Intimations of mortality

dale-around-1950On 1 January 1950, I remember becoming aware, for the very first time, that one day I would die!!!  A half century had just ticked over and I realised that this wouldn’t happen again for another fifty years (which to a nearly eight year old seemed an awfully long time).  I calculated that I would turn 58 in the year 2000 and thought “boy, that’s awfully old, I wonder if I could possibly live that long”.  In fact, of course, I’ve lived to the ripe old age of 74 (so far).

I’ve already talked about lots of ways that life has changed, but here are some other things:

  • There were no dishwashers, no microwaves, not many fridges, and no deep freezes.
  • Houses that didn’t have a fridge had a “safe” in the kitchen, which was a small cupboard with vents to the outside of the house, so the contents would be kept slightly cool by the breeze. That way your milk/butter/etc lasted a bit longer before “going off”.
  • There were no portable radios, and no TV at all.
  • No zips or velcro.
  • No airbags, no electric windows in cars. No seat belts or child safety harnesses.  No indicators.
  • No tissues for wiping your nose. You used handkerchiefs (cloth squares made of cotton), which, if you had a bad cold, would quickly become very damp and very yukky!!!
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