You often hear people saying ‘I wish I was young again’.  More often than not I’m always the one to buck the trend, and I must say that I’m actually happy with the age I am – 60 to be exact.  This is because, as I said in a recent conversation with The Militant Negro, I think that my generation has had the best of many things, a few of which I’ll name in a list below.  Feel free to contradict or agree, whichever floats your boat…

  1. We weren’t taught fancy reading methods.  We learned to read by practising the sounds that the letters make.  It works.  I taught my own sons to read by this method.  I taught them for 10 minutes every day from when they were 2 years old.  By the time they were 4 they were reading fluently.
  2. I was lucky enough to attend a Grammar school for some of my schooldays.  These days most Grammar schools have been phased out as they are considered too elitist.  Now all we have are ‘Academies’, many of which are failing today’s brightest children who might have been able to compete with private school pupils not part of the Old Boy Network for the top jobs.
  3. Our childhoods were not micro-managed and supervised 24/7.  We could roam outside wherever we wanted to, and we did.  My parents had no idea where I was or what I was doing when I was out playing.
  4. I knew my parents loved me, but if I was naughty I was smacked; not beaten, but smacked.  It taught me right from wrong, stopped me growing up feral, and I certainly didn’t do whatever it was again.
  5. Dad taught me Chess, which I also taught my own two sons.  It encourages a child to sit still, think and concentrate.  Children goggling at a flickering TV screen or rapidly-changing computer screen are at a distinct disadvantage in this respect.
  6. My parents and grandparents grew up in the privations of war.  I was born well after WWII had ended.  I have never known food shortages.
  7. There were many job vacancies to apply for on leaving school, if you didn’t go to University.
  8. I got to see many of the big rock bands play in their heyday before they became too old or died from their excesses or a TV set hitting them as it was chucked out of a window – Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Rush, Page & Plant, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo, and AC/DC to name but a few.
  9. So far the NHS has looked after me from the cradle.  Earlier generations rarely saw a doctor, as they couldn’t afford the fees.
  10. Sam and I were able to get on the housing ladder under our own steam and without the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, who could not have afforded to give us a deposit for a house anyway.  We worked extra hours for a year before we married to find the £2000 for a deposit on our first flat.  In 1979 we were given a mortgage of 4x Sam’s salary, which we could afford to repay.  Nowadays 4 x one salary would probably not even buy half a house
  11. We were able to interact with our young sons and create happy family memories without them always having one eye on their mobile phones (they didn’t have one!) or other social media.