ON THIS DAY

Half a century ago today, my (now) husband and I got engaged. We did it properly: prospective husband having a quiet word with my Dad while Mum and I waited to see if the answer would be, ‘Yes! Please take her off our hands!’ It was – though not put in quite that way. My parents were delighted for us and threw a party.

1970 had been an uneasy year in the UK. It was the last year of pounds, shillings and pence and, with decimalisation coming the following year, we had to learn a new way of doing money. A gallon of petrol cost 6s 8d (33p) and first class post during the 70s rose in price from 3p in 1972 – the year we married – to 10p in 1979. You could buy a loaf of bread for about 10p and a can of tomato soup for 8p. By the time our first daughter was born in 1976 only half of UK homes had a phone, and colour televisions were new and costly.

The moon landing had happened the year before our engagement, but months later down on earth there were rumblings and grumblings of unrest – particularly regarding the future of the coal industry. France mourned its President, Charles de Gaulle, and Paul McCartney filed a suit against his fellow Beatles to dissolve ‘The Beatles and Co.’

1970 doesn’t seem that long ago, though to younger people it’s history. Life has advanced so much since then – population growth, technology, prices . . . Is it any better or worse than 50 years ago, or just different? We adapt to the era in which we live. Even in this uneasy year, each new day is a gift and, whatever today holds for you and me, it continues the ongoing adventure of life.

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