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 – #38 Visits to Doctors and/or Dentists.

Lauren is choosing our prompt for throw back Thursday. She said: “We are back in our usual groove now. Last week Maggie asked us about how we were led to the music in our lives.  This week we’d like you to think back to those early experiences visiting the doctor and/or the dentist. This topic should again be one that everyone relates to in one way or another.”

This week’s prompt is: Remembering Visits to Doctors and/or Dentists

There are many adults with severe concerns about going to the doctor or dentist. The fear of doctors, known as iatrophobia, is often strong enough to provoke “white coat syndrome.” Normally healthy blood pressure can soar in the presence of a medical professional. Dentophobia, or fear of dentists, often occurs alongside iatrophobia. I’d like you to think back to your early medical and/or dental visits.

As usual, you can respond to the following questions as they are, or you can use them to spark your own memories to write your post.

1) Where doctor/dentist appointments a regular part of your childhood?

Yes they were, we were a sickly bunch so Mum was often trolling off on the bus to see the G.P. with one or other of us. Also mum and Dad were very keen for us to look after our teeth so dental trips, which I hated were regular too 🤣

2) Did you go for well-checks or just when you were ill or in pain?

We only visited the doctor if we were I’ll, occasionally we had just a check up at the dentist.

3) Were you frightened by the medical professionals? If so, were there specific reasons?

I was and still am not happy visiting the dentist. I can remember our childhood dentist now he was a small and very bad tempered man. We were all scared of him.

I don’t remember being scared of the doctor ever, he was always very nice. We always had the same doctor unless it was an emergency. Our family Dr brought all of Mum’s nine children into the world. He knew us all and he was wonderful with mum who could get very nervous. We did have more than one Dr but our main Dr was Dr. Musgrave. He must of been a nice man I remember his name and his face even after over 52yrs. I remember the Dentist’s name too but for very different reasons it was Mr Paul.

4) Were your parents afraid of medical professionals?

I dont think they were ever scared of them but I would say they were in awe of some of them .

5) Was waiting in the exam room stressful to you?

No not really, just boring. It was however very stressful when I was older and waiting with my own children, trying to keep the quiet and well behaved.

6) Did your early visits result in your being afraid of needles?

No but I am not their biggest fan.

7) Does the sight of your own blood bother you?

No, but that of anyone else I know does!

8) Did you ever have the need to go to an emergency room?

As a child, not often. But I do remember one incident when I was about four. My brothers were not allowed to play football in the house but they were kicking a ball around the living room. Someone had taken the fireguard off the fire to empty the hot cinders from the grate tray. …..the ball hit me I fell I put my hand out to stop my fall. My hand went into the fire and boy it hurt. I remember it being wrapped up and then we had to walk up to the bus stop, then wait for a bus. Luckily the bus passed Acton hospital where it was sorted and dressed. Then back home on the bus! We never had a car.

9) Did your early experiences impact your current attitudes about medical care?

No really though I have always had plenty of respect for most medical staff. When I was a child all medical staff were held in awe by us mere mortals. Specialists and Surgeons were treated as tin God’s as we’re Staff Nurses, Sisters and heaven forfend Matron.

Its different these days….sadly not better or even as good. Unfortunately the NHS is on its knees.

© willowdot21

The NHS staff who looked after my mother in law and celebrated her 100th birthday with her just before she died of covid.

Throwback Thursday, Discovering Your Musical Tastes.

Maggie is at the helm today. We are back to our usual groove with lots of things to think about. Hop on over to Maggie’s post to read all the guidelines, questions, and ways to join in. Don’t forget To check out Lauren’s post too.

This week’s prompt is: Discovering Your Musical Taste.

What music were you exposed to in your family – genre, artist, or style.
Music in our childhood home was very eclectic because there were so many of us!
Mum and Dad though both deaf could still apricate music…. It was very loud so we all endured or enjoyed it! Dad loved opera especially Kathleen Ferrier . Mum loved show music, South Pacific, Oklahoma and Carousel. Brothers and sisters loved, Pat Boon, Frank Iflield, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Vee, Buddy Holly, Adam Faith, Jonny Mathis, Helen Shipiro ect.

Loved Adam Faith.


Did you enjoy that type of music or did you rebel against it?
So, so, love Buddy Holly, Adam Faith in fact all my siblings music, it took years to stop rebelling and finally appreciate classical and opera!
How did you listen to music in your childhood home? Radio? Record player? Television?
Radio mainly, Radio Luxembourg and pirate radio, and our old Dansette record player eventually T.V.
Did you buy records, tapes, cassettes, 8-tracks or CDs?
Started off with records and moved with the times. First record bought was Come On by the Rolling Stones.


What performers were you drawn to most as an adolescent?
The Rolling Stones, The Monkeys, The Hollies, Beach Boys, Adam Faith, zombies, well everyone really!
Who did you go to see for your first concert?
The Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. It was at the Albert Hall London.

Who did you go with?
I went with a neighbour’s son . It was my 13th birthday, my parents bought two tickets and asked their friend’s son to chaperone me. He was very nice, liked both groups so it was win, win 😁

.

What concert has been your favorite concert to date?
That first one really though there have been others.
When do you listen to music?
Whenever I can.
In the car?
Yes.
At work?
Yes when I first started work as a widow dresser in a boutique, there was always music. I am retired now.
While studying or doing projects?
Yes 💜
Did the music you listened to affect your attitudes, way of dress, or view of the world?
Yes I think it did and it still does.
How has your choice of music changed over the years?
Not a great deal because I still have an eclectic taste.
What is your genre of choice at this phase of your life?
Almost anything! Imogen Heap, Queen, Alanis Morrisette, Tori Amos,
Bonus Question: What band or group posters did you have hanging in your room?
Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Monkeys, Small Faces.
Extra extra bonus points if you can share a copy of it or a link to it.

EXTRA EXTRA BONUS: Care to share a playlist from Spotify?
I am not doing Spotify at the moment 💜

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 #35 – Going, Going, Gone

Maggie is back this week with our prompt for Throwback Thursday.

This week’s prompt is: Things I Miss.

This week Maggie says : This week think about objects or places you miss having in your life. It could be a favorite toy, a photograph, a favorite hang-out, a favorite store or shop, a collectible, a favorite pair of jeans, or old movie ticket stubs. It can be anything your little heart desires. Write about one thing or write about a few. You’re running the show this week!

Throwback Thursday the Brain Child of Maggie and Lauren.

Now there are a lot of things I miss some are tangible and some are more feelings. Where shall I start. Maybe the things I took for granted but are now gone.

Mum and Dad, our old house in London…., Having meals cooked for me, my washing and ironing done oh! so many things I miss.

Let’s now go for the tangible.

1

I had a beautiful suede coat full length, huge collar and a belt. It really kept me warm in the winter….I don’t know when or where it went! I can’t find a photo of it but I also miss my smelly Afghan coat!

2

The first telephone we had in the family home it was green and so cool! They don’t make them any more. But I think you might be able to buy them.

3

Three outside our house that would blossom white on the left and pink on the white. Infact I also miss the gate it was wooden , painted green and someone was always shouting “shut the gate” to keep the dog in! My next sister my cousin and I the gate and the tree( sister sitting on the gate the tree just in view but not in blossom)

© willowdot21

4

After I broke my back the second time I relearned to walk listening to Imogen Heap on my head phones. I emailed her and told her who much she had helped me. She took the time to email me back she was so supportive and sadly I lost that email.. I honestly really regret that! My fault. There other things but I can’t think of them now.

Here is song by Imogen Heap about missing childhood. The last train home.

Throwback Thursday #34 – Learning to Swim


Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. Lauren is hosting again this week and Maggie will be back next Thursday. Head over to her blog to get the details, and then join in!

This week’s prompt is: Learning to Swim.

It took me until I was nearly forty to learn to swim! It all started when I was about two and half maybe three. Mum and Dad had taken the whole family out for a picnic near Oxford on the river Isis . All was going well until I fell in, to this day I can remember the warm sunshine, the noise of everyone enjoying themselves. Then suddenly splosh I was under water, scared, everything had gone muffled. I remember coming to the surface only to go back under. Then I felt dad’s hands under my chin and shoulder as he yanked me out, litterally kicking and screaming. I remember that but not what happened next.

We did not have swimming lessons at school and I very rarely went to the local baths with friends as I could not swim! If friends were visiting a Lido then I would go along and sun bathe. I rarely wore a swimming costume because I was too often told I was fat at school.

I did however make sure the boys were all good swimmers so they could enjoy all water sports whilst in beavers, cubs, scouts and beyond.

In my late thirties I was working at children’s home directly across the road from where we lived. There was a beautiful swimming pool over there encased in a plastic bubble so it was always tropical in there. We were never allowed to take our children there during term time but in the summer holidays when the children were sent to other homes we were. So I would take the boys over there with their friends. That’s were I learned to swim ….it was warm, quiet and calm and I had friends and the boys to encourage me.

I am not a confident swimmer and I never will be, but at least I can just about manage a few widths, and hold my own on holidays! …I have never fancied cruising as the sight of water to the horizon scares me ridged. I have managed a few river cruises because I can see land on both sides. Mind you I do love the sound of the sea and the beach as long as it quite.

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