Do you remember whenRetro sign Tea rooms
A coffee was a coffee;
Not a gallon skinny latte or a mochachino?
When a permed lady with an apron and glasses
(Not a spotty barista)
Served it in a scratched glass cup
With two lumps of hard sugar
On the saucer side?

Do you remember silence?
Time to think and breathe and be;
Not the incessant “Chee, chee, chee”
Of your personal stereo on the train
Or the bus, or the pavement.
When phone calls to others
Took place solemnly in hallowed booths
And not profanely in public?

Do you remember when
The future was secure,
When banks were granite-solid
And money sat not in cyberspace, but in vaults?
When you knew where you were
And pensions were as safe as houses,
And house prices were as safe as houses;
And bankers were people you were happy to meet?

Do you remember when
Saturday nights were social occasions,
Armistice fields?
Not war-zones with battle-ready
Blokes blighted by beer,
And women tottering past
Things that ought to be inside a person,
Deposited on pavements and kerbs.

Do you remember manners?
They taught them like
Multiplication tables in schools:
Rote, ritual, rite.
When your mum’s friend
Was not Joan, but Mrs Brown?
Please, thank-you and you’re welcome
Were like bird song in urbania

Whine List written by DJ Mac, performed by Sian Fiddimore, Sound Production by Ian Sharman

© DJ Mac 2013


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