When I was your age……….

After yet another “there is nothing on TV” comment from the kids over the school holidays, they looked dumfounded when I explained there were only 3 channels to choose from when I was their age.

I think they were possibly more shocked by the fact that programs didn’t actually start until 8am and we were greeted by a test page featuring a girl playing noughts and crosses on a blackboard with a slightly odd-looking clown if we switched the TV on early.

TV Test Page

Things improved a bit in the 80’s with the launch of dedicated children’s TV, who can forget Philip Schofield with Gordon the Gopher in the Broom Cupboard, but things were so different then that I get all nostalgic looking back.

It is the silly things I remember:


Making a call from a phone box and playing russian roulette with not being cut off by putting the money at the last second


Making sure you have enough credit on your mobile before you make a call

Phone Box


Having a “ring code” to tell someone you had arrived safely at your destination


Dropping them a text message

Mobile Phone


Paying ½p for a Mojo sweet


You cannot even buy individual sweets!

Mojo Sweets


That horrible taste you got from licking a stamp


Peeling it off the card and sticking it straight on the envelope

Licking a stamp


Playing cat’s cradle


Playing a handheld games console

Cat's Cradle


Playing French Elastic in the playground


Playing on highly regulated play equipment

French Elastic


Doing the ‘Superman’ dance at the school disco


It’s all about Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style


Everyone owned a spider plant (and the macrame hanging baskets to put them in)


Everyone owns a colourful orchid

Spider Plant


Recording your favourite songs from the charts on your cassette player


Downloading your favourite song from iTunes / Google / Amazon

Cassette Tape


Having all 12 books of the Encyclopædia Britannica and having to search each of them for school projects


You just Google it



Philip Schofield and Gordon the Gopher in the Broom Cupboard


Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby


What do you remember from your childhood that really stands out as different now?

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com


14 thoughts on “When I was your age……….

  1. Emma says:

    We used to draw hopscotch on the street outside and make tree houses, we don’t see kids playing down our street very often. Apparently they all play Minecraft instead now…
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  2. Anosa says:

    Aaah music cassettes and either wait for your song to come or fast forward with a pencil or pen. Now it’s all skip etc lol
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  3. Emma says:

    I remember cassette tapes too, and having to pay at a payphone to call my parents at night. It’s kind of sad that my kids won’t have the same upbringing I did but also kind of amazing how far technology has come in such a short space of time!
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  4. Candace says:

    Things really have changed just in our lifetimes. Kids nowadays have no idea what a youth with no technology was like and sadly are unable to keep themselves occupied without a gadget glued to their hand
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  5. Erica Price says:

    Old enough for all these – I still have a spider plant – they are next to impossible to kill.
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  6. Louise says:

    My two never believe me about that bloomin’ test page! LOL. I can remember everything on this list. Up until my mum got a smart phone a couple of years ago we still had to ‘give her two rings’ when we got home so she knew we’d arrived safely 😀

    Louise x
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  7. Love the one about recording your favourite songs from the radio, I remember trying to cut out the talking on the BBC Radio chart show so I could create my own Top of The Pops… ha, fun times!
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  8. Ana says:

    I’m a 90s kid but I still remember some of these like cats cradle !

  9. Oh lord cassette tapes used to drive me insane when the ribbon came out and then got knotted x
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  10. Helen says:

    I still have a spider plant! I was watering it the other day and thinking how good it would look in a macrame pot hanger… I think there’s probably no hope for me!
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  11. Jen says:

    This all brings back a lot of memories, thank you. All stuff I enjoyed in my childhood.

    It is so hard having teenagers these days; and darest I say anything about comparison to my childhood and I’m shot with a death stare of “yeah well, that was then, this is now”. Hah!

  12. Sabina Green says:

    Love this!!

    Then: Bendy rollers in your hair if you wanted it curly.
    Now: Getting clever with straighteners or fancy curling sticks.

    Then: Playing marbles on the playground
    Now: Keeping marbles to look at
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