What did we do before – Cling Film

I think just about every day I use some cling film whether to seal the end of a cucumber or to cover a bowl in the microwave. Sandwiches get wrapped in the stuff and plates get covered, I can’t imagine a modern kitchen without it so what did we use before?

I can remember seeing gingham cloths fitted over jam jars and even some gauze ones with little beads sewn around the edges to keep the cloth in place. I’m sure in our house Mum never had to worry about covering left-overs, there were 5 children so I’ll bet there was never anything left to cover.

We don’t just use cling film in the kitchen though, we cover paint brushes with it when we need to take a break before the job is finished. I’ve used it to cover the end of my caulking gun and my hairdresser even uses it to cover the bleach when I’m having my hair streaked.

I guess when you have a versatile product you find new ways to use it.

I still ask myself though, how did we stop fish smelling out the fridge and how were sandwiches kept fresh and contained before Cling Film?


What did we do before – Shampoo

When you walk into a supermarket and are confronted by a confusing array of shampoos, conditioners, mousses, waxes and gels it’s hard to imagine any person living in the “developed world” could remember a time when they didn’t exist but I do, almost.

As I child I think we always had Sunsilk Shampoo though I know Mum used Halo because that attracted bees which meant I had to extract them from her permed hair! It didn’t matter if your hair was oily, dry, thick or fine there was just the one type of shampoo. When I went to stay with my auntie for holidays though there was no shampoo and we just lathered up soap in our hands then massaged it into our hair. Certainly for me there was no silky-soft feel to it for a while after that but it was only about a weekly occurrence. Mum used to rinse our hair in lemon juice which she said made it shiny but recently I’ve been wondering about that. Was she really trying to make us blonder?

I don’t think we ever had “baby shampoo” so it was definitely a case of keeping your eyes screwed tightly shut until every bit was rinsed out, shampoo in the eyes stings! We didn’t have a shower until I was in my teens so we washed our hair in the bath and slid down under the water to rinse it off. The final rinse was the lemon juice one.

The first dandruff shampoo wasn’t invented until 1963 and you could tell who had the problem because of telltale white flakes on their shoulders, I can’t remember the last time I saw that.