Honestly, it's a wonder any of us have survived to tell the tale...what with seriously deficient teachers and drinking raw milk...sitting on the top decks of 'buses smoking furiously and eating soft boiled eggs...not both at the same time...ought to have re-worded that...
Trains had plush fabric seats probably stuffed full of germs and we ate sugar sandwiches on white bread spread with hard margarine...everyone ate puddings...not a fat free yogurt but a stodgy suet pud with a thick layer of treacle on the bottom...the Sunday roast had a layer of yellow marbled fat and Mother simply topped up the white pottery bowl she kept for the fat and the dripping each week...but we didn't get food poisoning.
There were no such things as seat belts in cars and when you took a new baby home you sat in the front seat with the baby...practically everyone had a playpen...that'd be called child restraint nowadays I expect...and a bucket full of nappies soaking either in the bathroom...if you had a bathroom, or in the kitchen.
Policemen had smiley faces and rode about on bicycles...now they look like the rejects from an S.A.S. selection and are armed to the back teeth with Tasers and such-like...the only self-help books were Dr Spock for bringing up children and The Female Eunuch for aspiring feminists...
The only cookbook I owned was 100 Ways With Mince...Kiwi fruit were called Chinese Gooseberries and a full fruit bowl had six apples in it...milk came in glass bottles and everybody saved the foil tops for whatever charity was in vogue at the time...shops had sad plaster figures of children wearing a leg brace and holding a collection box...for the Spastic Society...there were Golden Labradors' with a box hanging from their collar for The Sunshine Homes For Blind Babies...I always put my penny into the dogs box because I felt more sorry for blind babies than I did for a spastic girl...
We saved the Gollywogs which came on a jar of jam and sent away for a proper metal badge when we had enough...Bunty was a girls comic which had stories about girls running away to join a circus or receiving their very own pony...not a single hint about applying make-up or what to do when your boyfriend wants to have sex.
Lady Chatterley's Lover was passed around as we waded through it trying to find the dirty bits and eating anything, apart from an ice-cream, in the street was considered the height of bad manners.
Tramps called at the back door and asked for a cup of tea or an old shirt or pair of trousers...even my Mother used to give them something, though she'd never have allowed them into the house.
No-one had a freezer or a microwave or a self-cleaning oven and Mothers tended to stay at home while their children were young...and they wore aprons and you did your homework before tea time.
No-one needed counselling if a person died tragically and schools kept open through the winter whether there was six foot of snow or not...televisions were black and white and cumbersome and we used telephone boxes to call for an ambulance or the fire brigade...credit cards were for the future but we did have the 'tallyman' who would sell you a new settee or a cooker and then call each week for the small payment ...
If you'd reached the age of eight and hadn't had your tonsils and adenoids out it was nothing short of a miracle and dentists took teeth out with gay abandon...because of over-crowding in the mouth. There was no nonsense about a parent walking down to the operating theatre with you either...
Feet were carefully measured every time you had new school shoes by a girl wearing a Clarks badge to say she was qualified to do so and there was always toe room left 'for growth'...we ate jam sandwiches and weren't allowed coffee and had to finish everything on the plate and a treat was a little packet of brightly coloured orange powder which made an orangeade drink when mixed with water...
Father referred to Gay people as being 'artistic' but as children we were still grappling with the idea of sex...never mind its variations and roast pork always had a thick rind of crispy crackling and eggs had orange yolks and when we ate out in a cafe we had to sit up straight and remember to say thank you when the girl brought the food...as if we've have forgotten...and we ate small cream cakes with a pastry fork and tried hard not to make a mess.
Schools didn't have anti-bullying measures in place because had there been any bullying it would have been stamped on immediately and we knew that Miss Ward...who tried to teach us Esperanto...was not quite the ticket and we were kind to her and made allowances and even the lads sat quietly and tried their level best to grasp how to say 'What time is the next 'bus' in Esperanto.
We discovered Gauloise cigarettes and Roger McGough and we went to poetry readings in dimly lit 'pubs and then it was Long John Baldry and Georgie Fame who sang on the canal boat clubs and we wore long skirts and Patchchouli oil and we drank too much real ale and had to be on duty at seven in the morning...we began to understand what it was we wanted and we lusted after sultry unobtainable men and wore Biba clothes and woke up beside a man we hardly knew too often.
But haven't we had the most interesting lives...