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basic 3 bedrooms, if you had the money”. A large place for kids to play,
safely outside, was deemed a necessity for growing families.
Pacman was not even heard of then, let alone a VCR. DVD players,
Playstation and Xbox were things of science fiction.
Kids had few choices: watch a bit of TV, play outside, sports training or
do your homework. Homework was not high on our list of priorities when
Digging holes in the garden & making cubby houses with your Dad were
happy memories of a less stressful time. Now you need council permits for a
home made cubby and tree houses are deemed unsafe. Heaven forbid a
child falls over.
Kids were thinner, happier and fitter. Even the word ‘takeaway’ was not
in our vocabulary. Fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper, on a Friday night
was a ritual for many Aussie families. We didn’t get sick from eating off
week old print either.
Families ate together and kids did not roam the streets in gangs at age
10. Assaults on teachers were a rarity. Respect was demanded and received
by elders. Capital punishment in the form of the strap or the cane and
writing a hundred lines on the blackboard were standard school procedures –
and yes, some teachers were a little too enthusiastic.
The stresses on my generation were few. Clothing labels existed, but
wearing white socks, instead of black, was considered the biggest faux par.
Levis, Wrangler and Lee jeans were standard. For children at school,
especially high school, we wore uniforms.
Our subjects at school were more basic than today. A few people went
on to university; it wasn’t expected of us by our parents. A trade, an office
position, retail sales job or a good government position would be fine. Get
married, have babies at about 25 and pay off your house. All pre-planned.
Our mothers mainly stayed at home, or worked part-time, so there was
someone at home when the school bell rang. Only a few had careers and