Writings and Witterings



I remember a time when technology
was a term known to few
when computers were Sci-fi items
and we were shocked by A Room with a View

I remember when our telephone
was shared with the lady next door
a ‘party line’, they called it
you don’t hear of them any more

I remember Butterick patterns
a perm when you reached sixteen
21st birthdays were ‘coming of age’
we had lots of time to dream

I remember bouffant hairstyles
gave way to Vidal Sassoon
and I can remember clearly
the very first steps on the moon

I remember feminist writing
from Woolf to de Beauvoir to Rice
men wondered at the anger
keen as mustard cold as ice

The sixties the new generation
Mary Quant and Habitat
Laura Ashley Twiggy Liberty prints
we wore tights and baker boy hats

Maxi coats mini-skirts
bright kilts adorned with big pins
skinny rib sweaters and bell-sleeved frocks
we were all so fashionably thin

I remember kitten-heeled pointy-toed shoes
hot pants and dangling bells
ribbons peace signs ‘Here is the news’
there was ‘glamour’ in smoking like hell

I remember flower power peace and love
Melting Pot Shout and Imagine
I remember all of them every one
now gone but never forgotten

Polly Stretton © 2013

Simone de Beauvoir (9 January 1908 – 14 April,...

Simone de Beauvoir (9 January 1908 – 14 April, 1986) was a French author and philosopher. Jean-Paul Sartre was her husband. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


46 thoughts on “Remember

  1. Oh dear Polly, dating ourselves here! 🙂 I remember them too. There were a few differences across the pond but I do remember them.
    We didn’t see much of Mary Quant in California but Laura Ashley show up a bit but I was in New York then so it would be a bit different. Twiggy was everywhere!


  2. Me too! Lime green flowery flares…


  3. They still make Butterick patterns you know – I saw some in a fabric shop (with Mum – otherwise why would I of all people have been in a fabric shop?) just the other week. Lovely poem – lots of images that people will identify and smile over.


    • I wondered … haven’t used a dress-making pattern many a day – last time would have been making dresses for Lucy – nice to think Butterick is still around – quite re-assuring 😉


      • They have a whole catalogue of styles you can order in in “Rags” on the corner of Crowngate. When I was small my Mum had a big box of well-used (often second hand) patterns that we used to browse through on rainy afternoons and imagine we’d look like the pretty girls drawn on the outside of the packets if we had those dresses made. Mum did make a lot of our clothes but we never did quite look like the pictures! 😉


  4. Given many things of the past tend to recycle themselves, some can’t easily be forgotten even if we wanted to. I’m just hoping the big puffed-up bangs of the 80s never come back in style…


  5. great work! brought back memories quite strongly for me.


  6. Most of this is a little before my time, but my grandparents had a party line phone right up until the early 90’s. I remember my grandmother waiting to see how many times it would ring to tell if it was for her or for my aunt and uncle across the street.


  7. you taught me something new, today, Polly. Great poem 🙂


  8. Me too! Though didn’t smoke like mad, luckily. This a lot of fun and loved to see Simone! K.


  9. Oh, great memories! I read de Beauvoir voraciously in the 1980s! 🙂


  10. Very evocative of other times, Polly. Great stuff – look forward to part two. But I didn’t smoke either and none of my friends did, so we weren’t quite all puffing!


  11. Sorry, Polly, if I focused on a negative because most of my thoughts about the poem were positive, but, nevertheless, I like the amendment! Also like the contradictory images, ‘keen as mustard, cold as ice’. Feel I want to say more about them, but home from a VERY demanding weekend course and can’t get my brain to work!


    • heh-heh, I think that brain’s working just fine! I rather like the amended line, too, and like a very famous writing teacher says ‘If more than one person comments it’s worth re-considering …’ 😀


  12. I’ve heard her referenced but I don’t really know anything about her! Thanks for the share! TO THE GOOGLE MACHINE!!!


  13. boy you have taken me back !


  14. “Keen as mustard, cold as ice,” wow, I was a proto-feminist and remain true to my roots.

    You took me on a road that parallels my own, right down to the Butterick patterns. There’s something about these list poems… they read like one’s history but also serve as reminders to others of that which they may have forgotten. Posting this, it’s like a time capsule, you know? Thanks, Polly! Amy


    • I like me a list poem from time to time 🙂 I guess the comments show how popular a little bit of looking back is, too.

      Thanks for your comments, Amy, always good to see you visit.


  15. Ah, we’re of an age. 🙂


  16. A nostalgic, accurate rendition; a fine memory & talent you have…


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