Last week I was tasked by one of my wife’s many Aunts with the task of changing the ribbon on her typewriter. Whilst I had the machine I thought I would have a little play on it and write a blog post. Interestingly the most challenging part was not the typing, but actually structuring my thoughts. In the end I -pre-wrote the whole article and then typed it.
So for today’s (short) blog post we’re going retro, with an old-fashioned typewriter. This one is an OLYMPIA Carina II which belongs to my wife’s Tante (Aunt). It’s a fabulously German version, a QWERTZ layout and keys for umlauts (Ää Öö Üü) and the ß. It may seem old-fashioned for her to still be using a typewriter, but she’s almost blind and needs to do most things in life by touch. Using a typewriter again remind me of my Mum, who was a trained typist. For many years she was the Stokesley correspondent for the Darlington and Stockton Times newspaper. She spent many an evening bashing out reports from the local Parish Council meetings in return for pay of 2p per published line. After Mum left school she worked with her parents running their butcher’s stall in St. Hilda Market Middlesbrough. I’m guessing that at some point it was decided it would be good for her to be a little more independent and learn a skill, so she went to Secretarial Collage. After her training she worked for the steel form Dorman Long in Middlesbrough, the company who famously made the Sydney Harbour Bridge. To get to work she travelled on the bus, where she got to know my father. They married in 1960, my brother arrived in 1962 and they remained happily married until my Mum’s death in 2002.