Springingtiger's Blog

Since 1953
August 28, 2013, 20:30
Filed under: autism, disability, Parenting, Politics, success | Tags: , , , , , ,


I don’t think of myself as old, however I am ten years older than Doctor Who. I like to think of myself as timeless, it ids certainly true that the Earth on which I was born is in many ways unlike the one on which I live. Yes it is the same planet, but a very different time.

My mother had a ticket for one off the stands at Elizabeth ll’s coronation, unfortunately for her she was by then in the advanced stages of pregnancy and felt unable to use it. 1953 was quite a year, as well as the coronation Everest was climbed for the first time, but the most important event of the year was me, my birthday.

I lived then in a very different world. I won’t pretend it was entirely a world of happy innocence, because it wasn’t. However, on the whole, it felt like a golden age. We would climb trees and cliffs and disappear up the fell for hours without causing panic.  Food was good because rationing had recently finished and meals were home cooked, ok I admit my mother was not an exceptional cook, but very little came from packets. Perhaps the biggest culinary mishap of my childhood was the invention of Vesta curries which, amazingly, are still in the shops, but they were a lifesaver at university.

I suppose the fifties were the dawn of a new age, it certainly seems that the pace of change has been hectic. We had radios and televisions that operated on mains electricity and had valves, the radio dial had few numbers, but rather, names like Hilversum and Athlone, the BBC stations we listened to mostly were the Light program and the Home Service. Television was in black and white, worse there was no Doctor Who and we didn’t know to miss it. We children had an hour of television today, it was really in the Sixties that television took off.

Personally I love the gadgets of today, I sometimes look back on carbon paper, typewriters, Gestetners and my school dip pen with a prayer of thanks for progress. Transport had improved immeasurably, although there is an argument that the last half century of excessive road building has only benefited business at the expense of our countryside and quality of life. Back when I was small we could travel almost anywhere by train, from Grassington to Skipton, Skipton  to Leeds and thence the world, but more probably London. Now the local lines have gone and the privatisation of the railways has made rail travel far less pleasant, convenient and economical as it was then. However the trains have improved technologically, sadly they are built overseas since the Conservatives destroyed the Springburn yards. It is sad that, despite allowing the rail companies, to cut costs by buying from overseas, costs to the traveller have risen to a point where for many commuters it makes more sense to drive.

I think what I miss most is good manners and a degree of formal courtesy. Feminists back then were focused on rights for women, it was later that they decided good manners was an offence against women. In the wake of women objecting to being treated courteously the young have learned to treat their elders and the disabled with contempt. I believe that respect should be earned, but that courtesy should be given. Even at sixty I will still stand when an elder or a woman enters the room as long as she is not very much younger than I, I still open doors and give up my seat, I think good manners makes the world a more pleasant place.

All in all the world is physically a much more comfortable place to live with lots more toys than it was. I can’t pretend that it is worse when there have been such advances in technology, medicine and science. What I don’t understand is why people are not happier, it is as if the world has become both better and less enjoyable, or rather that people have forgotten how to enjoy themselves without spending money.



3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

how cute is that picture wi yer wee knobble knees cheeky smile \7 milk urn… awwwww bless 🙂

Comment by june

You’re not old: I am two years’ older than you, and I may need some new knees, but I’m just entering my prime. 😉

Comment by Parry Phillips

I am not old, I will never be old, but I have seen a lot of life and change in my life.

Comment by springingtiger

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