I remember when children called adults ‘Mr’ or Mrs’ – or sometimes ‘Miss’.
I remember when all children AND adults respected teachers.
I remember when children stopped talking and stood when their teacher entered the room.
I remember when children used decent table manners – and cutlery.
I remember when parents didn’t swear in front of their children – or almost anyone.
I remember when children went to bed at a decent hour.
I remember when children received one or two gifts for their birthday and one gift plus a few extra treats for Christmas, instead of receiving a gift or a treat every time a parent visited a shopping centre.
I remember when children didn’t EXPECT to receive treats and gifts a hundred times a year.
I remember when children slept in small single beds and didn’t expect a ‘queen size’ bed by age 12.
I remember when children wore children’s clothes, suited for children and not imitation adult wear.
I remember when children walked to school or to the bus stop – on their own or with friends.
I remember when playgrounds had tan bark for ‘soft’ landings and not sponge rubber.
I remember when it was ok – a badge of honour even – to have a broken arm in plaster from a fall and not a disaster of huge proportions - and an invitation to sue.
I remember when children drank water when they were thirsty – even if it was from a garden hose.
I remember when, if children were bored in school holidays, they had to resort to using their imagination – and that of their friends - and not expect parents to provide entertainment.
I remember when movies were acted stories of adventure, usually with faithful dogs or other animals, and not with unfunny (often rude) cartoon figures or violence, blood and gore.
I remember when children shared peanut butter sandwiches and no one died.
I remember when children had coughs, but didn’t need to carry a ‘puffer’ with them forever.
I remember when bananas came in varying shapes and sizes – some as doubles – and if they had brown spots, that was only a sign of a more sugary taste, not a reason to chuck in the bin.
I remember when carrots sometimes came with two ‘legs’ and were enjoyed and not discarded.
I remember when school lunches contained meat or cheese and did not require a special cooled lunch box - and no one was sick.
I remember when mothers made cakes or biscuits and children were allowed to ‘scrape the bowl’, without being warned of the dangers of digesting raw egg.
I remember when farm kids drank milk straight from the cow and grew healthy bodies.
I remember when shop-bought milk was just milk, with no fancy brand name or additives providing a dozen choices.
I remember when a telephone was attached to the wall and not something carried in a pocket.
I remember when pop tunes were called ‘hits’ and were often quite tuneful.
I remember when you needed a new pair of socks and you didn’t have to buy a pack of five.
I remember when Hot Cross Buns were eaten on Good Friday and not all through the first four months of the year….and never contained chocolate.
I remember when an ‘electronic device’ was a term used by scientists or technical experts and not something owned by children.
I remember when people registered a polite complaint about a perceived omission or mistreatment and didn’t react by screaming obscenities at shopkeepers or service personnel.
I remember when children stood and gave their seats to the elderly on public transport.
I remember when motorists grouched about another motorist’s driving, but resisted the urge to get out of the car and ‘punch their lights out’.
I remember when an authentic Australian flag was expensive and could only be bought at an Army Disposal store or from a Government official - and was not a cheap, nylon (‘made in China’) item to drape on shoulders to express a suspect form of patriotism.
I remember when the word ‘terrorist’ was never seen in newspaper headlines.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.