When play wasn’t a hard thing to do

After reading the article “Too much information” (MW January 20) I received this amusing piece.

According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were children in the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties probably shouldn’t be alive because our baby cots were covered in brightly coloured lead-based paint, which was promptly chewed or licked. We had no child-proof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets, and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and had fluorescent “spokey dokeys” on our wheels. As children we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags – riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same. We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy juice drinks with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this.

We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before dark. No mobile phones meant no one was able to reach us and no one minded. We did not have PlayStations or Xboxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on television, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no personal computers, no DVDs, no internet chat rooms.

We fell out of trees, got cut, and broke bones but there were no lawsuits. We played knock-down-ginger and were actually afraid of the householder catching us. We walked to friends’ homes. We also, believe it or not, walked to school. Enough said.

Laura-Jane Woodley

New business director

Velocity Advertising

London W1

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