Remembering the way we were

You know you’re getting old when you sit around the dining table regaling children with stories about what it was like when I was young.

That’s what I found myself doing at a friend’s house last night.

We told them about how there were no ATMs, so you had to make sure you got enough money from the bank on a Friday for the weekend or you were screwed.

And that all the shops closed at midday on Saturday, so if you didn’t get everything you needed for the weekend by then you were also screwed.

That’s why everyone had KFC or fish and chips on Saturday night because they couldn’t go to the supermarket for food.

And there were no mobile phones, so you had to arrange to meet someone at a certain place at a certain time. You couldn’t call them to say you were running late, you just had to BE there when you said you would.

When there WERE mobile phones they were so big you needed a suitcase to lug them around.

And then someone invented fax machines, weren’t they an amazing thing!?

And how computers had just arrived in the newsrooms when I became a journalist.

And remember that noise your computer made when it dialed up to the internet?

And on we went. The kids nodded and smiled politely and I had the secret realisation that I sound like my grandmother!

But wow a lot has changed in my almost-50 years on this earth. It just keeps accelerating, too.

How was I born in the 1960s, before colour TV and computers and the internet and mobile phones? How?

I thought I was so modern in the ’80s with my puffy sleeves and spiral perm and teeth glowing in the ultra violet light at the disco.

Here I am in 2016 trying to understand why the hell anyone wants to watch egocentric videos of strangers on Snapchat and despairing at the predictions that the written word will soon be completely replaced on social media by visual content.

I love the written word.

Poor old me.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been added to a secret Facebook group where everyone is sharing black and white photos of my early days as a journalist.

Black and white!

Here’s me down a mine shaft …


What’s your favourite “when I was young?” memory you horrify your children with?

Song on the day: Barbra Streisand “The Way We Were”


6 thoughts on “Remembering the way we were

  1. We took a stroll through an antique shop yesterday and I could remember using most of the things in the shop. What does that say? I’m an antique? I remember those old electric jugs which you had to change the element on every time someone forget to put enough water in. And soft drink bottles where you scraped the cork out of the cap to see if you’d won a prize.

    • I can remember there being MUCH consternation whenever someone burnt out the element in the jug. I was always terrified of using the needle on a record player, but I’m not sure they qualify as antiques anymore because they’ve become trendy again.


    Christmas cards….no-one hangs a string across their dining room wall anymore, loaded with Christmas cards…except my Mum but, sadly, there were only 4 or 5 the last few years. Yes, I am guilty, You Honour! (and what happened to the “u” in those words?!)

    You must have been very brave to venture into the B &W world of a coal mine! One word…claustrophobic!😳

    • I miss letters, they were very special things. Sad my girls will never know what it’s like to get a love letter you can read over and over and over again.

  3. I was the only one at work who knew how to use the computer. Back when you needed to have a disc to boot the damned thing up. Horrifies my kids. We have been watching Ashes to Ashes, and the daughter is aghast at the lack of tech and the state of tech. And the god-awful clothes. Until they went to the New Romantic club with Visage playing (and it really was Visage) and then she was all “oooooh”.

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