Friday, 21 October 2011

An Idyllic Childhood? 4 generations of little girls...

1918 - Waterford, Ireland

My grandmother was born, into a 2 up, 2 down one of 13 children but only 8 survived.  They were dirt poor and always hungry but very happy.  She was walking to school at 5 with her brothers and sisters and giving the nuns the runaround.   She learnt to read and write and her fondest memories were of "playing out" and big family suppers.  They didn't have toys or games and were lucky if they had new clothes.  TV was an alien concept but they had a radio.  The only book in the house was the Bible.  She left for England at 15 where she went into service and met and married my grandfather.  They were married for over 60 years and she died a long, drawn out illness from Alzheimer's.  She was one of the kindest people you would have ever met and had a wicked sense of humour.  She liked a flutter on "the gee, gees" and loved a spot of bingo later in life.  I miss her so much.  

1948 - London, UK

My lovely mum was born, the 2nd of 2 daughters.  She also had an idyllic childhood spent playing on bombsites and roaming the streets.  Money was tight but they still got treats.  In fact, my Grandad used to say my Nan spoilt the girls rotten as she was always slipping them a fiver here and there.  They had a black and white TV and she loved "Bill and Ben" and "little weed".   They grew up eating spam and potatoes from a tin but were happy.  My mum also gave the nuns the run around but went on work in various ad agencies around London.  She met and married my dad and they are still happily married today.

1974, London UK

I'm born.  The oldest child and first grand-daughter.  I have a big old silver cross pram that my mum frequently leaves in the garden for me to "get fresh air".   I have a few toys but am happiest when playing out on the streets - games such as 40/40, British Bulldog and Hide and Seek. We move from London to Surrey and I spend hours mucking out horses and going to gymnastics club.  My dad's business is booming and we have a very privileged upbringing. We are one of the first people we know to get a flat screen TV and I have walkmans and roller skates and go abroad every year for 3 weeks.  I have amazing opportunities and end up working in television.  I meet and marry HAW and we are also still happily married!  

2008, Surrey UK

Pixie is born - the 3rd and final (sob!) child.  She comes after 2 brothers and is very much a girlie girl.  She has a bugaboo pushchair that costs more than her grandparents first house.  We don't know how life will pan out for Pixie, I like to think we will provide an idyllic home life as three generations before her have done, but I worry for my daughter and indeed all the children of this generation.  We are living in times of great uncertainty and even though the world is her oyster with plenty of opportunity, it is also a far more dangerous and commercially driven world. 

Does every generation look back wistfully and say "when I was a kid" and "in my day".  

What generation do you think had it best?

Peace and Love

S.A.M xxxxx


  1. Lovely post! My grandparents were from Ireland (never met until they came here, despite growing up maybe 15 miles apart) could have been reading about my nan with the horses and bingo! Wish I'd asked my nan more about her childhood but made up for it with my grandad, they'd be up for asbos in this day and age the things they used to get up too. They were my heros and I adored them :)

  2. What fascinating stories! Each little girl had/will have such a different life, and only a few years between them. Thanks for sharing! You have inspired me to look back through the different generations of my own family.

  3. What a lovely post, I love comparing the difference between generations. I think each generation had it's good and bad points and although we always look back and think it all seems perfect it's easy to forget the bad bits when we do that. The next generation will have it very different to our grandmothers, mothers and even us but I think they'll work it all out.

  4. Oh I would LOVE for you to do the same! Please come back and let me know that you have so I can have a read. It's a fascinating thing to think that in the space of less than 100 years how drastically things have changed...

    S.A.M xx

  5. I love this post. I think and hope that my children have such an idiotic lifestyle

  6. freudian slip I presume ;-) Did make me laough out loud though!!!

    Thanks for stopping by xx

  7. Yes I think so as's called Evolution no?!

  8. Minty aka waterbirthplease16 September 2012 at 20:30

    My Granparents had a hard life, and after coming home from the war having been a prisoner of the japanese, I know Gdad was hard to live wit, and I very sctrict Dad. I have lovely memories of my grandparents, but I don't envy them. My Mum and Dad were married for 25 years but it has to be said - not all that happily. I had lots of stuff growing up and lots of love, but remember mostly rows. SO: I'm going to do my damndest make my Grace's genertion the best . . .for her! What an awesome, thought provoking post. xxx

  9. Thanks for stopping by - I am really enjoying reading about everyone's generation gaps and differences....It's funny how the past shapes the future isn't it?


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