Romanticising the Past

Romanticising the Past

I’m always caught between being amazed and confused when I listen to people of my generation – baby boomers – talking and romanticising about the past and especially about their childhood – pre the sixties – as if it was some glorious utopian idyll.

Well as someone who was there – in the UK – I can say with absolute confidence that the nostalgia is – now what’s the world I’m looking for – bollocks.

There was nothing at all romantic in waking up during the winter months with ice formed on the inside of the bedroom windows which meant that for all the efforts of our parents the outside of our bedding first thing in the morning was always damp.

As an aside can you imagine what the Health and Safety fanatics would say if today we had as we did back then an open fronted gas fire in the bedroom?

Which incidentally because of the cost of fuel was only turned on half and hour before bedtime to take the edge off of the temperature.

There was nothing romantic about having to get up at six o’clock in the morning to rake out the spent ashes from the fire grate and set the fire so that the rest of the family could have hot water.

There was nothing romantic about parents doing without meals to ensure that their children had food and a home to live in.

Or for fathers walking miles to work simply to save pennies.

I could go on but romanticising the past is not for me.

Having said that we were happy and as someone from a reasonably large family – there was six children – we knew how to and did look after ourselves and each other.

Perhaps that is the key to those who do view the past through rose tinted glasses as a more romantic time than now – the ability to put the hard time ghosts of the past to rest and being the good times to the fore.