Daily Prompt: Salad Days – The good old/new times

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

Me and Kit

My cousin and I ten years ago on a visit I made to London. We sort of grew up together in the family, Many years later we still have contact, he in England and me in Switzerland. We had some good times when we were kids, he has a twin brother. This is all in the past. He is now a grandfather and the days have gone at the speed of light, but were they good.

Good old days? The days were old, but only good now and again and not very often. I grew up in the poorest part of London, but London was a large town and we had busses and an underground. London was my town and the memories of walks in the city remain. The old buildings no longer exist, long replaced by glass towers, each one competing to be the tallest in the town, if not in Europe. I miss it a bit, but there is a lot I do not miss.

My area of Bethnal Green was rough, dirty, not very nice, but we knew nothing better. It was all accepted. Your furniture was never bought in a shop. You knew someone that knew someone, who didn’t need the armchair or settee, so you got it at a good price, or in a devious way. It might have fallen off the back of a lorry.

Funny thing is I felt more or less safe. In my teenage years I would spend Saturday evening in a dance hall somewhere in the middle of London and manage to catch the last tube train (subway) home at midnight. I then walked the main road home and mum would apparently lay awake in bed waiting to hear the tap, tap, tap of my high heeled stilettoed shoes along the street. Then my key turning in the door and she knew I was safe. The walk along the road might not have been so safe, although I never realised it. You weaved your way through the drunken louts, older men who drank methylated spirits because they did not have the money for a bottle of whisky. If I was early, before midnight, I might buy three portions of jellied eels from a street stall to eat with mum and dad when I arrived home. They were watching the late night shows on the TV and very much appreciated it.

Were these the good old days? They might be. Only today I read a report from the Old Bethnal Green road, the name deriving from the really old days before they built the wider more modern Bethnal Green Road. Apparently there was a fight. Ok, there were always fights, but no big deal. This time it was gang warfare, and no less than 100 youths decided to have a riot. Only one person was delivered to hospital because he got a little cut up and they kept him there for the night. The police were called. That never happened in my younger days. The young blokes were too busy looking good in their cheap suits and ties. Fights? no, there were no gangs.

Even our gangsters in the good old days were organised. They were not exactly good, but they kept themselves to themselves. The Kray family were most well known. Of course there were a few murders. a rival shot and killed in the local public house, but it all stayed in the family and the gang. We innocents were never really affected and I remember Aunt Lil telling my proudly that she knew Mrs. Kray, their mother. This was not difficult as the Kray family grew up in a house just around the corner from where I lived.

We did not have computers just so-called adding machines, but very rudimentry and they were not allowed in the school. We actually did our additions in our heads, there was a thing called mental arithmetic. If there was an addition to be made with large numbers, you wrote it down on paper and worked it out in your brain. No plastic toys to push in the numbers and press = for the answer. I do not know if that was good or not, but we could do it. There was even something called logarithms ad antilogarithms as I grew older, to organise the complicated mathematical problems. You had a book of tables to do it all and I am sure they are now extinct, like the dinosaur.

To sum it all up, I do not have a period in my life as the good old days. My life takes place now and not so many years ago. I love my computer, love my washing machine, love my vacuum cleaner and love paying my bills on line (Ok, I do not love paying bills, but it is so much easier on the computer). I never wrote daily prompts in the “good” old days. I did not know what a “blog” was but we progress. In the hope that our daily prompt progresses and brings something different tomorrow I will now come to close.

I had an hour Tai Chi this afternoon, which I never had in the good old days. Come to think of it, I think the Chinese were doing Tai Chi when the Neanderthal was learning how to stand upright and make a fire. I am sure the Chinese could write a good prompt on this subject.

Daily Prompt: Salad Days – The good old/new times

12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Salad Days – The good old/new times

  1. Pingback: Life Is Beautiful | Rahul Creatrix's Blog

  2. I really liked your warm smile. You are a tall lady Angloswiss ! at least looks like one in this pic. I missed last two posts since I was quite busy, will read just now. Barely managed to write a response to yesterday’s prompt. Shared a link on today’s grid for your precious like. Haha you spoiled your children by giving them daily likes. It is not greed, it is your blessing I guess. 🙂

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    • My mum was tall, my dad was taller, so I did not have much of a chance. I always stuck out in the crowd and my kids are even taller than me. I do generally give likes, because I visit those entries I can. We are all in this prompt thing together.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you. All my childhood friends were in the same boat – very poor – and we all had second hand clothes and swapped comics for amusement. If you had a new comic you were counted as well off. Our games were played out in the fresh air not sitting in front of a television or computer. I never saw a television until I was 18. None of us had anything but I remember most of my childhood with pleasure. I am enjoying my aged life now with all my lovely gadgets , but if I could get out to play (if my old bones allowed ) maybe I would, after writing , of course, and an afternoon sleep and …..

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    • Generally I am more satisfied with my life now. There are some things that I see in a different light today, and in my case, mum and dad did not always know it better.

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  4. I remember growing up in the 50s and actually walking to school ……… and my mother was never afraid I’d be kidnapped or worse …….. good? Well, better anyway!

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    • We never had a car and my dad worked for the Ford motor works – he never took the driving test. I only took it when I was over 40 years old. I walked most places to save the fare.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Chinese were refining porcelain when we were getting the hang of wearing animal skins too. This is my kind of memory lane. Imperfect, but very interesting. Lots of grittiness in those memories as there are in mine. I like the texture. It makes it real to me.

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  6. On Mother Kelly’s doorstep,
    Down Paradise Row.
    I sit alonga Nellie,
    She sits alonga Joe.
    She’s got a little hole in her frock,
    Hole in her shoe,
    Hole in her sock
    Where her toe peeps through,
    But Nellie was the smartest down our alley.

    On Mother Kelly’s doorstep,
    I’m wondering now
    If little girl Nellie
    Remembers Joe,
    Her beau,
    And does she love him like she used to
    On Mother Kelly’s doorstep,
    Down Paradise Row?

    A bus ride from the ol’ Bethnal.

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    • Memories. Of course I know the song and that really brought it all back. We would have family Christmas, more like a Knees up mother brown and sing song. That song was one of the specialities of my mum and her sisters. And yes I do know Paradise Row, at the corner of Bethnal Green Road.

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