This was the era of the 1980’s, yep that’s right, when it was always sunny and you always had time to play. I know what you’re thinking….there was only one place to play and that was outside. They were the days of playing on the streets with a pen knife in one pocket and in the other, a packet of crisps with a slice of cheese inside (I don’t know why…but I still eat crisps like that today). There weren’t so many cars on the road and you always saw the local Policeman walking his beat.
These were the days before computers and tablets and mobile phones and of course before Health and Safety went mad.
Playing as a child was always an adventure, whether in the woods, forestry or in the surrounding streets and if you had a fight, it was a proper fight…you remember the ones with that started with a bit of pushing and some fists, not like today where everybody brings every weapon possible, even a tank on their heads……
As well as playing and making up your own games, you also had the older boys who were a little on the crazy side and you were never too sure of what they were going to do.
So here are just some of the things I’ve seen and experienced.
I was playing on the field one day when I heard the sound of a motorbike. As I turned, I smiled….. a young boy on a Suzuki PE175cc was doing a wheelie up the main hill of the estate.
I looked thinking “WOW….who is that?” He came on to the field riding around me as if he was the sheep dog and I was the sheep. Eventually he stopped and we became friends. For ‘Health and Safety’ reasons let’s call him ‘Moriarty’.
A week later my friends and I had just bought ourselves a 99 from the ice-cream van, and were enjoying the sunshine sitting on the wall, when at a terrific speed, a blue Ford Capri ‘R’ reg, year 1976 with far too many young lads inside, came full throttle in too low a gear up the hill towards us. But they were playing a game; it was how fast they could turn into the side street from the main hill of the estate.
Of course we were all asked if we wanted to go for a ride….. but there were a few reasons why not!
1. The driver (Moriarty) didn’t have a licence
2. The driver wasn’t old enough to have a licence
3. There was no room (not even in the boot)
4. I wanted to live
And finally 5., Mother Frantony would have hit me with the tea towel, taking it from her shoulder at lightening speed.
This, by the way, was regular weekend entertainment. So was the time my Dad let Moriarty (thinking he had a bike licence) borrow his bike so we could both go to the Gym. I was on the back of my Dad’s Honda XL 185cc (a very good bike) with 2 gym bags over my shoulders. On a long straight road and with a bus in front of us, Moriarty decided it was a good idea to overtake…….
Well….. it took so long I nearly made friends with everyone on the bus looking through the window. I did wonder if we were ever going to see the front end of the bus and make it alive. Another occasion was the time Moriarty would borrow other boy’s motorbikes. Like the time (again with me on the back or as we called it ‘a backie’) on a Kawasaki KX 400, on the road (again) overtaking a Ford Escort XR3i and suddenly the chain came off.
Yes…..I look back and see how silly we were and of course how lucky we were and I definitely wouldn’t recommend all of these things…..but when I look back it does make me smile, thinking of the days when we didn’t have a care in the world (You remember those days?). Dangerous YES, but funny all the same, we all know someone who provides crazy entertainment no matter where you lived.
As usual on the Easy Blend I’d thought I’d tell you what I’m listening to. Today it’s Barenaked Ladies – If I had a Million Dollars.
You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)
Until the next Easy Blend blog………..
Stay warm and fuzzy……..