Saturday, December 22, 2012

Things I am pleased I am old enough to have done

There are quite a number of things I am pleased that I was young enough to do or experience that young people now never will.

Type on a typewriter was one, tap, tap, tap, ding, as you reached the end of the line and had to hit the carriage return

Use a mouse that had a tracking ball inside it, and rollers than needing cleaning every so often

Know the sound of a dial up modem

Getting really techie now, using as telephone with a crank handle and speak to an operator who would connect the call and experiencing 'party lines'

Drive a car and truck with manual gears. Who knows how to double de-clutch now?

Never even considering that the Village People or Freddie Mercury could be gay

Reading for hours without any electronic distractions

Become very excited at the prospect of lollies, crisps or soft drink

Fill a paper straw with dry pine needles to smoke

Kick a footy on the football ground at half time on the MCG (ok, I didn't really do this one, but others did)

Not have to worry about HIV

Winding up the alarm clock and knowing that when you hit the off button in the morning, there was no second chance

Staring at the filthy and rusty old chain called a communication cord on a train and wondering how they would know who pulled the cord and so have to pay the £5 misuse fine

Experiencing my first train ride on the modern and sleek new suburban Hitachi train. (Not so modern now)

Getting on a tram or bus and paying my fare to conductor

Knowing the sweet spot for the choke to be set for when starting a car, and where to have it set until the engine warmed up and remembering to turn the it off (no ma'm, it is not there to hang your handbag from)

Pulling apart an audio cassette to fix it when it started jamming and seeing the abandoned ribbons of cassette tape blowing around the streets on Saturday and Sunday morning after the revellers yanked the tangled tape from their car players and chucked it out the window

Cleaning the heads on a vcr and cassette player (actually, that was a bit of a pain)

Tracing the blown bulb which prevented the string of christmas tree lights from working

Not being able to walk away from the toaster or lose concentration when bread was in toasting

Grandma's frantic attempts to catch the toast after I shortened the spring on her pop up toaster

Truck drivers who had to keep a good look out before the disclaimer signs arrived, If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you.

Drivers who started off when the lights turned green, rather than requiring a toot to move their attention from whatever device they are playing with in the car to what is happening in front of them

Feeling sorry for motorists stopped at the side of the road because their car radiators had boiled. Feeling sorry for ourselves when it happened to us

Roads that did not have Japanese, Korean or Euro cars using them

Vacuum operated windscreen wipers. The faster and harder you drove, the slower they would go. While stationary, they operated at a cracking pace.

Cars without power assisted brakes and steering.

Getting stuck behind the Punt Road bus as it climbed the hill from the river, belching out thick diesel fumes.

Being on the Punt Road bus and watching the very wide conductor walk down the aisle at a slight angle.

Remember when the Yellow Pages were the Pink Pages.

And the Green Guide being green, before the addition of staples, now much complained about since their cost cutting removal.

The Herald, an evening newspaper and The Truth, a salacious gossip and exposure weekly paper.

The list of things I can now do far outweighs the list of what I could do years ago. Any of your own to add?

23 comments:

  1. The Truth! What a poorly named newspaper!

    (But in its own way, probably revealed more truth than mainstream news media did.)

    Pix, The Picture and People were surprisingly well-written.

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    1. HH, Truth certainly revealed a lot about people and led to the ruination of some lives. It certainly targeted people like us at times.

      I remember the others, but not reading them.

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  2. Here's some more for ya catching tadpoles in my local creek, using and making a slingshot made from a tree branch and rubber bands, building a cubby house, building and racing your billy cart, fishing for yabbies, that's it can't think of anymore.

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    1. Did them all Windsmoke, except for catching yabbies.

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  3. Naturally when you mentioned the chain on the train I remembered the frustration of pull-chain toilets that would not flush. I would love to have seen how you fixed that toaster, Andrew – it creates a vivid picture in the mind.

    Some things are still done in some parts, but so few kids get the chance to experience them anymore. And oh, the smells!

    Spotlighting, or rabbiting with nets and ferrets; hawking rabbits around the Caravan Park during the hols; swimming at a water hole; collecting beer bottles to sell to the bottle-oh; running after the ice-man’s cart; sprinkling water on dry clothes before ironing; ‘turning’ worn sheets and collars, and darning socks; sewing on a treadle machine; covering school books with brown paper [and clag made from flour and water]; inkwells and blotting paper; eating too much plum pudding til that last threepence was found; looking in a haystack for fresh eggs/ barbaric behaviour when asked to catch a chook for dinner, and watching unlaid eggs slide out of a plucked chook’s belly; using a dunny; watching sheep dogs run over the tops of sheep outside a shearing shed; gully traps and incinerators; literally spending a penny; column shift gears in cars; using a bank book.

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    1. Yeah FC, what was wrong with those lavs? You would pull the chain and wait for a gurgle but at times nothing happened. A skinned rabbit did not smell nice. Water hole tick. Collecting beer bottles tick. We did use ice in a fridge when in a caravan on hols. Grandma had a sprinkle bottle for ironing. I have heard of turning collars. I think even my mother could darn a sock, with an orange inside. Brown paper book covering, tick, but soon came clear sticky plastic. Home made clag was not as good as Clag. Don't forget the dire metal poisoning from the new money in the pudding. Yes, most of them although the eggs coming out of plucked chook was missed, and I am grateful. What a backward step column shifts were. Did you have modern bank book with full security? Your signature that could only be read by UV light.

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    2. I had forgotten all about the UV light bank book thingy. Before that it was difficult to get money unless at one's home branch - not that I did a lot of high powered transactions in them days.

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    3. Banking has much improved.

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  4. I would definitely go along with you about buying tram tickets from conductors, inside the tram. And with my all time favourite rock band, Queen.

    Hillier's moved from Sydney in 1950 and opened in Melbourne. So I would add having a REAL chocolate milkshake at Ernest Hilliers in Collins St each time mum took us into town. The milkshake was terrific, and so were the longgg glasses and the cabinets full of chocolate goodies.

    I would also add walking to the Junction Oval to watch the football for free, as long as it was after quarter time had finished. Even though I didn't barrack for St Kilda, we really loved that ground.

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    1. Oh yes Hels. Hilliers. The Junction Oval is little used now. I recall a few years ago when Warne was playing there in a low key match, and I had a strong desire to go, and I don't even like cricket. ABI brother went there to see a match. How much did you pay on the tram? I just asked for a twenty cent ticket.

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  5. I remember much the same things as FruitCake and Hels, also remember getting up and walking to the TV to change channels or turn it on and off. The big old radio in the corner of the lounge room, later a wide and low cabinet that housed radio and a record player, spending entire summers roaming around the beach, going home only to sleep, cars without airconditionong, we wound down the windows for a breeze, but when the air itself was boiling hot it didn't cool us down at all. Going to the milk bar and putting a sixpence in the coke fridge, where the drinks were suspended on racks in icy cold water, then sliding your chosen bottle along the rack to the end before you could pull it out and levering off the cap on the bottle opener attached to the coke fridge. Fish and chips, hot and salty, wrapped in butcher paper which we would tear open at the top and stick our fingers in to get the chips and eat as we walked. Buying cheese at the corner shop and watching as the shopkeeper cut the wedge from a huge wheel of cheese. Bread with a crust firm enough to hold the shape of the loaf, not like now when crusts are so soft the bread folds itself in half while it sits on the supermarket shelf. Bread that came wrapped in waxed paper that was later used to wrap school lunch sandwiches. even before that, the baker that came around with bis horse and cart selling breads, rolls and buns. Early morning milk deliveries with the milk in glass bottles that clinked and woke you if your window was near the front porch. The ice man delivering huge blocks of ice for the coolers that preceded fridges. Fruit and veg sold from carts that went around the suburbs twice a week, mail deliveries twice a day and once on Saturday mornings. I could go on......

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    1. River, I reckon we could all go on a lot. You being a foreign type were clearly not satisfied with Kraft Chedder in foil wrap and bought posh cheese. Ah, the coke fridge with the opener bolted on. I had forgotten that. Waxed paper around bread. I think ours came in something like tracing paper. Tracing Paper!!! I missed that one. And graph paper.

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    2. Kraft Cheddar is not cheese. Well, not in my opinion.

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    3. I agree River, but it was all we ever knew as kids.

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    4. Ah, you were the girl with the interesting food at school?

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  6. Ha ha, I am almost old enough!

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    1. Fen, you would remember a few.

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  7. Hahaha, for 'pine needles' substitute 'tea leaves'!!!!

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  8. Red, and have you been addicted to tea ever since Red?

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  9. I saw a pen being dipped into a beautiful ink well on tv tonight. I became all nostalgic for both the desk accoutrements and the good quality hand writing that resulted.

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    1. Hels, we had to write with fountain pens in primary school, but I started a push to use nib pens and dipping ink. Some did, but it was very messy. I'm afraid it did nothing for my writing. Remember when a writing pad came with a sheet of blotter?

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  10. have to ask...what year were you born in? Sounds awfully close to mine.

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  11. T, I think we are close in age. 1957

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