Archive for the ‘Living in the 80s’ Category

Most people that have gone to the Gold Coast over the last 30 years would have had a memory of going to Dreamworld and getting on board the Thunder River Rapids ride.  Seeing those tragic photos of the accident brought me right back to when I was a child in 1988 and the round seated raft has not appeared to have changed much in decades.

As I child I found the ride a little scary as they had these loosely fitted seat belts from memory and you really had to hang on to stop the feeling of falling out.  Then when I went back again to Dreamworld in the 1990s they had replaced the belts with Velcro straps which some argue are of little benefit when they get wet;  the ride was less scary the older I got but one thing that never changes is you get a bit wet!

We await the investigative report but I really do not know if people will want to go on this ride again in its current incarnation.  It is most likely safety harnessing will have to be drastically improved along with the raft/course construction to prevent any tipping or ejection of occupants; will that take away the enjoyment of the ride?  I don’t think it will take away enjoyment of the ride as there are many great modern rides that operate safely.  More likely the nostalgic feeling of experiencing an old activity will be gone forever now.

Those that tragically lost their lives were in their 30s and 40s so maybe they were sharing that nostalgic experience with their partners and children if they had visited the park in the past at earlier times in their life.  When we consider more scary rides like Tower of Terror and Wipe Out;  Thunder River Rapids is one ride nobody would dream of losing their life on.



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Most people have a long forgotten box that is usually found in a dusty attic, shed, closet or under the bed.  In this  box of secrets there will be certain items that have meant something to you a lifetime ago.  Photographs, letters, priceless items with sentimental value that you can’t bring to throw out.  I was going through my box and I came across some photos of when I attended the Willow Close Pre School in 1985.  This photo is from 27 years ago when I used to live in the Adelaide Hills.  It was somewhat difficult for me to remember anything from my preschool days;  if I think really hard  I recall that it was a warm day when this picture was taken as I can remember feeling hot in the home made woolen jumper that my mother knitted for me.  My memory of the teachers and fellow students is hazy.

Looking at the picture as an adult I noticed that I was the only child who was not a white Australian.  I asked my mother if I experienced any racism and she said that I once came back from school upset and wanting to wear a skivvy the next day to hide my brown skin after another child said I looked different to everyone else.  Reflecting back on this I think the other child was just curious as this was 1985 and there were not many children living in the Adelaide Hills of diverse racial backgrounds.  I liked being a child growing up in the 1980s as I think there was a good balance between playing outside and playing inside. As you can see in my class photograph there is no such thing as childhood obesity and everyone looks so relaxed with no pressure to achieve so much materially  like 21st century children.

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Can you remember living in the 80s or wish you had been there? Maybe you were only a child, teenager or young adult back then.  Maybe you were not even born in the 1980s or too young to remember anything about that amazing decade and wonder how people survived without the internet?

What may surprise some people who only know of a world of computers and the internet is that life still went on nicely without technology dominating our lives.   Friends and family spent time with each other playing board games, hiking, trips to the beach or just entertaining ourselves with just our creative imagination.  Not to forget the hours spent listening to great 80s music!  If I think really really really hard I can remember the sounds of  Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Phil Collins, Berlin, Lionel Ritchie, Rick Astley, The Cars, Foreigner and Michael Jackson amongst many other music artists dominating the radio airwaves. Yes… I can blame my parents 5AD radio listening for my liking to classic and sometimes embarrassing 80s music artists as an adult!  As a child of the 80s one song that really stands out is the theme song to the movie The Never Ending Story by Limahl which was such a magical movie for a child in the 1980s.

From a very young age I have always been able to remember the little things that many people forget like my parents filling the car up with petrol (gas) and the sign displaying the price at only 41 cents a litre! I also remember a time when McDonalds was only open for lunch and dinner with my favourite burger at the time the Filet-O-Fish only costing $1.60. Parents did not have to worry about their children eating too much unhealthy food back then as fast food  was only an occasional treat for most families and balanced out by kids actively playing outside.   The eighties were a time when kids were allowed to be kids and learned valuable life skills that would prepare them for adulthood; unlike the current cotton wool generation of kids in the 21st century.

So what sort of stories should you expect from the ‘Living in the 80s’ category? Well most of my childhood was spent living in the states of South Australia and Western Australia so expect some interesting stories about the people and places from those areas.  I will have to do some serious deep thinking to dig up the stories from over 20 years ago.  Months will go by without a post in this category however when I write the stories they will be concise and something unexpected! It will make you really think about your own childhood experiences many lifetimes ago.

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