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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Are you sure you’re having a good life?

I was just reading a blog post Here which reminded me of the days of my youth as well.

Long, long ago back in the days of my youth people were very very careful with their money and what they would spend it on. There was little or no credit as such, occasional store "tick" but that was often measured in weeks not years like today's credit cards, there were also savings schemes like the Co-op "Divi"
Thing was people were very careful with their money as they knew that if it ran out, well you went hungry till you got paid, gardens were for vegetables mostly and anyone who had a allotment was envied.
Seems people though are heading back to those days...

I’m still careful with my money. I have credit cards but only use them in an emergency. A case in point was when I was inadvertently stranded on a Caribbean island and needed to book an onward flight to join my ship. I always used to carry an empty credit card just for those types of emergency.

I was born not long after WW11 and was brought up in an austerity era where most things were in short supply. Butter was still rationed, to give one example.

How society has changed.

Doors used to be left open. Now I have multiple door and window locks, and a burglar alarm.

The local Policeman called you “Sir”. Now you are very lucky to see one.

Politicians were good for their word. The current crop should be strung up from lampposts. (If you need piano wire in the future, give me a call).

Children respected their elders. Now us elders just get shunted off the pavements by feral gangs of school kids.

Schools had strict rules and dress codes. God forbid that you disobeyed the rules. The teachers had the power of gods.

Single mothers were not a thing that was encouraged. marriage was the only true state to bring a family up in. marriage was for life.

Homosexuality was taboo. The word “Gay” meant you were in a happy state enjoying yourself.

Very few people had a fridge, let alone a freezer. The larder was king.

For those who could afford a black and white TV, there was only one channel, broadcasting for only a few hours a day. (Anyone else remember “Muffin the Mule”).

Cars were the spawn of the devil when it came to handling and power. My Austin Cambridge required that you turned the steering wheel at least half a mile before a bend just to get around it.

Holidays were spent on wind swept beaches in the UK. Package Holidays had yet to be invented.

There was no E-mail. But we learnt to write letters in flowing script. A skill that has been lost.

Of course the younger reader will scoff at this post as being the moaning of an Oldie who has had a miserable past.

You’d be wrong.

I had a wonderful childhood. Everyone  helped who they could.  Life was simple but fun.

We learnt to live with what life had dealt us. Are you so sure you have a better life now?

I think not.


  1. Ah, that was when Saturday was spend traipsing round building sites 'rescuing' Corona bottles to take back to the sweet shop to claim the 3d 'return''.

    And when the only flavour crisps had, was provided by the little blue bag of salt, because cheese-and-onion crisps hadn't been invented.

  2. Ancient + Tattered Airman8 September 2011 at 22:12

    And we were an homogenous people with a common ethos.

  3. Politicians were good for their word.

    But looking at the history books I'd say that they were still cunts.

  4. I remember "Muffin the Mule". It was legal back then.

  5. @ FrankC

    It still is, in some middle-eastern countries:

  6. Filthy
    I was born in 1956 and can remember most of those times you mention, and yes I think they were better times, safer times.
    Questions: Why was there rationing?
    Had the Germans bombed all the Cows?
    Did all the miners go on strike?
    Were all the orchards burned for firewood?
    Was there no farmers to gather the harvests?

  7. Back then everything was rationed mostly through 'Austerity'.
    Of course there were strikes that is what socialism is all about.
    The biggest rationing was income 500 pound a year was an income then.

  8. D.O.B. 1957, all I can recall is rationed holiday money when going on an overseas school trip. Exchange controls still existed up to at least 1970.

    Re Open doors. I was driving through a white urban jungle and asked my companion "If this place is so bad how come some houses have their doors and windows open?"

    "It's to show the junkies and thieves that they have nothing left worth stealing, it's already been stolen".

  9. In line with your 'back in the day' posts, and in the off-chance you haven't seen it before, I'm sure you'll be able to relate to this, so true, footy fun;
    Pinch and post if you wish - I did!!

  10. Riding on an old tractor across the fields sitting on the mudguard. What would ELF and safetee say about that.

    Cycling 5 miles to school and back.

  11. Born early 1950 & still have my Ration Book somewhere (probably at the bottom of my ditty box, with my Service docs) .. ;)


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