Mats were everywhere when I was a kid. Besides the major Matt Mason camping out in my bedroom there were other mats all over the place.
The ones that stick in my mind the most are place mats particularly some star shaped ones.They were made of something hard like wood and multi-coloured. The colours alternated so one star arm was red and the other blue. They were held together by thick cotton I think so they were actually quite floppy. In fact they sound like a jelly flip flip when you threw them onto a table!
I also recall coasters being scattered around my parent's home. Plastic ones for glasses and cups but mostly glasses. There was a lot of drinking going on when I look back and I mean of the alcoholic sort. I don't know if this was universal in the Sixties but my parents, who both fought in WW2, loved a tipple. In fact my Dad had his own bar made and installed in what was known as the telly room. He would often stand behind his bar and serve me a canada dry ginger ale, which was stacked in bottles to mix with his beloved Bells whisky.
On that bar were a plastic ice bucket, a viking figure bottle opener set, decorative Bells bottles and a stack of coasters. These were small round plastic white saucers with a picture of a cocktail in the middle where the glass stood; the famous cocktails of the day like Harvey Warbanger, Manhattan, Screwdriver and so on.
I still can't decide about all the drinking, whether it was normal or not or whether having a bar in the TV room was. I decided to decide years ago that that it was a feature of the decade, of a generation who fought in a huge war and came out the other side and had a few drinks.
Sadly my folks are no longer with us. Ironically they survived serving in World War Two only to die young three decades later of heart related illnesses. I can't help thinking that booze, as they themselves called it, was a contributing factor.
Its odd when you start writing. I set out to talk about place mats and coasters in my Parent's house but inevitably my Parents turn up as well. The paraphernalia of drink and indeed of smoking were littered around our home. It seemed perfectly normal at the time especially to me, a small kid like you obsessed with my own stuff like Thunderbirds, dinosaurs and monsters.
The question is whether all that drinking and smoking was normal?