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Page 3 | To ask what stuff you did as a kid that now seems weird and/or wildly inappropriate

(307 Posts)
CheeseyToast Thu 15-Mar-18 09:21:08

For whatever reason, today I was reminded of being three years old and lunching with the street cleaner. He drove a little cart/sweeper thing and would take his break sitting on the grass outside our house. I called him The Jigger Man.

When I spotted him, I'd run inside and say, Mim! The jigger man is here! Can I take my lunch outside?

She'd give me little sandwiches wrapped up in paper and I'd rush out to sit beside him on the grass.

Oh I loved my jigger man picnics.

Was I a complete weirdo or did other kids do stuff like this?

OP’s posts: |
ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 15-Mar-18 14:22:06

My brother had a small bowie knife and we used to practice knife throwing in the garden.

ViolaViolo Thu 15-Mar-18 14:22:11

@The80sweregreat 'i remember a film shown to us in assembly in year 7 about not playing on the train tracks - was very gory.'

Was that Robbie? It worked a treat for me - never played around the train tracks after seeing it!

AnneWiddecombesHandbag Thu 15-Mar-18 14:22:56

We used to swim in the river as kids. My 6 year old can't believe him when we go for walks along the river and I tell him we used to swim in it! It looks absolute manky now. I'm
Sure it wasn't like that then!

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Thu 15-Mar-18 14:26:32

I would walk miles to a farm where a friend lived, on the off chance that she'd let me have a ride on one of her ponies. Though that would typically consist of her ordering very inexperienced me to 'gallop through that field and jump that fence!' Equally typically I would fall off halfway.

At only 10 or 11 Dh was sent to stay with an elderly relative by the sea, while his dm recovered from an op.
He would spend the whole day, every day, unaccompanied, on the sort of beach favoured by surfers, I.e. big waves. He was a good swimmer, but even so....

At 15 he and a friend cycled from S London to Devon on their own, and spent a week camping. And then cycled back again.

Having said that, the names of another school mother and I were once mud among all the other mothers. Our dds at no more than 13 announced that they wanted to make a day trip from London to Calais via Dover - on their own.

We said no at first, followed by umming, aahing and dithering, and finally, with a lot of Stay Together At All Times And Don't Do Anything Silly! - let them go.
It was an anxious 18 hours or so, but they arrived back unscathed and happy. Don't think I'd ever allow it now! Too much has changed for the worse.

SleepFreeZone Thu 15-Mar-18 14:26:54

Oh god the stuff I used to do! Would make your hair stand on end. We used to work for a crazy horse lady when I was 8 till about 11. She would pack us all in her car along with two Rottweilers. No seat belts, I would be in the boot with another small child or else I would be crouched in a footwell. She would probably have seven kids and two dogs in the car and we would be travelling a fair old distance, on motorways very often!

I was also allowed to operate a kangaroo drill which breaks up concrete. I ended up falling onto some metal equipment that speared a hole in my knee. I was driven home by her husband and deposited in my parents house and my father put Savlon on it 🙄 Still have the scar now.

Dancergirl Thu 15-Mar-18 14:29:13

We used to play 'outings'- basically hide and seek over the entire town, and 7 large housing estates/areas. The game would last all day, about 50+ kids would play, aged from 8 ish up. Game always ended when the street lights came on- signalled home time. The only time we'd pop home was to grab a sandwich for lunch (it may not be our home we 'lunched at', but everyone present was fed)- normally white bread, butter and strawberry jam, and the bread would go black from the dirt on our hands

Happy times! This sounds brilliant smile

I used to ride my bike with some local boys to the end of the road. Then we would climb over the fence and walk along the bank of a brook that ran along the back of the gardens. It was fun to see how far we could get.

MrsJoshDun Thu 15-Mar-18 14:33:53

Used to catch the local riding stable ponies in the field far away from the stables, put a head collar on them and reins out of leadropes and canter them round the saddle, no helmet, no proper bridle.

Walk two miles to the river and chat to the fishermen.

Drag old fibreglass canoes to the nearer, smaller river and spend all day paddling up and down. No life jacket. Often on my own if my brother wouldn’t come, would have been about 11yo.

Motorcycling round a motocross track we built in the woods, no helmets. Would have been about 10-13yo. I remember once whizzing down a bank so fast I couldn’t turn the motorbike and went flying across both lanes of an A road at the edge of the woods, thankfully no cars at that moment!

Old gravel pits with really steep sides locally, used to go and collect frog spawn there on my own while still at primary school. Found a dead body floating there once.

Talcott2007 Thu 15-Mar-18 14:34:33

My DGF used to let me and my cousins climb up onto the garage room and jump off it onto a pile beanbags!! He also let us climb on top of the wardrobe via the open windowsill in DGP's bedroom and jump (literally across the room) it onto the bed. How no one died or at least broke something is a miracle!

MrsJoshDun Thu 15-Mar-18 14:35:20

And yes to travelling around in the car boot if we asked nicely. Was a treat, even when space in the car!

Also if it snowed my dad would tie a sledge to the towbar and we’d all take it in turns being towed round the estate.

BunsforTea Thu 15-Mar-18 14:35:40

My dad actually taught me to set fire to the lawn using my grandma's magnifying glass!

Playing out in the street and surrounding area from morning til night with nobody really knowing where we were or who we were with. Unaccompanied roaming radius extended to entire town (population approx. 90,000) from about age 11 upwards.

Walking to school and back in a small group of children unaccompanied by adults from about age 6.

Northern England in the 70s-early 80s.

nickEcave Thu 15-Mar-18 14:36:10

When I was at primary school in the late 70s our version of kiss chase was the boys chasing the girls and pulling up their skirts to show everyone their knickers. We all had great fun and it was entirely innocent but obviously completely inappropriate - dread to think if someone had had really dirt knickers or none on at all! We all got a lecture and told to stop it but now I can imagine social services being called in!

MimsyBorogroves Thu 15-Mar-18 14:41:32

Getting taken for rides by the milkman in his milkfloat.

Our sex Ed video in Year 6 featured an entire family playing volleyball naked on the beach.

BunsforTea Thu 15-Mar-18 14:43:10

Also, like a PP my friend and I used to do a lot of old lady visiting! Usually we were given biscuit/sweets/squash, hung around chatting for a bit and then on to the next one a few houses further down ... repeat for several hours, a couple of times a week during the school summer holidays.

JugglingMummyof2 Thu 15-Mar-18 14:43:24

@cheeseyToast - your story made me feel so nostalgic because we had a very elderly postman who loved children - when he reached our road, on his bicycle, the cry would go up "Billy's here" followed by us all running to meet him. He would then hand over the letters for the 150 odd houses and we would run off and deliver them for him while he had a cigarette on the wooden bench in the sunshine (as it was always sunny when I was small....). When you had delivered your letters you ran back to him for a slightly melty chocolate eclair sweet.
The only problem was there were more children than sweets in that packet so only the first 10 back would get a sweet soooooo of course our emphasis was on speed rather than accuracy and the letters rarely ended up in the correct letterboxes.
BUT not one parent cared - they would just give the letter to whoever should have had it, no-one thought he was some kind of danger to us and no-one reported him for letting kids touch the post.
When he died - we all went to his funeral - he was so loved and special.

badhairday43 Thu 15-Mar-18 14:45:02

Buying my mums cigarettes when I was about 5 years old.

Spending ALL day out on my bike and nobody knowing where I was.

Swimming in the quarry which contained eels, jagged rocks and Christ knows what other health disasters.

Watching a film at school educating us on what would happen if a nuclear bomb was detonated and being terrified at the melting faces! shock

AnnieAnoniMouse Thu 15-Mar-18 14:47:18

...half of these & other stuff 😖😂

Life was SO much better growing up in the ‘70’s & 80’s. I wouldn’t swap it for anything and I’m sad our children’s childhoods are SO different.

halfwitpicker Thu 15-Mar-18 14:47:54

I remember being shown a film about very severely disabled kids who were in hospices: not sure exactly what the point was in us being shown this? We were only about 6 hmm Just seemed so excessive and meant to shock us.

I was also allowed to operate a kangaroo drill which breaks up concrete. I ended up falling onto some metal equipment that speared a hole in my knee. I was driven home by her husband and deposited in my parents house and my father put Savlon on it 🙄 Still have the scar now


whiskyowl Thu 15-Mar-18 14:49:03

JugglingMummy - that made me cry a little bit. How lovely!

halfwitpicker Thu 15-Mar-18 14:52:06

I remember getting the bus once and realizing I'd lost my ticket. I explained to the driver, he said hold out your hand, he slapped my hand hard and then said get on...


Least he didn't smack my arse I suppose

Snugglepiggy Thu 15-Mar-18 14:52:07

I remember curling up on the back parcel shelf of the car all the way back from a trip to see Blackpool illuminations because I didn't want to sit in between my brothers.The same pesky brothers who scared me witless every Bonfire night letting off bangers and 'jumping jacks' fireworks -the ones that leapt erratically around the garden.
Playing out literally all day long in the holidays,building dens in the woods.Happy days !

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 15-Mar-18 14:52:18

We used to have a session at primary school Called ‘pants and vests’. You’d just strip down to underwear and run around the room to music, and do sort of dance/creative movement. I never wore a vest and my mum forgot every week to put me in one on that day so I’d just be in my pants running round the classroom. Seems such a weird idea. This was less than 30 years ago. Anyone else experience anything similar?!

AnneWiddecombesHandbag Thu 15-Mar-18 14:56:15

Yes! We called it music and movement. I remember one of the songs being popcorn!

Rumpledfaceskin Thu 15-Mar-18 14:58:05

So glad it wasn’t just our school then! It’s so weird I’ve even started to wonder if I imagined the whole thing. I mean why couldn’t we just have done it in our p.e kit??

MrsJoshDun Thu 15-Mar-18 14:59:18

When I was 11yo my best friends mum took us to France for a month where she was renovating a house. We used to catch the bus to the local river and spend the day swimming with French boys in a massive river with various rafts moored in it. I was not a strong swimmer!

Then she let us buy a load of mini fireworks/bangers which she told us were illegal in England.....not sure if they were. So she made us bury them in the bottom of our bags on the way home to get them through customs.

My parents were quite happy that I spent the rest of the summer setting off mini fireworks in the back garden.

donners312 Thu 15-Mar-18 15:00:40

Remember when sun roofs were a new and exciting thing and your Dad would let you take turns hanging out of it whilst driving along the M1!!!

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