Sunday, 1 April 2012

A taste of my childhood ...

I have added the next instalment to War Diary Year II and updated the Seasonal Food pages above.

Life changes so much it is sometimes hard to grasp hold of it as it runs by at high speed. Reading other peoples blogs and comments they leave on them, got me thinking about how much things have changed since my childhood and how much has been lost that might not be recovered. Some for the good others a great loss.

I'm sure everyone, from any generation, who looks back can see changes. Here are some of the things that I remember as a child, many of which were not available to my son as he grew up. They are in no particular order.

Playing out all day, anywhere we wanted without fear. Walking to school and back. Buying an individual Harvest apple pie for lunch. Playing in a playground full of things such as a Witches Hat, roundabout, a long horse that we all sat on and rocked, giant see saws and even bigger slides and swings. Rolling down grassy slopes.

Sitting in a field of cowslips – not just a few scattered around, but a whole field of them, almost like a crop of wheat. Walking through the heady scent of bluebell and violet woods. Wheat fields full of poppies. Lush prairies of wildflower meadows, or meadows in general, listening to the insect life swarming around us. Swimming in ponds and river edges without shopping trolleys, bikes or other rubbish in them. Sitting by a stream fishing with a stick and a piece of string. Our feet in the water, never occurring to us that our toes might get bitten by pike!

Making go-karts out of pram wheels and bits of wood strapped together with string. Playing ball games, marbles, sharing a bike and skates. Building tree houses and making dens out of a stick and old blanket. Scrumping apples and other things. Picking berries and fields full of mushrooms.

Chicken pox and measles parties. Birthday parties where you couldn't afford to take a present and it being okay because going was a good enough present. Minuscule amounts of pocket money but it lasted. Buying midget gems, barley twists 1d each, black jacks, 4 for a 1d. Buying Corona pop and taking the bottle back to get 1d or 2d. Frozen triangles of orange juice in a waxed paper holder (I think they were called a pyramid and were 6d). Mum making ice lollies out of juice ice cubes and sticks.

We caught and shared just about every childhood infection going. Don't remember having nits but we had Scabies and TB at school. Athletes foot, verrucas, chilblains, warts, split toes, split ears from pulling off tight jumpers. 

Hand me down clothes and shoes.Making clothes from pulled apart old ones, pulling out old sweaters, rewinding the wool and knitting new ones. Going to jumble sales.

Using the phone box to make a call or to ask the time. Dialling up the operator and yelling 'Get off the line, there's a train coming'. Pushing the B button in case someone had forgotten and we could get their penny back. Having a party line phone which is a phone shared between 2 or more neighbours and having to keep checking they were off the line before you could make a phone call. Mind you, you could also listen to their conversations!

Going on the occasional holiday, either by train or bus. Spending all day at the sea side getting burnt. Eating sandwiches with sand in them.Hard boiled egg races at Easter and only one egg if you were lucky. A Christmas stocking that was often the main present but if not, one or two small presents only and being mostly happy with them.

Horrible school uniforms with the mandatory berry. Having the board rubber thrown at you, or worse still, the giant board ruler hit across your hands or back. Being caned, standing in a waste bin in the middle of the playground as a punishment. Dreadful overcooked school meals. None of the above were applied to me, I was too scared. I did however have to write out the word February 1000 times in my business studies class as I kept writing it Febuary. I've never forgotten how to write it since.

I could go on and on but will stop now.

So, could I instil anything remotely similar into my son's life to give him a taste of good childhood values? Well, you will have to wait for tomorrow to find out.


  1. Some of those made me laugh, especially the bit about phones:)

    They were the good old days, much better values, people are so shallow now I think.

    I remember when I could go to the shop and get 8 blackjacks! Still remember standing looking at all the sweet selection and wondering(for what seemed like ages) trying to decide what to buy with my sixpence coin, remember them?

    I've still got some of the football cards my brother and I used to buy in a pack with a piece of bubble gum. aaahhh happy times.

  2. Yes, I used to kid myself that my 6d was really a silver 3d in disguise. When I was 8, 9 and 10, 6d was my weekly pocket money. I often bought rainbow puffs/drops, the coloured rice crispie things. Now, you really could get loads of them for a 1d scoop!

  3. I remember all this - a lovely blog - thank you xx

  4. Good times. I remember the witches hat and the rocket! Last I heard they were banned by some officious jobs worth, mind you, I do remember my brother knocking out one of his front teeth on the rocket!

  5. Yes, we used to get injured as well but somehow seemed to brush ourselves off and get on with playing.


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