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The Horrors of growing up in the 1970's

By Mr Grumpy - Sat 14th May 2011

The last time I was back in the UK and staying at my parents for a week, I was surprised to hear one day that my Mother had planned to visit a '1940's weekend' in one of the villages closeby.

I was even more surprised that she half-expected me to come along with her.

Based on the stories that my Grandparents used to tell, I had no desire to spend an afternoon crouching in an Anderson shelter in the bottom of somebody's garden, peeing in a bucket and eating a powdered egg sandwich, whilst listening to Vera Lynn or Glen Miller on a Roberts Radio.

Call me cynical, accuse me of stereotyping if you like, but from what little I know and have been told about the 1940's from people who experienced it first hand, I had no desire to witness or expereince it for myself.

The equivalent would be inflicting my experience of growing up in the 1970's on my daughter. Not only would that, I am sure, scar her mentally, but I believe that a few Child Welfare charities would bring lawsuits against me for these acts of abuse.

So what horrors from the 1970's would she recoil at - as I do now, of course - and how we will look back on them in another 20 years time :

- Why were all bathroom suites either Avocado green or Rose pink ? Why also did people insist on putting those ridiculous shaped mats around the toilet and basin pedestal ?

- Why did my parents, and the parents of almost all my friends and aquainatnces who were born in the same decade stick rigidly to the rule that you had to have 2 children, more often than not born 18 months apart ?

- Why did people get married so young in the 1970's ? - My parents were married by 23 - I had only just learned how to tie my shoe laces by that age..

- Why were all us kids born in the 1970's given the regulation 'old testament' christian names ? There were at least half a dozen David, Richard, James, Michael, Richard, Paul and Daniels in every school - chuck in a few Martin, Kevin and Timothys and you would be hard-pushed to come up with many more different names that were popular at that time.

- Whenever I look back in the dredded family photo album I wonder how many 70's kids have that one photo of them as a baby on a sheepsking rug. Even more disturbing are the photos as a 4 year old, stood next to the fireplace with the sibling, dressed in matching outfits. You know, the one just before the fashion police hauled your Mum off for fingerprinting and her final caution.... ?

- What happened to the Ice-cream men ? Where did they all go ? Did they get retired like the gas lamp-lighters, or were they struck down by some deadly disease after 1985 ? I swear I have only seen Ice cream men parked up at fairs or in parks on a sunny sataurday afternoon. Why don't the lazy buggers trawl the streets for business any more, ringing their stupid bells and seeing how far and how fast they could make all the kids run for before they stopped ?

- Why did every parents record collection contain at least one album from the 'Holy Trinity' : Abba, Simon & Garfunkle, The Carpenters ?

- Why could you only get on TV on a weekend, or on a Royal Variety Performance if you were an " And " : Morecambe & Wise / Cannon & Ball / Little & Large / 2 Ronnies (Ok, so that last one wasn't an "And", but you get my point) - Ant & Dec would have had it made.

- Woodchip wallpaper. Enough said.

These are all questions that may be answered in the future. I'm certain that scientists and historians are beavering away squandering the tax-payers money at some University somewhere in order to find an answer.

In the meantime, my point remains : It's good to remember some things, others should be left firmly in the past. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Comment on this Blog

 
I feel exactly the same way myself though I´ve a cunning plan to become a blogosphere billionaire. (Well, make some pin money). I´ve had a right grump-producing day today and all I tried to do were two simple transactiony things. I blogged about one of them - no strength left for the other one. It´s at http://cecyspain.blogspot.com if you want to commiserate.
Maureen Dolan - Thu, 16th Jun 2011
Feel free to make as many comments as you like, it's nice to know that someone has actually read my blog, and that I'm not just whingeing on to myself.
Mr Grumpy - Thu, 16th Jun 2011
The seventies were horrible but I wonder what my daughter will remember of the twenties - to come, not the flapper girl ones. Hope I can leave this comment, can´t do it on a bunch of sites and it´s making me nearly as grumpy as your good self.
Maureen Dolan - Thu, 16th Jun 2011

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