Nostalgia

A Clarice Cliff pottery pattern that I painted as a mural in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. The design is called umbrellas. It’s one I would love to own.

Nostalgia is that warm feeling you get when you see or remember old or ancient images or things. I haven’t looked up the actual definition. But things like this, or even old TV shows like The original series of Star Trek, give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I know somehow I’m safe, like I have gone back in time, as a memory or a thing I learned about in the past.

I get the same thing with the James Stewart film It’s a wonderful life. I think nostalgia and being nostalgic must be good and calming for the mind. The equivalent of a mental sigh.

Ride a white horse…

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Ride a white horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

I’ve started to remember old nursery rhymes…

See saw Margary Door,

She shall have a new master

She shall earn but a penny a day.

Because she can’t work any faster.

They just popped into my head. They are things I used to recite or sing to myself when I was about six or seven.

I’ve asked my hubby and he remembers

“if you stand on a nick, you’ll marry a brick and a beetle will come to your wedding’.

And ‘I wish I was a wooly worm, with wool upon my tummy, into a honey pot I’d squirm, and make my tummy gummy!,”

Nostalgia!

There was a couple, Mr and Mrs Opie that collected them and they lived in Salford, near Manchester, England.  There is a whole collection of this type of verse there. I only remember this vaguely. They worked out that a rhyme could travel from the south up to the north of the country (Britain) in a week because of children repeating them. If I remember rightly. But I am getting older.

Ice lolly 6 pence?

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I can remember before decimalisation in the UK when money came in LSD, (pounds, shillings and pence) if you bought an icecream cone it might be 6d, which meant you paid a sixpenny piece or two thrupences 3d.

This picture is after decimalisation. Because the prices, like 6p have the new letter. I remember sixpence old money  was 2 1/2 pence in new money (we actually had coins marked as ‘new pence’).

Oh how times change! Dracula and Dalek ice lollies! I think they still sell funny faces though. As they say ‘I scream you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!’

Tv nostalgia.

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Writing about toys from the 1960’s made me remember the TV from then and the following decades.

I realised that young people would not have a clue about old fashioned tv, how expensive TV sets were, how rare they were, how big they were….

I remember us getting a tv, but I could not remember how old I was, probably 5 or 6. I remember one Christmas watching a black and white puppet show about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, there was also something called “watch with mother”, with programmes like “Andy Pandy”. I was a member of the “Tinga and Tucka club” I think. That was about two Australian koalas. In fact we seemed to watch tv for all round the world, “Belle and Sebastian”? ” Skippy the bush kangaroo”, “Flipper”, “Daktari”…..

What I remember is the TV was in a wooden cabinet. There was only one channel at first. The BBC. Half the time there were no programmes and you could watch a test card covered in lines and patterns, the best thing about that was they played interesting music…..then when the TV went off at night it closed down with a white dot on a black screen.

When we got the TV from the TV shop next door I remember half the street coming in to watch it with us. I think there was a special occasion that people wanted to watch. Other exciting programmes were test cricket, wrestling (on a saturday) which my dad enjoyed, and crime programmes like “z cars” and “Dixon of dock green”. I remember the first episodes of “Dr Who”, and hiding behind the settee when the Daleks came on.

Some more favourites were “Thunderbirds”, ” Captain Scarlet” and “Robin Hood” plus programmes like “Ask the family”.

By then I think there were two channels, BBC2 had come along. Later ATV (a local station from ITV) arrived, and we got to enjoy soap operas like “Coronation street” and “Crossroads” if you want to see how they were like try looking up Victoria Wood’s brilliant “Acorn antiques” spoof sketches.

All this without a remote, video player or DVD in sight!

It was only in the 1980’s we got Channel 4…..now we are awash with channels, but they don’t have as many memorable programmes. I know the old shows like “The Champions” “Randall and Hopkirk” and “Department S”  maybe are cheesy, and are very sexist, but that was what was on.

The never-ending shows now on digital and streaming,  satellite and terrestrial are overwhelming. In the old days when TV was black and white, there seemed to be enough. You went out to play and didn’t always spend hours infront of a screen; in fact if you watched too much people said you had square eyes!

This is all without remembering the TV repair man that had to come when it broke down. Usually he would have to change a “valve”, please don’t ask me what they are!

Kaliedoscopes

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Does anyone remember the kaleidiscopes you could get as a child? A cardboard tube, brightly coloured, with an eye hole at one end and a plastic cover at the other end. You could see little plastic blocks inside the cover which was slightly transparent. As you looked through the eye hole the little coloured blocks would turn and move and because there was a mirrored surface inside you got a symmetrical pattern which was so beautiful.

As you turned the tube the pattern would change, you could hear the little plastic bits move and rattle as the image changed. The pattern was never the same, and because the blocks were different colours it was like looking at a moving stained glass window.

Today it’s all changed, you can create patterns using digital apps but they don’t seem to stir the same feelings of creativity in me. I would play with my kaleidiscope for hours.

Nowadays we have computer games, and video games, but where are the simple toys? I feel nostalgic about spirographs and etch-a-sketch toys too. I was very lucky to get things like that as Christmas presents.  I wonder how children would react to them today?

I know we should use less plastic, but maybe they could be made with recyclable materials….