Fifty years  of a life sounds like a long time, in historical terms it is a mere snippet.  It frequently surprises me that the years of my youth, the 50s, 60s and even the 70s are placed  in a long ago time we now call history or in my case more accurately herstory.  Does that make me history, someone belonging to an ancient past?  I still walk and talk and intermittently say something sensible.  Signs of a crumbling body are ever present but with the right equipment I can pass for normal.           Much of life in the twenty-first century is better than it ever has been, I suspect that in my position I am extra-ordinary lucky.  The Millennium generation sadly face fewer jobs, ludicrously expensive houses and an ongoing battle between money coming in (too little) and money going out(too much), the fortunate few have the bank of mum and dad but many have an increasingly limited Benefit System.

    In the  ‘ Never had it so good’  1950s many families lived in overcrowded, dilapidated housing (slums).  My family moved into a newly built council house, own front door, indoor bathroom and toilet inside and out.  The draw back was that services, shops and schools were left out of the planning, primary school children had to get on a bus.  My five year old brother was very unhappy at being so far from home in his first school.

    A safe secure home is absolutely the first essential for every family in a peaceful, prosperous,fair,and democratic society.  It is probable that a rented sector will form part of the mix with the home-owning sector another part.  There is no reason that rented accommodation should be dilapidated, overcrowded with no security of the rent asked.  Regulations can be set up by a Housing Association or a council or by the landlords with safeguards enforced by a group who represents the tenants interest.  Germany has a large rented sector which offers security and high living standards.  A democratic society needs to show that every citizen has a right to : a secure home, free education for children, full employment and a health care system available to all at the point of need.  Societies that limit these opportunities to the few lose both peace and prosperity.  The USA and the UK are sending a clear warning of the demi-gogs who lie in wait.


6 thoughts on “FIFTY YEARS.

  1. A lot of similarities with NZ. But the 60’s offered a sense of positive change in my opinion.But that gradually changed by the mid-80’s with the emergence of neoliberalism – Thatcherism up your way, and Rogernomics down here.

  2. I was born in 1942 and our family (and everybody else!) were doing their best to dodge whatever would be thrown at us. The sounds of airplanes (good and bad!) were familiar to me as were the children playing in the streets. By the time I was eight, I had heard most of the stories about who was bombed and who was not, including our neighbors who lived on the other side of the house.
    When the War came to a stop it was very quiet. I started school and many of us wore shoes that had been used before and petticoats were also under our outer clothes for extra heat. We ate a lot of fried bread which was normal to us!
    Overall we were really treated well during and after the War. We young ones were never hungry, we wore strange clothes cut to fit, and we had soft beds to sleep on at night. Our school teachers were all women mostly filled with sorrow. Grandmother would talk with the neighbors across the flapping wet linens, talking about men who promised us that good futures were almost here, now that the War was over.
    Later I was old enough to listen but could not see any difference during the 1950’s. If only I had waited, for the 1960’s were just about to start. A different world would open and there were jobs for all ( how did they do that?) I missed the rest of how we got here, living so much better than before. Africa was beckoning me and England was forgotten for several years. On my first return visit I was amazed by the difference after two decades. It was so nicely different, the people around me were busy and happy and that look of fear was gone. That evening at my mother’s Hope and Anchor in Northumberland, I said how different it all was now, I felt so proud and happy to see the difference. Mother of course had to say something after that, “We have stopped eating our young dear!’
    Oh well, never mind, My beautiful England was all mended and my grandmother’s Council house was still standing exactly the same and filled with more happy children and parents.

    1. This is a wonderfully told story, so vivid and so detailed. We just wore the clothes and really didn’t think too much about them, to be warm and dry was sufficient. When I contrast the 1940s with now, I have a house full to overflowing with stuff; books, records, CDs, papers and pictures. In the earlier time to get a new book to read I went to the free library. You would be sad to learn Charlotte that some libraries are only open two or three days a week, money must be saved. In the twenty-first century there are so many beautiful books, brightly coloured pictures and stories about strange magical animals. So many delightful stories.

  3. I’m amazed by how time is flying, my daughter didn’t know what a tape was and laughed at the round, black shiny thing called a record. I can’t keep up with the changes now, hubs is always adding a gadget to our home and it’s hellish for me to even turn the tv on never mind sort through all the available channels, it takes four remotes to deal with it all. Sometimes I wish we only had a few channels and buttons to press. It’s the same with phones isn’t it, and what is snapchat, facetime? Where will be all be ten years from now I wonder?xxx

    1. Yes, familiar things disappear and new words come in; download, Facebook, twitter and social media. The technology is amazing if only I could keep up with it and knew what to do when the screen goes blank! Is my work on the Cloud, do i remember my password, usually no. On the positive side I can on occasion reach out to anywhere on this beautiful planet. Some people hang on to their records, tapes, CDs and books. Husband is horrified when I suggest some books could be given to charity. We have shelves which are over flowing and piles of things in corners. Downsize is that possible?
      I wouldn’t go back to the 1950s or 60s life was just so narrowly focused.
      Children they don’t understand anything!!! xxx

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