The life we knew

This poem is about growing up in the 1950s and 60s. I’m not saying life was better then. Just different. 



Before central heating

Every morning

We got up

And scraped  ice

From the inside

of our bedroom window

It was the life we knew.

 Before hundreds of TV channels

There was one TV channel

Black and white pictures

And a very small screen

No arguments over the remote

There was no remote.

 Before dishwashers

There was endless washing up

But time to talk 

Precious moments

Lost forever.

Before ready meals

microwave food

and TV dinners

There were families

Sitting together round the table


And kids who knew how to

Cook from scratch.

Before showers

And endless hot water

Friday night

Was bath night

I watched my dad shave

While I sat on the loo

It was the life I knew.

Before digital cameras

and dozens of photos

Taken in ten minutes

There was one roll of film

And twelve opportunities

To take one good picture.

Before cordless phones

Mobile phones

Answer phones

And everywhere phones

There was just one phone

And you had to be sitting in the hall

To catch that important call.

Before emailing



And online chat rooms

There was real conversation

With a real person

Eye contact






Before word processing

There was my old faithful

Manual typewriter

Carbon paper


And a bin

full to the brim

with screwed up paper

Before every home had a car

We played in the street

Without fear

Running, chasing

Skipping, racing

We were free

To use our imaginations

We were free.




© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems


4 thoughts on “The life we knew

  1. Yes, that was pretty much how I remember growing up. Simpler but full of imagination. When I tell my children this, they think its the dark ages. Things have moved on so much. Remember “tomorrows world” ? Its definately arrived!


    1. Thanks for your comment. Pleased to see you have liked so many of my poems. Thank you! I went to look at your blog but it does not seem to exist! Maybe you will decide to follow my blog? I don’t post very often so you won’t be swamped with emails.


  2. Dear Andrea

    Every word so true! Reminded me of my first job as a shorthand typist for the Sun Life Assurance in Fenchurch Street. My wastepaper bin was full to the brim with mistakes and that was my first day!

    Life was so very different then, much less complicated.

    Those were the days!

    XX Irene


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