What time …

do you call this!  From nowhere my mum came back to life this week when these words rang out from my PC speakers – ‘What time do you call this’ was the constant refrain of my upbringing.  It started with my elder sister who was subjected to this interrogation every Friday and Saturday night throughout her teenage years. As the irritating (much) younger brother I took quiet delight in her scolding, little realising that I would be subjected to deeper hot water when my time came. The price of schadenfreude.

My teenage reaction was ‘how can parents be so unreasonable, were they never young, were they never just a little wild and carefree!’  And the answer for my mother’s generation is, almost certainly not.  Only just sixteen when war broke out, mum was married with a one-year-old by the time of VE Day, seventy years ago yesterday.

The picture was taken by my dad somewhere in the Lake District in 1942 – a few days escape from fear and conflict.

057-The Lakes-1-wordpress

The context of the lyrics is not right but the repetition of the phrase is perfect. I have seen no reviews but a film that also features The National on the soundtrack at least has to be good to listen to:


  1. Sue · May 9, 2015

    I can identify with that!

  2. LaVagabonde · May 9, 2015

    It seems like each new generation matures later. A teenager once asked me , after I scolded her, if I ever did crazy things when I was young. I was supervising a summer camp and they had woken me and the other adults up in the pre-dawn hours. My reply was this – “Oh, yes. But I was never stupid enough to get caught.” Maybe I shouldn’t work with kids…

    • northumbrianlight · May 9, 2015

      You sound just right for kids 🙂 Being an old curmudgeon I have as little to do with the younger generation as possible, excepting my own of course who seem oddly older and wiser than I ever was/am 🙂

  3. Cate Franklyn · May 9, 2015

    I think people now realize how precious life really is an to enjoy it a long as possible, so if that means maturing a bit later then so be it. I personally, drove my mother nuts with my “wild teenage ways!”

  4. restlessjo · May 13, 2015

    Nice to see your Mum’s happy smiling face 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · May 13, 2015

      Thanks Jo – odd to think of the context of the photo. We all know it ended well but in 1942 peace must have seemed a very distant possibility.

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