Sunday, August 12, 2007

How times have changed

Looking back on the early 1970s, I found there was a wealth of difference between then and now. Then, there were no mobile phones, no PCs, DVDs, or CDs.
On the other hand, there were plenty of provincial cinemas, scores of Working Men’s and Social Clubs. There was plenty of late night public transport and beer was only 15 pence a pint!
There was no shame in having an eight or ten year old car; petrol was around 60 pence per gallon and cigarettes were about 40 pence per packet. When you went to a dance, you actually got hold of your partner and not merely danced round her handbag at some stupid disco!
Iris and I could go out for the whole evening and spend less than £10 on drinks, cigs, and a meal before we came home around midnight.
I remember buying a made-to-measure suit for around £40 and Iris could dress herself from top to toe for much less. You could buy a decent second-hand car for £500 and have change out of £250 for a week’s holiday! There were no Sat-Navs to guide you through some remote farmyard and life was lived at an easier pace in those days. Television wasn’t given over to chat-shows, ‘Big Bother’, ‘Castaway’, ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and other such tripe! You went to the cinema to see a film and it wasn’t trying to drive a message down your throat as you watched it.

There was no such thing as ‘Political Correctness.’ (I still don’t really know what that means!) Mosques were virtually unheard of in this country and Christmas was still Christmas and not referred to as Winterval or other extreme leftist rubbish! “Elf and Safety” had yet to come and your kids could play with conkers without having to wear eye shields. They could play Cowboys and Indians with toy guns without an Armed Response Unit turning up!
On the club scene, you could tell jokes about pakis, jews and Irishmen. Club singers would entertain you with popular ballads and you could understand the words of the songs.
Milkmen would deliver milk to your door and it wouldn’t get stolen before you got up to bring it in.
You could go into a city centre pub and sit down at a table instead of having to lean on one of those abominable misèricord seats. Local pubs had a dart-board and there was no mega-TV screen blasting out non-stop football matches. The pubs usually just had a choice of a couple of beers and you were not faced with a battery of a dozen different ‘Real Ale’ pumps. Some nights of the week, the landlord’s wife would come round with fresh bread-cake and black pudding or some similar little delicacy. There were no such things as Quiz Nights or Karaoke; people made their own entertainment. These days, life in the 70s would appear dull and mundane but we enjoyed every minute of it.

The very best thing of all about the 70s, however, was that Iris was there beside me!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A very pleasant afternoon

For several weeks now, I’ve been chatting to a very nice lady on MSN. We soon discovered we shared a common interest which made our conversations all the more enjoyable. I first met the lady on a local forum where she went under the name of Miss Moonlight. It was she, oddly enough, who came up with the name, “Amber” for our new kitten. I think I mentioned that I sent her an amber pendant as well as sending one to the lady who suggested “Jasper” for the other ginger kittie.
The other day I decided to invite Miss Moonlight round for afternoon tea; an invitation that was most readily accepted.
I picked her up from the other side of the city and introduced her to Barbara who had prepared various snacks for her visit.
However, the first thing she did was to pick up Tiffi and give her a big hug as she was basking in the back garden. When she got settled in my “den”, she saw Amber and she was almost weeping with absolute joy at cuddling her!
A lot of the time was taken up by our common interest. Later, my daughter, Fran, joined us and they got on like a house on fire!
We chatted later this evening and we were of a mind that this would be the first of many future get-togethers. We have already planned a couple of days out in the near future and no prizes for guessing where one of them will lead!