A couple of nostalgic dissertations for Sixties children....

Me and next door's chickens    Me feeding next door's chickens       Colney Heath JMI c.1961

If you lived as a child in the 50's or 60's, looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have...
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding with all the windows open on a warm day
was always a special treat. Our cots and beds were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cupboards, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle - Horrors! We would spend hours building go-carts
out of scrap and then ride them down the hill, only to find out that we'd forgotten the brakes.
After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem. 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.
No mobile phones. Unthinkable. We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no law suits
from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights, punched each other and got black and blue, and learned to get over it. We ate raw cake mix,
bread and real butter, and drank neat cordial, but we were never overweight...we were always outside playing.
We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this. We did not have Playstations,
Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games, 65 channels on pay TV, video tape movies, surround sound, personal mobile phones,
Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside and found them.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.
Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! How did we do it?
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen,
we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever. Footy and netball had tryouts
and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't just had to learn to deal with disappointment.....

Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed an exam and were held back to repeat the same grade.
Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own - consequences were expected. No-one to hide behind.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law - imagine that!

For these reasons the baby boom generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all. If you're one of us - Congratulations! Wasn't it great!

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Dad, Me and the O.B. van Stephen, Valerie and me        Me   Dinou

I just want to be a child again.... close your eyes and go back in time....

Before the Internet or the Apple Mac.... before semi-automatics, joyriders and crack....
Before SEGA or X-Box or Super Nintendo.... way back........ I'm talking about....

Hide and seek in the park,
The Corner Shop and four-a-penny chews,
hopscotch and butterscotch,
skipping, jacks, marbles, handstands and football with an old can.
conker fights, kiss chase, home made kites, Beano, Dandy, Bunty and Twinkle,
roly poly, bows and arrows, hula hoops, swapping scraps and tea cards,
jumping the stream, rope swings, building dams and collecting returnable bottles.

The smell of bonfire smoke and fresh cut grass, an ice cream in a square cone on a warm summer night
from the van that plays a tune - chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or maybe Neapolitan ...... or perhaps a wafer?
Saturday morning club at the cinema, Cubs in proper uniform, British Bulldog in the playground...
When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed like really going somewhere.
Earwigs, wasps and bee stings. Sticky fingers, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and Robin Hood.

Climbing trees, building igloos out of snow banks and forts out of newly cut grass.
Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Running until you were out of breath.
Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights.
Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles. Being tired from playing....remember that?
When the worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

Water balloons were the ultimate weapon, football cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
Eating raw jelly. Orange squash ice pops and Corona from the milk van.
Remember when there were three types of trainers - girls and boys, and Dunlop Green Flash
- and the only time you wore them at school was for P.E. or Games
You knew everyone in your street - and so did your parents. It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
You didn't sleep a wink on Christmas Eve. When nobody owned a pure-bred dog.
When five shillings was decent pocket money and you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny.

When nearly everyone's mum was at home when the kids got there and it was 'magic' when dad would "remove" his thumb.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him, or use him to carry groceries
and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it. When being sent to the Headmaster's office was nothing
compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs etc.
Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! - and some of us are still afraid of them!!

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!"
Remember when.... decisions were made by going "Dip Dip Dip", "race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly"
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs.........
and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one.

It was unbelievable that British Bulldog and Ice Sliding weren't Olympic events.
Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a catapult or a pea shooter. Nobody was prettier than Mum.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable aspirin.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group. Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors......

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED.

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