I was born in Leicester many years ago now, long before the advent of blogs, e-books, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter and Smartphones, not to mention computers in all shapes and sizes.
Most of my childhood was taken up by playing football in the winter months (small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts, isn't it). The Fast Show fans will get that reference.
In the summer it was football too or on the odd occasion that the sun came out it was cricket, maybe twenty a side with each batsman facing an eight ball over from one of the other team. Often the ball was a tennis ball but sometimes we used what we called a 'compo' ball which was bone hard and as likely to smash your teeth as go for a boundary if you caught a top edge.
How we got by without all the gadgets and distractions kids have today is a discussion I have had often with my teenagers and frankly I think that they think we sixties and seventies kids were badly abused by not being able to keep in constant banal contact with our 700 odd "friends". Trying to explain actually going outside and talking face to face with the fifteen or twenty other similar aged kids from the neighbourhood without causing mayhem for everybody else (we called it playing), is like trying to describe talking to aliens.Their loss as far as I can tell.
Anyway secondary school is when I discovered those two huge distractions that interfere with the later stages of school life, you know the important bits where exams are at stake.
Beer and Cigarettes.
Girls? Nah not until I was a bit older when you know A Levels were at stake as well as possible University places.
Why the education system is designed so that the most important times, ie exams, coincide with the advent of puberty and sex drive and the ability to pass for eighteen to get into pubs and clubs (no ID needed in those days), is completely beyond me.