Sunday, June 06, 2010

Those Good Old Days...

You have to feel sorry for modern children. They’re continually being told how brilliant everything was back in the 50s and 60s – the clothes, the music, the freedom. It’s a wonder they find any point in being born at all, when it’s plain that they’ve missed all the fun.
In my mailbox this morning, I found the following; a hymn to those good old days...

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and 70's!
*First, we 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, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
*Then after that trauma, 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 or shoes, 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 drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
*We ate cupcakes, 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. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
*We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams 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 HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

*We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents...
*We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
*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 and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
*Mum 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
*The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

*Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'.
*We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !
And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

(All very well, and true to some extent, but let's not forget that we also had diphtheria, polio and thalidomide. We had regular beatings with sticks, rulers and belts. We had Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr. We had school dentists. And of course we had Sundays, bloody Sundays...)


Anonymous said...

Yes, I DO wish that I had been able to play out properly when I was little. I think everyone would be a little more light-hearted and independent in my generation these days if that had been the case. It sounded fun despite the diseases!

(And yes, this is Dragon-Lydia-who-wrote-a-really-long-letter if you hadn't already guessed!)

Steve Augarde said...

Hallo again, Lydia. Good to hear from you.
I think that when people say they miss the good old days, they're actually saying that they miss their youth. Enjoy it while you've got it, is what I say.

Jim Murdoch said...

Every generation has its pluses and minuses and a lot of how people grade these will depend on who they are. I don't suffer from nostalgia very often. Different is not automatically worse. I'm just glad that there were more positives to my childhood than negatives although I remember the down side of my childhood with far greater clarity than the good bits. What I did find amusing was my daughter in her late teens expressing nostalgia for her childhood. That I did find funny.

Steve Augarde said...

Interesting, Jim. Maybe nostalgia in the young demonstrates a fear of the future rather than a yearning for the past.