We're not great TV watchers...it's not that we don't enjoy it, it's just that we have other things to do, and once you're not in tune with the TV schedules it's easy just to forget to watch. Generally we have one series that we watch at a time, and at the moment we are enjoying the Beeb's series on the Seventies. In those days I was young, smart and my life was full of promise. So it's not surprising I look back through rose-tinted spectacles, and the programme has come as quite a shock to me and The Cat's Mother. We've just watched episode three (my maths suggests that as they do two years each episode there are five to watch) and we've seen all the promise of the sixties evaporate into the doom of economic, political and social failure. Of course, we both remember most of the events, but frankly when you're a smug teenager your awareness of what's really happening in the world and it's implications is minimal. We saw the world changing events as nothing more than stories in the newspapers whilst our dear parents had to bear the stress, strains and turmoil that was going on around them.
It's hard to imagine inflation running at 25%. It's not so hard to imagine everyone going on strike. Nor is it so hard to imagine savage public sector cutbacks being made...albeit by the Labour Government, rather than the current coalition. We probably all remember hopelessly unreliable and outdated cars being built by Leyland (renamed to Austin Rover by the time I went to join them in the eighties). And who can forget Punk Rock...less a musical statement and more a call for social and political change...oh that we could have Neo-Punks now!
The Seventies seems to be the forgotten decade - we all know about the swinging sixties, and the booming eighties, but the seventies seemed to be a blur of glam rock, terrible fashion and the falling pound. In fact so unrelenting is the bad news in this series, that I'm beginning to feel that the current recession is something of a golden age. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. And I have a sneaking suspicion that we're just being softened up for the arrival of Maggie who will be presented as someone who rode to our rescue...next week will be a very interesting programme indeed.
So for your delectation here's some pictures from the seventies
That's me on the right, my brother on the left and in between us Grandma and Grandpa in Cyprus. I think we were in Eastbourne on the pier at the time.
And here in the middle is my Grandmother