Turn of the wheel


The car pulled out in front of me and stood out from the rest of the traffic like the proverbial sore thumb. I followed it up the long road towards the village, conscious of how different it looked. Neither veteran nor vintage, it was simply an older model Volvo… nothing special, not that old either; but while all the other cars on the road, including my own display all the seductive curves of a beauty contest, the Volvo still sported the angularity of … well, not so very long ago, when I thought about it.

It struck me that it is only over the past decade, really, that cars have moved into this aerodynamic voluptuousness. Even then, the change has been such a gradual shift, with cars of all ages on the roads, that we barely take any notice. It was only seeing this one against the backdrop of so many others that made it stand out from the crowd at all.

I was surprised to realise that I had grown used to the seeing curves. I hadn’t particularly liked the design departure when it had been introduced. The rounded contours didn’t look ‘right’ to someone who had grown up in a world of automotive angles and fins. The only really curvy cars were things like the Morgan… or the E-Type… vehicles whose shape fills me with driverly lust. Most standard family cars were less wanton and more straitlaced in their proportions.

How long, I wondered, had it taken for the change to settle into our minds as ‘normal’? At what point had ‘novel’ become ‘usual’? And isn’t it incredible how adaptable we are as a species? Any one of us who looks back over our lifetime… whatever our age… can see how much the world has changed for us, even in a few brief decades. The lives of men are short, no more than a speck of dust on the evolutionary timescale, yet we handle the rapidity of change with barely a raised eyebrow.

I find that amazing.

I was born before Uri Gagarin went into space… before Armstrong stood on the moon. When most phone calls were made from the red phone box by using a round dial and long before modern computers changed our world. I remember so many changes… yet adapting to them seems to leave no trace in memory. We just do.

It was borne home just how quickly strange becomes normal as I started to set up my new phone. Very different from the last phone… it Does Stuff. I’ll even be able to access the sites my computer won’t let me! And it does it much faster. In fact, it appears to be faster than my PC. And I don’t have clue how to get it set up… except, actually, I do. When did that happen? How come?

I mean, I’ve always kept up with technology as far as my means would allow, ever since I got hooked on the possibilities. But when did being clueless become being competent? And I didn’t even notice…

That is pretty incredible. Not me being able to press a non-existent button on a flat glass screen … the human capacity to adapt to and benefit from change. Perhaps it is that, rather than our famously opposable thumb that has allowed our species such evolutionary success?

On the down-side, it does mean we are probably far quicker than we should be to ‘accept’ the negatives of our world… the political finagling, the socio-ecomonic problems that ought to bother us far more than they tend to in daily life. We’ve got used to violence and to the dumbed down varieties of mass entertainment.

On the other hand, it just shows how quickly humanity could adapt to a better way of living, and how easily peace and equality could slip into the conscious mind as ‘normal’ if we can ever manage to attain it.

Either way… I was just another of those great realisations. Humanity has such potential…. I wonder what we’ll do with it next?

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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26 Responses to Turn of the wheel

  1. Darcy says:

    Yay, a smartphone! (But I have to admit they’re smarter than I am!) Have fun!


  2. lauramacky says:

    I notice the lines of cars as well. What I don’t care for is this alpha-numeric naming of cars. What happened to good old names? Some retained them like the names. How will we look back and remember an RX300?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Runs out to the parking lot and hugs her 2001 Volvo, a gift from her deceased daddy, and says “sometimes sore thumbs are the best gift ever”


  4. I hate to admit that I know little to nothing about cars. I wish I knew more about certain things but so much is going on these days I have to make choices. I’d make more choices if I could afford it. 🙂


  5. Funny what becomes ‘normal’ so easily, good and bad! My smart phone is smarter than me too😂


  6. Ritu says:

    Grant thoughts Sue! Pits true, though we don’t think we could, we do adapt fairly quickly… Even my nearly 70 years old Pops is a whizz now on his smart phone, but a few years ago, he wouldn’t even touch a computer, making my mum do all the computery and internetty stuff!


  7. stevetanham says:

    Reblogged this on stevetanham and commented:
    Sue does a wheelie . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  8. jenanita01 says:

    practically everything is smarter than me these days, and being anywhere near a PC brings me out in a rash! Jaye calls herself a technophobe, but she can still perform virtual digital miracles. Thank God one of us can…


  9. TanGental says:

    Lovely point about adaptability; I vividly remember sitting watching that first moon footstep – I was 13. My Gran sat next to me on the sofa prodding me to keep me awake. Mum looked at us and said something along the line of, ‘Is it odd, watching this, mama?’ My gran shrugged. ‘No, why?’ ‘Because you said you remember hearing about man’s first ever flight with the Wright Brothers and now we’re on the moon.’ ‘I stopped being surprised when I saw my first TV. That was amazing. After that there was something new every year.’


  10. noelleg44 says:

    Nice cogitations! The first phone I remember is a black one, where I picked up the speaker part and talked to an operator to get the person I wanted. Loved the words aerodynamic voluptuousness! I have always called these jelly bean cars because they all look the same, just in different colors.


  11. Eliza Waters says:

    It is quite mind-boggling to think about the rapid trajectory technology has taken in the past decade or two. Humans have always been adaptable, leading to our ‘success’ as a species, but I do wonder where this will eventually take us, for better or worse!


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