Student or Learner
I am reading Sweet tooth - McEwan Ian.
'The late sixties lightened but did not disrupt our existence. I never missed a day at my local grammar school unless I was ill. In my late teens there slipped over the garden wall some heavy petting, as they used to call it, experiments with tobacco, alcohol and a little hashish, rock and roll records, brighter colours and warmer relations all round'
Above paragraph describes a growing up girl. Please someone kindly explain the meaning of underlined words. Thanks
The key is in the first few words of the passage: "The late sixties lightened.....our existence"
She then lists some specific new experiences for her [experiments with tobacco, alcohol..], and ends with the passage you have underlined - all of which lightened her existence. In the 1950s and early 60s, Great Britain was still recovering from the Second World War, which had cost so much and damaged our infrastructure and economy very badly. People were still a bit "shell-shocked"; some areas still had bomb damage; towns were smoky and drab, and people generally wore dull clothing. Suddenly, in the mid-60s, everything started to change. People had more money to spend; towns were cleaned up, bright colours appeared in fashion, and everybody started to feel better about the country and themselves: hence, "Brighter colours and better relations all round"
I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....