A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label 1980s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980s. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Memories of Sixth Form - 1980s Style

Individuality, creativity, be yourself.Both of my new jobs involve looking after children. The first, mentoring teens at a sixth form, is something I've been doing as a volunteer for a very long time - so it was rather lovely to be offered a paid role. I worked as an exam invigilator last summer and was asked to apply for a permanent job as a mentor early this year.

Whatever your pre-conceived ideas about teens today, let me tell you that they work far harder than I ever did at their age.

In the 80s, being bored was something you experienced almost every day. This meant you were more 'creative' with your time and often got into a considerable amount of mischief.

For the record I'm not sure I should be sharing any of this on the blog. That isn't going to stop me though...

1. Back in the 1980s, my own sixth form days were spent mostly relaxing in the common room playing pool (badly) or darts (v. badly) and listening to U2, Iron Maiden or Tears For Fears. The latter was dependent on M remembering his tape player and locating a tape that the temperamental device hadn't yet shredded.

2. As long as you turned up to lessons and handed in a piece of homework once in a while - you were mostly left to your own devices. This effectively meant you could get away with a lot.

3. It was perhaps unfortunate that I discovered boys during this time. G was normally pretty shy, but dared to ask me out at a party after downing a couple of pints of snakebite. The relationship fizzed on and off before fizzling out completely when his dad got a new job in Milton Keynes and the family moved away. As there were no mobiles and the internet had yet to be invented, we wrote to one another for a while before deciding it was hopeless. Last I heard he was training to be a butcher, which is kind of funny as I've been vegetarian since the age of 7.
    
4. There were no AS level exams in lower sixth as it was called back then. Instead, lower sixth was seen as a chance to party, before attempting to catch up with anything you might have missed in the final year.

5. I didn't live very far from school and as there was no CCTV on any of the school gates, it wasn't unusual to sneak out during the afternoon and visit a friend's house to watch MTV, or go home and read the latest edition of Smash Hits or Just Seventeen.

6. The closest thing we had to Facebook was a notice board in the common room. It was here that we anonymously posted fictitious problems that probably weren't troubling our friends and took turns to come up with inspired and hilarious answers. I should point out that this was never malicious - only ever good-natured and everyone had the right to remove anything they didn't like.

7. Heck, we even went to the pub on a Friday lunchtime and no one questioned our age or asked to see ID before serving alcohol. Sometimes we'd even spot the teachers in there. Occasionally, they'd even buy us a drink.

8. As the teachers never set foot in the common room, they were unaware that we had a set of road signs as decorative items. As we always hid them in a cupboard at the end of the day, they weren't spotted for quite some time. We did eventually return every single one and write a letter of apology.

I suspect that many of our antics would now result in detention, letters home, being put on report, exclusion, or possibly even being expelled. I like to think that the teachers thought our behaviour was character building.
  
I kept a diary throughout my time at high school and reread each one a few years ago before deciding to burn them for fear they might get in to my daughters' hands someday and they'd realise that their mum wasn't quite as angelic as she made out.

What do you remember from your own days at sixth form?

I like to think that mine were memorable for all the right reasons.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Ice Cream Nostalgia


Back in the 1970s, ice cream was a rare treat reserved for sunny days and trips to the beach. As we didn't have a freezer until the late 1970s, the jingly tune of the ice cream van led to frantic attempts to persuade my mum that I'd been good, followed by locating her purse and leaving the house before the van drove away. And this is how my lifelong love of ice cream began...

Funny Face 
One of the first ice creams I can remember eating... a face-shaped ice cream with chocolate drops for eyes and mouth. I seem to remember the chocolate being rather delicious and the ice cream, scrummy . Sadly, these were replaced in the 1980s by Funny Feet. Having never tried one of these, I can't comment. Sadly, a thorough search of the internet has yielded no images for the awesome Funny Face ice cream. :o(

Feast

On holiday in Wales in the early 1980s, I spied an advert for Wall's Feast. Comprising a biscuity-flecked, chocolate coating with chocolate ice cream and a solid chocolate core, this became a firm favourite for years. They lasted for ages if you scoffed the outer chocolate and ice cream before nibbling away at the chocolate. I still buy these from time to time if I'm feeling nostalgic.






Strawberry Mivvi
A vanilla ice cream centre with a strawberry-ice layer. These were refreshing and I remember eating a lot of them during the heatwave of 1976. The local ice cream van must have done a roaring trade that year and I seem to remember lots of places selling out altogether! These were also available in pineapple and raspberry varieties. I haven't seen Mivvis in the shops for ages, but similar products are available and I still love them on a hot day.



Screwball

Raspberry ripple ice cream in a plastic cone with a ball of incredibly hard bubble gum at the bottom. These came with a small plastic spoon hidden under a cardboard lid. To be honest, I was never a fan of raspberry ripple ice cream, but when my father decided that I wasn't allowed these as they contained gum, that made them all the more irresistible. By the age of ten I was allowed to walk up to the paper shop all by myself, and on a warm day when I had pocket money burning a hole in the pocket of my jeans, this is what I would buy. I'd saunter slowly all the way home, devouring the ice cream before chewing the gum and blowing bubbles just as far as the litter bin ten doors away from our house. To this day, I've never shared this information with my father.   

Cornetto
If you were around in the eighties, chances are you'll remember the Cornetto advert. All together now...

'Just one Cornetto, give it to me, delicious ice cream, of Italy, vanilla and choco dream, give me a Cornetto, from Wall's ice cream.'

Smooth ice cream topped with nuts and chocolate pieces in a crispy wafer cone with a chocolate tip. They were also available in Mint and Strawberry varieties, but the Classic Cornetto was always my favourite.

Mr Whippy

I wasn't supposed to have the neon-coloured sauce drizzled generously over the peaks of mouth-watering swirls of ice cream but I'd always say, 'Yes please,' when asked and occasionally I got away with it as my parents didn't manage to say, 'No,' in time. Being allowed a Flake was an added bonus and something that didn't happen very often. Had to be devoured in a hurry as it melted rather quickly and dripped all over your hands.





Naturally, my tastes have changed since childhood and for me, the best flavour of all-time has to be Pimms and strawberry. I'm currently working on perfecting a recipe, but attempts keep being thwarted by my husband, who secretly scoffs ice cream long after I've gone to bed and then hides the evidence in the recycling bin - despite numerous requests to keep the tubs. Ever wonder if you're having a conversation with yourself because no one else is listening? I digress.

What was your favourite ice cream as a child?

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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