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  • One outside toilet was shared between four families, bath time was either in the same sink you washed your dishes in, (by hand), or in a metal tub in front of the coal fire. Bed time meant sharing one bed with four other people, two at the top, two at the bottom. We all shared the same deprivations and poverty in that rough, tough, working class neighbourhood of Glasgow that I grew up in.

    There were no mass produced plastic toys, no computers, no television cartoons to watch. Most people didn't even have a television to watch. We played outside in all weathers, in dirt and mud, we got dirty, we got cuts and bruises, we laughed and we had fun. The rubbish bin area in the back court was our pirate ship, our castle under seige, our climbing frame and our place to hang out. Derelict buildings and even those under demolition were our adventure playgrounds.

    Candy and treats were few and far between but we coped, replacing them with bread and butter or bread and jam. That was our treat and, as they say, you don't miss it if you've never had it so the sweet shop was a place to look through the window at and dream the dreams of children.

    But we grew up, we 'progressed'. We saw the introduction of computers, of mass produced made in china toys, each new one being the latest 'must-have' which placed countless thousands of parents under pressure to please their little ones and not let them be the only one's without. Little realising they were contributing to the demise of the imagination.

    Progression has made us lazy. No need to use the imagination when you can see it all on a computer or a DVD enhanced with special effects. No need to play outside and get fresh air, use up your excess energy, when you can stay indoors and play on a machine which has taken the place of your imagination while you gorge yourself on chocolate and sugary drinks and anything else your body demands.

    Nostalgia may adorn us with rose tinted glasses but proigression has made us lazy. Those who live now in the days I lived in then may think I'm crazy looking back with almost a wish you were here wistful gaze but while those days were not as good as we might remember, I wonder if we'll ever know and appreciate the true value of what we lost along the way from there to here!?
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