My Brother and his Porsche

I never used to be the biggest fan of technology.

I know that seems a strange thing to say on a blog centred around electronics, but it’s true.

When I grew up in the 80s, it wasn’t exactly ‘cool’ to be into computers.

Star Trek, the sci-fi sensation that had got the world wondering about our bright collective futures, had ended 15 years ago and people had decided to relegate it to the past, along with an interest in space, technology and gadgets as a fad. The optimism and idealism that had fuelled the Moon Landings some 12 years or so back had been forgotten; replaced by a sense of dread and hopelessness.

It was this joyful world that I was born into. My father worked in an office, filing papers for an Insurance Broker, his role was a junior one that was shackled by the technological limitations that still gripped the rest of the world. I don’t suppose there’s a job title for what he really did – computers do all the filing now. I remember him being dimly aware of his waning usefulness, as if he knew that the job that he had dedicated a large portion of his waking life to, would soon be made obsolete.

My brother was under no illusion about this. When he’d grown old enough to start ‘piping up’, as my Father would call it, he would berate my Dad for being stuck in a dead end job with no skills, whilst the rest of the world learned about the wonders of the future that would see us gainfully employed in the 21st Century, driving floating Porsches. That’s the part that would rankle my Father the most and send him flying out the door on his way to three¬†swiftly drained pints at The Lamb & Flag.

I couldn’t say that my brother’s portents were completely misplaced. He studied hard at school, focusing on the Sciences that would later usher him into the world of Information Technology, whereas I looked to follow my Father’s footsteps and enter into the world of Financial Administration.

Little did we know, that by the turn of the new century, we would all be typing and clicking on high-powered computers as if we were putting pen to paper. The floating Porsches haven’t quite arrived yet, I always tease him about this, when I see him. His answer to this running joke was buying a vintage Porsche for my Father on his 65th Birthday – a gift so extravagant and kindhearted that it could not be refused.

A few years after my Father passed away, my brother picked me up, on the way to Liverpool to take the car in. Tech-9 Porsche Servicing would be giving the car its annual look-over.

We drove down the M6, him opening up the engine a little too aggressive, me slightly gripping the sides of the car. I’d never quite got used to how low to the ground the vehicle sat and it unnerved me to know that the hard tarmac was whizzing just a few inches beneath me at over 80mph. He’d earned the money for it, a decade before, through working overseas for an American Electronics firm. On that trip, he persuaded me to make a lateral job move, away from the Civil Service and into the Private Technology sector.

My Father was a man that I admired very much – but in the end it was my brother’s example I had to follow to reach my goals.