Too Old To Know Much

Listening to the radio in the car, I wasn’t paying much attention to the program but when a rather irate young lady took the microphone to let the world know what her opinion of Brexit was, I found it very difficult to see her as being level headed or intelligent.

It was all the older generation’s fault that the country is due to fall dramatically into the pits of the unknown. It was the older generation trying to force their archaic ideas on a modern world that they didn’t have a clue about. … How I would like to have replied to her.

She thought she was clued up on how the country should be run, not yet out of university and she knew it all (I think that bit is all part of being at university). I wonder who paid for her education, would she have been supported by mum and dad. Did she have her own home, with a mortgage, a job, a husband, a family. She appeared to be more of the typical text book opinionated young person.

Perhaps we, the older generation, have made some very big mistakes, such as giving the world the mobile phone. People used to talk face to face with each other. Our generation also brought in the home computer which young folks, like their phones, they can’t live without. We got rid of poliomyelitis (polio) and it was our generation who started the NHS, but it seems to be the modern generation who are ruining it. We had a tightly run social benefits system which didn’t overindulge claimants, as they do now.

Many people will have appreciated the kidney dialysis machine, credit cards, contraceptive pill, satellite, video, modems, pacemakers, amongst many things the older generation instigated or invented, and not only did we invent the hovercraft, we even landed men on the moon.

I could have assured her, that being a war baby, I could still remember the austerity of war times. As children we were not wrapped in cotton wool, we were taught to respect our elders, be mannerable and if we were out of turn with anything, we could expect corporal punishment, not that I was a particularly wild child but our teachers were determined we would learn and I was often on the wrong end of the tawse. It did us no harm, we didn’t need a child psychiatrist.

As a teenager, I lived with my parents, in their house and with their rules. My curfew was 10.30pm. Young, single people did not get housing, they did not get benefits come to that, since their parents were still responsible for them. Often young married couples moved into a relatives spare room, collected whatever furniture they could from family and friends, and wedding presents often provided kitchen essentials as well as linen and any other needs which would go to make up a home. We saved to get anything we wanted, parents and grandparents weren’t so quick to open their wallets and credit was frowned upon and used only when absolutely essential.

Working wasn’t just as easy as it is now, there were plenty of employment opportunities but you most likely had to work your way up to a better position and loyalty to a company was held in high regard. Too many jobs and it was reckoned something was wrong or you may be thought as unemployable. If you weren’t good at your job, you could be sacked. Now that everyone gets trained only for exactly what they need to do, there follows a disjointed management. In my day, managers knew the business inside out, now it’s all done by text book and at times, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

There always has been single parents although our parent’s generation would have done anything to avoid the shame it brought to the family. The couple were encouraged to accept their responsibility for their actions. There wasn’t the open promiscuity displayed by many young folks of today.

I had all the worries and cares of bringing up a family on a shoestring budget, I didn’t buy convenience foods or take-aways, I cooked. I worked and saved and have a modest, but paid for, home. I’ve looked death in the face with the loss of a sister, daughter and parents amongst many close friends and family’.

From the eyes of the older generation, I see women going out to work leaving their children in someone else’s care and could be missing out the best years of their family’s life. My daughter was more important to me than money! I see houses which look more like pages out a house magazine and less like a home. Too much money getting spent, usually on frivolous things, and debts mounting. Children getting everything they want and seeing it as the parents duty to give them it, instead of earning it. I gave my daughter the most precious thing I could – my love and my time.

As one of the older generation, we have something, young people do not have and which they have to earn, and that is life experience. I don’t want to live in the past but I appreciate the values and the lessons I’ve learned though it, that’s why, whatever our opinions, we are still entitled to a democratic vote, we at least have earned it, and we don’t take it for granted.

On we go

Last year we as a nation made the momentous decision to leave the EU and return to being a country entirely responsible for its own destiny. Did we do the right thing ? Only time will tell. Personally I think we can manage our own affairs and will once more be the country we were, a country that commanded respect and could hold its head up high among all other Nations. That said we I.E. the powers that be, now have to knuckle down and sort out the small print and get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction, and this I fear is where it could go wrong. I think the PM is an honourable person who has the countries best interests at heart and will do her best to get the right deal. However, before we can get negotiations truly under way we have to wait for the courts to deal with those who seek to disrupt proceedings and try and undo what has gone before, and even if we get a favourable outcome there, we then have to put our faith in our members of parliament and the House of Lords to give the final okay to whatever the deal is. There is no doubt it will be a rocky road with many an argument and counter argument and I can only hope the PM is up to the task. On balance it seems that the next couple of years will be a little turbulent but when you consider the ups and downs it has taken to get this country to where it is now it should be a walk in the park, and I say that with fingers firmly crossed. Happy 2017 to one and all.

The time of year

So it’s that time of year again when the thoughts of many turn to the seemingly eternal problems of getting through the Christmas season. Firstly there is the card list. Unless you are super efficient (unlike me) and keep a list of those whom you normally send cards to, there is that nagging thought that you may have missed a particular person, and i do remember getting a call from a friend asking me why i sent them two cards. Then we have the gift problem. Firstly the cost. Do you spend the smallest amount possible and hope that the recipients think it’s the thought that counts, or go a little overboard and risk embarrasing them when they realise their gift to you was a bit on the cheap side. Then there are the children. It seems that the in thing this year ‘especially among teens’ will be the latest very expensive mobile or games machine. And just to cap it all there will be for some, the family dilemma, as in where to meet up and who if any will be laying on a festive meal. Looking back at my youth, Christmas seemed such a simple affair. You got one or maybe two small useful gifts and some tasty treats in a sock, and only the immediate family got together on Boxing day usually at the grandparents for a buffet type meal and a chat and then it was all over for another year. Not being in any way religious Christmas has no meaning for me and if i am to be honest i am glad when it’s all over and commonsense returns. I know that is sounding a bit Ba-Humbug but seeing the excesses many people go to and possibly regret when the bills arrive, i am sure that if it wasn’t for the often manic advertising that seems to drive people on there would be a few more like me. Whichever way you choose to spend Christmas i wish you well and hope you enjoy the season and have a happy new year.
Terry.