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The 'B' word

So here we are, March 2019, hurtling towards a date that will change the course of history! Yes, March 29th, a day never to be forgotten - that’s the day my friend begins her maternity leave. Obviously the baby will take a little longer to arrive, but it’s fair to say their lives will never be quite the same again!

Oh and there’s that other thing. I shall mention it only once – Brexit – what a large lass from Barnsley does when she sits on a plastic garden chair! Thank you social media for that one! It brought a smile to my lips in a way no political discussion ever will. And there’s been plenty of that. I stopped listening sometime around the end of last October – I’ll just wait until something is decided and find out then.

But, let’s get one thing straight – I didn’t vote. I was off school that day and have a note from my mother to prove it. Ok, I was working and therefore unable to attend the polling station. I genuinely don’t know which way I’d have jumped if I had, and even less idea what I’d say now, if asked. But no-one’s asking, so my inclination is to jump into the future with a war cry and assume it’s going to be ok.

I’m old enough to remember decimalisation, but not old enough to have fully grasped ‘old’ currency. I remember little silver sixpences and chunky threepences, and a very strange system of counting in 12s but it all changed before my pocket money reached 8 new pence a week so I never had to get my calculator to work in base 12 (mainly because they hadn’t been invented yet.) I’m not sure I ever fully bridged the gap from inches to centimetres – I use both, even today, depending on the size of what I’m trying to measure. But whilst feet and inches make sense to me, yards don’t. I still prefer pounds and ounces when cooking – grams are just too small! Likewise, I’m always inclined to use Celsius in the cold but Fahrenheit in the warm, simply because zero or sub-zero tells us whether water is freezing or not, but 82 Fahrenheit sounds so much more impressive than 28 Celsius. Maybe mine was the ‘whatever’ generation – based on, ‘we’ll cope, come what may.’

We were all pretty good at maths anyway! Not only were we brought up to deal with a currency rife with nicknames, (shilling, tanner, guinea) that we had to add and subtract in base 12 but every other country had their own currency with vastly different exchange rates. Going on holiday was a truly baffling experience involving not just mental currency conversions but equally baffling time zones (now neatly provided on your mobile phone.) Not that foreign holidays were common place then, most of us were happy to have a week or two at the soggy seaside with a bucket, spade and fishing net.

Is this turning into a ‘life was better back then’ type of post? I hope not, that certainly wasn’t my intention. It was different – and different probably has its upsides as well as its downsides.

I certainly hope so, because life will be different again after March 29th. My friend will have a lot more free time on her hands, that I hope she will use wisely before the little one comes along to fill her days and steal her nights.

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