No clouds on the horizon to mar the day,
When I and two friends go outside to play.
We pass the man on the corner who stands there and dribbles,
Causing us three girls to rush past him and giggle.
Time for Knock Down Ginger, British Bulldog, Jacks, and French Skipping,
Or collecting tea cards for swapping and flipping.
All over the East End of London we would roam,
Until one look at a watch would cause us to run home.
Home; not to iPads, iPods, MP3’s and Internet,
But to 3-channel TV, library books and Etch-a-Sketch.
Diaries I’d write, penning words in my head,
That I’ve kept to this day in a box under the bed.
On Saturdays we all had to help our mums,
To dust, polish, and hoover up crumbs.
Then out to the market the three of us would trot,
To hang round the record stall and wish more money we’d got.
The market traders’ shouts would ring in our ears,
As we ate chips out of newspaper without any fears
That the print might transfer from paper to finger,
Then back to the record stall to hover and linger.
Pocket money spent on comics, records and sweets,
We’d then sit on a wall, swinging our feet.
When the stalls started packing up we’d give a huge sigh,
As we’d forgotten what our mums had sent us out to buy.
Hurry back to the market with a shopping list,
For three pounds of potatoes I had erstwhile missed.
Come back home and sit on the step,
To read my comics and eat the sweets that are left;
Chocolate buttons, shrimps, blackjacks and chews,
Fortunately the teeth I still have are not few.
It was a time of joy, of carefree abandon,
A child of the 60’s, in lovely old London.
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