As many of you know, I recently found my brother – or should I say, he found me – after a 25-year absence. Since connecting, we have not stopped talking on the phone, sending messages via Facebook, and thinking about each other. He mentioned yesterday that, when we were children, we did not have technology like we do today. In our house, we did not have the phone connected until I was 22 years old. As a child, if we wanted to make a phone call we needed first to find a phone box, then press Button A after inserting the money, Button B to end the call and – if necessary – get any money back. Fifty years ago it is what I did for my mother all of the time when she had to work late or give messages to her employer. I never realized until my brother mentioned it how much life has changed since my childhood and teenage years.
As a teenager, I was trained to be a shorthand/typist. Today you would be lucky to find anyone who works with shorthand. Typing for most people is with one or two fingers, and nobody cares a hoot. Since talking with my brother, I have recollected so many things that it has been a real eye opener. We did not have a fridge, or a washing machine, or dryer either. I think I was about 12 and my brother 8 before we had both of these things in the house. My mother had a big copper (as she called it), a large copper vessel on legs which had a gas burner underneath to boil the water to get it really hot. She would then drop in a “dolly bag” as it was called, a cloth bag filled with whitener. The whites would be put in first and, after they were removed, the colored clothes.