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Those were the Days! I copied this from a recent Probus mag. ( author unknown) So very true.

(107 Posts)
nanna8 Sat 18-Mar-23 05:45:59

Heard a Doctor on TV recently
(Norman Swan on ABC) telling us
that we needed children to play in
the dirt with their dogs and cats and
be allowed to build up some
immunity! Well bugger me!
Who would have thought?
Those were the days - A Bit of Australian Nostalgia!!
My mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs, and spread butter,
lard, dripping etc., or bread on the same cutting board with
the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get
food poisoning. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in
wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but
I can't remember getting E.coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the
creek, the lake or at the beach instead of a pristine
chlorinated pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then
We all took PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of
Dunlop sandshoes or bare feet, if you couldn't afford the
runners instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with
air cushion soles and built-in light reflectors that cost as
much as a small car.
I can't recall any injuries, but they must have happened
because they tell us how much safer we are now.
We got the cane or the strap for doing something wrong at
school, they used to call it discipline... yet we all grew up to
accept the rules and to honour and respect those older than
We had at least 40 kids in our class and somehow, we all
learned to read and write, do math’s and spell almost all the
words needed to write a grammatically correct letter...
We all said prayers in school irrespective of our religion,
sang the national anthem and saluted the Flag and no one
got upset. Staying in detention after school netted us all
sorts of negative attention we wish we hadn't got.
And we all knew we had to accomplish something before
we were allowed to be proud of ourselves.
I just can't recall how bored we were without computers,
Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable
stations. We weren't!! Don’t even mention about the rope
swing into the river or climbing trees, or Heaven forbid
"Billy Carts"?)
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told
that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we
possibly have known that?
We never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger
management classes.
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that
we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking
How did we ever survive?

notnecessarilywiser Sat 18-Mar-23 06:16:32


MawtheMerrier Sat 18-Mar-23 06:17:01

Were those really the days?
When girls who got pregnant resorted to back street abortionists? When children got polio? When child abuse in Children's Homes or by Catholic priesrs went unchallenged? When women needed their husbands to sign credit agreements on their behalf? When women in the same job were paid less than men? When a woman had to leave her job when she got married?
When Scarlet Fever meant all your books and soft toys were destroyed and the house "fumigated" ?
Oh and TB of course .
And the world might not have been on Prozac but Valium, Librium and other "Mother's little helpers"
Good old days? hmm
Isn't nostalgis selective wonderful?

FannyCornforth Sat 18-Mar-23 06:30:48

Well said Maw 👏

argymargy Sat 18-Mar-23 06:47:21

I detest this kind of rubbish.

notgran Sat 18-Mar-23 07:17:55

Exactly argymargy and MawtheMerrier Also on a lighter note, people had a bath on Sunday then if they needed to or not!

karmalady Sat 18-Mar-23 07:25:14


I detest this kind of rubbish.

me too

nanna8 Sat 18-Mar-23 07:40:49

What a bunch of miseries. No sense of humour, glad I don’t live there !

Ailidh Sat 18-Mar-23 08:42:46

In the Maw camp.

Redhead56 Sat 18-Mar-23 08:51:06

Very apt indeed the bath time memories are so vivid four of us at once and yes only once a week!

MawtheMerrier Sat 18-Mar-23 08:51:23

It’s not being a misery not to hark back to mythical and dubious “good old days” which for most were far from good.
Yes, we used to swim in our local river, until an outbreak of polio put paid to it. Children in iron lungs - remember the pictures?
It’s like saying “my grandad smoked 60 a day, never did him any harm” - no he died at 73 and in any case try telling that anecdote to someone with lung cancer.
Nothing quite identifies the writer in the magazine as “sad old duffer” as the sort of article you describe - no wonder he stayed anonymous.

MrsKen33 Sat 18-Mar-23 08:56:06

nanna8 loved your post and did most if not all of those things. Admittedly there was a harsh side to the life then, but that is not what your post was about was it.? I remember my childhood with fondness. Yes I went to college with two people who wore callipers because of polio. And my best friends brother died of TB. Some look on the bright side but also do not discount the other,

fancythat Sat 18-Mar-23 08:59:16

Very good op.

I am a bit younger than some on GN.
I do remember some poorer families who were rather roughing it.

Sadly I do remember special needs children and their families, not getting proper and adequate help and support.

Cancer arrived or whatever it did, and it was called the c word and talked about in hushed tones.

Clawdy Sat 18-Mar-23 09:04:10

I hate it when people sigh about the days when we respected teachers and other adults. No, we didn't - we were frightened of them much of the time.

nanna8 Sat 18-Mar-23 09:20:04

I had what would be described now as a difficult childhood with a mentally ill mother but, tell you what, at least she didn’t hover over me like a helicopter and I learnt so much by being ‘unprotected’ and ranging round the streets with my mates. I think they are more ‘deprived’ today but in a different way.

joannapiano Sat 18-Mar-23 09:23:54

I grew up in a 3 bedroom terrace with 2 other families, no bathroom and an outside loo. True, I was allowed to our local park, by myself, and walked to school by myself. Was also groped by what we called” dirty old men”.
My Primary school was lovely, though, and our Infant teacher in particular, was wonderful although there were 50 in the class.

notgran Sat 18-Mar-23 09:31:22

Does everyone take Prozac in Australia? This post is from Australia and I'm thinking it's composed by a man for whom life is probably not as idyllic as there is now gender equality and a female's voice is not ignored. Thank goodness.

biglouis Sat 18-Mar-23 09:48:07

I had what would be described now as a difficult childhood with a mentally ill mother but, tell you what, at least she didn’t hover over me like a helicopter and I learnt so much by being ‘unprotected’ and ranging round the streets with my mates. I think they are more ‘deprived’ today but in a different way

Agree 100%

Born 1944. Well into my 20s and 30s I respected older people especially in the workplace, even if I didnt particularly like them. It was not so much about the people but what they had contributed to the community and the profession. They were in a place where I hoped to go one day. I would not have dreamed of asking personal questions of someone senior such as how much they earned or about their religious or political views.

When my best friend emigrated to Australia I did consider going too. Then I found out that women were paid less than men and it put me off massively.

My attitudes only began to change when I went to uni as a mature student (1980s). Then I began to question many things I had previously accepted.

Parsley3 Sat 18-Mar-23 09:48:49

Nostalgic nonsense.

hollysteers Sat 18-Mar-23 09:55:56

In response, my inner city, bulging classes of postwar babies education was utter c*ap. My generation knew the meaning of the word humiliation at school and at home and I wouldn’t wish my childhood on anyone.

Kate1949 Sat 18-Mar-23 10:10:04

Gosh nanna8 I bet you didn't expect those responses to your light-hearted post!
I think it's swings and roundabouts. Some things were better then, some are better now. I certainly wouldn't want to be a teenager now with all those perfect looking Love Island types making them feel as if they don't measure up.

Parsley3 Sat 18-Mar-23 10:12:28

Quote from OP
My mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs, and^spread butter,
lard, dripping etc., or bread on the same cutting board with
the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get
food poisoning.

I bet you did, author, and running to the outside toilet with your square of newspaper must have taught you something about food hygiene.

Siope Sat 18-Mar-23 10:16:10

Also loathe this kind of sentimental ‘oh, the good old days’ revisionism.

Grantanow Sat 18-Mar-23 10:16:58

There is some medical justification for the view that small children are overprotected nowadays from dirt which may not enable them to develop immunities. But I agree that there is too much harking back to a golden age that never existed. It happened even in ancient Egypt some 2000 years BC(E).

NanaDana Sat 18-Mar-23 10:17:23

I'm pushing 80, and although I can relate to most of the points in the article, the author certainly had their rose-coloured specs on when they wrote it. Some of the "good old days" were balanced by "the bad old days" too. I'm sure that I could pen an equally long article listing all the negatives, but those who, like me, are of "a certain age|", don't need me to remind them of hard times. All of us have had different experiences, certainly, but I would not wish my own childhood on anyone. Some of the reasons are individual, and perhaps family-based, but others are societal, and will be familiar to many.