Do you ever have one of those evenings when you and a few of your friends are sitting round the kitchen table downing a bottle or two of Rioja, gossiping and putting the world to rights when one of you says ‘I could write a book’……..well that was me, so this if you like is my book/blog.
What qualifies me to write a blog…….nothing really; apart from the fact I am old(ish), have been married and divorced, raised three children, ran my own restaurant, lived through The Troubles (1968 – 1998), was the subject of bigotry during that time, was bullied at school, suffered depression, lived with OCD (not my view), nursed a parent through Dementia to name but a few and have remained intact and optimistic with a wry sense of humour (my view)!
Twenty five years ago the World Wide Web was launched and it fundamentally changed the world and the way we view it. Back then very few women my age would have had access to a computer and there were no such things as laptops, iPads, smartphones etc. We have come a long way ladies (I’m assuming its women who are going to be reading my blog) and life has changed for the better…..or has it?
Let’s take a look back over the years at some of those changes………
When you look at the 1950’s think back to your own mother, grandmother or if you’re very young your great grandmother. Chances are she was a stay at home mum who looked after the house, cleaning and cooking while her husband was at work and the children were in school. Meals were home cooked and on time, shirts were ironed and trousers had a crease down the front that would have sliced you open! Education for the sexes in those days were divided; with boys encouraged to do woodwork or metalwork and girls pushed towards needlework or home economics. Mind you we did get the television and the washing machine in the 50’s, basic models of course.
Then move on to the 60’s the invention of The Pill (1967) where women had the chance to free themselves of their roles as stay at home mums as there were a lot more jobs for women on offer. The Woman’s Liberation Movement (1968) was born and women were finally getting a voice (think Swinging Sixties). Music was also the turning point with the arrival of groups such as the The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and fashion took a major leap with Mary Quant and the mini skirt.
Then came the 70’s which was considered a grim decade with a lot of political and economical problems for Britain. There were picket lines, power cuts, miner’s strikes and a financial crash with the price of inflation at almost 30%. This was also the decade when fashion made a nose dive, but is still one of the decades remembered fondly because of Space Hoppers and Curly Wurlies (remember those)?
British life probably changed more quickly between the 70’s and 80’s than any other post war decade. For one thing, middle class families had more disposal income for the first time and things like bottles of Blue Nun and Black Tower started to appear in our fridges, colour TV’s in our lounges, a Ford Cortina in the driveway and the package holiday arrived.
However, as late as 1971, women were banned from going into Wimpy Bars on their own after midnight, on the grounds that the only women out on their own at that hour must be prostitutes. Yet only eight years after that rule was lifted, Margaret Thatcher was walking into Downing Street as Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.
Like her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister during the 1980’s and was the longest serving and the only woman so surely that was a good thing? What changes did she bring…..power dressing for one, think shoulder pads and designer labels, the revolution of home ownership, she paved the way for The Good Friday Agreement by signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement, she brought in privatisation allowing ordinary folk to buy shares in big companies such as British Gas, and she tried to bring in Sunday trading but was voted down in 1986.
The 1980’s also brought us computers, digital mobile phones, microwaves, Compact discs, Camcorders, front seat belts and disposable nappies. Life was really starting to change and quickly.
Moving swiftly onto the 90’s and the decade when technology moved at a rapid pace giving us the launch of the Internet, Ebay, Google, Napster and iMac. We also got The Channel Tunnel, Eurodisney and The Spice Girls (who could forget those)?
And here we are…..in the 21st century. My, how things have changed. Where would we be without social media and how did we ever survive without it and our mobile phones? Life is so much simpler now we have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, What’s App, Viber and Google+………..isn’t it?
Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts.