According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokey's' on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags - riding in the passenger seat was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same. We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded. We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them. We played elastics and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt! We fell out of trees, got cut, and broke bones but there were no lawsuits. We had full on fistfights but no prosecution followed from other parents. We played chap-the-door-run-away and were actually afraid of the owners catching us. We walked to friends' homes. We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we didn't rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls. We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of...They actually sided with the law. This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you're one of them. Congratulations! Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good. For those of you who aren't old enough, thought you might like to read about us. This my friends, is surprisingly frightening...and it might put a smile on your face: The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986...They are called youth. They have never heard of We are the World, We are the children, and the Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle. For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam. AIDS has existed since they were born. CD's have existed since they were born. Michael Jackson has always been white. To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can't imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance. They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from last year. They can never imagine life before computers. They'll never have pretended to be the A Team, RedHand Gang or the Famous Five. They'll never have applied to be on Jim'll Fix It or Why Don't You. They can't believe a black and white television ever existed. And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone. Now let's check if we're getting old... 1. You understand what was written above and you smile. 2. You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon, after a night out. 3. Your friends are getting married/already married. 4. You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers. 5. When you see teenagers with mobile phones, you shake your head. 6. You remember watching Dirty Den in EastEnders the first time around. 7. You meet your friends from time to time, talking about the good Old days, repeating again all the funny things you have experienced together. 8. Having read this, you are thinking of forwarding it to some other friends because you think they will like it too... Yes, you're getting old!