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Fond dreams of the 70/80's

(103 Posts)
ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 06:40:59

OK so I'm giving myself away to be aged but I don't care. Was reading another super poster who is cooking a load of party food from scratch it made me think back to a time when I didn't have to be a pro at this adulting business.

All the foods our parents would cook, sitting in a pub with a can of coke and bag of crisps, parties with home made grub and cheese/pineapple hedgehogs. The local social club for weddings and parties. The same place hosting random bands on a Saturday, bingo on a Sunday. Or the bigger ones that had a bigger lounge, where you'd go after bowls on a Saturday, watching your family play on fruit machines, just wanting to be allowed to press the button.

Being able to bike for miles, swim in rivers, jump off bridges into the murky depths below. Exploring, so much exploring. Going cap in hand to a farmer who's track we'd followed, coming back at dusk on our bikes to see the gate bolted. Getting a brew & cake from the farmers wife, whilst the farmer told the best stories.

Going to the play park / recreation ground after hours with alcohol you paid a random adult outside a shop to get you. Cigarettes that cost next to nothing. Fish & chips on Fridays. As a rare rare treat a trip to the Chinese, which wasn't actually for you, but prawn crackers dipped in your Dads curry.

Babysitting for kids you barely knew, because the parents knew a friend of a friend of your parents. LP's, proper music you had to save for, not just click buy on iTunes. The Atari was tech golddust. No computers, the first when I was in my teens in the 80's being the Amstrad CPC 464, screeching tapes to load a game. That's right kids games on cassettes. Although you don't even know what a cassette is. Not to mention TV before Sky, how did we cope? We got Sky pretty much as it came out, even then there weren't a thousand channels. Your brother watching German TV late at night, because, well we all know why.

Those phones you had to dial with your finger in a circle. Any phonecall after 10 and you assumed someone must have died. VHS tapes to record stuff, with murder being a choice when someone taped over your programme. Has to be mentioned, trying to record to top 40 on a Sunday grin old style disc jockeys. None of this down with the kids stuff. Although possibly shouldn't mention them as not all are the paragons of virtue we believed. Disco's where you usually ended up in the school toilets with a friend with smudged mascara as a boy had been a dick. Hairstyles that are simply the opposite of the straightened within an in of its life look now. Not knowing if you lit a cigarette after using half a can of hair spray if the room would combust.

Kissing and smoking behind the bike sheds at school. MLiving in fear of getting in trouble because the teachers could launch the blackboard rubber at you or worse, the phone call home! Times when your parents would take the teachers word as tacit proof and you'd get a bollocking at school then worse at home.

Im sure I've missed loads out, but does anyone else remember those times of simplicity fondly?

ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 06:45:13

If you had a choice between being a parent then & now which would you choose? Mums nearly never worked, or if they did it was when Dad was home. But you'd walk to school into an empty house at 10/11 and be in heaven.

I would do anything for an old style

I'll add in the 90's for good measure as they weren't that bad.

ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 06:47:54

I didn't ask you to post that I was looking for a picture angry

The old style HiFi stacking systems that had your dual tape deck, radio, record player, then later ones CD. With speakers that you could move.

If anyone has a decent system gathering dust I'd love to get one!

dudsville Sun 12-Feb-17 06:53:41

I know there were unknown risks then, but I sometimes think I would have been a parent if I was of age then. I don't like patenting nowadays with all the ambitious and driving to ask the clubs and kids needing really huge amounts of money from the get go. Your post is a beautiful thing op, are you a writer? I'm sure you could submit that!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sun 12-Feb-17 06:59:24

Definitely be a parent now. Things have changed because the lax parenting of the past resulted in so many horrific things happening.

Also I like to be able to work, I like that divorces are comparatively easy with no stigma, and I like that it's no longer legal to rape your wife.

Some very rose tinted glasses there. BUT I agree that it probably would be nice to have fewer worries because you lived in ignorance.

PossumInAPearTree Sun 12-Feb-17 07:08:38

I was born in the mid 70s so remember the 80s well.

It probably is rose tinted specs but the summers seemed so hot. Memories of weeks on end living outside in shorts and tshirt, paddling pool in the garden, water fights with the other kids in the neighbourhood.

Go off on BMXs all day, bike to the woods and build tree houses, bike to the river and along the river path. Swim in the river. My parents bought me and my brother canoes each....second hand fibre glass ones. We used to drag them across the field to the river and spend all day paddling up and down. No life jackets and I couldn't swim very well at all!

I look back on stuff like that and am slightly horrified. But it was just normal back then.

echt Sun 12-Feb-17 07:27:31

Things have changed because the lax parenting of the past resulted in so many horrific things happening.

What do you mean? What happened then that doesn't happen now?

Aeroflotgirl Sun 12-Feb-17 07:41:16

I agree, childhood seemed so free then, and much easier, less stress and pressure that kids now have. No SATS, learning targets, tablets, internet. We rode our bikes all day, climbed trees, it just seemed more carefree. Plus my wonderful dad was alive, he died in 1989, when I was 11.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 12-Feb-17 07:42:53

I would be a parent now though, both my kids have SN, the provision is so much better now.

ipswichwitch Sun 12-Feb-17 07:50:05

I was talking to someone the other day about the horrendous safety videos we had to watch in primary school. The one that sticks in my mind was Ten Little Indians, which was about a gang of 10 kids who all died horribly in farming accidents (we lived rurally) - it was the stuff of nightmares, but did the job since I never went anywhere near haystacks again!

There seems to be a lot more thought into what's suitable tv viewing for kids now. I gave a some thought as to wether Star Wars would be scary for my 5 yo before letting him watch it. My dad used to let me watch The Equalizer at the same age if I got out of bed!

Cheesymonster Sun 12-Feb-17 07:58:26

Ipswich - you've just reminded me of one we had to watch with a boy playing on a building site. Horrible!

I lived with my nana during every school holiday and she used to let me stay up until all hours of the night watching late night tv - Prisoner Cell Block H was one of them! I remember having nightmares for a week when she let me watch Devil Rides Out (70s horror) - mum was furious grin

(PS - I'm in Ipswich too <waves>)

ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 08:02:32

Aeroflot I'm sorry to hear that about your Dad.

You reminded me about making rope swings into the river and rope swings off trees. We rarely ever went to the Dr's or A&E, unless a bone was actually visibly broken, or we were really ill. In fact in them days I recall your ACTUAL GP doing home visits at night, any time. I think I had croup or something. You went to school unless you were really ill. A grazed knee would seldom get a plaster let alone a letter home inclusive of First Aiders assessment. That amazing game clackers was it, two balls separated by string that you swing above your head swinging, the release, with friends hoping not to be collateral damage.

Thankyou Dudsville, in my dreams I'd love to write. If it was only one book in my life time.

I look at my children now and feel despair at times. DS has been away and enjoyed it, I suggested Scouts, which I have done a few times. DH thinks it's a bit nerdy, but to me it's working toward achieving badges in lots of things plus camping. Just speaking to DS now who has woke up and is on his iPhone. It saddens me that there isn't the freedom now, also chances to get experiences without shelling a fortune. An example, boys would take a football to the park and the girls would be there watching & being girly. Now you'd need a referee at least, or a parent to supervise, as most children including my own think they're right.

At 7 I was riding my bike to get a loaf of break or milk from the shops. At 11 I was getting the bus into town with my pocket money with friends, we would spend hours trying things on, painting a stray nail with the sample nail varnish from Boots. My DD wants a salon based mini me makeover party for her birthday. She's at Primary school!

What was your most sought after toy?

NancyDonahue Sun 12-Feb-17 08:04:27

It's the same with any generation I think. Today's children will have their own fond memories. However, I do think that the 70's and 80's did have an extra special.. something. Maybe it was the tech era just nudging in. We still played outside etc but had the thrill of plugging Pong into the TV too.

This sums it up beautifully.

skerrywind Sun 12-Feb-17 08:04:43

No I don't remember those times fondly.

Watch "On the Buses" and you will see why.

In the early 70s women were unable to get credit without permission of a man, smoking was everywhere, I particulary remember the fug in cinemas. Domestic violence was accepted, sexism and sex abuse was ignored, families who had children who were sexually abused were advised by police to ignore the matter because of the shame it would bring. Anyone on benefits truly struggled to live.
As a girl I had to study cooking and sewing at school while boys enjoyed wood and metal work.
Teachers were able to belt and hit pupils.

No these were horrible time.
Nutrition was bad and fashion was horrendous.

ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 08:05:57

I do admit my brother was just seen to be a little shit, another younger brother was the same behaviourally, he got a diagnosis on the ASD which shows that for that circumstance, were better off now. But it did my brother no home being labelled as a little shit, I think he took pride in it.

VintagePerfumista Sun 12-Feb-17 08:07:10

Horrific things happened then, like they happen now. What an odd thing to say. Like what?

OP- I spent a day yesterday in 80s reverie on Youtube remembering my cousin and I schlepping off to the park with her cassette recorder and "I surrender" by Rainbow grin blasting out to attract the attention of the boys who had considerably more hair than we did.

Apart from the going out with your friends and only coming home when you were hungry or mucky, I think it was just a lot simpler.

If I had to pick one thing it would be that there was no 24 hour communication- and therefore no 24 hour mega paranoia if someone isn't immediately available. We've created our own monster in Thinking The Worst (not only for children, but also us as adults) if our whatsapp isn't immediately answered, or our FB immediately liked. And communication I think was more solid- WA groups/FB pages, it's 99% shite and empty chitchat just for the sake of it.

I was doing a lesson with my teens on love the other day, and we were building a story involving how the 2 protagonists communicate. Nobody mentioned a letter. I still have letters that I would run into a burning building for. I may have waited 10 days for them to arrive, but it's an ecstasy of waiting.

Likewise Christmas- I know this gets mentioned on Christmas threads, but if I even look at the old fashioned 70s garlands and very NOT shatterproof ornaments, I almost weep with visceral nostalgia. And an Avon Moonwind talc and soap set was something to be coveted.

The smell of a felt-tip and the pages of a new colouring book are my version of Proust's madeleine. I wonder if an Iphone box will be the same for our children?

I miss also that other people could shout at your kids without there being a 1000 post "AIBU to want to poke my neighbour in the eye for daring to shout at my PFB" (who was undoubtedly doing something that s/he deserved to be shouted at for) Ditto teachers. I was shouted at by my neighbours (June down the road must have about 30 of my tennis balls that went over her fence) and by my teachers. My Mum didn't go to the governors, the LEA and MN, she shouted at me again for not bloody behaving.

notaflyingmonkey Sun 12-Feb-17 08:09:25

I think being a kid now is so much harder. The internet and social media are such game changers (over sharing of how brilliant someone says their life is, and being naive enough to fall for it, and measure yourself (and come up short) accordingly.

Maybe because I grew up on a council estate, so my friends were all in similar positions to me in that few families had large disposable income so we tended to all be skint, and that was the norm.

skerrywind Sun 12-Feb-17 08:24:40

I think being a kid now is much easier.

Bullying is taken seriously, we listen far more to kids, we all have more disposable income, girls are not so subject to sexism, the internet has brought more information and opportunities, child abuse is taken seriously. My kids have a far easier childhood than I did.

VintagePerfumista Sun 12-Feb-17 08:25:38

I disagree about school then and now, in as far as stress on kids goes. We got bad reports, teachers could tell the truth, rather than choose 6 sentences from a ready made template. You could fail tests, you could fail school years in some cases. There was no continuous assessment, or portfolios, you rocked up on O'level day and if you had bellyache because of your period, tough.

I do agree with aeroflot about SEN provision- looking back to my own various schools it's clear now that some kids in my classes had SEN, but their needs were just never considered.

The Public Safety Videos are magnificent- quicksand? And if you didn't get gloop-gloop-glooped into the quicksand you would die by falling through the ice because you didn't use a twig. Or you'd be run over because you ran back for your brolly.

Nutrition has been bad since time immemorial if people can't cook. Given that is far more obesity and obesity related illnesses around now, because people no longer cook from scratch, I don't think you can say nutrition was bad. It's not like it was just after the war and you couldn't get bananas! Food was definitely fresher, and more local then. And seasonal. Those of you who are my age (51) will remember that at Christmas you'd have to run down to somewhere like Marks on Christmas Eve for tomatoes, because they'd come from the Canaries specially for Christmas- the rest of the time you had to wait until tomato season.

That's not true about the credit- my Mum was a single parent from 69 onwards and had her own mortgage. All our stuff was on credit because my Dad was feckless and kept not paying the maintenance for me. Catalogues, HP, we had the lot. (Maybe she could get it because she had a job- dunno- but she definitely had credit in her own right)

At my school we all did cooking, sewing, woodwork and metalwork. I'll grant the smoking was bloody awful- I remember teachers standing in school classroom doorways having a puff while we worked!

Apparently, every generation looks back to one decade as The Best and it's almost always the decade in which you have your teen years. It's fairly obvious why.

I agree there are appalling things about the 70s and 80s, just as there are appalling things now. They are just different appalling things. Although with the degree of racism and hatred boiling up in our society now, one wonders if we might be coming full circle. sad

I can recommend the following books if anyone is nostalgia obsessed like me!

Where did it all go right? Growing up normal in the 70s and 80s
Now that's what I call an 80s musical childhood (not just about music- just finished this, it's brilliant)
Rejoice Rejoice (harder hitting- Thatcher's Britain)

Middleoftheroad Sun 12-Feb-17 08:27:36

I was born in 73 so just my era. My mom recently said there was no parental competiton then because nobody had anything.

My parents both worked. my mom had her own car and a great social life. Adults came first then kids. I may have rose specs on but I would prefer to be a parent then as there's so much pressure today.

I like watching the nostalgic flashbacks in This is Us as they set the tone well. it was carefree. it was safe - fewer cars so you could play ackee 123 with all your neighbours (my kids dont have any to play with) or cycle on your Grifter to buy a bag of Cola cubes.

There were few after school clubs, less homework, just a Spectrum to distract you and life did feel simpler. I miss it. My parents didn't run around after me like I do for mine. I was walking to school crossing roads cooking by 11. Mine cannot sensibly do those things at nearly 11.

I love technology but it has taken over our lives. School is just tests and data and a huge stress to get into a comp that you have to get a bus to.

I miss the sun, I miss schools being allowed the freedom for fun and boy I miss collecting Scratch & Sniff stickers and those tiny bean babies in matchboxes!

ElderDruid Sun 12-Feb-17 08:28:15

That YouTube link is amazing. Just got 90's music on VintageTV. George Michael RIP. Just told DS this is the only dance Mum could master. No interest at all! Might have to embarrass him a bit see if that gets his attention! (Macarena!)

VintagePerfumista Sun 12-Feb-17 08:30:05

grin at fashion- fashion is always horrendous for the next generation. For every ra-ra skirt then I give you the playsuit/leggings on anyone over 8st with a short top/anything whatsoever from Cos, White Stuff or Monsoon/ jeans with the crotch down to the knees now.
For every Bonnie Tyler bouffant I give you the Morticia straightened droop with the black eyebrow. (I would bet good money if I was a betting person, that in 20 years time people will roll on the floor at the HD eyebrow, the "contouring" and the GHD effect)

Aeroflotgirl Sun 12-Feb-17 08:30:11

Skerry op was asking about childhood experiences, as a young child you would not know about all the things you mentioned. That's ok Elder, I still miss him very much. Childhood seemed well for me, much more carefree. Yes bullying is taken seriously now, but back then, there was less mediums in which to bully, now a child can be bullied in their own bedroom. Even now, bullying is not always taken seriously by schools, it depends.

skerrywind Sun 12-Feb-17 08:32:53

vintage That's not true about the credit- my Mum was a single parent from 69 onwards and had her own mortgage. All our stuff was on credit because my Dad was feckless and kept not paying the maintenance for me. Catalogues, HP, we had the lot. (Maybe she could get it because she had a job- dunno- but she definitely had credit in her own right)

Women could get credit and mortgages, but only if they had a male guarantor.

VintagePerfumista Sun 12-Feb-17 08:34:21

Yes- about women working- all the women in my family worked because they had to.

The only women who didn't, were very very "housewife 49" though. It was like a whole time capsule. My Mum would be at work (obviously) and my friend's Mum would have this rigid housewife week going on- Monday you ate this, Tuesday you did that.

It's still the same today though. The mopping floors on Wednesday and doing the windows on Friday has just been replaced by Tumble Tots on Monday, Toddler reading in the library on Wednesday etc. Then (if MN threads are typical) expecting your husband to do the cleaning when he gets home from his 70 hr week because it's equality innit. )

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