Sunday 19 December 2010

When I Was a Boy - The Old Days

Unfortunately I don't have any photos to illustrate this posting, my Kodak Brownie in those days didn't transfer to PC's that we didn't have anyway.

It's almost amusing though, as I sit here in my study on a chilly and snowy Sunday lunchtime, looking across to the Shingle Bank, the Thames Estuary and the distant Essex shoreline of Southend, to ponder on the current hysteria being whipped up by the media about a bit of snow. In my youth we didn't have the equipment to see multi-programmes on TV's or PC's giving us every angle on the snow situation throughout the country, no,all we knew was what was going on in the street outside and up the road, we just got on with what we could see.
For many of us over a certain age it seems almost silly to feel hard done by, molly-coddled as we are in centrally-heated houses with double glazing and cavity wall insulation. I for one, left school in the summer of 1962 and by the end of that year was working as a milk boy, accompanying a milkman on his round. Starting at 05.30 each morning wasn't pleasant at all and the empty milk bottles left outside overnight, were normally frozen to the doorstep. That aside, after leaving the fresh milk it would normally quickly freeze and stick out an inch above the top of the bottle with the foil cap sitting on top. That is because the first three months of 1963 saw one of the worst freeze-ups that we've ever had, with continuous snow and sub-zero temperatures well into March and the sea off of Sheerness freezing up and huge ice-flows and dead birds along the beach. Indoors, the only warm room was the lounge where the only fire was, but upstairs the bedroom windows had ice on the inside almost continuouslly for months on end and we often slept in our clothes to keep warm.

And to come back to current times and the much-hyped latest "Freeze Up", how many people must of noticed as I have, how at a time when power use is at its highest, how in these windless conditions the wind turbines aren't going round and aren't creating Green Power - one of the drawbacks of having Green Energy forced upon us at huge profits to the developers - it just doesn't happen!
And also, how I wonder how all those new species of wildlife that have been seduced into coming here because of so-called Global Warming's mild winters, must be regretting the decision to come here - if they're still alive.

No, to summarise, this current drop of cold weather is pretty lightweight, unless of course it continues in this form for three months.


  1. Couldn't agree more Derek.
    This winter could be classed as a 'normal' winter, we've been spoilt by a succession of mild winters this century.

    This recent run of cold-ish weather is nothing to that of 1947, 1963, or some of the 1980's winters, when daytime temps never got as high as some of the nightime temps moaned about this week. Although yesterday morning the milk had frozen in it's bottle, and had pushed of the lid :-)

    Now when I were a lad, we got up half an hour before we went to bed..............

  2. Milk in a bottle? - do people still have that - I thought it only came in plastic cartons now.

  3. Hey Derek, been reading your fab blog since it's inception..truly fascinating stuff that's very well written. I reside in South London but spend many a free day in North Kent, esp Sheppey. Something magical about the area, I hope the snow around my way eases up so that I can get over soon to try and find some owls... have you managed to see any recently?

    Keep up the posts Derek, I'm sure you have more regular readers than you realise!


  4. Hi Kev
    Thanks for your comments, I especially appreciate those from people that I don't know, and yes having lived on Sheppey all of my life, it is one magical place.
    The only owls about at the moment are one or two Barn Owls and the occassional S.E. Owl.

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