Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A step back in time.

A step back in time.
This banksy looks exactly like me as a Kid

Well this will be a slice of the 60's taken from those little memory nuggets stored in the back of my mind, where it sleeps, yes, till I wish to remember them.

"Oh yes, I can when I want to. And that's the point, really. I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they... they sleep in my mind and I forget. And so will you. Oh yes, you will. You'll find there's so much else to think about. To remember. Our lives are different to anybody Else's. That's the exciting thing, that nobody in the universe can do what we're doing."

: Patrick Troughton.

We of the Baby Boomer breed seem to have had more freedom to wander as children, and we could venture out  into the World alone.

My Elder brother had a Trike!..." "Really!" "Shh! he'll hear you!"
It was a Little Beauty, red, with yellow handles and seat, it taunted me to ride it....oh yes it did.
OK so I'm 3 3/4's and forbidden to ride the for mentioned trike.
But my brother is at school.... hmm, now this is my opportunity to make a break for the hills.
So tip toe little me... and unlock the garden gate, up the path to the second gate leading to the alley separating one row of four houses from another, then I am out! I'm on that bike and I'm peddling... The G forces on my face lifted at least two hairs on my head out of place, 'This is awesome!' The exit between the garden walls is rushing towards me at an incredible 1/8 a mile per hour... I hit the small step onto the concrete path heading for the asphalt path that circles the homes built in rectangles, turning left now I'm going down hill....... Brakes? Brakes!! not a clue, what's a brake ?...
The end of the row is coming up fast and I need to turn left, so I can take the path at the front of these council homes.
I make the turn...who knew three wheels could become two! But armed with pure ignorance I keep the bike on the path... 'Wow' this is fun isn't it? I say in my head, but no one answers, we're too busy having fun!... And then it happens!... 'what was that??' I feel it again, so I stop peddling, because something is tickling my face, 'hmm what is it..?' I touch my forehead and it's wet! 'what ?' Where did that come from?
As I run my hand over my face a bead of water runs down my hand... Crumbs this is awkward I seem to be malfunctioning in some way...
With a sense of urgency now I start peddling again passing the last of the four houses, I turn left again and head up hill...'Cor blimey!' this isn't easy...
I dismount and run with the trike the rest of the way untill I turn left yet again and head back into the alley... to gate one... gate two...
"MUM!! ...MUMMY!!" I bang my tiny fist on the back door... I'm better off shouting because no one but a dog sleeping against the door would hear that! "MUMMMMMMMMMMM!"
The door opens and this giant is now looking down on me, "What have you been up to now?.... have you been riding your brothers bike?" "ahhh humm," looking back at the bike I return my gaze to my mother's smiling face.. "Mum I've broken my head, it's leaking!"
"I'm leaking! my head is leaking... look!"
I point to the water running down my face... and Mum starts chuckling, "Your not leaking, you're sweating!!"
"Oh NO! is that more bad then leaking?" I ask, in me best child English init...
"No ( chuckle, chuckle) it means your hot! people sweat when they get hot!..."
"Really?" I ask...
Well where did the water come from? it had to come from somewhere? I don't understand this sweating thing at ALL!...
OK so I'm not going to die through leakage so I fess up to riding the bike.
"That will teach you," Mother says... "Come in you better have some water."
Ahhh... very shrewd this is a sneaky ways to replace my empty head tank... I'm thinking.
No one appeared to have money to waste, forget the bright and Fab! colours you see in films depicting the age.
Only the well off could afford to follow such trends, Oh no the main colours worn by the majority would be blue, brown, beige or grey, these clothes are also more likely to be hand me downs from a jumble sale (think boot sale indoors without the cars)
Because of this hardly anyone housed on a council estate owned a car... How great would that be today? you can barely park anywhere these days.
But back then, the roads surrounding our homes only had one car to seen, and this belonged to Mr Bishop, he's in his late 50's to early 60's at this time and he sells insurance, and as fate will have it, yesterday I came across a car not just the same make but the very same colour...

As the roads are so clear we often played tennis in the road using the curbs and the concrete joints to mark our court... This estate had generous green areas too, where if we wished we could play football, which nearly all the kids did play, you could end up with over 20 a side, sometimes even the adults wanted to join in these games, so we would have two kids for every adult... there was a clever and simple answer to every activity in those playful days...

The streets would be full of kids, playing all kinds of games ... the only limit was your imagination... you could be the 300 Spartans out numbered but defiant! or Cowboys and Indians... Soldiers from any war you could think of.

The woods were also a place of adventure, where you could clime trees, swing, or build your own den in the bushes by tying the branches together in a A frame, this made a comfy den where the entrance arched like a church, off cuts of Lino or carpet lined the floor... To a child it was the best play house ever!! and built by your own fair hands.

These skills are lost on the computer generation... unless there are still children out there looking for adventure that is, and not something that can only be satisfied by a hand held console.

I mentioned swings, and some of the braver lads hung these from the high branches of a tree... with a short branch tied at the other end as a seat,
These self made swings would be guarded by the older kids who made them, so to play on it you had to ask for permission or wait untill they had gone... You could use this swing by climbing with the swing, then swing out from the tree or hold the branch that was acting as a seat and run out in a circle till your feet left the ground, the faster you ran the further you swung out. This was the method I was using now aged between 5 and 6...

For some reason no one else was on the swing... so I played for hours, the main aim was to be off the ground for as long as possible, so you could make believe you're flying, when coming back towards the ground you'd tuck up your legs and place them down at the very last second.

Once I left it to late, so I hit the ground on my knees, but brushing myself down I set out again on the wide circular run...
I don't know how long it was before I noticed the tickling trickle on my right leg but looking down I saw my knee was bleeding, and the once white socks I wore, one was now a vibrant red! soaked in my blood.

We all wore shorts in those days too, my Parents would never think of buying long trousers for a child...

'Well I better head home then,' I thought, I don't recall any pain, only that tickle, by the time I reached for the front door I realised my Mother was going to go ballistic!...
I had ruined my socks!... So I tried to cry... not easy when you don't feel it, so it was more of a pathetic sob then a cry but thinking my Mother wouldn't hit me if I was upset I continued this subterfuge and knocked... The door opened, looking at me, Mum said "What have you done this time?.... get in quick."

She took me into the Kitchen which, in the 60's was the main living area anyway, the living room was for special occasions only and hardly used, this changed in the latter part of 63' following the purchase of the first record player I'd ever seen...

'She loves You' by the Beatles was played over and over... very high tech... but wait why are you reading this! While I'm sat bleeding in the kitchen? you really need to get your priorities straight...

So there I am sitting in the kitchen having my knee washed, Are you with me now?... Good we can move on.

"Oh this looks bad!" My mother informs me as she wipes at the damage.. By now I'm half sleepy... after running round for hours... I was in need of a nap, but this announcement from my Mother now has my full attention believe you me...
"What Mum?"
"You have a really deep cut in your knee, I think we better go to the doctors."
'Woaaw' Wait a minute, this can't be! it didn't even hurt!... but with a handkerchief wrapped round the knee, purely for hygienic reasons as it had no bogie's, off we trot to the doctors...
Crumbs! could this day get any worse?... No one likes going to the doctors, they tend to use you for darts practise...
"I'm afraid your son will need stitches."
'WOAAH' My hands immediately wrap round my knee to protect it... "NO! it just needs a plaster," I plead... rather panicked.
This doctor is obviously a complete loony... "OK thank you Doc ... Mum can we go get a plaster now?"

"No young man, you will need stitches the wound is far to deep for plasters" the doctor insists .... isn't it funny how quick fake tears turn in to real ones.... "NO Mum!.....NO!"

Anyway a bus ride to the hospital later... (some emergency this is)
I'm waiting for a nurse to look at my knee... and on arrival she tricked me with the equivalent of someone shouting "look ...a cat!" to a dog... and as I look away, she puts a needle the size of a bike pump to my threatened mind into my knee....... "Ahhhwwwa that bloody hurt!" I bellow.

I should point out at this stage that it was seen as very rude to say 'bloody' back then, and for a nearly six year old all eyes fell on a blushing Mother...
"The Things they learn at school" she proclaimed, trying to looked shocked, and I knew as soon as we got out I'd get a thick ear... (a term for a whack round the head..)
I never got a thick ear, but I did get an ear bashing.
"You never swear again is that clear! You really embarrassed me then."
"Sorry Mum" I mutter, still in pain from needle and stitches...

So here's me three stitches the heavier and it throbs like the red hot pokers of hell, as we walk to the nearest Bus Stop.
That journey home was a long and painful ride and tears of pain ran down my cheeks...

 I never slept a wink that night the pain was much to great for that... As a new day dawned I was too tired to care and spent the day in a daze...
At school I was a Hero, everyone wanted to see the stitches... which is probably the reason the wound was infected by the time the stitched were eventually removed, and this horrible green puss oozed out... and the wound was cleaned, using cotton buds soaked in what looked and smelt like diluted dettol, my leg was rebandaged and a tetanus jab was included for good measure, my day in hospital was done...

Well the price of freedom doesn't come cheap, going out unsupervised in the 60's could lead to a injury or three... But would I trade those days for safety? Not on your Nelly ......... NO WAY!


  1. fabulous...... I laughed out load xx

  2. Brilliant. I could picture every second.

  3. Fantastic! Loved it! Lsughed so much xxx

  4. LOl, ah for the good old days when it was safe ti be outside. I love your story. It is very well writren, informative, and veryentertaining. Thank you for sharing it.