Sunday, 10 January 2010

The way we was brung up

Not one mention of the weather today - whoops - ignore that last remark!

A time for reflection today prompted by one of these e-mails you get now and then with a bit of useful philosophy rather than sickly pyramid e-mails that seem to come in bursts from friends or relatives that you feel obliged to pass on. I don't I'm afraid. If someone wants to tell me they think a lot of me - send a personal e-mail! But that's not a criticism and perhaps no-one thinks of me in that way in any case.

I suppose this is for the benefit of anyone born before the 1980s and takes a look at life as it used to be. I have edited it for content to make it less... racy and I can't acknowledge the originator because there isn't one.

Now you might think, when you read this list, that the reason we have so many laws and nanny state rules in the UK is to avoid facing some of these things on the list. Indeed you might recoil in horror at some of the tricks we used to get up to. Never the less even if we only did a few of these things, we survived. We faced 'character building' moments, some of which we may never forget, but they made some of us what we are today. It's meant to be a giggle and be thought provoking. Don't get too wound up.

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can. Our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death! We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect old glass bottles and cash them in at the corner shop or the 'beer off' and buy toffees, blackjacks, salted crisps (with the little bag of salt in a blue wrapper) gobstoppers, bubble gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with (I never did!)

We ate white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. We put liquorice sticks in bottles of water to make them look like cola which most of us couldn't afford.

No one was able to reach us all day and we were okay. We would spend hours building our go-carts, made out of old prams or old wooden floor boards and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones, lost teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears!

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house - no MSN or Yahoo Messenger then!

Most mums didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment; imagine that! Getting into the team was based on merit, not on who your dad was.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! Most of our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids either which made their offspring's life at school unbearable.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And if you are one of them, congratulations!

Have a think about that one.

Chat soon



  1. Yes ! Yes! So true! Ahhhhh for the flat wagons and blackjacks!!
    It gave us 'Backbone' and that true 'Northern Grit'.

    Vicky x

  2. Hi Auntiegwen
    Yes, I added the bit about the liquorice in the water bottles something I remember doing for a day out in the park - on my own!

    Hi Diane
    Memories indeed - the freedom we had was frightening by today's standards.

    Hi Vicky
    I loved the taste of blackjacks and fruit salads but they used to stick to my teeth something rotten! Four for a penny if I remember right.

    XX to all.

  3. Great blog and quite right. Oh don't get me started on those bloody 'forward' those chain texts. I hate them, and they are always from people who you never hear from any other time.

  4. Hi Val
    Bane of my life. Good friends mean well I know and some of them are entertaining for sure, but when they say 'send them to twenty of your friends (assuming I have twenty friends) and see what rewards you get,' then my sceptical side kicks in. Hope everyone there is getting a thaw and life is getting back to normal.

  5. those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end.....
    Josie x