Do you remember when
Read Fenella's hilarious adventures
We are the survivors
Sometimes I think life is haywire and everything is out of control. Children are no longer children like we were children. The school I work at, introduced a Dell laptop program for students two years ago. A year ago they ditched the Dell laptop prgogram and spent a fortune that could have gone into a nice healthy salary increase for me, and bought heaps of new Macbooks for a Macbook laptop program. Wandering down the corridors at breaks and lunch, I see kids Skyping their friends sitting next to them, instead of playing outside. What is the world coming to? Everything now has to be technology-based. Next year, this school is buying class sets of IPods so the students can record their voices. Can't they do that already with a Macbook? How the hell did we survive without technology?
This hub is dedicated to all who were born in the 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's !
Our mothers smoked, drank while they were pregnant and lived in houses with asbestos roofs. I know that our farm house had an asbestos roof and I think an asbestos water tank.
When our mothers had headaches, they took aspirin. When they were hungry they ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon, processed meat, and tuna from a can.
Nobody bothered about getting tested for diabetes or cervical cancer, or having your boob squashed in a mammogram.
Our baby cots and high-chairs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. Lead-based paints were also used on many of our toys.
Medicine bottles opened easily and you didn't need a university degree to figure out how to open a child-proof lid. Doors and cabinets were not childproofed. You were told not to open them and if you did you got a smack on the bum. You soon learnt what you weren't allowed to touch. We rode our bikes without helmets or shoes, and didn't have baby seats in cars or seatbelts and airbags. As students we hitchhiked without running into crazies.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. There was no such thing as 'sparkling' water or spa water.
When we didn't fell like cooking, we nipped down to the local fish and chip shop, or bought a meat pie from the corner bakery. There were no Pizza Huts, McDonalds , KFC, Burger King, Wendy's, Subway or Nandos. If you wanted take aways you had to get off your backside and fetch it yourself. There were no home deliveries.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death! We knew how to plan in advance.
We didn't get huge amounts of pocket money, and often had to do chores to earn our pocket money. As we didn't have much money, we often shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We could collect old glass drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some firecrackers to blow up frogs with. Guy Fawkes was not banned and we could fire up a Guy in our backyard.
We ate homemade cupcakes, cookies, white bread and real butter. We drank soft drinks with sugar in it and ate icecream in summer. But interestingly, we weren't overweight because.......
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would safely run around the neighbourhood, leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
We didn't have cellphones so no one was able to reach us all day. Amazingly, we were okay and always got home on time. If we didn't, no pocket money or a smack on the bum.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and other bits and pieces. We would race them down the hill, only to find out we forgotten the brakes. Sometimes we broke our arms or collar bones, but it was good fun. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars. We used to build forts amongst the lucern bales and make our own catapults that we would shoot little stones at each other.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no computer games at all, no cable TV,
no videos, cds and dvds. We had vinyl records which we swapped and collected and treasured.
On Saturday afternoon we would go to the bioscope to watch a film. A family treat might be to go to the drive-in to watch a double-feature on a Saturday or Friday night.
There were no mobile phones, no personal computers, no laptops, Macbooks, IPods, MP3s. No Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! Our friends were real people, not people we met on Facebook, Twitter, Hubpages or Skype.
When we fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, there was no hotshot lawyer trying to make Lawsuits from these accidents. We could go to a doctor and he would cure us, without being terrified he might get sued.
You believed in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas.
We were given air guns, Swiss army pocket knives and catapults for our birthdays,
Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! She was always there for us. We used to have family fun days with all the aunts, uncles and cousins.
Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and we knew exactly where we stood. We respected them and didn't even think to swear at them or call them names. We never heard of teachers being arrested for child pornography. We went to school to get an education, not to socialise and play on the computer.
We were given normal names like Fred, Sally, Cindy and Mark. Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Storm', 'Blade', 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'.
We had freedom to explore and learn from our mistakes, when we failed we stood up and tried again, our successes were celebrated by both our parents, we were given responsibility which we handled no problem. We learned how to deal with any problem that came our way. We survived it all!
Now, everything is politically correct. Don't smack a child on the bum if they are naughty. People are terrified of their children getting hurt, eating something toxic, getting sunburnt. Children are provided with every modern gadget, game and gizmo, all this technology, to stop them from playing outside. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves as students in inner city schools get wilder and more out of control, and they are not allowed to do anything to stop it. Families are breaking up and losing contact, keeping in touch via the internet.
Someone asked me the other day, which laptop program the new school I'm going to had. Windows or Mac. I replied with a smile, "Neither. We don't have a laptop program where I'm going. We have an outdoor education program."