Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
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.