A New Monthly Challenge:Times Past

Times Past

© irene waters 2015

Happy New Year to everyone on the first day of the month. I’d like to invite you to join with me in a prompt challenge that will give us social insights into the way the world has changed between not only generations but also between geographical location. The prompt can be responded to in any form you enjoy – prose, poetry, flash, photographs, sketches or any other form you choose. You may like to use a combination of the two. I will also add a series of questions for those that would like to join in but don’t know where to start.

Heading your response please put what generation you belong to.

The Generations that I think may possibly be blogging:

Greatest Generation

G I Generation: 1901 – 1924 Experienced WWII in adulthood.

Silent Generation 1925 – 1945 Experience WWII in childhood

Baby Boomers 

Boom Generation/Hippie 1946 -1964 Space Exploration/ first counter culture

Generation X 

Baby Busters 1965 -1980 Experienced Vietnam War/Cold War

MTV or Boomerang Generation 1975 – 1985 Rise of Mass Media/end cold war

Generation Y

Echo Boom/Generation McGuire 1978-1990 Rise of the Information Age/ Internet/War on Terror/Rising Gas and Food Prices

Generation Z

New Silent Generation 1995- 2009 Never experience pre Internet/dot com bubble/ Digital globalisation

Generation Alpha

No sub name as yet but possibly the school or materialistic generation 2010 – These are predicted to study longer and be more concerned with material possessions.

As well as putting your generation, please also put whether you lived (at the time of writing) in what country and whether in a regional/rural area or a city.

My belief is that our location and the generation into which we were born see very different experiences of growing up as we relook at Times Past. I hope you’ll join in. Put a link to your post and I will add it in my post so that it is easy to read others experiences. Lets get started.


© irene waters 2015

Prompt 1: The first time I remember eating in a restaurant in the evening.

While today we take restaurant dining as a natural occurrence in which possibly the entire family partakes, friends socialise and lovers woo,  I don’t think this has always been the case. Several years ago when I asked my mother (Silent Generation) what was the biggest change she had seen in her lifetime she chose over all the technological changes and man landing on the moon, the fact that people no longer had morning and afternoon teas. In her day these were how people socialised and the dinner out was rare.

Questions you might like to answer of consider:



How old were you when you first had an evening meal in a restaurant that you remember?

What food did you eat?

How did you behave?

Who were you with?

Was there anything memorable about the evening?

Was it for some type of celebration?


My first Night time Restaurant Meal 

Generation: Baby Boomer

Location: rural NSW Australia.

I was ten before I had my first meal in a restaurant. There weren’t any restaurants in the town I lived apart from the hotel dining rooms and they were places that were not considered proper for a young lady or any self-respecting person (in my parent’s opinion). There was one fish and chip shop (take-away) until the delicatessen opened in town and then we bought (takeaway) the occasional BBQ chook. Around the same time the motel opened a Chinese restaurant.

We were taken to celebrate a wedding anniversary (I think silver but I could be wrong) of some friends of my parents. There were probably ten of us in total and we sat at a long table covered by a white starched linen tablecloth. No-one knew in those days that Chinese is best shared so we all ordered a plate each. My brother and I had been read the riot act and were under strict instructions to be on our best behaviour. That meant not being heard.

My brother took this to heart to such an extent when he was the only person not to be served he sat there in silence. It wasn’t until someone noticed that he didn’t have a plate in front of him (while everyone else had almost finished their meals) that it was finally brought to the waiters attention. He would have gone home hungry rather than raise his voice.

We moved to Sydney a couple of years later but it was not until I left home that I again ate out in a restaurant of an evening.

Looking forward to hearing your experiences. Respond anytime in the month of January. The next prompt will be on February 2nd


Silent Generation

Cleveland, Ohio


Baby Boomers

rural Dakota USA


Manhattan New York


suburbs Surrey/ rural New Forest


working class Northern England


New York City, New York


Phoenix Arizona


Brighton England,

Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out

Generation X

rural Northern California


rural Lincolnshire U.K.









About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Memoir, Past Challenge, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to A New Monthly Challenge:Times Past

  1. This looks interesting.
    I’ll be back…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Dining Out | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  3. TanGental says:

    What a great start. The memory juices are already flowing….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am part of the generation sometimes called “The Silent Generation”. Some references call it “The Lucky Few” as well, and I’ve elected to build my blog around that name. I am currently posting articles about my childhood on the prairies in Canada, and ask readers to click on the link to my blog to see these. But your challenge sounds interesting, and I’ll be back to participate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charli Mills says:

    This Gen Xer in rural Idaho will join you! This will be fun and the insights interesting to read. Do you want a linked response here in the comments?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 2nd January 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  7. lifelessons says:

    I don’t mind very well do I, Irene? I was a baby boomer–one of the first. I think your question and answer to it are great and I look forward to the answers of others. Judy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lifelessons says:

    Reblogged this on lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown and commented:
    I love this prompt question asked by Irene Waters and want to encourage friends and other bloggers to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gradmama2011 says:

    Hi… please count me in! I am of the Silent Generation (born 1934) in Cleveland Ohio USA
    I understand that I am to post to my blog, “Sometimes” and link to you here…is that right?


  10. When we get back from Arizona in a few weeks, I’ll be very interested in participating. I’ve followed you, in the meantime. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Times Past | Baby Boomers | Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

  12. Irene, Here is my Entry for this tasty trip down Memory Lane!! http://dancingpalmtrees.com/2016/01/02/times-past-baby-boomers/


  13. This is brilliant. I’m thinking on it. I thought it would be easy but, alas, I’m chatting with hubby and we realized we didn’t go out when we were young! I’m shocked. Fantastic question.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That is interesting. So far it has been rare for everyone. I was expecting a change from the generation after the baby boomers but perhaps it was even later. Possibly though it was location that decided it. I’m looking forward to some entries from Europe where there has been a restaurant culture for much longer … perhaps.My nephews have been included in restaurant outings since they were born so maybe it changed with generation Z

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Eating Out | TanGental

  15. Annecdotist says:

    I’m planning on joining in this one, Irene. Memoir as social history is something I can just about get my head round! great idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sherri says:

    Love this Irene, and you can count on me joining in as a tail-end baby boomer, ha 🙂 I shall return…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lisa Reiter says:

    What a great idea to capture some specific social scenes! I might have to squeeze some time in just to grasp onto the notion that I’m Generation X! I thought I was way too old to be that COOL! Tricky though – all very murky in my head!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Solveig says:

    Love this, just have no real idea of when I went to a restaurant for the first time

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Solveig. It is interesting how common it is now to go to a restaurant but back then. I’d love to know when it became the norm for families to eat out. Perhaps if you don’t join in this one the next prompt might see you with some memories.
      You’ve reminded me that I had planned to return and check our your traditions challenge.


  19. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: 9th January 2015 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  20. Charli Mills says:

    Representing for Gen X: http://carrotranch.com/2016/01/11/times-past-food-from-the-sea/ Thanks for the challenge! I like that this is monthly. It give me time to read all the responses as they roll in.


  21. Pingback: Times Past: Food From the Sea « Carrot Ranch Communications

  22. Pingback: Snails and Oysters (1.11 m/f) | Jules in Flashy Fiction

  23. julespaige says:

    Here you go, sort of a two fer:
    Snails and Oysters

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Pingback: Times Past: A White Linen Tablecloth and Crudités | Jeanne Belisle Lombardo

  25. jeanne229 says:

    Love the sociological bent of this challenge Irene. I couldn’t resist. Baby Boomer. Phoenix, Arizona.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: 16th January 2016 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  27. Pingback: Times Past: Date Meal Delusions – Lisa Reiter – Sharing the Story

  28. Lisa Reiter says:

    Skipping in a FULL day before the deadline. You have no idea how smug I feel!
    Great prompt even if it brought back something cringy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad you snuck in Lisa and shared you experiences of eating out with us. Not sure whether Lincolnshire is city or rural or perhaps it is a shire and neither. It may have brought back something cringy but you told it in a way that brought a smile. Are you still a vegetarian?


      • Lisa Reiter says:

        Lincolnshire is definitely rural! Large flat expanses of fen land, mainly given over to grain, peas and potatoes, some beef cattle called The Lincolnshire Red.
        And arguably not a proper vegetarian since I reintroduced some fish xx


  29. ChristineR says:

    I finally found my way here to check out this prompt. I have no idea when I first ate in a restaurant. A Baby Boomer, belonging to a poor rural family, it would have been with my first husband who normally chose pub meals and takeaways over anything else. It was likely to be celebration and was most likely a Chinese restaurant.

    Looking forward to the February prompt, Irene. Love this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Pingback: Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out | A View From My Summerhouse

  31. Sherri says:

    Made it Irene, just! Thanks so much for extending the deadline, here’s my link: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2016/02/01/times-past-challenge-chinese-spoons-and-eating-out/ It brought back one memory that surprised me, of eating out at Berni Inn in the 70s! Great challenge my friend, looking forward very much to February’s! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Pingback: Times Past: Laundry – Christine R

  33. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Sherri Matthews – #Memoir – Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s