When looking back into my own childhood I think how did we survive?
Our parents couldn’t contact us 24/7 on our latest iPhone. We knew it was home time when it got dark and we were hungry! We played out with each other, not poked friends on Facebook.
Health and safety didn’t exist and we took part in activities such as curby and making tree swings. With no mobile phones we played board games, not apps. We contacted our friends using the landline (often giving friends one ringers to ring you back as it was their turn) or even worse a phone box. If you arranged a time to meet you stuck to it.
The high tech gadgets were Apple macs and BBC computers and you wanted a “chufty-badge” when you got picked to go on them. Later you became a wizz at Kidpix and WordArt. When the internet was finally available you had the pain of the AOL screeching dial tone and your mum yelling to get off because she needed to rig your gran! But you hadn’t finished on MSN wondering why the person you fancied had gone offline when you sent them a love heart. Oh well BRB would have to suffice.
Your room was so high tech if you have a huge (width not height) TV, Sega mega drive, lava lamp and stereo hi-fi. You used to tape the Top 40 on a Sunday whilst trying to cut out the DJ’s voice, damn. Your Mum didn’t decorate your room for years. What was the point? The walls were covered in posters anyway!
Friday nights consisted of brand new Friends on Channel 4. Of course you taped them as well, videos were a nightmare, REWIND! As a treat you could choose a video of a film from Blockbuster. Saturday morning were spent in front of SMTV with Ant and Dec and evenings with Gladiators and Blind Date, if you watch them now they are quite creepy! When you heard heartbeat on a Sunday night you instantly had the Sunday blues at the realisation it was back to school tomorrow!
Schools were very different too. Tuckshops for one! Chomps, space invaders and Freddos were 10p! There was no Jamie Oliver in sight, he would have had a fit at the smiley faces and green custard. Exercise books were covered by wrapping paper or even more embarrassing wallpaper! Thanks Mum!
You were a cool kid if you returned from holiday abroad with a braid in your hair and a tan. Last day of school consisted of none-uniform day (which chavvy sports gear would you wear? Maybe even combat pants!) And bringing in toys or board games. Teachers may even stretch to a game of heads down thumbs up.
School discos were not a time to take selfies, they took a week to get developed and were dark and/or heads were cut off! Girls put on their clear lip gloss, glitter eye shadow and crimped their hair. They were no contour kits or GHDs in sight. You got quite hyper on a squeeze it drinks while trying to outdo that girl you hated at the Macarena. Boys puffed on their “candy sticks” fags trying to look “well hard” and shouting to other lads you were going to “bang” them.
Looking back I realise now how good it actually was. My only worries were swapping Pogs, getting the next TOTP magazine with Spice Girls poster in and trying to keep my Tamagotchi alive (I thought it had sprouted wings once, nope they were just angel wings oops!) Oh and folding back Argos catalogue pages for Christmas presents I really wanted. Hint, hint mum and dad.
Growing up in the 90s was magical and I loved it. I felt like I could truly be a kid with no worries in the world. How many kids today will be able to say that?