Welcome to the first edition of “The View from the Blue”, a sometimes funny and irreverent view of life as we know it now, and how we once knew it before. Regularly, this column will take you back to 80s and 90s life in Waterford, or sometimes just have a good old fashioned rant about the negative equity world we’re all living in. If you’re so inclined you can talk about this column on the internets using the hashtag #viewfromtheblue or check out the blog at the address below.
Let us start as we mean to go on, with a hearty rant…about the youth of today.
I was born in 1980 in the factory of fantastic, also known as Airmount – Hospital for Gifted Babies. I grew up on the Cork Road (the estate, not the actual road) in the 80s and 90s, a truly wonderful period to be a child alive. I’m not going to harp on about how we used to walk to school every day – which we did, and how we used to be out til all hours playing football, rounders and block all free – which we did. I won’t even talk about how we didn’t have the internet or an Xbox, but instead enjoyed the wonders of Teletext and a Commodre 64. I remember the day I discovered Teletext and genuinely wondered how people ever left the house with such innovation at their finger-tips. The hours I wasted away playing Bamboozle will never be forgotten. And as for the Commodore 64, well let’s just say, we had to earn our fun. We had to wait days for the games to load, only to be told that there was a syntax error and we would have to try the whole thing again. But when it did load, we felt like we had already achieved something.
No, what I’m actually going to talk about, is school lunches. Anybody who has ever seen all the kids that gather around the park at lunch time will understand what I am about to say next. In the 80s I was sent off to school with a packed lunch that included a luncheon sandwich, a capri-sun and a 5-4-3-2-1 bar. The tin foil from the sandwich would then be crumpled up and used as a weapon against some poor unfortunate. This was, more or less, everyone’s lunch. On Fridays we would have the magical pound special – a burger and chip and bottle of score lemonade or a battered sausage and a chip. This was the closest that an 80s and 90s school kid would get to decadence. Oh how things have changed…
There are a number of schools, which will remain nameless, whose pupils convene around the park at lunch times. I have, at many different times, observed them like Attenborough would observe gorilla’s in the mist. I have seen them, on a normal Tuesday, eating pizzas, chinese food, jumbo filled rolls, snack boxes and on one occasion a whole cooked chicken. All swallowed down with litres of coke. Why have things changed so dramatically? And is this why so many 14 year old children now are 6 foot 5 and have beards?
Aside from the obvious health implications, aren’t we supposed to be in a recession? They sure don’t make hard times like they used to.
I won’t always moan about people that are younger than me, just wait til I get going on Facebook and The X-Factor…the complaints will flood in! (News and Star have a complaints intern, right?)
Next week I’ll nostalging (that’s a word now ya know) on the shops that I used to love in Waterford back in the 80s and 90s, and why today’s Waterford CITY has needlessly lost so much of its magic.