I just thought about something we used to do as children, which I don’t think children would be able to do today. We used to make our own perfume, well I say perfume but that is probably not technically true under the trade descriptions act. I expect you would probably called it rose water. Actually it was just water with rose petals in it – does that constitute rose water? We used to put it in jars – remember in those days everyone saved ALL their jars?! We then, and this was the worst bit, used to stand at the side of the road – and I am talking the A23 which is the main road from London to Brighton, we used to flag cars down and try and persuade people to buy our ‘perfume’ for 2p a bottle. I remember at one point we had these lovely red t-shirts with Kermit the frog on the front and OUR NAMES in massive white writing above the picture. Whose idea was that for goodness sake? At least we weren’t ripping people off but I think we were lucky we didn’t get abducted or something. That could’ve turned out a whole lot worse!
Wasn’t life as a child so much simpler without mobile phones? We used to disappear off to the local rec (recreation ground) or to the cow field or just somewhere in our road but I’m sure we were out for a few hours at a time and just had to make sure we were home at tea time. There were quite a lot of children who lived in our road and most of us used to play together, things like forty forty, bike races round the block, all sorts. I’ll chat about this another time…for now though I want to share this memory:
I remember once we were all messing around eating cider apples (I think) and plums from some trees near where we lived, there were quite a few of us that all used to play together. Well my sister or I, can’t remember which, once threw an apple and it hit a girl on the head. She cried and ran home to tell her mum. Her mum was, to us, a bit rough and ready, so quite scary to us and we were worried what would happen. Actually I think the girl’s older sister – who was probably about eight – had said she was going to get her mum to ring the police about it and we believed her! The dad, who was a rather large, ferocious looking man, came out the house and cane walking towards us and that was it. Oh my, we were so scared we were going to get into trouble and what the hell was going to happen to us. Picture us (well look at the photo – a picture of innocence haha) and try to imagine two little girls thinking gulp what is this man going to do to us? I think somewhere along the line we lost perspective, after all it was only an apple! But as children we just believed what we were told I guess. Anyway my sister and I ran about a mile to her friend’s house and managed to persuade her friends mum to give us a lift home. We were both still so nervous about any repercussions from this thrown apple though, that we had to devise a plan so we wouldn’t be seen,
Do you remember estate cars? I think they were mainly owned by people with either big families or dogs. Before seat belt laws came in, children would just sit in the back of these estate cars, not even on seats! Just huddled together like dogs on the floor of the car looking out of the windows. On this day we hid under blankets, appreciated our ride to safety and legged it indoors when we got home, I don’t think anything else became of it. I don’t think we ever threw apples at anyone else though.