Friday, 5 August 2016

Kids in Space


I vividly remember my Spaceman phase as a child, but it didn't last long.

I really wanted a 'ray gun', but I wasn't too sure about what they looked like. Fifty-eight years too late, I finally found it sitting on a shelf in a shop alongside a few other pressed-steel collectable toys yesterday, bristling with wings and protrusions, and with a thin silver tube at the front which emitted... emitted... well, something which would stop anything in its tracks from a great and safe distance. Oh I remember - rays. Rays of an unspecified kind.

I had huge quantities of just the right material to make a space-suit from - yards and yards of silvery barrage-balloon fabric left over from the war - but my mother, sensing that this phase would soon pass, never got around to running one up for me on her sewing machine. A few years later, I used it to cover my motorbike.

The helmet was a bit more difficult to procure, but I had a brilliant idea for acquiring the perfect example.

"What do you want a glass goldfish-bowl for?" my mother - knowing I had no interest in fish - enquired.

I suspected that if I came right out and told them, they would probably refuse to buy one for me, so all I said was that the rim should be wide enough to go over my head.

My mother had previously instructed me to never run whilst carrying a sword - I did have a few real ones - and I thought that if I promised never to run with a goldfish bowl over my head, they would probably allow me to wear one as a helmet, but I think that they wisely guessed that even if I stood still, I would probably fall over through lack of oxygen in any case, so I never got one. Years later, after watching Japanese Samurai films, I learned the correct way to run with a sword.

If I had, at the time, got all the requisites together for my voyage into space, I know that the passion would have left me instantly and I would have moved on to some other obsession before becoming bored with that one too.

Fly-fishing, shooting, Georgian glass, candlesticks...

People never really change as they get older. It is a good job I could not afford to buy my own goldfish bowl when I wanted one.

18 comments:

  1. We must be one the same wavelength. I bought two little robots the other day. An inch tall, they had little ear things that moved. I don't know why I bought them - they probably came in cracker jacks boxes or those little plastic balls in a machine. But they are so cute. I saw a child's costume at a flea market a few years ago. Silver with all the parts, in plastic, probably from the 40's or 50's. It was gone when I passed back later and probably sold for a pretty penny.

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    1. Too early in the morning here. The child's costume was a spacesuit.

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    2. I am always drawn to Victorian and Edwardian children's smocks, etc. Strange, but nobody wants them - they are so inexpensive.

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  2. I'm the urban spaceman, as a lover second to none
    It's a lot of fun
    I'm the urban spaceman, baby; here comes the twist--
    I don't exist. XXXX

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  3. Tom, it was fun to read this reminiscence. When I was a very little girl, my Dad would read me stories every night. Some were about King Arthur and the Knights.

    There was also a comic strip that appeared in the Sunday paper called Prince Valiant. Somehow, I got the notion that with my own Prince Valiant haircut, I could be a knight and my Dad carved me a wooden sword complete with my initials. There was a thicket at the back of our yard that was my Kingdom.

    I still have pretty much the same hair cut, but alas, the sword disappeared long ago. Happy memories.

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    1. Damn - all this time I thought you were a woman. Maybe you are?

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    2. Tom, i've always been female, once a girl, now a woman. That's why this childhood recollection of my preschool knighthood days still amuse me. I've got two younger brothers, but back then, I was an only child.

      xo

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    3. That's funny - H.I.'s father used to make her all the sort of things that boys are supposed to like when she was a kid.

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  4. As a child, I used to like burying things; now I like to dig them up.

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    1. This is a skill you will hand down to your Grandchildren.

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  5. I remember Yuri Gagarin orbiting the earth and some sputnik dogs and we made bows and arrows and catapults and stilts to walk on.

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    1. And the dreadful record, 'Telstar'? NEE, NA NEE, NA NEE NEE NEE NA NEE...

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  6. Tom in your travels do you ever come across any nice, small pieces of silver - snuff boxes and the like?

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    1. Yes, Weave - what are you looking for?

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  7. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers...they all frightened me. I was Lone Ranger, all the way.

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    1. The definition of an intellectual here is anyone who can listen to The William Tell overture without thinking of The Lone Ranger.

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  8. Today everyone wants a Pokemon which means 'pocket monster'. I had one 60 years ago and I didn't know it :) and I even missed out on the Dan Dare jacket. My little bro got that.

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