Recently I have had bouts of being sorry I could never pursue a career in science. That seems the one area where it's still possible nowadays to develop new ideas while building on the achievements of the past, rather than just repeating them (often badly). Yet, despite working in a different field, my life has constantly run along with changes in technology. I was just eight when my father drove me in a car with a heater for the first time.

My latest venture is belatedly acquiring a smart phone, and a Spotify account for advert free music listening. So far this has just once enabled to play music for my mother when visiting across the screen at the care home. Hopefully, I shall be able to repeat that trick when restrictions ease.

Covid has had fluctuating effects for me. For months I was following the trend to digital - relying on my card more and using cash less. But as soon as I decided to (almost) shield to keep clear of overstretched hospitals, and so ask others to shop for me, cash became King once more. In an all digital future we may worry about making others, however honest, responsible for our cards.

Arguments about vaccines, climate change, and privatised space exploration help me to keep up a layman's interest in science. But even before I began writing with a computer over 30 years ago technical applications have followed me around like a shadow.


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