the “good old days”…in merry ole england

The following is from my English friend Sylvia, whom we’ve not heard from in a little bit. She’s been saving it up for this one. It’s kind of an in-your-face reminder that people of a certain age lived “on the edge,” by today’s standards,…and are still here to tell, or brag, about it. You have to admit, they’ve got a point. Enjoy, guvnah! As Sylvia would say.

CONGRATULATIONS to all my friends born in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s!

Tatto-Flavored Wine

Image by Joe Mud via Flickr

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

Our baby cots were covered with bright-colored, lead-based paints. We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets. And when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes. We would ride in cars without seat belts or airbags. We drank water from a garden hose, not from a bottle.

Balmoral KFC workers and allies picketing the ...

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Take away food was fish and chips. There were no pizza shops, McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, or Red Rooster. Even though all the shops closed at 6 p.m., and didn’t open on weekends, we didn’t starve to death.

We shared one soft drink with 4 friends, from ONE bottle, and no one ever died as a result. We collected old beverage bottles, and cashed them in at the corner store.Then we were able to buy toffees, gobstoppers, bubble gum and some bangers so we could blow up frogs.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter, and drank soft drinks that contained sugar. But we weren’t overweight because we were ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!!

We would leave home in the morning, and allowed to play until the street lamps were lit. No one could reach us all day, but we were okay.

We would spend hours building go-karts out of old prams. We would ride them downhill, forgetting that we had no brakes. We built tree houses and cubbies, and played in river beds with Matchbox cars.

Matchbox 1-75 models typical of the modern (Ma...

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We didn’t have Play Stations, Nintendo Wii, W-boxes, video games, DVDs, 999 channels on SKY, mobile phones, personal computers, the Internet, and its chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS, and went outside in search of them.

We fell out of trees, got cuts, broke bones and teeth. But no lawsuits were filed because of these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears.

We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms didn’t live in us forever.

Easter eggs // Ostereier

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We could only buy Easter eggs and hot cross buns at Easter time. 

We received air guns and catapults on our 10th birthdays.

We rode bikes or walked to friends’ houses, knocking on their doors, or ringing the doorbells, or just yelling their names.

Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet.

Football and cricket had tryouts, and not everyone made the teams. Those who didn’t, learned to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! Making the team was based upon merit.

Our teachers used to hit us with straps and sand shoes. Bullies always ruled the school playground.

Parents never bailed us out if we broke the law; in fact, they sided with the law! They didn’t give us stupid names like Kiora, Blade, Ridge or Vanilla.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and learned to handle them all.

Congratulations! You’re one of us.

You might want to share this with others lucky enough to grow up as we did, before the lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good. While you’re at it, you might email this to your kids too, so they’ll know what brave parents they have.

pip-pip…cheerio…and all that rot!…hugmamma.

postaday2011: when was your last random act of kindness?

So many great comments were left in answer to topic #57, a suggestion offered on The Daily Post at WordPress.com blog. I thought I’d share some of them with you, including one I left as well. They may encourage all of us to step outside our comfort zone, and reach out to someone in a gesture of kindness. Like a boomerang, it will return, perhaps when it’s least expected. I think the appropriate expression is paying it forward.”

How ironic that I’m reading this as I wait for what seems like an eternity at the drive thru window of this Mc Donald’s! After 15 minutes just to order some cookies, the cashier gave me too much change back. I honked, smiled, gave it back to him and told him to take it easy. His smile? Priceless! …MyDatingHangovers

A couple of months ago when it was really cold, I saw a homeless guy and went into Dunkin Donuts and bought him a coffee and a bagel. He was very thankful. I really felt for him and thought it was the least I could do. …barneyabishop

My Dad always told me to do one good thing for some stranger everyday. IT has been my way ever since I can remember. Try it! It is wonderful! …Debra Moorer

Earlier today I helped a senior citizen out of a bus, but that’s just something I normally do without even thinking about it. …Jota Ka

Wasn’t random, but I was having lunch with my wife and a friend in my hometown when an older couple sat behind us turned around and asked me if I knew where a certain church was. They were on their way to a wedding that afternoon.

I explained that I had lived in the town most of my life, though I hadn’t lived there for several years and that I hadn’t heard of that particular church. So I used my smart phone to locate it and scribbled the post code and some (admittedly rough) directions to help them get to the wedding. …procrastin8or

I agree, acts of kindness should not be random, and I know myself that a smile from a stranger can help me through the week nevermind the day! I remember I was driving down a country lane where there seemed to be a lot of rabbit carnage all over the road. It was obviously a rabbit “highway”. The vehicle infront of me was driving obliviously to the rabbits running out of the hedge and I was quite frankly driving dangerously trying to avoid them. The inevitable happened with the vehicle infront and it hit a rabbit. I was upset as I could see the rabbit was not quite dead but in death throes, so I stopped. It was a dangerous place to stop but I got out, and picked the rabbit up and got back into the car and kept it on my lap. I drove to a safer place and stopped, and I held the poor animal to my heart until its last breath passed. I was heart broken but felt in my weird way, that I’d helped its passing. …Anastasia Martyn

Today at McDonalds during lunch gave up my seat to a family of 8 that could not find seating for everyone to eat together. …David Wodecki

Random Acts of Kindness – It’s the little things in life that make the difference. A smile, an opened door, a friendly hello, a kind word, these are just a few of the things everyone can do everyday. I do it all day, everyday, whether it benefits the other person or not. I know it benefits me just knowing I tried to make someone else’s day a little brighter. …Robert J. Banach

  • I totally agree with you! Kindnesses can be doled out in mini portions, every day. It’s seldom that opportunities for grand gestures occur. Why wait? A smile, a “hello,” a nod of one’s head, a “thank you,” an excuse me, letting someonelse go first, can all go a long way in making someone’s day good, better, or great. When I’ve the urge to tell a stranger she looks beautiful, I do. Recently a woman exiting the elevator I was entering, looked gorgeous in a gown and fur coat, and I reached out to touch her gently, and told her so.

    And you’re so right. Regardless if the recipient acknowledges my act of kindness, I’m glad I put it out there. What’ve I got to lose? Truth is, they usually express appreciation.

    am in definite agreement with youhugmamma.

cemetery parties

“More than a century ago, cemeteries were social hubs. They were often the greenest spots around. Families would visit on weekends for carriage rides, boating, or picnics by a loved one’s grave. Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery drew half a million visitors a year in the mid-19th century, on par with Niagara Falls.” According to an 8/12 Wall Street Journal article, cemetery socials are experiencing a resurgence. With more Americans opting for cremation, sales of burial plots are on the wane. All around the country prospective buyers have been lured to events on cemetery gounds, in the hopes that they might one day be chosen as final resting places. “In a marketing move that has drawn some criticism, graveyards across the nation are opening their grounds to concerts and clowns, barbecues and dance performances–anything that might bring happy families through the wrought-iron gates.”

At the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado, Big Band tune “Swinging at the Savoy” rocks out while couples boogie in the aisles, chowing down  hot dogs, fried chicken and brownies. Cedar Hill Cemetery of Hartford, Connecticut “holds regular scavenger hunts.” Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles projects films on mausoleum walls during the summer, drawing thousands. Disabled children are invited to fish in “a serene pond amid the headstones” at Michigan Memorial Park in Flat Rock, Michigan. “So Davis Cemetery in Davis, Calif., plans poetry workshops, bird walks and art shows. Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Neb., hosts a Shakespeare festival and rents its quaint chapel for weddings. In Wheat Ridge, Colo., Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery staged a Memorial Day party with fireworks and sky divers. And Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery in Riverside, Calif., recently hosted its first fair, drawing a crowd of 700 for face painting, live rock and In-N-Out burgers.”

While cemetery superintendents want to become a greater presence in their communities, there are naysayers who feel that cemeteries are strictly for the dead. But with very few complaints being registered, festivities on burial grounds seem destined to remain a permanent fixture. As an attendee at a recent concert at Denver’s Fairmount Cemetery, entrepeneur Ken Katuin explained ” ‘People tend to go to places they’re familiar with…That’s why McDonald’s has Happy Meals. You start out there as a kid, you have a happy memory of the place, and then when you’re an adult, you keep coming back.’ …Standing outside the mortuary, Mr. Katuin looked at the couples strolling through the darkening graveyard to hear jazz. ‘Maybe this,’ he says, ‘is their Happy Meal.’ ”

On a recent trip to Orange County, California, to see our daughter perform as part of the National Choreographer’s Initiative, my husband granted my only wish for my 61st birthday, which occurred while we were there. We visited Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. I’d wanted to see Michael Jackson’s burial site, but also glimpse where stars from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood were buried. I’d picked up a thick paperback from Barnes and Noble, which was like an encyclopedic “map” of historical celebrity sites, hangouts, studios, homes. Hollywood: The Movie lover’s Guide – The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie L.A. by Richard Alleman, even detailed the specific locations where the famous were entombed. Book in hand we went on our very own scavenger hunt, seeking out dead people.

While we went scavenging, we saw families here and there, quietly laying out assorted picnic goodies for luncheon feasts. I also saw a young woman, sitting peacefully among some trees, eyes closed, in deep thought or maybe meditating. I felt such calm as I strode about, or glanced out the car window, thinking that this would be a wonderful place to rest in eternal peace. But I’m not convinced I’d move to traffic-ridden, smoggy Los Angeles just for the privilege of being interred in Forest Lawn.

but it does take your breath away, literally…hugmamma.