Two things have prompted me to write this latest blog, both of them emails. The first asked me about the availability of my books as eBooks, and I felt like a real Luddite because it's not something I've looked too deeply into, and prompted me to Google myself (now there's something that could send you blind if you do it too often) and found that my books are available for download. Here's links if anyone's interested. These take you through to Waterstone's site. My US editions are available through Amazon.com
Dead Men's Dust
Judgement and Wrath
Slash and Burn
To be honest, I'm one of those authors who is still holding out on the paper edition of books. As a reader I love the feel, the smell, the intimacy of a good 'real' book in my hands, but I haven't been googling so often that I'm blind to the fact new technologies keep coming at us day after day, and if Ebooks are here, then they're here and I really should get a handle on them.
Anyway, that's enough of that. The next email actually reminded me as to why I'm such a Luddite, and it's possibly true of many of my readers here (not that we haven't discovered technology or we wouldn't be here having this chat). I don't claim the following words to be my own. They were on a generic circular sent to me, and I was 'told' to share it with others. So, if you want to swamp yourself in nostalgia and have a chuckle at the good old days, read on:
WE WAS BRUNG UP PROPER !!
"And we never had a whole Mars bar until 1993"!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and even early 70's.
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gob stoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
We ate biscuits, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,
no video/dvd films,
no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms...........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.
Only girls had pierced ears!
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time....
We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet! RUGBY and FOOTBALL had try outs and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on
MERIT . Our teachers used to hit us with belts and gym . shoes.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!
Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO
DEAL WITH IT ALL !
And YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age after all that Googling.