Tuesday, 14 May 2013

University of Life

I have seen many changes in my life. Being a post war baby, I was born into a time of austerity. However, by the time I left school, employment was easy to find. If you did not like what you were doing, you could easily get a job next door. Getting to University required money or brains - both it seemed were mutually exclusive.

I was brought up in a family that like the milk had a daily newspaper delivered as well. Books were always around and the library was a regular visit.  We liked to listen to the radio on a Sunday afternoon. Around the Horne and the Navy Lark were particular favourites.  At home when I was a kid we had a small black and white TV. Today the change is that the colour flat screen TV on the wall is much bigger than the book case.

We had real heros that we wanted to emulate like Geoff Duke, Danny Blanchflower, Brian Trubshaw and Mike Hailwood. There were also the mythical heroes like Dan Dare. We read the  Eagle, Adventure and Hotspur while the girls did Bunty!

We were accustomed to writing letters as a means of communication. With the odd phone call that was a timed event at the local telephone box. Photographs taken with friends were for only for special occasions. And became rare much treasured memories. Now we have photobucket.

Today we have a telephone in our pocket, it's also a satellite navigation system and a video camera and a still camera. But the worst thing of all is the hatred that I feel for an inanimate object caused by predictive text.  Can you believe that kids sat in the same room now text each other.  Do U want 2 no ow 2  txt talk M8? 
The mobile phone has become a form of protection against crime. Instant photographs and videos can be circulated in seconds on Facebook and Youtube  For protection from the state sponsored anarchist the mobile phone is now the weapon of choice for the protesters and interested passers by.

There were local bobbies on the beat, our was called Don. He had a reddish face and had consumed a few extra pies. Our mothers would ask Don to have a word, if we were getting a bit unruly. There were stories circulating in my peer group that you might get either a cuff round the ear or a visit from them at home. It struck fear and awe into us and was more than enough to keep us in line. We had some grudging respect for them and it was much later before they became, rozzers, fuzz and woodentops.  Now, you only see a policeman when he is driving from one place to another. I have no idea what their names are and they are always either sat writing or sat driving.

We also liked to play various games, usually with a pack of cards. Even the ones with Mr Bun the baker. However, we sometimes played board games. Waddingtons made a famous board game called Monopoly. Monopoly is an old game that reflects the old business life. Buying property and charging rent and an integral part of the game was the bank. The reason monopoly is so old fashioned today is because back then even the banker could still go to jail.

Most families had pets of one kind or another, we had a dog. Some kids from poor families had flea's. During the summer holidays we would get occasionally get a bit bored of playing football with coats used to mark the goals. We also sometimes became bored of  swimming unless the local cutie was around.  We would look around for other kinds of entertainment. I remember one year, it was snail racing. I don't remember how it came about. However, my pet snail was too slow to win races, so I took his shell off. However, it made no difference at all. It just made him even more sluggish.

Our world today is governed by speed, getting things done quickly, immediately and with much less patience. With all of the progress we have made, don't you just wish, if only just once, you could slip back in time and savour once more that much slower pace of life. Then to be able to share it with the busy busy busy youngsters of today? 


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