Archive for February, 2011


I was born in 1974 (I know – you’re all stunned). This post looks back to the 70s. Those of you who remember a 70s childhood will hopefully be taken back to your own  infanthood and those who are too young will be briefly and magically transported to those crazy times.

A few weeks ago I was going to Leeds with O to meet friends. Unfortunately, I had no change for the parking, so we popped into one of the local charity shops to get some. I told O to look on the toy shelf and pick something under a pound so we could get the change. He was about to suggest a slightly scuffed toy car when I saw the following box tucked away at the bottom of the stand.

How my inner 70s child rejoiced! We had to have it! I knew this was the ideal opportunity to share cosy, yet slightly sinister aspects of my girlhood with my son. We children of the 70s were subjected to all manner of creepily alluring images in our books, our TV programmes and our comics. Why should the 21st century child miss out on such treats?

On our return home, I opened the Haunted Wood box, and to my great excitement, the box revealed many unsavoury and downright alarming delights. Unused to the vagaries of such a gem, O spent an age inspecting the game board with a very puzzled look on his face. What on earth was going on in the early seventies that made adults subject poor, innocent children to the following images? It’s like something from Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Heavenly Delights…

Ah, the traditional ‘evil pointy nosed caterpillar with legs and a bun’ lurking ominously by a tower. I often wonder why I used to gallop down the stairs to my parents, racked with the most horrific nightmares. Surely it can’t be the games I played with or the books I read…

Ooh, look! A rabid orange dog, apparently without a body, and a blue faced…THING…with a penis-shaped blue nose. Nothing strange there. Move along now…

A lunatic – up a tree with some strange Inspector Clousseau types scuttling along underneath. A typical woodland scene, I’m sure you all agree…

*is speechless*

Watch out, little 70s children. There’s a wonk-faced pirate with an enormous hand just above you and an aadvark-style monster about to nibble on your ankles. But – quick! You’ll be fine on that swing. Daddy put it up – with some old nails and a dodgy bit of rope. It won’t fall down and maim you for life….

A flashback

“Now come on, Melanie! Get back to bed. What are you talking about – scary blue and grey men in a bush? There’s no such thing – why don’t you go back up to bed and read your 365 Days Nursery Rhymes book to help you drop off?”

“OK, Mummy….”


I don’t think I’ve ever fully recovered….


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>Silent Sunday – L O L A – Lola…

>Silent Sunday’s over at Jay’s. Ssssh….

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Silent Sunday

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>I love my village.It’s just a little place outside Bradford, but to me it’s home and there are a few little things about it that make it special.

1.  Purdie the cat. He does not spend much time at home. This is Purdie near the automatic door and lounging in the window of the Co-op, on his favourite spot on top of the ice cream cabinet. Purdie used to be chased from the shop, as he spent quite a lot of his time lurking by the cooked meats section, but I think the staff have finally given up and let him enjoy the warmth and comfort of his spiritual home.

Purdie, the Co-op lurking cat

2. Meat theft. This poster appeared in the window of the Co-op a couple of months ago.

There was confusion as to whether the culprit was Purdie or whether Jay at Mocha Bean Mummy (aka @cosmicgirlie) had been in town, prowling for bacon…

3.  Elvis the Parrot. Elvis used to fly freely around the village, screeching wildly, visiting the children in the village school and landing on roofs.He would squawk ‘Elvis’  and the odd swearword at passers-by and generally entertained the good people of the village.

But Elvis had a dark side – a penchant for pulling slates and fittings from village roofs and occasionally dive-bombing the residents. Some folk in the village were not happy about Elvis’ naughty antics and he was reported to Bradford Council. Elvis was subsequently monitored by the antisocial behaviour officer and he narrowly escaped being issued with an ASBO. He was sent into exile in Shropshire, but now is back, although sadly, he is caged and now living in the garden centre.

I love living here. When I worked full time before O was born, I didn’t feel part of village life, as I commuted and spent most of my time away in the city. Maternity leave and part-time working, plus a year of sick leave allowed me the time to get to know the people and the place and to involve myself in the life of the village. My life and my family’s lives are enriched by this sense of belonging and the friendships of the people we’ve met. Now that I am working more days and O is at school, I realise how lucky I was to have that gift of time to be part of the daily fabric of my local community.

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>The Gallery – Expressions

>It’s Tara’s Gallery once more and this week the demand is ‘Expressions’. My entry is created via a marvellous iPhone app called Pocket Booth. I was introduced by Laura on a boozy night out in the Fighting Cock (we’re so sophisticated). It recreates the photobooth photo strips of old. I love this app – it is so pleasingly retro.

My boy has an alarmingly rubbery face for one so cherubic. I often wonder whether a Lee Evan-esque career awaits him…

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