The Family from One End Street - published 1937. Just because it was my favourite book as a child doesn't mean I'd want to live in those days
I read something that shocked me last week. Rickets has returned. Rickets! Rickets is a medical condition caused by an acute lack of vitamin D and exposure to sunlight. In this country it is usually associated with Victorian and Edwardian times. The last time I saw anyone with rickets (where the legs bow outwards from knees to ankles so that the person with it appears to rock from side to side as they walk) was when I was tiny. I remember a few of the old ladies that went to my Great Grandma’s chapel had it. We’re talking almost fifty years ago, meaning the women would have been born, like my great grandma, around 1890.
And why has rickets made a resurgence? Through poverty? Malnutrition? Political Correctness? No. Because kids aren’t getting enough exercise and sunlight. They’re too busy watching telly/ playing on their Nintendos indoors. If this is true then it is truly alarming. All human beings need sunlight on their skin and fresh air in their lungs for at least some of the day. Kids, get out more or you’ll end up like in the film Wall- E, where humans have become so reliant on technology they’ve not got just bowed legs but they’ve lost the use of their legs altogether. In Wall-E, humans have become so obese and braindead, they spend the day on hoverboards pressing buttons that endlessly feed them. Is Wall-E life and rickets really the future? I know the technical revolution is being blamed for us losing our ability to concentrate, for causing poorer face-to-face communication, for the breakdown of good manners (texting during meals etc) and a whole raft of woes. Rickets, though. Rickets! Seriously? Man, that’s scary.