91. Fly away Peter, fly away Paul. Come back Peter…
In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, a trip to the pictures gave you much, much more than a main feature.
Not being quite as old as my class imagine, I don’t personally remember cinema-organists; although ActorLaddie had a great-uncle who, rather romantically, met his wife when they were both playing in the pit orchestra for a silent movie.
All I can offer in comparison is a very close relative who met her husband while bunking into a cinema. She was, apparently, the designated chump who paid for a ticket and then opened the back door for the others. She denies it now, of course, and claims they met in a coffee bar. But then she would, wouldn’t she?
88. I see me running through that open door…
I don’t remember anything about the film itself, though of course I have seen Dumbo again since then. The only memory of my first trip to the pictures is Pa trying to hurry me off the double-decker bus while I’m busy being travel sick over the conductor. So perhaps not the magical night he’d intended.
If only I’d had Dumbo’s feather, we could have flown home.
86: Man, you been a naughty boy; you let your face grow long…
Until last summer, we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac. Beside our house was a small alley; backing onto this alley were garages belonging to the houses in the adjoining street.
When we moved in, the garage closest us belonged to a sweet old lady who’d owned her house since it was built in the thirties. She didn’t have a car but kept the paintwork looking nice: green and cream – probably the same as when she moved in. Continue reading →
83. Pretty Polly…
“It’s my mum’s anniversary today,” Violet yells above the playground buzz.
“That’s lovely, Violet.”
“She’s been married eight years. I wasn’t even born then!” There’s a gasp of amazement from the giggle of girls around her, which swiftly moves into a conversation about frocks worn at various parents’ weddings.
80. Something sensational to read on the train.
Jan 1st Had party at home. Went to Grandad’s.
Jan 2nd LittleSis lost piece of spirograph. No. 42 ring. Made bed. Payed Coal Bill. Went to Town.
Jan 3rd Found ring 42. Lost magnet pencil of International Spy.
London at the height of the Swinging Sixties. Still whistling World Cup Willie, we hunker down for the winter before the Summer of Love. It’s all there in the heady entries of my 1967 Letts School-girls Diary; unearthed this morning from the loft as we haul up yet more of YoungLochinvar’s goods and chattels.
74. One more for the road…
It’s a quarter to three. There’s no-one in the place except ActorLaddie and me. And Willow. ActorLaddie is curled up peacefully; dreaming, I expect, of livery companies. Don’t ask. Really, don’t ask. Willow, at a guess, is investigating the strange oval shape which has recently appeared on the lawn. I am lying on my back, hoping for a car to drive past and counting my blessings. One – ActorLaddie.
71. We are verses out of rhythm; couplets out of time…
The truth is, my anonymous blog is mostly onymous. My family, colleagues and other mates know my secret identity: largely because I’ve told them. In general, I’m pretty rubbish at keeping secrets. No strength of character. Expose me to a child learning the violin and in no time at all, I’ll tell you where the priests are hiding.
70. The Second Cut, however … Just when you thought it was safe to draw the curtains…
Bro-in-Law is a man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity.
Case in point. Narrow tow path; big bouncy dog. LegoBoy’s bike, lying on canal bed. LegoBoy safe, having splashed his way to the side but the bike has seen better days.
“Well,” says Bro-in-Law, “if we leave it there, it will be a disaster. If we rescue it, it will be an adventure.” So he strips down to his Prince Harry’s, sploshes into the canal and rescues the bike. Tidy.
68. The first cut is the deepest…
Sunday evening, autumn, 1966. Muddy paws stretched out, Sheina basks in front of the glowing coals, whimpering through memories of an afternoon chasing squirrels in the woods. LittleSis gurgles, propped up on cushions between Ma and Pa. LittleBro and Action Man are busy conquering the Universe with a fresh haul of conkers. And the Andy Williams Show is just coming to an end. The Cookie Monster has gone back to its lair. Andy turns to us and starts crooning:
“May each day in your week be a good one…”
The horror, the horror! My spirits plummet with the reminder that tomorrow is Monday. My throat is already tightening with stress. It’s all very well for him, I think bitterly, talking of each day being a good one. He is not going to have to face Miss Offord’s sewing lesson tomorrow afternoon.
23. Stately as a galleon
“I’ll get it.” ActorLaddie dons dressing gown and slippers and shimmers off in search of the phone. Bally handset’s gone missing again. Has anyone ever thought of attaching it to the base by an extendable cord? Could be a winner, I think. Must mention it to ActorLaddie when he comes back. Show him that it’s not just fish-eaters who have brains.