Why Being an 80’s Kid was the Best

I stumbled upon a great archive of nostalgia at Too Old to Grow Up and it got me thinking about just how different things were for me as a kid in comparison to the generation that our daughter is growing up in.

By the time LT is 10 years old she will probably have a paper thin tablet computer on her Christmas list. I can still fondly remember the Christmas day that I got my Commodore 64 computer. It was absolutely gigantic and to my 8 year old brain it seemed to take an eternity for the games to load.

commodore-64

The Commodore 64 in all it’s glory in a page of a 1985 Argos catalogue Credit.

Life was certainly different in those days; we didn’t have text messages or Whatsapp we actually had to speak to each other on the land line telephone?! Can you imagine! Nowadays we only have a landline telephone because we needed the line fitted for wifi.

The landline only rings about 3 times a month and every time the caller is a bloke with a South African accent telling me that he is calling from Talk Talk to access my account due to the problems that we are having. We don’t use Talk Talk and we are not having any problems but he is a persistent bugger; I am thinking about investing in a fog horn to blow down the receiver at him next time he calls.

So whilst I have been pondering these huge differences in generation why not join me for a trip down memory lane as I share my favourite memories of this wonderful decade?

Top 5 Reasons Why Being an 80’s Kid Was The Best:

  1. My Tonker Truck.

This toy was simply the greatest thing that a kid growing up in the 80’s could ever wish for. Mine was proper beaten up and well used as like most of my toys I inherited it from my older brother. It was real metal with gnarly sharp edges and most definitely would not pass any sort of safety test nowadays but boy was it good fun!

I used to spend hours in our garden digging up my parent’s flower borders and filling the back part of the truck with mud then pushing it down the garden path and dumping the mud in a big pile. A truly magical bit of nostalgia to me.

tonker-truck

Image courtesy of ICollector.com

2. My Raleigh Grifter Bike.

Now growing up in a village as a kid there wasn’t much to do other than tear around on your bike, your bike was your world in those days, it represented the freedom to peddle away from your homework and your school bag and let off some steam.

To be honest the Raleigh Grifter was the bike of the previous generation, just like the Chopper these bikes obtained cult status in the 70’s. But as with most things in my childhood I drew my inspiration from my older brother and so I rocked a Raleigh Grifter while my mates all sped off on their 21 gear mountain bikes.

The thing about this bike was that it weighed a tonne, literally. The frame was so heavy and the wheels so chunky that cycling on anything other than a flat surface or downhill was major hard work. This was not helped by the fact that it only had 3 gears; but who needs gears when you’ve got style like this?

I discovered just how heavy it was one day when I took a corner too fast and ended up not being able to stop as the weight of the bike propelled me forwards and I ran into a dog. Don’t worry the dog was fine and luckily the owner was understanding but I soon learnt to respect the laws of gravity and take care when cornering on my Grifter.

grifter

The Raleigh Grifter a stylish bike like no other.

3. Hip Hop

Growing up sharing a room with my brother who is 10 years older than me had its advantages. I became immersed in the music that he was listening to, while my school friends were playing The Lion King soundtrack on their walkmans I was blasting out Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Our room had a stencil of Jimi Hendrix on the wall and my brother’s tickets from The Henry Rollins band tour. It was a cool time for music and nothing was cooler than the brand new musical import from the states; Hip Hop.

It was the first time I had ever listened to Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff, LL Cool J and Salt N Pepa. Then the Beastie Boys came along and made it acceptable for white suburban kids to rap, listen to rap and more importantly ride around the village on your BMX with a VW logo on a chain around your neck.

run-dmc

Hip Hop legends Run DMC. Image courtesy of Liketotally80’s.com

4. Proper T.V Shows

One of my most vivid memories of weekends as a kid was when there was a run of my favourite programmes back to back on a Saturday. I used to be able to watch The A-Team, Airwolf, Street Hawk and Knight Rider all in one sitting; it was amazing!

Everyone knows about the A-Team and Knightrider but Airwolf and Street Hawk were probably less well known but equally as fascinating and exciting to watch!

If you have never had the pleasure of watching an episode of Airwolf check out this amazing link and the Google synopsis says it all; ‘At the behest of a shadowy government organization, an enigmatic loner steals a supersonic military helicopter from its twisted creator and uses it to fight the bad guys around the world in this 1980s action series’. What is better than that as telly for a 8-year-old kid with an imagination running wild!

Street Hawk was shortlived and only aired for 13 episodes but it had all the necessary ingredients for great childhood t.v; motorbikes, explosions, chase scenes and an electro soundtrack.

Here is the premise of the show taken from Wikipedia ‘This is Jesse Mach, an ex-motorcycle cop, injured in the line of duty. Now a police troubleshooter, he’s been recruited for a top secret government mission to ride Street Hawk — an all-terrain attack motorcycle designed to fight urban crime, capable of incredible speeds up to three hundred miles an hour, and immense firepower. Only one man, federal agent Norman Tuttle, knows Jesse Mach’s true identity. The man…the machine…Street Hawk.’ 

Excited? thought so; check out the intro on this link.

5. Findus Crispy Pancakes

Like many other adults who grew up in the 80’s I was understandably distressed when reports came out in the press earlier this year that the legendary Findus Crispy Pancakes were being axed!

Luckily though following a ‘furious backlash’ from fans a new company bought the Findus brand and they are back on the shelves; phew.

If you for some reason have never experienced the magic of the Findus Crispy Pancake it was the ultimate 80’s comfort food. A little pouch of minced beef and gravy wrapped in lovely golden breadcrumbs that made the perfect after school dinner with some mashed potato and peas; hmmmmm!

findus-crispy-pancakes

So growing up in the 80’s was most certainly different to the times that LT will grow up in, my favourite toy was a rusty old metal digger, my bike was so heavy it was nigh on impossible to stop on a corner, my Saturday t.v comprised of motorcycle cops, supersonic military helicopters and a team of ex-special forces soldiers who were on the run from the Military Police for a crime that they didn’t commit.

My tea time snack was a minced beef parcel that was probably so full of e numbers and salt that it should have carried a health warning and I spent my time listening to three teenagers from New York rapping about girls and beer but hey I turned out alright, didn’t I?

I can still re-live my memories though; I still have my record collection of Hip Hop classics, Findus Crispy Pancakes are still on the supermarket shelves and maybe one day I will give LT a special viewing of some proper 80’s tv shows on YouTube. I can picture it now; a special 80’s themed Saturday afternoon to a Hip Hop soundtrack with a special viewing of Air Wolf and some Findus Crispy Pancakes; bliss!

Maybe you have some favourite memories of the era that you grew up in? If so we would love to hear them so please do leave your comments below.

Until next time….

Be excellent to each other.

The Taylors xx

Post by Daddy.

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