In many ways, I envy all the mod cons of Miss O’s childhood; there’s no need for 30 rounds of ‘I Spy’ in the car when you have an iPad packed with Nick Jr episodes, and how about being able to catch up on your favourite shows WHENEVER you like, rather than hoping against hope that you Dad hasn’t recorded over the tape with the sodding snooker again?

BUT – after reminiscing with J the other night, I’ve realised just how many cornerstones of my youth she will never get to experience, and I’ve got to feel for her a bit!


She’s never going to:

  • Spend Saturday afternoon squabbling with her siblings over which video to rent from Blockbuster.
  • Appreciate the utter amazingness that was ‘Gladiators’, AKA a dozen or so leotard-wearing gym bunnies beating the crap out of each other with giant cotton buds. (Did anyone else pretend that the escalator in their local shopping centre was The Travelator?? No?? just me then…)
  • Record the charts on a cassette player and perfect the knack of pausing JUST before the DJ starts talking again.
  • Know the very real pain of finally getting to question 12 of 12 on Teletext’s ‘Bamboozle!’ game, getting it wrong, and going RIGHT BACK TO QUESTION 1!
  • Eagerly save up for the latest 16-CD compilation box set from her fave band, which could also double-up as a very effective paperweight:


  • Ring in excitedly to SMTV Live for the chance to take part in Wonkey Donkey and win a really underwhelming prize. They were all a bit pants back then though to be fair – you’d watch some poor sods almost kill themselves on ‘The Crystal Maze’ only to end up with a kayaking holiday in Wales, or wonder where on earth that land-locked pensioner on ‘Bullseye’ was planning to moor his new speedboat. I don’t think our kids would get out of bed for anything less than a fortnight in Florida!
  • Attend approximately 2,361 children’s parties located in the basement of the nearest McDonalds.
  • Call her Dad on a mobile phone the size of a brick, let it ring three times and then quickly hang up so she doesn’t have to waste any credit. Or even better, ring up her bestie on the house phone and PRAY that none of her family are listening in on the extension line…
  • Get TEN Chomp bars for a pound in the corner shop.
  • Go temporarily deaf whenever she picks up the phone and someone’s on the internet…or wait a lifetime for the bloody thing to actually dial-up in the first place!
  • Play with Polly Pockets that are actually pocket-sized (although I’m secretly quite glad they discontinued these; I already have plenty of floor shrapnel to injure myself on, and those little feckers used to hurt like hell if you trod on them).
  • MANUALLY wind down the windows in the car – you had to work flipping hard for a bit of breeze in our day…
  • Be the proud owner of an official ‘Take That’ duvet cover, which eventually gets thrown out because someone lost their shit when the band split up and expressed their rage by felt-tipping all over Gary’s face (not me, obvs…)

And so many more!

Which long-gone childhood experiences would you add to the list?

2 thoughts on “13 cornerstones of a ’90s childhood

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