While having a
nice cup of tea important meeting with some lovely people today, conversation turned to “Were things better in the olden days”. By olden days, I am not talking “days of yore” or anything prehistoric…. just 1950’s-ish. The days when children were sent out to play after breakfast and told they didn’t need to come home until teatime. When children were children and not mini-beauty queens. When you could leave your front door unlocked, and let your goat graze at the side of the road without worry of someone breaking in, or stealing your favourite caprine. When old ladies didn’t get killed in their beds, and policemen were old enough to wear long trousers… I digress…
So were things actually better? Everyone knew everyone, and, although I am clearly not old enough to remember (smooths out wrinkles, and sucks in cheeks) people helped each other. The war had ended, with rationing on its way out, and life was just preparing for the swinging Sixties. What’s not to like?
Or was the street full of busybodies, peeping out from behind the net curtains, and gossiping over the garden fence in the style of Ena Sharples? People went out to work because they wanted to, and children could eat 3 good meals a day, with pudding and not get fat, because they played out instead of on computers. Was it that we just didn’t hear about the kidnaps and murders because there wasn’t such a strong media culture? Or do we just remember the 1950’s through rose tinted spectacles?
My dad, a child of the 60’s really, was often sent to the shops on his bike to buy food, and had to go by himself, give the list to the shopkeeper, pay, then ride home again balancing the shopping on his handlebars. I can’t imagine ever asking Ben to do that! If they wanted to cross the road, children asked a stranger to help them. Oh what it would be like to live in a world with so much less worry. It sounds almost idyllic. Okay, so there were no holidays in foreign climes, but it sounds like life was far less stressful, and generally more enjoyable. I think I’d be tempted to give it a shot… Wonder how we can get it back?