I found this today:
‘So what?’ I hear you mutter. Well, isn’t it great? Isn’t a fabulous, inspiring, jaw-droppingly amazing piece of art?
Particularly when you realise it was created on this:
Yes, it’s an Etch-A-Sketch. I had one as a child. The best I ever managed on it was a Cubist rendition of my name. This news article, however, has proven to me that I could have, should have done so much more… I could have managed my surname as well.
It got me thinking about other toys I had in the 70’s and early 80’s, though. I remember one item particularly well. This is the story I trot out whenever Stig (teenage daughter) and The Milky Bar Kid (teenage son) attempt to convince me that they’re deprived and that everyone else, throughout the history of time, has had it better than them.
It was a Christmas gift from my mother (and, presumably, my father, although he probably didn’t know he’d given it to me until he saw me unwrap it, as we were a traditional family – Father earned it, Mother spent it). Anyway, I wanted the Barbie three-story townhouse – this one:
I wanted to be that girl. I had the slightly worrying frock, I had the brunette pigtails – but I did not have the Barbie three-story townhouse. And I wanted it so badly.
My mother knew this – but the expectations of an eight-year old can’t always be met by the wallet of the eight-year old’s father. The Barbie house was incredibly expensive – I can’t recall how much but it was out of our reach. And so, she bought me what she saw as the next best thing – a Sindy toilet.
Kids can be so cruel, and my friends had a field day with me and my Sindy (Barbie’s English and cheaper cousin) and my Sindy toilet. It came with a horseshoe shaped mat. I never understood this – was Sindy meant to stand up to pee? And did they think she’d miss?