As another decade ticks over, it's hard not to reminisce so I hope you'll bear with me as I do just that.
My sleeping rhythms are in disarray. I blame cricket.
I need to get everything back in order quickly because on the day you read this piece I will be celebrating a significant birthday. I use the word celebrating here in the sense of enduring an event I don't really want to happen.
I suppose there are advantages to getting older. My teen pimples, for example, have cleared up at last which I'm very pleased about because I have just read an article telling today's teens how to deal with theirs. One skin expert suggested "a decent cleanser, a hydrating moisturiser and a vitamin A serum."
I don't think we had serum in my day or, if we did, we didn't talk about it.
And look how far potato crisps have come. We used to have to open the bag and rummage around inside until we found a little Dick Whittington-style sack of salt then open that and sprinkle it over the acne-inducing contents. Nowadays they come "ready salted". Glory be!
And wooden darning mushrooms have gone. We used to have to darn holes in our socks and turn the collars around on our shirts. Now it's as simple as throwing stuff away.
I'm sure today's young would not have liked being at school in our day. Many would not even know what an inkwell was. Or a nib.
What an honour it was to be ink monitor; to go down to the cellar and mix up another batch then resurface and replenish everyone's little in-desk porcelain pot.
They don't give the cane any more. Getting "six of the best" was a boy's rite of passage and regular offenders knew just what thickness of exercise book they needed to tuck down the backside of their shorts.
A tad more "civilised" was the strap. I could man up for leather and dispense with the exercise book.
The "murder house" has disappeared from schools. This, of course was a metaphor; you didn't actually get murdered. Just tortured. A foot-operated drill was the dental nurse's chief weapon against Bertie Germ.
In those days we were also drilled in the intricacies of language. In English we did parsing, the chief function of which appeared to be to improve our parsing ability.
And learning Latin helped us to understand English though I always wondered why the girl in the textbook was carrying a dove but I remember that, when she did, she was always nominative case. There are some things you never forget.
At high school, if we were lucky, we got UE accredited which wasn't so much an honour as a merciful release from the torture of examinations and meant a longer summer holiday.
But not everything has improved. We used to play games and talk to each other but now kids stare at screens and do Instagram.
The old trades are disappearing too. You don't see a lot of tinkers any more. Or cobblers. But there are still some. I recently took a $50-on-special pair of shoes to one to get resoled. The cost was $74. I suppose I should have asked first.
The mail service was better then too. Mrs D also had a birthday recently and her Australian aunt's birthday card arrived two months after the event. Mine should arrive by Christmas.
In the good old days, when the aunt posted them a week before the event they arrived on time.
So, on reflection, would I go back?
What! And have to salt my own crisps and take serum?
Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.