Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fond memories

I received the following message from A..... (welsh lady with a absentee rugby mad husband) - it so very much echoes my own thoughts of yesterday in comparison with today. Although I am not so sure about the 70's

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1940, 50's, 60's and 70's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a Bakkie on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Steers, Nandos. Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Chappies, Wilson's Toffees, Wicks Bubble Gum and some crackers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in river beds with matchbox cars. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on DSTV, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents. Only girls had pierced ears! We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.......no really! We were given pellet guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays, We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT AND NOT DUE TO BLACKMAIL, THREATS AND GUILT FROM THE PAST..... strange but true!Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bully's always ruled the playground at school. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.

They actually sided with the law! Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like "Kiora" and "Blade" and "Ridge" and "Vanilla" This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore

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