It's hard to believe that the sun is shining this Sunday afternoon and the temperature is very mild for this time of year, the back end of October. As I sit here drinking beer and smoking copious rollups I can see many people pass by my window on their weekly ritualistic pilgrimage to the big 'tute' aka the North Ormesby Instute. The majority of which are smoking cigarettes. I have no doubt most of them curse the smoking ban but put up with it rather than do what I do, refuse to give the hospitality industry smokers money because they laid on their backs and and passivly said "shaft me"! And after all, it's a lovely sunny day outside and they have conveniently forgotten the four harsh winters they have had to endure while indulging in their weekly sabbatical.
I'll bet too that the older WMC (Working Mens Clubs) goer will, while standing outside his watering hole in all weathers, let his/her mind slip back to a time before the choices they made in life were taken away from them by the high and mighty. I wonder if they think how lucky they are to have reached a certain age unscathed as they grew up in the 20th century?
IF YOU’RE aged over 35 and still in one piece, you should probably pause at least once every day and congratulate yourself on the achievement. Because in light of the number of things that were considered normal during your childhood, and are now banned or controlled for health and safety reasons, your continued existence must be either a statistical blip or a miracle.Well I'm over 35 (well over :¬)) and there are two things I do know, I am neither a statistical blip nor a miracle and I suspect that 25% of the UK smoking public do not fall into either catagory too.
I was reminded of this during the week by a now-annual text from my kids’ school, warning that nuts are “strictly prohibited” from the premises. This is the case all year round, of course. But at Halloween, there is a higher than usual risk of the anti-nut security cordon being breached. Hence the move to code yellow, as it were.It says on this site that: It is estimated that up to 45% of the population suffer from some level of food intolerance. I often wonder where all these 'food intolerances' came from, is it the price we pay for modern day living? I know one thing though, we who have came through life intact have to pay hansomly as the ban, ban, ban philosophy takes root in our
And I know there are good reasons for the ban. Even so, I can’t help being nostalgic about those crazy days, pre-regulation, when nuts were still central to the educational experience. If you weren’t eating them, you were using them as weapons: often after subjecting them to chemical hardening processes so, that well-aimed, they could have killed elephants.I put my hands up guv to all of the above but I'm still here and many a UK citizen are still here at some ripe old age or another despite their vices. It is too easy for governments to criminalise it's peoples with so little evidence. But I suppose the health nuts will have their day eh?
Not that the prospect of death by chest-or-monkey-nut was your biggest danger. You had probably come to school that day on a bike, without a helmet. Or even worse, your parents had driven you in a car without seat-belts, or with seat-belts the use of which was still considered optional. Needless to say, the lunatics had never installed a booster seat. And to complete the picture of criminal negligence, they were probably smoking too.
I'm a towney, being brought up in Glasgow made me so but I do like the open spaces where farming is at it's forte but even in Britain's bread basket the bansterbators lurk:
If you grew up on a farm, like me, your chances of survival were even thinner. Never mind the dangerous machinery and bulls and all the other threats to your external security. Consider instead the horror that was daily consumption, for years on end, of unpasteurised milk! What was my mother – who spent her lifetime worrying about us being knocked down on the road – thinking? We used to have a room called “the dairy”. Naturally, it was where the milk was stored. But it was where lots of other things were stored too, including for a time, an old shotgun. Then, when the Troubles started, there was one of those periodic round-ups of unlicensed firearms, and my father handed the gun in to the barracks. I realise now, looking back, it was the milk he should have decommissioned.
These days, children’s whole lives are pasteurised. Which must be part of the reason for their much higher need of thrills, in everything from computer games to fairground rides. Things that would have scared the bejayzus out of my generation are much too bland for them. Hence the ever-increasing realism of the skeletons and zombies and other ghouls that have become standard decor in shops at this time of year.
It’s a bit of a paradox. Brought up in ultra-safe environments, modern kids can’t get enough of pretended danger. Yet here am I, survivor of the minefield that was a 20th-century childhood. And this weekend, I’m almost afraid to go to the supermarket.Know how you feel mate, know how you feel!