SPECIAL FEATURE: Nostalgic Nineties – Things We Miss

The other day, I was reading the news seeing what was going on in the world and I came across this article that spoke about things that we miss. I sat down and read the list and realised that whilst the internet is such a great and wonderful thing, as is all this technology, it has also wiped out things that we actually all enjoyed doing and didn’t realise until it’s gone. I used the internet when I was at school and college and didn’t realllyyyy start to use it until I suppose I went to University.

I didn’t have a laptop or my own computer until I was 17 and never had the internet at home and would only access it at school and at the library in the allotted time you were given so actually looking at how much I use it then is crazy – i like a lot of people waste a lot of time on technology and I really wish sometimes I didn’t. So, I thought for a bit of fun I would use the list of the 25 things we miss the most in society and talk about them and my own experiences. Now, I was a very young child in the nineties and so some of these may not be entirely relevant to me but I will write about them as much as I can.

According to a poll taken by the airline British Airways and 2000 people, these are the things that we miss the most.

1. Making mixtapes


This is one thing that I loved doing – creating mixtapes – I used to record so many songs off the radio and it was my only source of having copies of all the new music out there. When it came to having compilations of CDs music on cassette that was a completely different story altogether. My Grandad when I was a youngster was the whizz at all the new technologies and he had a special system that could transfer CD music to Cassette and he would record them on there for me so i could listen to them on the go. At the time he was doing it, I had one or two CDs and mainly cassettes so it was a huge thing for em to be able to transfer.

Another thing i used to love was when I got people to make mix tapes for me. There was a guy that i really liked in school and he was into a lot of similar music as to what I was. I asked him to record me a copy of a few songs that I liked that he introduced me to and then he filled up the rest of the CD with songs that he thought I may like. I still have it today and took the names of the songs that he did put on there too seriously and probably read wayyy into some of them as they had lovey dovey names.

2. Put photos into albums

I used to love taking my camera into school and taking photos on special days such as Mufty Day, or just in general. It was a big thing to take your camera in, you felt special and the best bit was waiting for them to be developed and to see just exactly you got as a photo.

It’s lovely looking into photo albums all these years later with all these memories. The only problem with camera film is that there is only one version and if you lose them (like my Teacher did when I loaned them for the Year 11 leavers book) you never have another copy. Whilst it’s nice to have digital options now, there is probably too many photographs in the world.

One of the things I love doing now is scrap booking photos that i do get printed. It takes me away from the computer screen and lost in my creativity.

3. Recording films and TV shows using VHS


Whilst this was something that brings back nostalgic memories, I am thankful for the likes of Netflix and catch up these days. I used to enjoy recording some things such as the many VHS’ that we had of The Simpsons on BBC Two (which is where they were originally based) but the wonders of VHS meant that you could either accidentally record over something or worse record the wrong channel. It was the last ever SMTV, we were going out so we set the VHS to record. We came home and we had recorded Live and Kicking – I was distraught.

4. Having printed photos around the house

To me, this is not a nostalgic thing, instead i love having photos around me. When i had to move up North or even when i lived in NYC, I took an array of photographs of friends and family that I could stick up around my apartment / room. I am someone that loves living life to the full but at the same time get incredibly homesick – so having printed photos makes me feel a little bit less lonely. I have loads in frames around my rooms now, because of great memories that they have linked to them or again they make me feel a little sense of comfort. I also have a lot of my travel photography around the place as well.

5. The excitement of having photographs developed before you can see them

This was a feeling that was always a great one and I associate it with high school. As I said before, I used to take my camera in on random days and I always used to get my photos developed at the local newsagents on the way to school and it always felt like the longest wait ever waiting for 2 days for them to arrive.

6. Handwritten letters

I never one that really wrote a lot of handwritten letters – maybe if you include notes in class.

7. Sending love letters

I was never one to send love letters, I was always shy about admitting how I felt about someone ( I suppose I still am today) – I remember I did this once and wrote a note to a friend in school telling them I liked them – it was a really bad written note and remember feeling stupid and incredibly embarrassed.

8. Sending postcards

I used to love sending postcards – it wasn’t just sending the postcard it was the whole process that it entailed – choosing the right one, making sure I write the things i want to in such a small space – making sure I included everything! My school friends used to send me postcards from holiday as well. I have them still at home and one of them is from my best friend in the younger years of school telling me brief stuff about her holiday and ending on the fact she got her first ever period, as you do on postcards.

9. Having pen friends

I remember having one real letter writing pen friend when i was at Junior school I can’t remember how I met Carly but we kept in contact by writing each other letters. I don’t think it lasted very long as remembering to write was the problem but we did go to Chessington together – I have photographic proof!

10. Buying CDs / having a CD collection


Music back then and even now was and is my world. Buying CDs was the best thing about life and I loved shopping on Saturdays. I used to always only ever want to go to HMV or Virgin Megastores. If i had been given pocket money you could guarantee it would be spent on a CD. If I didn’t have money, i would go directly to the rock music aisle and spend absolute ages walking and looking at all the CDs. I would always pick up the same albums everytime and look at all the album arts carefully and in depth. I still have a lot of my CD collection today as I could never face throwing them away, they are life to me.

11. Using public telephones

I never really used them a lot and I never really had a problem with them – I used to find the phone cards that people used to use fascinating and I still have an Aladdin one at home just for keep sakes. A few years ago my phone battery fell flat and I had to use one – it felt really weird to.

12. Using a telephone directory

There is only one reason I miss this and its not for its sole purpose. They were always sort of like ‘ spam post’ coming through the door and something you had to get rid of. I found them interesting to find out the unusual surnames that people had but the thing I loved was when my house rabbits got to them. One day, we though to keep Poppy and Clover entertained we would give them the Telephone Directory as they loved playing with paper – we came back and the whole cage was completely filled top to bottom with ripped paper – very funny but a crazy result.

13. Carrying a portable CD player

The portable CD Player was my life – the only problem is that stupid school blazers were never big enough to put them in the pockets. I used to force mine to go into it rain or shine – i would not go anywhere without it. When the batteries died THAT WAS THE WORST THING EVER but luckily I had a huge Tescos on the way to work and always made sure i have a spare few on me at all times.

14. Going into the travel agents to research a holiday

The one thing that i loved about travel agents was the booklets – they gave you all the hopes and dreams that you will one day travel to all these exotic locations and enjoy the sites that they picture. I remember booking holidays and mini breaks in these as well – whilst its great to go on holiday sitting in a Travel Agents booking is sooo boring. The thing i love most about modern day society is the fact you can do all your booking online and find some great deals yourself and not what the agents tell you. One of my exes a few years ago only used Newspaper deals and Travel agents to still book his holidays – I was in complete and utter shock how someone could not take advantage of online.

15. Buying disposable cameras

I never really bought disposable cameras, they always seemed really interesting to me. I always have had a sort of camera from a youngish age and never a disposable. I loved and still do enjoy taking photos. Its crazy to think how much plastic we all used to waste and now we just tap a simple button on our phones.

16. Turning to a hard copy of the Yellow Pages

The same as the telephone directory – we hardly used it and the house bunnies used to enjoy having a nibble on them

17. Playing traditional board games or cards

This makes me laugh that this is on the thing that people miss as it is surely one of the most ‘in fashion’ things to do in recent years – play board games with friends in pubs etc.

18. Owning an encyclopaedia

3740I remember having a couple of printed encyclopedias and they were always full of interesting things but in a world that is ever developing and fast growing in today’s society, they would not work well. The thing that used to amaze me the most was Encarta – that computer programme was fascinating and really amazed me.

19. Dialling directory enquiries

I never did this.

20. Visiting car boot sales to sell old stuff

I used to and still do really enjoy going to car boot sales. I think i preferred them a lot more when i was a kid as I was really into Beano annuals and would always find them really cheap. I help my grandparents at two car boot sales and used to feel really cool when I used to make money off of my toys, I found it exciting.

21. Remembering phone numbers off by heart

I have never really remembered phone numbers off by heart – only the odd important couple.

22. Hand-writing essays /school work

I am glad I hand wrote everything, I feel i learn better when I hand write and it also feels more personal. I am so glad I am not at school now that technology is a lead factor, I used to love having a pencil case and choosing what fancy pen to write in.

23. Ringing the speaking clock

I used to do this once in a blue moon as it was fun to hear – especially when they changed the voice one year for Comic Relief or something.

24. Trying on pairs of shoes on the high street

I still do this – surely I am not the only one?!!!!!!!!!

25. Dialling 1471 to see who called while you were out

It was fun at the time but I haven’t used a landline in a verrryyyyy long time.

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