The Age of Innocence

18 01 2011

Yesterday I spent a wonderful day in London with my lovely daughter, who has just moved into her first apartment in the city and was playing the role of tour guide around the eclectic mix of markets and restaurants scattered throughout the trendy Brick Lane area.

Wandering around an interesting bric-a-brac shop casually examining various objects that caught my eye, I spotted a large bag of marbles.

Not exactly earth shattering in itself I know.

Yet, for some unknown reason, the simple act of picking up the string bag filled to the brim with glass marbles of all sizes and in a dazzling array of beautiful swirling colours, instantly transported me back to memories of my childhood.

I had returned to a time when life seemed so simple and so full of joy. Those were the days when a bag of marbles brought such pleasure and stopping off at the tuck shop on the way home from school for a bag of golden humbugs, or a sherbert fountain was the highlight of my day!

In that moment I realised that I had forgotten the art of having FUN!

I don’t mean that I’ve forgotten how to enjoy myself…I still have a great time when I am socialising with the people I love.

It is more the feeling of total freedom that I want to recapture. The sensation of being totally immersed in the moment; of being ‘silly’, or outrageous, and not caring a fig about what anyone else thinks.

I want to experience life with the childlike wonder of my early years and to view the world through the innocent eyes of a child.

I want to return to a time where life seemed full of possibility and every day brought another exciting adventure to be enjoyed in a world that was filled with vibrant colours, fun and laughter…with the occasional spot of ‘naughtiness’ thrown in for good measure!

There was the anticipation of buying the latest copy of ‘Bunty’ magazine with my weekly pocket money and devouring every word.

Or listening to the week’s ‘top twenty hits’ hidden under the bedcovers so my parents couldn’t hear the music.

The tingle of excitement when buying a new set of felt pens and stationary in anticipation of the first day of a new school term.

And the days of rushing home from school to head out with my friends to ‘tickle’ for trout in the local stream with a vision of returning with a bag full of fish for our supper!

(We never even saw a fish let alone caught one – although we always told each other that ours was the one that got away!)

They were such simple pleasures and such wonderful fun filled days.

Where did those days go…and when did life get so serious?

Day 18 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going celebrate by letting my hair down, connecting with my inner child and having a wonderful day of innocent FUN!
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10 responses

18 01 2011

Yes, I remember those golden humbugs. Our poor teeth….but who cared. In those days, we could always grow another! x

19 01 2011
1961 Girl

I’m sure you remember the tuck shop I referred to as well. No wonder we rarely had any pocket money left. It was all spent on sweets!

ps…can we look forward to seeing your new blog in the near future???

18 01 2011

Good lord, you brought back memories for me too.
The minute I saw your marbles, I flashed back to my childhood days collecting and playing with them.
I haven’t seen a copy of Bunty in years. My love of reading included comics and quick mags.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane… Hope your daughter loves her move to London. I grew up in London or rather (it’s one of several places) I grew up. London holds special memories for me. 🙂

19 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Eliz.

Yes, once you begin reminiscing in this way, all kinds of memories come flooding back. It is lovely to revisit our carefree childhood from time to time to remind us of how to enjoy the simple things in life.

And yes, thank you, my daughter is loving her new life in London. It is a great place to begin a venture into young adulthood. I would have loved that opportunity at her age! x

18 01 2011
Marion Driessen

A sweet post, capturing the focussed freedom of childhood. I enjoyed reading it.

19 01 2011
1961 Girl

Thank you Marion. I love how something as simple as picking up a bag of marbles can unleash such a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

18 01 2011
The Great Chocolate Cake Robber

Oh yes marbles, I love them still, mixed infants hard currency, remember cigarette cards and Brooke Bond Tea cards? I was emotionally desolate when all I was missing was the Greater Crested Grebe from British Birds oh that woefully empty space in my collection book, I was a hedge sorrel short of a British Wildflowers as well. Mentally that probably explains a lot.

Throwing flattened fag packets to see who was nearest to the school wall and the the thrill of winning the also rans to add to your collection. I supposed the junior forerunner of shoot pontoon.

Frozen Jubbly’s, nothing like a wedge of orange flavoured ice to see that cold down to your chest. Liquorice root, midget gems, fruit salads and black jacks. Things were much simpler then, when Wendy Smith said she’d be your girlfriend on the school trip to Bolton Abbey for four black jacks. Then you’d offer her two more to actually walk next to you, then Linda Green

The Beano, The Eagle and Dan Dare,The Bunty loved them all, well the Bunty when I was going through my cross-dressing phase. I even remember reading Shona MacGregor from the Bunty who had a sheepdog and did good deeds in the Scottish Highlands to my feral blonde daughter Rosie in a Scottish ‘Prime of Miss Jean Brodie accent’ and she would jump on me demanding that I speak properly. To which I’d reply, “Aye Shona am away tay Inverness fay a wee while” accompanied by the pummelling of enraged wee fists. I even donned a tartan car blanket to make Shona’s Fayther more realistic.

Forced into learning the violin at 5, scraping my way through concerts at townhalls, finally announcing to me mam that the violin teacher was dead so I couldn’t learn any more. I knew I was rumbled when she said she’d just seen a ghost and unable to control her emotions had blurted out in the high street, “but we were sure you’d passed on Mrs. Appleyard”.

The Carol service racing fisherman’s maggots along the groove in the top of the pews, “they all go at Doncaster 2.45 and coming up strongly on the pew side rails is toothy thompson a nose in front hiawatha.

Four Feather Falls, William Tell and the Lone Ranger on the telly, Saturday morning matinees at the Essoldo for thruppence. Mo Pickles, he of the flaming red Pompadour and DA, hunting pink drape jacket, tight lurex jeans and brothel creepers as he belted out Gene Vincent’s Bee Boppa Loolah, who swung on the town hall curtains to enhance his act and pulled them down on top of the mayoress during the miners carnival.

Music in that concert hall beneath the blankets as you say, Radio Luxembourg drifted in and out of Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins ‘You can do anything that you wanna do, but oh hoh honey lay offa of them shoes, blue suede, blue suede shoes’ meanwhile downstairs they’d be listening to Family Favourites, the Billy Cotton Band Show, Your Hundred Best Tunes. “And for Mrs Pilkington-Smythe in Railway Cottages Bacup, another chance to hear ‘The Ride of the Valkyries’ with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Jozef Furtwangler. I’m categorically sure that his name was not Furtwangler, but it was the nearest I could get and it could have been infinitely worse.

Bikes made from other bikes, trolleys made from pram wheels and old wood and fruit boxes. Sometimes the pram wheel’s were fresh, leaving the baby immobile outside the corner shop!

Well I remember the days picking blackberries, elderberries for Uncle Harry’s cheeky little potting shed claret, which would have half the men on the allotment dancing in their underpants after two glasses, it were that strong!

Drinking Micky Newtons mother’s collection of miniatures when we were six. We still managed to play marbles but they kept changing colour and cloning themselves. Sledging down grassy hills on flattened cardboard boxes, rope swings across the stream, catching sticklebacks from the textile mill dam.

Life alas was much simpler, great fun but poverty stricken with the arse hanging out of your pants, every sock darned, clothes that your older cousins had grown out of etc. Helping families look for coal on the slag heaps for the fire and taking old shoes, which were old when you first wore them, to school because it was winter and there were kids that didn’t have any.Chasing the rag and bone man’s cart, taking bottles back to collect on the empties. Bottles of pop and crisps sitting outside the pub on the bench while the elders were within consulting the Hop Oracle. The age of innocence in my case was funny and ragged, but still you were taught to help other people and I do miss Toad in the Hole, dripping sandwiches and a bottle of brown sauce in pride of place on the dining table. Scuse me while I ingest a trough of rolled oats to remove the cholestrol and then indulge in a suet pudding and twenty Woodbines.

19 01 2011
1961 Girl

Wow…thank you..that really was a trip down memory! I think there is a book in there somewhere…

19 01 2011
The Great Chocolate Cake Robber

Might I apologise for he spellos in my earlier submission, cholestrol as opposed to cholesterol is a milder dose of the latter and signifies a northern accent. Duplicate ‘the’ in the flattened fag packet game sketch, ps I’ve just worn a hole in the key cap for the letter T, enter a welder stage left.

A secret service apostrophe entered ‘pram wheels’.

I was on my way to the pub and thus my editing was indiscriminate.

But above all let the nostalgia of innocence shine a light on us all, although my grandson unfortunately finds emulating de auld feller’s street urchin interpretation of innocence more to his taste.

19 01 2011
Knight L

A trip down memory lane – the joys and innocence of childhood.

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