I was just reminiscing about the good old days, those carefree days of childhood when everything was so different…Thank God, some things do change for the better!
- Who remembers that awful scratchy toilet paper (or was it tracing paper)? that didn’t wipe anything at all, instead just spreading it around. Not only that but it was so rough and got into all those tender places making them sore. This was all we had at school so we had to like it or lump it!
- The note from Mum. I love this one, it was like a magic ticket in some ways that NOBODY questioned. It got you off PE (well it would if it were genuine, I tried forging it once and got found out straight away)! Your Mum would send you off to the shops with a note for 20 cigarettes or Dad would want some beer, If you had the note, it was fine! I can’t believe looking back that I travelled back from Germany on my own at 14 years old on my own, via train and Ferry with just a Visitor’s Passport and a note from my Mum saying I was not a runaway
- Buying a single cigarette from the shop. This might not be common everywhere, but I do remember buying one or two single cigarettes on the way to, or home from school. There was also a cigarette vending machine at the end of our road which sold 7 cigarettes for something like 20p.
- Another one about school, corporal punishment I remember when I was at school there were various forms of this, the cane, the slipper, the strap and the ruler being the most popular If a child was unlucky enough to get punished at school then the chances are they would get another clout when they got home for being in trouble as they always knew!
- Nitty Nora the bug explorer! Otherwise known as the school nurse! Although there are still school nurses, they don’t go through your hair looking for lice (nits), as they did when I was at school. They were quite heavy-handed as I remember, and would go through us one at a time in a room. The door was left open though and everyone knew if you had them. You would then be sent home in disgrace to get yourself treated before being allowed back.
- Another thing I remember from school is having to back all of our books. I used to hate doing this, especially if we didn’t have any brown paper or anything. I have used rather garish wallpaper before now when there has been nothing else!
- Doing PE in just a vest and knickers! When I was in primary school girls and boys would do PE in their underwear! It seems odd now, but nobody thought anything of it.
I have had fun looking back at this list from my childhood, but I am sure there are many things I have forgotten. Can you think of any? Please let me know in the comments,
Some time ago I read a post by Wendy on the Rock where she talks about her love for bad language, particularly the ‘F’ word and how this used to upset her mother to hear her swearing at one time, but now she has become used to it.
I could relate to this post, mainly as it brought back memories of how strict my mum and stepdad were when my siblings and I were growing up. I have to say that as a little girl, I was not much of a swearer, in fact, I was reticent and a bit of a ‘Goody Two Shoes’. Well, truth be known, back in the ‘olden days’ we didn’t hear much bad language, not even on the TV (Mind you I had to be in bed before eight until I was about 12 years old)!
I never heard my mother swear at all, growing up, (I don’t count ‘bugger’, ‘bloody’ and ‘Christ’ as swearing. She did let the odd ‘shit’ slip out though (Ha Ha! bit of a double entendre there). Woe betide any of us that dared say any of those words though, We would be threatened as Wendy was, with our mouths being washed out with soap. My stepfather was a bit different though as he had a broad West Country ‘oooh-arrr’ type of accent that made us laugh, especially when he described someone falling as ‘going arse over tit’. Commonplace now but shocking to us kids back then. Mum would give him a bit of a look, but he was oblivious to it anyway!
I remember when I was about nine years old and desperate to grow up quickly, was upset about my deficiency in the boob department. We had been singing Christmas Carols at school. A line from ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ had piqued my interest, which was …’a breastful of milk and a manger full of hay’. Hmmm, did that mean that if I drank a lot of milk, then a would get big boobs, which I desperately wanted ( I was very innocent back then). Anyway, I asked my Mum for a glass of milk, and for some reason told her why I wanted it. She asked me to repeat what I had just said,
“To make my breastful of milk grow bigger,” I chirped. WRONG! I got a clout for that!. We did not discuss intimate body parts in our house, not even allowed to say ‘bum’. Bottom was the correct term for everything front and back, girls and boys! Sex education we learned at school (or from other kids), and I dreaded telling my Mum when puberty started!
I would never swear in front of my older brothers and sisters either, particularly my eldest sister as I would probably get a smack off her as well (she dobbed me in to my Mum when she found a packet of cigarettes on me when I was 13)!!! Funnily enough, Mum wasn’t as mad about that as she would be about us swearing!
My younger sister was and is a lot braver, and much feistier than I am. I remember once when we were teenagers; she was sleeping in my room, and as we used to fight like cat and dog then. I for once got furious and told her to ‘piss off”. Oh, no, Mum’s room was next door, and sure enough, my stepdad yelled, but at my sister, not me! No-one thought I had it in me to use such language!
Now of course. Mum doesn’t seem to mind her grand-children swearing, in fact, she has been known to come out with a few choice words herself. Not only that she openly talks about sex (CRINGE), and has a filthy mind we’ve discovered. When we have large family gatherings, we quite often end up playing games, and although they always start reasonably innocently, ‘consequences’ ends up making an appearance, and the filthier, the better!
For those unfamiliar with it, everyone starts off with a bit of paper, you write a girl’s name on it, fold it over, pass it to the next person and they write a boy’s name on it, fold it over, pass it on. Then write where they met, what they did, what he said, she said and how it ended up each time folding it over and passing it on. When that is over, you take it in turns to read out all the combinations. It is a playground game really, but you can get some interesting scenarios if you have a dirty mind!
It is odd though that I still have that fear (or respect) in me that I will not swear in front of my Mum!
Oooh, quite a tricky prompt for Colleen & Ronovan’s Writer’s Challenge post. Collen has given us ‘innocence to work with. I came across this quote which summed up innocence perfectly for me.
“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”
- Patrick Rothfuss
Those carefree days of childhood
Spent playing in the sun
Staying out from dawn till dusk
Laughing and having fun.
Playing footie on the field
Or swimming on a rope
Looking forward to each day
Fresh faces filled with hope.
Dancing with abandon
Free from worry and strife
No thought for the future
Just enjoying life
Relishing each moment
Splashing in the sea
Staying round a friend’s house
Having fish and chips for tea
Innocence is precious
As it doesn’t last that long
Savour every moment
As once it’s gone, it’s gone!