Saturday 16 May 2015

It's a 'Sid's Toys' Situation - More Memory Journaling

Hello and happy Saturday!!!

WOO! Are we all having a good weekend so far? I hope so. I hope the sun is shining for you and that you're well and full of the joys of summer.

I have a lot of niggly brain stuff to process at the moment so rather than negotiate those pitfalls and pathways right now I thought I'd turn to happier times and share some more memory cards with you - and the accompanying ramblings, of course!

When I was a child I was extremely fortunate to have a creative and talented family who would make me toys to play with. Mum would sew, knit and crochet dolls and animals; my Grandma would knit pretty clothes for the dolls to wear, and my Grandpa would busy himself in his workshop, and wonderful wooden toys would be waiting for me every birthday and Christmas.

Any store bought toys were a treat and hugely treasured as much as any of the toys my family made for me. My biggest obsession for many years was my collection of Britains farm animals. I'd save my pocket money and spend hours - no, really, sometimes whole day - choosing which one to buy! Drove my poor mum MAD! She tolerated the addiction to small plastic critters because it controlled my super-lust for the shiniest things on the whole planet ever: STAR WARS TOYS! I mean, they were pretty much CRACK to a sci-fi fangirl child! There they'd be in the local toy shop, the biggest section devoted to them FOR YEARS, and week after week I'd float on stars and wishes towards them, and stand and drool!

See, my mum was one smart lady. She KNEW that the day I owned just one Star Wars figure it would start a hankering that our income simply coudn't support. Of course I never realised that at the time. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity one birthday rolled round and.....da daaa DAAAAAH! My first Star Wars toy! A figure? Nope. A spaceship? Nope? It was a LIGHTSABER! I was instantly a Jedi Knight, ready to battle the might of the Empire and defeat all things evil (including ewoks.....don't argue...they're evil). So. were there regrets? Weeeeellll the problem was that in our house we had HUGE round paper globe lamp-shades. Round like a moon.....or.....wait.....THAT'S no moon...... that's a DEATH STAR! Yep....I have a bad feeling about this too....

Anyone wanna guess just how many of those lampshades survived without being repeatedly repaired with sticky tape? Yeah.... I destroyed a LOT of Death Stars! I often wonder whether mum had wished she'd just bought me Han Solo and risked the ensuing collect-o-mania!

But then, I don't have  great track record with these store bought things... It started when I was given a plastic doll when I was a toddler. I called her Anna (another one) and dragged the poor creature everywhere. She had a knitted wardrobe - courtesy of Grandma's needles - and mad blonde hair which stuck up in all directions. NATURALLY I insisted on taking her into the bath with me. Problem? How could that be a problem? Well. Here's the thing... her manufacturers in their infinite weirdness had opted to put the 'air-escape' hole (which meant she could be squished and still return to he rotund original form) in her, well, let's say 'nether regions'. As a consequence, the unfortunate dolly would 'suck up' the bath water through said aperture and retain it perfectly throughout the drying process, ONLY leaking it back OUT once I'd returned to dragging her around the house. She weed on the carpets, she weed on the table and chairs, she weed on the newpaper, she weed EVERYWHERE! It wasn't long before her 'nap time' oddly coincided with my bath time, the leaking horror returning only when I gave her sneaky baths in the sink. I also figured out the cause of the issue, and discovered that if I aimed and squeezed hard enough I could also bath the cat!

When I was a little bigger, I was given a huge (or so it seemed at the time) orange Space Hopper toy. It was my first nemesis. It pretty much won every battle. I'd sit on it, grab the handle horns and bounce. Rather, IT would .....and I'd land on my face in a puddle. Dammit.....

By the time I was six I had a couple of fashion dolls - Pippa dolls they were....they don't make them any more but they were about six inches high with long hair and an infinite wardrobe. I loved them. I have NO idea what happened to them, which is a shame. When I was eight I was bought a Sindy doll, with her ENORMOUS head and ballerina outfit and a HORSEY to go with it (I prefered the horse if I'm honest!) At some point I was also given a Barbie. She was a bog-standard basic Barbie. It always annoyed me that these dolls never had underwear - all Nellie-no-knickers.  I had my nan knitting pants for all of them! It's a fact that, no matter how well made the outfits were, they never sat well over enormous knitted knickers! I didn't play with these dolls much, but on one notable occasion, I set fire to Barbie. Yeah.... She just, well, flapped her foofy hair too near the fireplace (nothing at all to do with me *ahem*) and WOOF, she went up like a molotov cocktail. I panicked and sprinted through the house to extinguish the inferno in the salvation that was the toilet bowl. She met her undignified end with a sizzle and her eyes melted onto her neck. She was buried with full doll honours DEEP in the garden and the truth forever hidden from my mum. R.I.P. Barbie.

Anyone have any toy stories to tell? I have SO many more so it's one of those 'watch this space' situations! Please say hello and leave comments or your own fond/destructive toy/horror stories in the section below and don't forget to read my GIVEAWAY post and enter if you want a chance to win my little book.  It's been lovely to see you! I'm off now for a nice cup of tea so I'll see you soon, ok? Hugs and summer sun to all! - Shroo :) xxx


  1. What delightful memories today! I am amazed at your details!!! I was RIGHT THERE with the drawing! :)

    Okay..other than the one circa 1956 Barbie...that I did play with...I had a life size (for a 4-year old that is) tractor. It was red. It once belonged to my oldest brother, who is 5 1/2 years older. Then it passed to the next in line - another brother who is 4 years to the-day-of-my-birth older; then to my sister, who is 2 1/2 years older. By the time it came to me - they did not want it anymore! Yeah for me! I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. Back then, we played right next door in the school/church adults were necessary back then. I rode that tractor EVERYWHERE! I would race kids riding bicycles in that tractor..and I would sometimes win! I have always been short (5'1" now...even shorter then), and I always had the hardest time getting on that thing. But, I am convinced that toys made in the 1950's were made to last - it was metal - not a stitch of plastic anywhere! I could climb and pull my way onto that tractor and it never once tipped over/ I was still riding that tractor at age 7, but, we moved to New Jersey, and I had to give that up. I remember lots of tears!

    I bought a car last year - RED - because it reminded me of that tractor!

    PS - It was 90 degrees and extremely humid today and it has been raining cats and dogs for the past 3 hours. I will take the rain over the humidity any day!

  2. Love your post full of memories today, too funny! Lovely doodles, too! I got a doll when I was about 5, didn't like it, took it apart, and hung the various pieces around my room. And then everybody said I was a monster! I never got another one and still don't like dolls! Hugs, Valerie

  3. Love your memories here!
    Happy Sunday Shroo!

  4. Funny memories, and I love the pics to go with them.

    I also collected Britain's farm animals and would stand for ages looking at them in the toy shop's glass cabinet (making them seem even more precious because you couldn't touch them until you'd bought them) all lined up in perfect rows. I had a Barbie, but she was really rather scary because her wire armature had started to come through her plastic flesh - giving her a kind of early Terminator look. A toy that was the one that got away was called Dippy Duck (I think I gave it that name) and was a long GLASS (yes, glass) tube with a bird head design and bulbous end, which balanced on a stand and the MERCURY (yes, Mercury) within the glass bird slowly swished backwards and forwards, making it look like the bird was pecking from a bowl. Once it was decided that Mercury and glass were not really suitable for children to play with (duh!) it was taken away. I never really liked it until it was taken away, and then I went on and on about the darned thing!

    Have a great Sunday!

  5. What wonderful memories! I had a doll's house that my dad built from a kit, I remember it had a battery pack in the roof so that the tiny little light bulbs really worked.
    Apparently I once dressed a teddy in a pair of my baby sister's plastic lined pants - you know the ones with with the pink lacy frills on the bum that people used to put over baby's nappies - and sat him in front of the fire "to keep warm". You guessed, the pants melted and spot welded him to the rug

  6. this has been fun reading about your memories. to be honest I don't remember too much about toys-sure we had some I am sure but Mom was always practical and for the majority of the gifts christmas and birthdays we usually got things we needed-like clothes-no fun at all
    I do remember I never liked dolls-they always gave me the creeps-like little people trapped in these plastic bodies-still don't like dolls much-lol however I do remember and still have my Toni doll-I remember liking to shampoo her hair and give her toni permanents--I also learned about santa claus with this doll-my Mom had made the doll a huge wardrobe-pajamas, dresses, skirts and blouses-really amazing now that I think about it-but one day I saw all of Toni dolls same fabrics in Mom's sewing basket-asking her about it Mom said she was one of Santa's helpers-of course I couldn't keep a secret a told my little brother and sister all about it-after that we always hunted around the house for the presents-lol
    the one toy I remember I just had to have and bugged my parents til I got one was the hula hoop-and I loved that thing-I should get one again just to exercise with lol
    fun going down memory lane-thanks Happy Sunday

  7. lol your childhood sounds like fun, I remember those bouncy orange things, they never seemed to bounce in the direction you wanted and it was quite hard to actually stay on them. They had a mind of their own and were not that good at taking direction from the passenger :-) good fun though.

  8. Sat here chuckling again. I can remember one of my obsessions being bugs. You know - those pompoms with the googly eyes. Charity can rattlers used to give them out if you dropped a few pence in. I was a stalker of those charity people. Mum decided it was costing to much and taught us how to make the pompoms from her offcuts (another knitter) and cut out our own wacky eyes. My sister and i for some reason liked this one school bus driver and his change drawer ended up smothered in these bugs we kept making him, bless him, he stuck them all on!

    The 'official' toy I always wanted. Always, always, always. Was a flower fairy. Remember those? One year I was absolutely convinced Santa was bringing me one. I had dropped enough hints for years and years to Mum that I wanted a flower fairy, I needed a flower fairy, I absolutely would cease to exist without a flower fairy. I even built a little twig house at the bottom of the garden, so convinced was I that this flower fairy was going to come. In Summer I built it - in preparation for Christmas. What did Santa bring me? A Barbie like you describe. Mums face was a picture - so pleased with herself. I had to put on my cheeriest 'thank you Mum, you're the BEST!' face. I know it must have been expensive for her as we had a similar sounding upbringing. *sigh* I still think about the flower fairy that never came to stay! ;)