Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
I think my motivation for enjoying browsing the Cuckooites site, is a combination of nostalgia and realizing just how good my childhood was. I had sometimes felt, as the years went by, that we had very few treats, toys and holidays. However, reading my cotemporaries' memories, I remember so many of the privileges we had. Few of which our children and even less our grandchildren have experienced.
We could play in the street (air-raids permitting), unsupervised. We policed ourselves in the main. And very well we did it! I don't remember much, if any, bullying. As I discovered during my teaching career, most children had, and I think continue to have, a strong sense of fair play. Anyone was allowed to join in a game provided they observed the rules. Certain unwritten, unspoken rules applied. You shared your bat, ball, skate & book or skipping rope, and shared those belonging to others. Some things were absolutely taboo: no kicking (remember the chant "kick donkey" for anyone who transgressed that one! Bruce Lee changed that, I think. Running in to 'tell Mum' was also frowned upon. We sorted out our own problems. I realise sexism existed but I didn't expect anything else. So, I never go to bat or bowl in the cricket games in Homefarm Rd (pig-bin for wicket). But I felt very proud to be allowed to field. In ball games, we took it in turns to ask for a ball to be returned by a neighbour. Furtively retrieving it our-selves if no one answered the door. We took as a matter of fact practices that would be taboo today. Most boys had a pen-knife, but they used them for really useful things; prising open a tin can to put in a few stones and closing it again, ready for tin-can copper, sharpening the metal stud at the base of a spinning top: never for stabbing other! Sweets were shared, even to taking it in turn to suck it if there was only one. We didn't die of sharing our germs.
All these were ours, we were lucky because had we been from wealthier families we might have been cosseted by nannies or at boarding school, born later the streets would have been too dangerous. Life has been good to me and I have had opportunities and experiences that I never dreamed of as a child, but then I had a good start, didn't I.
Thank Tom and the team