Some 70’s reminiscing

Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Jubilee by Shelley Harris, part of which is set during the time of the silver jubilee in 1977, it certainly evoked memories for me not just about the jubilee but about my own childhood during the mid 70’s.

After my mum gave birth to me in the early 70’s the family moved to  a Close somewhere in Stafford.  The street was lined with houses that petered off to the left on one side, if I remember correctly.  The unusual thing about that street for me and I’ve not seen it since was the white pavement and road, it wasn’t the usual grey and black of our roads and pavements today, since looking it up on google it looks fairly different now.

On some weekends my sister and I would go to the local fair for a bit, on the Saturday, mornings would be spent watching the tv, various cartoons and perhaps eating some space dust one of the many treats from the local sweet shop.  Either my sister and I or my dad and I would trudge up there, I vaguely remember an incident when my dad and I walked through the subway or tunnel out to where the shops were and two lads on bikes came perilously close to me and my dad telling them off.  Once there I would look wide eyed at all the treats on offer I remember coming away with Spangles I think lime or the cola ones were my favourites at the time.  I think sherbert dips or dib dabs were my other treats from there, for the life of me I can’t remember what else they sold there.  Sometimes on a Saturday my sister and I would go to the local park, I don’t remember much being there at the time apart from a slide and a couple of swings.  I remember us both in not very good moods singing nobody loves me, everybody hates me…  We used to attend a local hairdressers on the same street as the sweet shop, but my mum was not pleased when she felt the hairdresser had ruined my then curly hair as it became all straight.  She then had a lovely hairdresser who would put rollers in my hair with pins in to try and curl it.

Sometimes other children would be round and we used to play in the garage area I think just outside the side door to our house, I had a little orange car that I would drive around or a little  blue and red trycycle.  Outside in our garden in the summer time I would sit with a large yellow bowl of my mums and remove pods from garden peas, which I would find rather therapeutic now.  I remember us having a street race and I either fell off the thing I was riding or was upset because I came last, I certainly had a few bruised knees those days!

I remember a party we had and Rod Stewarts Do you think I’m sexy was playing either from the stereo or the telly.  Some evenings my dad and I would watch Star trek on the telly or one of my favourite programmes at that time Monkey.  Equally I remember Saphire and Steel another great programme.  Unfortunately I was plagued by nightmares as I watched the armchair thriller and some other horror movies as I didn’t always go to bed when I should have done.

I remember my cousin teaching me to read on a magnetic board with magnetic letters and bringing home Peter and Jane books then Janet and John books, followed by Enid Blyton books.  But my favourite reading was the Mr men books, hence the image of the mug my mum bought me, in which I used to drink hot chocolate or Ovaltine.

Our tea or dinner times would include tinned salmon with potato and peas, sometimes my mum would bring something from the bakers who I found out later may have been distant relatives, Victoria sponge, éclairs, meringues.  My mum would sometimes do jelly and ice cream.  I used to have trouble eating, so either my sister would play aeroplanes with me, or my mum would give me a dose of minidex.  I remember the crisps were not in these foil wrapped packets you get now, oh on they were in flimsy bags and not that much choice of flavours then either.

Well what I can remember of the jubilee was us having a party at some neighbours house where there were many children and adults, I think I sat at the top of the table.  I think triangular party hats were worn and the plates were union jack plates.  party blowers and balloons were the things of partys in those days, the balloons weren’t as fancy as they are now, but yes definitely some pops and fizzy pop too.  I tended to drink lemonade in those days.  At the time of the party our family had not long come back from abroad, so I think that jubilee party was in the August, as I was going to be starting boarding school in the September.  I don’t think I wore red white and blue though. .

70’s music always reminds me of warm summers, I vaguely remember standing outside the front of our house hearing I’m not in Love by 10c blaring from the lounge or kitchen, the charts I would record on the stereo on a Sunday on tape, which used to be recorded on my dads open university tapes which he would get very cross about if he discovered I’d used them whoops.  I would often tape myself singing or doing things, play with cars or my weebles or read some of my sisters Jackie comics even though I was not the right age to read them I had the reading ability to read them.  I remember reading Jane Eyre which I found rather chilling at the time, I don’t think it was quite the adult version though.  My particular children’s’ comic was called Twinkle which I loved.

What is my most abiding memory of the 70’s though well something I alluded to earlier, I suppose for me it will always be the music, from the bad soul album being continuously played on my parents stereo, to the gentle tones of Demis Roussos, played on my little tape recorder to help me sleep at night. Music got me through anything and everything. the other abiding memory is the fact we weren’t always in the UK, but I may write about that another time.











Why do I miss Childrens tv programmes from my childhood?

morphA couple of weeks ago a friend of mine posted a picture of morph on their  fb timeline (image of morph on the left) from my childhood kids TV.   It always makes me nostalgic when I see various characters from that period of my life, such programmes as Rainbow, Take Hart (where morph originated from)  and Willo the Wisp.  There were other great children’s programmes, but those I’ve mentioned are the ones that stand out to me.  Why do I feel such nostalgia for these programmes?  Is it that I want to be a child again, is it just the memories associated with those programmes or is it something else?

Having thought about it I realized why I hankered after such programmes well  for me it has more to do with the characters in those programmes. Rainbow the first one I mentioned had very distinct characters, there was George the hippo who was shy and gentle and often tormented by  Zippy the blue eyed puppet who was always getting up to mischief and getting into trouble for it and for being naughty Bungle the teddy bear would tell him off and zip him up so he couldn’t speak and cause more trouble.   I loved that programme.  Then there was morph who was a red plastercine figure who would live in a box who was always on an adventure and was always getting into scrapes,  that’s what I can remember anyway, then there was Willo the Wisp who lived in a little valley, with the distinct voice of Kenneth Williams, and a character called Mavis who would tell Willo off.

But it’s a specific type of character I loved the most as a child, for instance watching Rainbow I loved George because he got picked on by Zippy and he got his comeuppance but as an adult I love zippy because he was just plain naughty and cheeky, and like morph who also got up to to mischief and Willo , it’s those characters who stand out to me.

The truth is  it’s really because I don’t see enough of that type of personality in real life.  I mean where are the cheeky, mischievous, naughty individuals now.  Don’t get me wrong I have met a few of those type of people, but they stand out to me because they are rare.  I’m missing those type of people in my life who provided fun, entertainment and huge amusement to me.   Yes I have friends who I laugh with but hardly any who know how to be mischievous.  How to sail close to the edge of boundaries you know it they know it but they do it anyway because they know they can get away with it because of the way they do it and they know how to do it,  like the friend I knew who told me a joke she said oh I promise it won’t be rude, told me the joke and she managed to tell the joke with the F word in without spelling it out, oh she knew exactly what she was doing, and  what nerve she had, and I was able to laugh, because really she was clever, she knew just how far to go without offending me, but knew she was pushing it, my response would be Oh Gertrude, not her real name .  To pull that sort of thing off you really have to be clever, intuitive  and a way with words  and the ability to be creative, it truly is an art.

The trouble with some of these mischief makers  as in the adult variety, is that some have a different side to them a rather unpleasant side, often quick tempered  or volatile and some are pretty ruthless, the ones I’ve met anyway.  That doesn’t mean I stop interacting with them I’m just aware of that rather nasty side that sneaks out every now and again, but like I’ve said there are few of them about, well certainly is in my world anyway.    So what shall I do with the lack of mischief in my life, create my own? Well I suppose I do sometimes, I do have a cheeky streak myself, but it tends to manifest more around like minded, down to earth people.  No again their aren’t enough of those folk about.  So whilst I wait for more of those folk to enter my life or me to enter theirs.  For now I’ll just to have to make do with some old youtube videos of Zippy, Morph and Co.  Until the next time 🙂