Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Looking back at my 80’s…

I LIKED the 80’s, not just for it’s explosion of new fresh music but for it’s optimism, it’s sense of hope. It was a very addictive feeling of we can do/accomplish Anything, that has since disappeared. Sometimes I caught glimpses of it when visiting Mexico City 2-3 yrs ago, but only among the well educated youth.

Maybe that’s what we were? Geeky college and university night school students (and a few graduates) with little or no money, motivated and eager to get out into the world, to explore and create, seduced by the dream of one day having a loft apartment with wood floors in the heart of the city and not identical boxes in the suburbs with linoleum floors and a long commute, leaving for work so early in the morning that breakfast was not an option. So we made it into the new-romantic way to keep the weight off: endless coffees until lunchtime, which was spent in one of the many little places that popped up like mushrooms after rain. It was a great time to be young adults.

We dreamed about putting our mark on the world, travel to exotic places… even tho none of us could afford to take a holiday, it did not matter! We’d waited for years to be let loose and play in the world and here we were!
That was the difference between the late 80’s, the 90’s and the noughties… Back then everything was new, life was still physical in as much as we were not reined in by remote controls/mobile phones/ipads or slaves to our androids. You could have a bbq outside with your mates, play music on a portable boombox (Joe Cocker, Simply Red, old soul and 60’s stuff) and no ringing phones with tinny music or playing games on said phones. Instead there’d be laughter and late night fun coz it was an occasion or it was summer, and it wasn’t every night.  Cheap wines and new imported beers…

Things were new and developing, like the precursor of the internet, and we talked about it with enthusiasm, hope and amazement.

As the evening wore on it would get quieter, with only the odd car going past and breaking the silence, or the sounds nature and her other creatures made. Most trickled off to catch the last bus or train home and the rest kept our voices down or the neighbors would complain.  It was a lovely era.

What happened to it all?  The fields filled with more cheap ugly housing, the green tarmacked over to make new car-parks in failed park-n-ride schemes, rents and house prices rocketed. The move forward into the up and coming inner city ‘hoods or the developing envisioned next silicon valley… didn’t happen. And we, we grew up and apart, and little by little ran out of steam, lost our vision and appetite for life. Settled for less than inspiring jobs or down to start families. And as Don Henley sang, the end of the innocence, but in a slightly more local context.

Catpaw on the 4 July 2012

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