Saturday, 3 March 2012

Nostalgia Ain't What it Used to Be. Conclusion.

This piece is the actual end of the ebook I've been preparing. Funny business this writing milarky. An ego trip in a way. Some way to go re the technical side but nearly there I reckon. Don't they say there's a story in everyone waiting to get out. Hope these memories amuse.

'I remember the days when ‘No spitting’ signs were commonplace, particularly on public transport. So much so that a ‘clever dick’ in a local newspaper was moved to pontificate ‘Gentlemen who expectorate should not expect to rate as gentlemen’.
Memories of trains with a unique smell that blew out real soot; times when you wore socks not gloves on your hands to keep out the cold; coats on the bed for added warmth in winter and going to bed in daylight in summer. Omo and Ajax washing powder, Robin starch, Izal toilet paper for the posh and squares of newspaper on a nail for the not so well off. Beecham Powders, Venos Cough Mixture and Iodine, dolly tubs, tin baths and steam, always plenty of steam. Visits from the ‘Pru’ and the ‘tallyman’, both eager to collect money hard earned but easily spent.
The days when you had a choice of mild or bitter in the pub; dark mild to be avoided as the slops of other beers tended to be surreptitiously returned to the mild barrel by some unscrupulous landlords. And a time when some customers used the beer off, a side door to the pub. From where they fetched beer, one, two or four pints, usually in enamel jugs; taken home and drank in the privacy of their own homes.
I Spy Books, plasticine, fuzzy felts and cap guns; basin on your head haircuts, Beecham Pills, Cossor and HMV televisions; Vapex inhalers and Liberty bodices; Zal, Rinso and Quix; Elastoplast and SR toothpaste. Sunlight Soap and Opal Fruits, Dacron and drip dry shirts; brothel creepers and bootlace ties. Roy of the Rovers, ace goal scorer and Alf Tupper, world class sprinter who trained on fish and chips. Brown paper bags and kites made from newspaper. Plus scrap books, French knitting with the aid of a wooden bobbin and honing one’s tracing skills with the aid of greaseproof paper. Epilogues on the television; Bob a Job Week, bubble cars, bus conductors and Berni Inns; Tiger nuts, locust beans and gob-stoppers that changed colours; Formica and H-shaped television aerials dominating the landscape. Lone Ranger masks in puffed wheat packets, collecting BRS lorry numbers, Skiffle and the smell of Germicide toilet paper.
Summers when it never seemed to rain for weeks on end and winters when snow fell with regular abandon, especially at Christmas. Our bikes had poor brakes, our sledges no brakes plus we wore no helmets. We climbed trees, slowly and fell out of them quickly. We drank from wells, streams and public fountains and we shared luke warm water with numerous friends from far from clean bottles. We drank cow’s milk fresh and unpasteurised. We chewed all manner of grasses, bulbs and plants, some species known, others guessed at. We roamed the fields and barbed wire and nettles frequently inflicting pain but soon forgotten.
But the majority of us survived. Happy days! Look back and wonder but with few regrets. Look back and wonder, yes, but look forward too; for this individual at least it’s not over yet. Without becoming maudlin, I hope there were more than just a few laughs along the way. So you too must look in the mirror, wince if you must, but recognise what you see; a unique individual, shaped by life’s idiosyncrasies.'

Any more memories welcome. Any help, advice also welcome. The pictures, by the way are not me or family. Even I'm not that old!



5 comments:

Our Life In A Caravan said...

Looking forward to the book! So many memories, and I'm not as old as you! It makes me wonder if there was a definitive point where things changed?

Ruth said...

Love the reminders of things past! I remember many of the things you mentioned. Thanks!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Hi
Life in a caravan.

It must be subtle, this change thing I reckon. You blink and its gone.

Ruth
Thanks, glad you liked it!

cheshire wife said...

That was a trip down memory lane!

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