Throwback Thursday #45 – Nighttime Rituals

We are back again for Throwback Thursday the brainchild of Lauren and Maggie. This week it is Maggie’s turn and she has picked the topic. Nighttime Rituals 💜

Did you share a room with a sibling, or did you have a room of your own?

From a small child I remember living in a crowded house! I shared a room with three sisters, cousins and itinerent friends and waifs and strays! We had the big front bedroom as there were more of us girls! When I got to about fourteen most of my siblings had left home so I got a room to myself!

Did you resist going to bed or did you go willingly?

I think , like most kids I would not always go willingly and would use all sorts of delaying tactics. I was the youngest so I always had to go to bed earliest!

Did someone put you to bed, tuck you in, or read you a bedtime story?

Yes there was always someone, Mum, Dad, sisters and even on occasion of needs must a brother! Wash, clean teeth bedtime story then prayers!

Was there a religious component, like prayers, to your nighttime routine?

Yes there were always prayers with long litany of relatives and friends.

Did you go to sleep immediately, or lie awake?
That depended on how the day had been, how noisy the house was and what was going on downstairs.

Did you journal, read a book, talk on the phone or with your siblings, or watch television when you were supposed to be sleeping?
I loved to read or listen to the radio, I used to love Radio Luxembourg, if the Radio was in our room . I was usually on my own being so much younger than my siblings. I loved it when my cousin Lindy came to stay we were the same age so would talk and giggle until we fell asleep.

© willowdot21 Lindy and me.

Did you ever sleepwalk?
Yes often apparently we all walked and spoke in our sleep.. Mum often said it was like Paddington Junction some nights and worse than the days! One night I apparently put the plug in the bath and turned on the taps and lights and went back to bed in my brother’s bed. Luckily he was having an early night and stopped the flood happening and gently returned me to my bed!

Did you remember having dreams? If you dreamed, did you ever have bad dreams? Do you remember any dreams specifically?

Yes I often dreamed and I remember one recurring bad dream to this day.
I am walking though a long alley and I don’t feel safe, the alley was down the road from our house, I had to use it every Sunday to get to church, so I was there feeling scared and there was a woman dressed in black from head to foot her hat even had a black veil. I always woke up unable to breath aafter that dream. I could hear my heart pounding in my head and my blood pumping in my ears. I still occasionally get visited by the dream even in waking moments.

Were you afraid of the dark? Did you sleep with a nightlight or sneak into your sibling’s or parent’s room at night because you were afraid?

I was a little uneasy in the dark and they used to leave the landing light on for me until they all came to bed. God help anyone who accidentally turned the out and I was still awake.

Did you have or attend sleepovers or slumber parties? Feel free to elaborate.
Yes I did have friends to stay, and stay with friends. I always loved staying with friends because they always had bigger houses, less populated and big gardens! I think they liked staying at our house because it was mad, loud and there was always something happening. Also every summer holiday I’d spend a fortnight with my cousin Lindy at her grandparents house in Headington Oxford. We had a room to ourselves, a big garden and lots of places to play. After the fortnight we’d travel back up to London and have a fortnight at our house.😀

© willowdot21. Lindy and me and Frankie.
© willowdot21. Some but not all of the gang!

Throwback Thursday – #44 – Fireworks Celebrations

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This week Lauren has asked us about our memories and feelings about our childhood experiences with fireworks.

1) What are your earliest memories of watching fireworks?

I think I was probably three and I can remember being carried around by my eldest sister. I was wrapped in a blanket, I remember the light and heat from the huge bonfire. The noise and the pretty lights. I remember feeling warm and safe and tomato soup hot and warming.

2) Were you more afraid or excited at the time?

I was excited but mainly I was tired but I remember good feelings.

3) What occasions were celebrated with watching fireworks?

When I was a child it was only Guy Fawkes night Nov 5th ….one of my bothers got married on that date I guess it was a good way of never forgetting his Anniversary!

4) Did you travel to fireworks shows, or did your family have their own, safe and sane explosives?

I don’t remember the family ever traveling to a display. We had a small back garden but our nextdoor neighbours had a huge garden that ran down to the Cemetery…it was huge. Most years we had a party there with a big bonfire that neighbours and friends would spend a couple of days building. There were always lots of people there . Everyone brought fireworks but it was the duty of about four of the men to be in sole charge of the display.
There were always jacket potatoes and tomato soup and usually a pudding too.

5) Did you ever light off illegal fireworks?

I don’t remember ever doing so but I was a scary cat! I remember my brothers would throw “jumping jacks ” around and ‘bangers’ too and that used scare me . I know of several people who were maimed or blinded my rogue fireworks or misshandled usage.

6) Did you typically have a family celebration before the nighttime display? What did it include?

We always had a gathering before we all went next door and often afterwards too. Usually some food, alcohol and drinks for the adults. It was always impromptu and when I was old enough to join in fun!

7) As you grew older, did your feelings about fireworks change?

No, not at all they are fine at a distance and properly organised. I am not keen on big displays …I don’t like, crowds or noise . As our boys got old enough to enjoy fireworks we always, if hubby was around or on my own if he was working, went to the Guy Fawkes night parade from our town centre up to the big field where a bonfire was lit by the Mayor. There was always a fun fair and food and drink stalls. The boys loved it. I was always exhausted when we got back because I had had to pretend it had been fun!

8) Now the thinker: Many places are restricting fireworks now because of the trauma it can cause to pets, young children, and sensitive adults. How do you feel about restricting fireworks?

I totally agree, they should not be on general sale. If you want fireworks you should go to a properly organised display. All too often these days people let fireworks off for birthdays, weddings, parties, New Year’s any old excuse.
Unfortunately these days fireworks sound like guns and bombs and are very unsettling for pets, nervous people and children alike. There is a new reason too we have many Ukrainian refugees staying in the UK there some staying near to us , I doubt they want to hear them a odd times..

This is part of Lauren and Maggie’s brainchild, Throwback Thursday.

Throwback Thursday #43 – Sensory Memories

Maggie said: “Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. Perhaps there is no stronger memory trigger than a sensory experience. Those are the things we hear, sense, or smell, that take us back to aother place and time. “

This challenge is the brainchild of Lauren and Maggie

So here we go down the rabbit hole?

Do certain smells bring back memories for you? Maybe a flower, or a perfume, or the smell of a certain food cooking? If so, can you share one such memory?

I could share many of all different smells but the best are of Mum’s cooking: Hot cross buns for Easter, cinnamon and dough. Mince pies and sausage rolls Christmas, roast meat and veg Sundays. No smell at all…it had to be Wimbledon fortnight during those weeks Mum was on strike, she loved the tennis so it was salade every day!

Have you ever sensed a strong smell that reminded you of someone only to realize the smell was not actually present? How do you explain that?

Tobacco, Dad smoked a pipe it was constantly in his mouth when ever I smell tobacco I think of Dad…I have often smelled that smell for no apparent reason.

Share a YouTube video, or name the song and tell us about the memory.What song immediately whisks you back to another place and time?


Kate Bush Deal with God always takes me back to 1985 when I bought The Hounds of Love album. Takes me back to being a mum of three boys with a husband on a flying squad who I rarely saw. It kept me going…so did every track but especially Deal with God… Even the video with Kate Bush chaseing after Michael Hervieu was how I felt, chasing an ever absent husband, chasing children, chasing life! Now thanks to Netflix and Stranger Things it’s bigger than ever.!

Is there a taste that reminds you of a person, place or memory? Does that food happen to be one of your ‘comfort foods’?

Summer pudding made with stale bread and fruit always reminds me of mum.
Also treacle pudding and custard the first pudding I made hubby we both love it but rarely have it now.

Have you ever been somewhere new and immediately felt at home as if you have been there before?

Yes often… I believe I may of been there in a former life.

Have you ever experienced déjà vu? If so, how do you explain it?

All the time I explained what I think above.

Are there sounds that remind you of another place and time? (Something like a clock ticking, a train whistle, a horse galloping, gentle rain, etc.)

The whistle of a steam train takes me back to my childhood holidays. Dad and Mum never could afford a car so the whole family travelled by train! So the woosh of steam from between the wheels of a train or its whistle and I am back as a tiny girl being lead by the had of an older brother or sister off to the seaside!

Do certain textures or colors trigger memories?

No not really. Though I always think of Nuns when I see long black cloaks..not good memories.

Do certain stories, books, or poems remind you of someone from your past?

Fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, remind me of Dad and my three sisters they always read to me….my brother’s didn’t!

What sensory stimuli surrounding you and your present environment do you think might evoke memories of you for your family or friends?

That’s a hard one, the boys should possibly be triggered by my music, Queen, Imogen Heap, Kate Bush, the grandsons sandwiches with lettuce in, chocolate and huge hugs 🤣🤣💜💜
Friends? my purfume Paloma Picassa.

Throwback Thursday #41 – First Crush

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday, the brainchild of Maggie and Lauren. This week it is Maggie’s turn to pick our theme.

Your First Crush.

Who was your first crush? First names only!
Graham

Was this a celebrity or someone you knew ?
Some I knew , he lived near my school.

How old were you?
11yrs

How old was your crush?
12/ 13years

Did you let your crush know you liked them? If so, how?
Yes I did, I told him.

Did your crush like you, too? How did you know?
Yes he did, he asked me out.

Did you get teased by your family for having a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Yes indeed I did by my eldest brother, he was always teasing me!

Did you feel like you were in love or did you think it was simply a fleeting crush?
I was truly, deeply, madly in love for about three weeks.

Was this just a temporary crush or your first heartbreak?
Temporary really

When you think of that person today, do you have fond memories of them?
Yes in a way he was very kind and nice. We went to what was Chessington Zoo, on a bus and we had a great time.

Throwback Thursday – #40 – Birthday Blasts

It’s Lauren’s turn again to pick the theme for this week’s Throwback Thursday. The brainchild Lauren and Maggie.

Plus it was Lauren’s birthday yesterday so happy birthday Lauren. So guess what her choice is this week?

Birthday Blasts.

1) What’s your earliest birthday memory?

I really don’t remember early birthdays. One of the memories I do have is being at a party and feeling scared and uncomfortable. I remember not being able to eat the food and the hosts mother thinking it was a huge laugh.

2) What was your favorite birthday and why?

Definitely when I was thirteen and my parents bought tickets for me to see the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds at the Albert Hall. Mum and Dad asked a neighbour’s son who was about eighteen to take me. That was an amazing birthday present.
Also my eighteenth birthday was great fun it was a fancy dress party and I went as a Greek Goddess

3) What’s the best birthday present you have ever received?

The trip to see the Stones and the Yardbirds. Though my eldest son was born a week after my 20th birthday that was a beautiful belated gift.

4) Did you ever get money as a birthday gift?

Aunts used to give us one of two pounds if we were lucky.

5) What did you like to do on your birthday as a kid?

Usually we used to have friends round to tea. Jelly ice-cream cakes and balloons.
What do you like to do now?
See the grandchildren, have a day out with the family 💜

6) Did you have birthday parties with friends or family parties.

When I was younger it was both family and friends. Then as I got older just friends.

7) Did you get to pick the food for your birthday?

Not until I was a lot older.
Did you prefer to eat a home cooked meal or to eat out at a restaurant on your birthday?
Both ways suited me fine.

8) Did your family have any fun birthday traditions?

No

Did you continue those traditions with your own kids?

No

9) Did you ever get to take the day off school on your birthday?

No

As an adult did/do you take the day off?

No

10) Have you ever had a surprise birthday party?

No

Was it a real surprise, or did you know it was coming?
No because I never had one😂😂😂😂. I have arranged a few in my time!

Bonus Question:
If you had a million dollars to spend only on your next birthday, what would you do?

I would take all my friends on an all inclusive fortnight holiday in Antigua if any money was left I’d give it to charity..

thats it for now folks.

Throwback Thursday #39 – Reading Culture and Books

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday Maggie and Lauren’sd, Brainchild. This week we are going to tackle the kind of reading culture you grew up with. Should be fun.

This week it’s Maggie’s turn to pick and this week’s prompt is: Reading Culture and Books.

Who were the readers in your family?
We all were avid readers encouraged by Mum and Dad. It was only my next brother who was not a reader. It turned out he is dyslexic… Not known in those days. He is an avid reader now!

Were there some people who did not like to read or could not read?
Yes as I said above my next brother. School was no good for him and how ever hard my parents tried they could not get him reading. The army sorted him out and he did well.

Did your family subscribe to the newspaper?
I don’t remember….no I don’t think we did… My Dad did take the Catholic Herald.

If you did get the paper, was your Sunday newspaper considered special? What part did you enjoy?

I really don’t remember, but when I got older I always loved the quizzes and crosswords.

Did your home have books strewn around? Hardbacks or paperbacks?
There were books in every room mostly hard back but paper backs too. Always tidy though never seen around. Dad loved books he always told us never throw books away always pass them on ….we all do to this day.

Did you frequent the library at school?
Yes we all did .

How about the local community library? Did you have a library card?
I loved the Library, it was quite a long bus ride away. We all had library cards. I used to help out at the children’s on Saturdays and during the summer holidays..I loved having somewhere to go and a job to do everyday. I always felt very grown up!


What was the first book you remember reading?
A beautiful illustrated book of The Brothers Grims Fairytales.

Did you have a collection of books (Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Happy Hollisters, etc?)
Enid Blyton’s Famous Five also her Noddy Books, and Rupert the Bear.
Originally by Rupert Bear ; Mary Tourtel (1920–1935) then
Alfred Bestall (1935–1974)
Freddie Chaplain (1965–1978)
James Henderson (1978–1990)
Ian Robinson (1990–2002)

Did you read comic books? If so, what titles?
Yes, Dandy, Beano, Bunty, and Jackie.

Did you end up a bookworm, a casual reader, or someone who read only when required?
I am a casual reader but if a book takes my mind I wl read it cover to cover in one go!!

Is there a book from your childhood you would like to read again? If so, what book?
What Katy Did.

What book or books have been extremely meaningful or influential in your life?

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini.
And
The Devil’s Arithmetic a historical fiction time slip novel written by American author Jane Yolen and published in 1988. The book is about Hannah Stern, a Jewish girl who lives in New Rochelle, New York and is sent back in time to experience the Holocaust.

BONUS QUESTION: What book(s) do you frequently gift to others? Why?

A Thousand Splendid Suns.

image from Pixabay

Throwback Thursday #36 – Gone But Not Forgotten

Its Thursday again and time for Lauren and Maggie’s Throwback Thursday. This week Lauren has chosen Things I don’t miss.

I don’t miss being cold most of the time! We lived in a mid terrace council house. No central heating, there were two fire places, one the living room and one in front room. The one in the living room also had a back boiler and heated the water. In the winter our bedrooms would be so cold that there would be ice on the inside of the metal window frames. We had to wipe them dry when the ice melted. We all learned to be proficient at getting dressed and undressed in bed!

I dont miss being teased by my brother’s. I don’t miss seeing my sisters and brothers going out when I was not old enough to . I don’t miss being the youngest of a large family by eight years and feeling like an only child most of the time.

I don’t miss school I won’t go into that I have tackled that before.

I dont miss waiting for the bus! Or two arriving together! I don’t miss freezing, getting wet, or frying at the bus stop!

l don’t miss Ballet and Tap lessons I was a fairy elephant!

I don’t miss not being able to have new clothes or shoes.

I don’t miss feeling , insecure or frightened .

I dont miss taking the weekly wash to the launderette, sometimes my eldest brother would help me carry the laundry bags, it was quite a long walk. It was a boring couple of hours even with a book and dark in winter. If my brother came he’d leave me at the launderette and go to the pub to meet his friends while I stayed with the washing. He would come back when it was all ready and help me home with it .

Gosh I think I will stop there before I bore you all to sleep!

If anyone else would like to join in you can at Lauren page.

Throwback Thursday – April 7 – #33 – Going to the Movies

Maggie and Lauren..

Thursday was yesterday which means it time for Maggie and Lauren’s join venture.

It’s Lauren’s choice for this week’s prompt for Throwback Thursday : Going to the Movies. 

Do you remember specific times you went to indoor movies or drive in theatres?

We didn’t have drive in Movies in the U.K. until very recently and as yet I have never been to a drive in movie!

Do you remember the first time for either?

The first film I can remember seeing as a child was when my mum took me to see Snow White , the original Disney version. It was truly the most wonderful thing I had ever seen.

I believe I went to see “A man for all seasons” a fantastic historical film set in the court of Henry VIII and the man for all seasons in question was Thomas Moore. Our convent was a five minute walk from the cinema so we all walked upon crocodile formation.🐊

Do you remember going with friends and not parents?

I remember going to the cinema with a girl friend or friends we usually went to see pop star films . We saw “Catch us if you can” starring the Dave Clarke Five, “Hold on” starring Herman’s Hermits. There were other films but I really can’t remember them 😊

Please share one or more experiences about going to the movies.

My sister Frankie took me to see Westside story again I was totally enthralled by the sing and dancing I loved it.

I must of been to the cinema in my courting days with hubby but I can’t remember…. I can remember more recent trips but not early ones. I also remember us taking the boys and often their friends to cinema : Star Trek, Star Wars, Flash Gorden (that was fun) A film where we all stood up and cheered!

.

and took the children to many more!

I also remember hubby and I and friends going to see Brave Heart…we stood and cheered at his speech before the battle and I don’t think there was a Scottish person in the cinema!

As I say there have been many many more and concerts too 💜💜

Throwback Thursday #32 – Report Cards and Progress Reports

Maggie, said :Surprise, surprise! It’s me, pinch hitting for Lauren this week so she could attend a few appointments today. She will be back next Thursday tackling the first of our abbreviated prompts for the month of April.

This week’s prompt is: Report cards and Progress Reports.

You can use the questions that follow to spark your memories or you can answer them as they stand. It is totally up to you.

Looking back now, would you say you were a good, fair, or struggling student?
I was never a good student, or so I was repeatedly told. I believe I did my best but was made to feel I was stupid.
How often were your school efforts reported to your parents?
Constantly or so it seemed.
Did you receive letter grades, i.e. A, B, C, etc?
Yes but I was usually at the lower end of the marks.
Was your behavior reported on your progress reports or report cards?
We had report cards.
In what subjects did you excel and which subjects were a challenge?
I felt I was good at English, Geography, drama. I was not much cop at Maths, or the sciences or gymnastics.
Did you ever try to change your grade? Turning a C into a B for example?
Yes I always tried.
Did you keep any of your report cards?
No.
Did you get rewarded for good grades?
We’d get a word of faint praise for good behaviour.
Punished for ‘bad’ grades?
Yes they’d wipe the floor with us .
Did the subjects you excelled in prove to be where you excelled in life?
As I said I enjoyed English, and I love poetry and to read and write stories.
What was your biggest detraction from your school work?
Lack of self belief.

This is part of Maggie and Lauren’s Throwback Thursday.

Throwback Thursday. Holiday Meals.

Lauren is our hostess this Thanksgiving week and she chose a great topic – whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. The idea of a holiday meal includes any holiday occasion your family celebrates. That covers a lot of ground.

To participate, head over to Lauren’s post, read the rules and join in. Lauren gives a little guidance to get the creative juices flowing:

This week’s prompt is: Holiday Meals.  

I really don’t know how my mum used to produce such wonderful Christmas dinners, for so many people because money was so tight but she really always came up trump’s.
It all started Christmas Eve when we all went shopping with mum…. We all regardless of age had stuff to carry home. Everything was got then it was home and busy in the kitchen…mince pies were made, veg prepped, turkey stuffed, gravey prepared. The Christmas pudding and cake were made weeks before yet always tasted as fresh as if they had been made the day before. As fast as my mum made mince pies my brothers pinched them!
We had a tiny kitchen and how we all got in there to help here was a miracle.
Mum’s old gas cooker was very temperamental and often blew up.. nothing worse than singed eyebrows thank goodness.
There were eight of us plus numerous waifs and strays! No one was ever turned away from our door.
I have always followed my mum’s tradions, her menus and her panicks.
Breakfast : scrambled eggs and salmon with buckfizz.
Dinner:
Turkey and Ham or Pork or occasionally Beef. Stuffing, sausage meat, roast parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, basted with honey.
Coliflower and Broccoli cheese, Brussel sprouts, peas and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, bread sauce and Cranberry sauce, apple sauce and horseradish sauce!
Christmas Pudding, Cheesecake as mice pies.

I have had Christmases with no heating, Mother in law most years even though she was not keen on me and everyone knew it. She made it clear she would rather be at her other son’s. Christmas when Hubby was ill, some when he was away. Christmas Dinner in Pubs and with relatives!

We had one Christmas in Spain but that was very odd . The two older boys were with us but we did miss the rest of the family. It’s absolutely wonderful now we have grandchildren they make Christmas so special.

I remember one year when I was about fourteen years old. Dad was washing up at our Belfast sink ( before they were fashionable) he put the plates on the draining board, we dried them and put them on the dresser behind him. What we didn’t realize was that he was lifting the clean dishes and washing them again 🤣🤣

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