Today I embark on my voyage through the seventies. Each day over the next ten I will be writing a 1970s-themed post, each one based on a year in the decade, starting with 1970 today. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the food, music, TV and current affairs and anything else that grabs my attention while I experience my time slip back nearly four decades. And of course, I will be wearing items from my 1970s wardrobe.
So, 1970. I have one serious problem with 1970 and that is that I don’t have any legal tender. In 1970 the currency in the UK was pounds, shillings and pence. My work-around was that I wouldn’t spend any money in the shops today. This was fine in principle being a work day and the only thing I usually buy is some lunch. In the 1970s it just wasn’t possible to pop into the supermarket for some sandwiches anyway, so unless you were planning to eat in a tea shop or pub, you would take a packed lunch to work.
However, over the weekend I developed toothache and ended up having an emergency dental appointment this morning. So, I had to go modern and pay for that, with a debit card! Unfortunately, the wisdom tooth problem isn’t fixed (at least not yet), which isn’t great and I’m trying to feel enthusiastic against slightly masked tooth pain. Anyway, I’m going to do my best with how things are. By the way, my appointment cost £20.60 (or £20 12s)
A simple Purchasing Power Calculator would say the relative value is £1 9s 0d. This answer is obtained by multiplying £20 12s 0d by the percentage increase in the RPI from 2016 to 1970. 
To be honest that’s a pointless calculation given that going to the dentists was actually completely free in 1970!
I’ve now made my packed lunch. I’m going to make something fairly boring that I know will fit in the time period; a cheese sandwich, a packet of crisps (Walkers), two small satsumas and two Club biscuits. The crisps and biscuits are both brands that were available in the 1970s and are still around today. What a dull looking lunch by today’s standards! I’m going to try to come up with something more exciting for my next work day on Monday.
And here’s what those branded products would have looked like in 1970:
I haven’t got an extensive seventies-style wardrobe yet, but I think it is only fair to start by wearing the items that come from the earliest patterns in my collection. This is my newly finished pinafore dress:
The dress is a Burda pattern from 1970, so I’m wearing the latest fashion here! I’ve just paired it with a plain camel-coloured long-sleeved t-shirt and boots. The t-shirt is a shop-bought item from my wardrobe, but it is very plain and hopefully therefore in keeping with the era. I’ll write a separate post about the dress soon.
Obviously, at work I’m going to be doing my normal stuff, which involves time spent on the computer. I do attend meetings and use the telephone too. I work mostly with databases and at the beginning of the 1970s the types of databases I am using would generally have been hand-written on index cards. My job is therefore quite different from its equivalent in the past. I’m sure 1970s me would have been rifling through filing cabinets and moving piles of paper around!
I’ve finished work and I’m really hungry. The pack lunch didn’t really sustain me for the whole day and worse I have no currency to spend in the shops. I can’t wait for this evening’s meal, which Mr Steely is cooking.
This evening’s entertainment is going to be some reading. I had a look in a charity shop a few weeks ago and found a stack of books from the 1970s. I was particularly looking for a book published during the era and also set in the decade. Anyway, I picked out Voices in an Empty House by Joan Aitkin. It’s a story about a search, against time, for a boy who has been kidnapped. I’ll let you know how I get on.