Being polite

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘I was dragged up to be polite’?

But I think I was taught to be polite from an early age. Things like being told not to answer back, don’t speak until you’re spoken to, children should be seen and not heard. In some ways those are very old fashioned values, but then I was born decades ago. I was the child of parents born in the 1920’s a different era. Me before Thatchers children were born, my parents before Churchill.

Politeness is important to me. Caring about things, being or trying to be aware of things, but sometimes I don’t notice. I don’t always pick up on what has happened, but at least I have politeness to fall back on. Politeness and politics must be verbally linked. Police is to do with being of the people, perhaps polite has the same root?

F. R. O. G. Plane

FROG stands for ‘flies right of the ground’ this plane was just on the TV. The body was aluminium and the wings and tail were made of paper.

This was made in the 1930’s? You put the body of the plane in the box with the propellar attached. There is a handle on the front of the box and a mechanism that holds the propellar. You turn the handle and it winds up a rubber band. Then you peg the wings and tail on and let it loose to fly up off the ground.

Our forebears may not have had the Internet but they knew how to have fun!

Remembered scary tree

Oh I used to run past this tree. I was convinced as a child that it was inhabited by a ghost. As part of this terms college work we had to remember some landscape from our childhood and this was what I thought of.

I’ve probably missed out trees and I can’t remember if there were houses in the background. But it will remain with me forever!

Go back to the sea.

Along the pier

Walk out to Sea

Across the tide

My life to be?

An old man thinks

Of times gone by

Boyhood days

Of gulls and skies.

Of storms and fog

Waves rolling high.

A girl goes skipping

The length of the pier

In the arcades

Candy floss, she cheers.

A woman now

Looks back in time.

Worm eaten memories

Are lost in rhyme.

From young to old

Each person’s regrets

Are tied together

In their own nets.

Sea and sand

Cliffs and rock

All remembered

As the gulls flock.

I remember a tree

I remember a tree that seemed to have a face, and used to scare me when I was a child. There were knot holes where branches had broken off that looked like a face. I remember watching the Wizard of Oz and seeing the wicked witch. For some reason the tree and the witch were linked in my mind. I know I used to walk home through the park sometimes, but I wouldn’t go down that path if it was getting dark.. I also remember walking on the top of an old stone wall, balancing on the top of it, pretending to be a gymnast…. This was over forty years ago. When I look at photos of the park it has a lot more civilised appearance!

Marigold

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I think that’s what this is? It’s a photo I took a our six years ago. It makes me think of grassy banks and hot blue skies, fluttering butterflies and old black poplar trees in a line. Of little dusty paths with small oval pebbles that scatter as you walk. Of running through the fields around our school doing cross country running. Memories of the old rusty fences that enclosed the laying fields. The running track, the hockey fields, the tennis courts, the netball courts. When I think of my old comprehensive school I realise how lucky I was. Memories I haven’t delved into for forty years. I wouldn’t go back but it’s good to remember.

70’s toys

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Clackers.. Two balls on a string you waved up and down, with a little ring in the middle. They were meant to bounce off each other top and bottom. Many a broken finger….

Made of hard plastic, some luminous green, other colours too. I remember them being quite heavy. The cord holding them together was made of nylon. The string was tied round the ring at the halfway point. You moved your arm up and down fast, the balls would be sent flying and bounce at the top and bottom of their arc, making the characteristic ‘clacking’ noise. Hence the name.

As with other toys from the 70’s I doubt they would have been approved by health and safety now!

Memories again.

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I was thinking of rhymes I learnt as a child, when into my inbox popped an email. It was a pingback saying that someone had shared the poem “the North Wind shall blow”. It had a copyright sign, but it’s not by me! I don’t know it’s origins, but it’s a lovely poem, well crafted, poignant.

Anyway I’ve let them know. In this Internet age, with so much information it is not surprising that things get lost or forgotten. I learned this when I was a child, which is over fifty years ago!

The other ones I remembered today were:

Georgie Porgy pudding and pie,

kissed the girls and made them cry,

when the boys came out to play,

Georgie Porgy ran away.

And :

See saw, Margery Daw

Jenny shall have a new master,

she shall earn but a penny a day,

because she can’t work any faster!

I guess although these will have been written decades, or perhaps centuries ago, they are still relevant today….

 

Cooking toast.

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When I was a child I used to cook toast-on the gas fire!

I would come home from school and warm up in front of the fire, warming my toes, feet, hands and face. We didn’t have central heating, so only the living room was warm. I was older than my siblings so this was my job. Slices of white bread hooked onto the bars on the front of the gas fire with a metal fork. A few seconds and you turn the bread over. Delicious hot toast and I guess margarine because we couldn’t afford butter. If it was a Sunday I sometimes cooked crumpets. They are like a savoury bread like a muffin but full of holesĀ  through the middle of them and at the top of them so when they have butter or margarine spread on them it melts right through the middle of them.

I remember the lovely smells of toast and margarine, together with a hot cup of tea in small cups with orange and brown patterns on them.

This memory was prompted by a question on the Alchemists blog page which asked for memories of being cozy. It’s good to uncover old memories like this.

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