Wednesday 26 June 2024

What I went without as a child!

 A few weeks ago our Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he went without “lots of things” as a child growing up in the UK, citing Sky TV as an example. The memes after on social media were hilarious but I don't think that was what the interviewer was pushing for. I know children going without things is nothing to joke, there are a lot of children who do go without the essentials and that is so sad. I don't mean to disrespect that but this post is a tongue in cheek look at the things that I went without as a child.

Nike trainers, cola, pizza

I was in no way hard done to as a child, I didn't go without the essentials like food, clothing and warmth but there were some things I went without that other people my age had and I sometimes resented my parents for. On the other hand I had things kids my age didn't have: horses and ponies, quad bikes, a farm to play on and lots of toys!

Sky TV!
Sky TV was a luxury when I was a child and my family never had it! My family would not have benefitted from having a ton of TV channels as my brother and I were always out on the farm and my parents were always working. The first time I got it was when my eldest was about 7 years old so that's 14 years ago. 

Branded clothes! 
My parents would not buy my brother and I branded clothes. We didn't have expensive clothes but we weren't badly dressed. I think it was a good thing that I didn't keep up with the latest trend as I am not bothered now about spending loads on clothes. My first pair of branded trainers cost me a couple of pounds from a car boot sale and most of my clothes now come from Primark or Shein.

We never had Coca-Cola when I was growing up. The only time I remember having any fizzy pop was at Christmas and it was the cheap supermarket version of cola. It was probably a good thing, I have always been reluctant to let my girls have fizzy pop.

When we first moved to the farm house that my dad had built we had no electricity supply for about 3 years. There was some sort of dispute about who should supply it as the farm was over 2 counties, it wasn't that big but two fields were in one and the rest of the farm in the other. Our power was run on generators and was only switched on when it started to get dark, the generators needed filling with petrol every couple of hours which I can't imagine was any fun for my parents on cold evenings.

We would get fish and chips when we went to the beach and apart from that nothing! The first time I had a takeaway was when I was at my friends house when I was about 13 years old. I don't remember ever getting one at home as a child or teenager.

Birthday parties!
I had one birthday party when I was a child and I think my brother only had one too and I think my mam thought that was enough. Our birthday's weren't ignored, we would always have a great day out to a theme park for my brother's as his was in April and mine being in November meant the theme parks were closed so we would always go for a big shopping trip and a fancy meal.

A Mr Frosty!
Mr Frosty was the thing of dreams in the 80's. We all wanted this little fella because it meant we could make slush puppy drinks to our heart's content. I think my mother didn't by me one because she knew the mess and chaos I'd create. I was daft enough to by Ellie one a few years ago for Christmas. It was the Olaf slush maker. I'd say near enough the same as Mr Frosty. It was useless! It did not crush the ice.

Fun cereal!
I thought I was so hard done to not getting fun breakfast cereal! We would have Cornflakes or Shreddies but nothing fun. I wanted Coco-pops, Lucky Charms or even Honey Nut Loops but my mam would never buy them! I wanted to be full of sugar on a morning, maybe my mother knew best!

I never went abroad as a child and only had a couple of weekends away when I was growing up. One to Scarborough and another to Blackpool. My parents had businesses to run. A milk round and then the farm. I don't think the animals would have appreciated being left for a couple of weeks. My brother, my friends and I camped out on the farm or their farms which was fantastic fun!

Fun packed lunches!
My mum would always pack me rubbish packed lunches for school. There was no chocolate biscuits, fun yoghurts or fizzy pop! (They were still allowed in the 80's and early 90's). I got ham sandwiches with mustard, sandwich pickle or ketchup, cheap no-name crisps, boring plain biscuits and diluted juice.

Even though I went without these things as a child I was still very lucky to have a good childhood. This post is meant in fun and not to offend.

What did you go without as a child that everyone else seemed to have? 


  1. I'm the same age as Rishi and no-one I knew had Sky TV as a child, hardly anyone did! I think maybe one friend did when we were late teens but there wasn't anything worth watching anyway. I also managed without most of these things growing up, although we did have holidays, and each of us had one special big birthday party when we turned 7. Going without electricity and heating can't have been fun though, yes probably worse for your parents as I think children tend to just accept these things when the parents have to work out the logistics!

  2. Great post! We never had a great selection on the telly - we lived in Belgium for six years and had one half-hour of English programming a night - Daktari and Flipper are two I remember. When we lived in the UK, it was BBC1, BBC2, and ITV. I don't feel like I missed out on anything - sitting in front of the TV was a non-starter when you could be out playing until the streetlights came on. We never had Coca Cola or takeaways either but as you did, I had a good childhood even without all the frills that kids today feel are needs, not wants. I don't know that I ever took a packed lunch - I remember eating in the cafeteria until I was about twelve, and then in the canteen at the grammar school after that. Good rib-sticking lunches like fish cakes and rice puddings!

  3. I could relate to this post a lot! I had a very "middle class" childhood, but back in the 70s and 80s things were different. It seems like things that are expected now were really luxuries back then. I didn't get cable tv (sky) until I was 30 years old!

  4. This post was fascinating to read. I was born in Romania under communism, so my childhood was very different. I seldom had Pepsi because it was smuggled into the country. There was no TV, unless you count propagandistic news with how amazing our lives were unlike the struggling west who was about to die of hunger or something. :))

    I had birthday parties with lots of children and amazing cakes my mother made. After the fall of communism, I was 7 at that time, I started to have lots of fizzy drinks and imported stuff. Also, I was watching Italian TV because there were no interesting Romanian programs before that. We had no money for holidays abroad, as all was much more expensive.

  5. Kim, this is so relatable for me. Sounds like you and I have some shared experiences growing up. I had horses and ponies too. No designer clothes, I only ever remember one birthday party and one week at an aunt's house in another state. And your right about resentment. But you're also right about having things others didn't too.
    Visiting today from MMBC #3

  6. I loved reading this post! As an only child, I didn't go without much, but my mum was very strict, so I was definitely not spoiled. I wasn't allowed to do many things my friends could, like going on sleepovers until I was in my teens. I begged and cried so much, that I probably wore her out! We didn't have sugary cereals, soft drinks, or snacks because my mum was so health-conscious. She was juicing long before it was trendy! Takeaways were rare for us, but she would treat me to McDonald's whenever we went to the city for a day out during school holidays.