they used the high-tech but deeply flawed ‘mix’ button.

There’d be the anxious wait for an ad break in Morse (exempt from the ITV ban as it was judged a BBC show that had just got a little lost) to see if Burnley’s comeback had started at Chesterfield – it never did.

Now of course, I can just check Twitter or any number of sports apps.

Which all makes Teletext a little redundant.

In fact I was surprised to learn it’s still going – no longer in that chunky, comforting white and green on black kind of way, but somewhere in the land of red buttons.

With the internet at my fingetips it all seems a little bit slow – stuck between this century and the last.

It’s sometimes how I feel –the missing link between the analogue and digital age. Not so good looking, full of useless facts and prone to repeating itself every 20 minutes or so.

Come to think of it, we have quite a lot in common.