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“Happy Days” … ?

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2014

Today is my 75th birthday, and I have to wonder, after all these years, how I managed to survive and enjoy my younger days in a world that today’s kids could not possibly imagine; for how would they fare without, what have become, the ‘basics’ of a modern life; for in my childhood there was.. NO

  • Television .. Just the BBC on the radio wireless.
  • Telephone .. The nearest one was two streets away on a shop counter.
  • Computer .. Great fun was had playing games in the street.
  • Motor car .. If a tram or bus didn’t go there, then, neither did I, unless I walked.
  • Bathroom .. A scrub in the kitchen sink or a tin bath by the fire.
  • Toilet paper ! .. I won’t go into detail.
  • Fast Food .. Only fish and chips. “Bring your own newspaper”.
  • Holidays .. Abroad ! Where was that ? .. Well, maybe a day by the sea.
  • Supermarket .. or “Can I scan your ration book?”
  • Refrigerator .. Only a daily walk to the shops by my mum.
  • Central heating .. Just open coal fires, even at school.
  • Shoes .. Oops ! .. No .. Sorry, I got carried away for a moment, so I’ll …

… give it a rest for now.

Perhaps I should give myself a birthday treat, with a longer trip down ‘memory lane’ ?

Well, perhaps not. It might put me off my …

… foie gras and Champagne.  😉


9 Responses to ““Happy Days” … ?”

  1. Red Baron said

    Well, well, well Big Man, happy birthday, is it really 75 already, I I knew you when you were just a mere strapping of a pensioner!!! As opposed to a man in his 70s I was a child of the 70s and things were thus:

    Television .. Only bought when I was 13 and so my grandmother could watch the news, took up half the room in a wooden cabinet and 3 people to lift! Just two BBC and 1 ITV which I wasn’t allowed to watch because adverts were evil (this is quite correct of course!) Oh and it didn’t run in the morning except for schools programs and it didn’t come in the afternoon until 3.30 with Play School. It then shut down after the late film at around 11 and the National Anthem played! What’s a colour TV?

    Telephone .. The nearest one was two streets away in a red phone box – queues down the street on a Sunday before dinner!

    Computers .. just came in – Yellow River on the BBC involving Xs or Spectrum cassette tapes which took hours to load and made a noise like a fax machine.

    Motor car .. Trams? Bloody luxury, we didnt have them in my day. No. 11 bus to school I had or a 20 min walk to the nearest tube station.

    Bathroom .. Hot running water and an outside khazi still very much in evidence in the terraced housing, we had a separate toilet indoors in our flat for a while but when moved had to share a bathroom with the people above!

    Toilet paper ! .. I will go into detail – shiny on one side and ripped your arid to ribbons it did. Izal – I’ll never forget it, I saw some on sale not so many years ago heaven knows what idiot still buys it.

    Fast Food .. Only fish and chips. Newspaper provided! We did have an ice cream parlour – yes “parlour” but it was the Fulham Road you know!

    Holidays .. Calais, we were cosmopolitan and my Grandmother lived in Kent!

    Supermarket .. What? We had the grocer, the greengrocer, the butcher, the baker and knew them all by name. They’d give my mother a little extra because she was on her own and they liked my smile! (Tried that at Tescos and have another 6 months on the Anti-Social Behaviour order!)

    Refrigerator .. I got to go on the daily shop with mother!

    Central heating .. Coal? Ha you’ll be lucky, miners are on strike and all the powers off!

    Shoes .. So many choices, Clarks or Start-Rite!

    Since I haven’t written in donkey’s years I might have to steal your post and shamelessly use it as a catalyst if you don’t mind. Have a good day mon brave.

  2. Big John said

    Be my guest, Amigo. Great to know that you are still around ‘Baron’.

  3. Maria said

    Happy Birthday, my friend. I read you every time you post, but lately seem to read only. I keep promising myself to do better with the writing, but so far still just reading. Any way, I hope your birthday is a great one. I just celebrated my 78th a few days ago.

  4. Grannymar said

    A very happy three quarters of a century! Have a wonderful day and don’t go getting up to any mischief. On second thoughts, go for it and rave away if you feel like it!

  5. Happy Birthday, John! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  6. Rummuser said

    A belated birthday greetings John and best wishes for many happy returns too. I am just five years younger to you and relate. I am sure that you will enjoy reading my forthcoming LBC post this Friday the 14th.

  7. Gabbygeezer said

    Happy Birthday, young sprout. I thought my childhood included some rough going, but it looks pretty cushy compared to yours. I’m going to steal yours and make a comparison on my blog. Get down to the pub and hoist one or two now. Cheers!

  8. Ginnie said

    Now I know why I’ve always related to you so well, John. My birthday is today (the 15th) and I can beat you out here …I am 81 !!
    That makes the two of us Aquarians … the best sign in the Zodiac if you ask me !! However, according to the astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society they’d like to see that change. They’ve declared the snake-bearing OPHIUCHUS to be a new sign of the Zodiac and he’s slithered in to upset the apple cart.. They want the months to be divided by 13 instead of 12 and that puts our birthdates under the sign of CAPRICORN.
    Can you imagine you and me as stodgy old Capricornians ???

  9. Big John said

    Many thanks for all the birthday greetings folks.

    Ginnie .. I’m not too concerned about not being an Aquarian, as I’m sure a lot of people already class me as a ‘silly old goat’ ! … 🙂

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