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Mostly we had it good: a baby boomer's journey in the lucky post-war bubble

When Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously stated, ‘You’ve never had it so good’, the 10-year-old Tim Albert was being miserable, stuck on a hill in an-all-boy school. But despite an at times unhappy start, some dreadful mistakes and a rather unpleasant illness, he came to realise that he had been born in a lucky place and at a lucky time – and was lucky to be still alive. In this idiosyncratic and insightful look at the second half of the twentieth century, the author combines family material with his own recollections and writings as a journalist. He drops, albeit briefly, such names as Teddy Kennedy, EM Forster, Libby Purves, Jimmy Savile and Saddam Hussein. He also witnesses such historic milestones as the post war recovery, the drive for fairer education – and the first attacks on the NHS. 

'A lovely book. Witty, gentle and very evocative' - Liz Langley

‘I was totally hooked, spending the rest of the day until I had finished it. It is beautifully written and full of enthralling facts... a rare good autobiography’  - Dr Stephen Lock, former editor, BMJ

'It brings back memories of my childhood. At times I raised a whimsical smile, at others I laughed out loud', - Alex Williamson

Talks on writing memoirs in general and this memoir in particular are now available. For further information click here

Why I wrote this book

It was stuff that started it. Things that I had inherited or created, such as letters to and between my parents, the estate agent's particulars for my childhood home, my early school reports, a diary from a trip to America in the memorable year of 1969 - and latterly articles I had written on, among other things, education and health. This material spurred me on to do something I had not done for decades – write something because I wanted to, and not because it was part of my job.
It has taken much longer than I thought – nearly seven years. But it has led me not just to recollections, but also discoveries. I hope that my account of this journey will be of interest to those baby-boomers who lived through it  - and to those who were born more recently. Both groups, I hope, will find it entertaining. 


1. 1950s: the unwinds of war

In which I discover the joys of family life - and the anguish of losing it

Click here to read sample: The castle


2. 1960s: a tale of two certainties

In which I endure schooling, enjoy education and find my views moving to the left

Click here to read sample: Another decade; another hilltop (my first day at Douai School)


3. 1970s: brave new world, soon perhaps

In which I embark on the reporter's trade, mix with the big boys, lose one love and gain another

Click here to read sample: Four journalists who influenced me


4. 1980s: health care blues

In which I learn about the world of doctors, import a soulmate and wander into the new digital age


5. 1990s: fronting up

In which I become a small businessman and try to persuade doctors that clear writing might have its advantages

Click here to read sample : The newsletter pandemic

Click here to read sample: Deeper still in the world of science (setting up courses for medical journal editors)

Publisher: Elbow Publishing

235 pages, 16 pages of illustrations

Paperback: £8.99


Kindle edition: £4.99

ISBN: 978-0-9574090-7-1

Publication date: 17 July 2017

Published July 2017


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© Tim Albert 2016