Breakout by Georgie Watts

GuestBloggerGood friend to GEEKED, and author/illustrator Georgie Watts has once again put the proverbial pen to paper. Her new memoir, Cross Eyed Coconut Head- Memoirs of a Wonky Girl, promises not only darkly humorous writing but also cheekily ‘wonky’ illustrations. Below is an excerpt from Memoirs entitled, ‘Breakout’. Enjoy!


In somewhat of a similar fashion I guess to today’s youth, at times, I would seek the comforting arms (keys) of a computer game console – in this case my Sinclair Spectrum ZX81. Dear Reader, this machine did not have the internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, apps, cartridges, disks, or tapes, or any other sensible means of carrying portable data.

Yes, I do unfortunately come from a distant era (possibly in a faraway galaxy) whereby manufacturers made computers with the cruellest levels of built-in frustration and the lowest levels of RAM, meaning that you had to TYPE THE BLOODY GAMES IN YOURSELF! If you missed out ONE EFFING CHARACTER in line 50, the whole game wouldn’t load properly and you would have to start again or HURL THE EFFING THING OUT OF YOUR EFFING BEDROOM WINDOW!
When the tenth attempt at retyping the code for ‘Breakout’ on my ZX81 had become too much for me and not even my father could get past line 300 without starting to shake and sweat, we decided to get a more technological model.

After a regrettable incident with a cassette-driven BBC computer, (whereby my father took it apart, couldn’t reassemble it and told the store that it just started whistling) he swapped it for the Amstrad CPC6128.  Rather than just play the games it came with, I found myself in further game coding heaven – even more functions to make rudimentary games and patterns with!

Until however, my father sought to make things ‘fair’ by removing my beloved  computer out of my room and putting it in the dining room so my brother could play on it as well – what a bastard!

There, as my mother peeled potatoes with a murderously sharp knife, my brother and I shared the machine via pushing, pulling, pinching and screaming.


Order Georgie’s memoir here: And follow her on Twitter or Facebook.


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