Adventure Stories from Childhood

My love of adventure stories was kindled in childhood by Enid Blyton with her Five Find Outers and Dog mysteries – oh, the fun I had alongside Larry, Daisy, Pip and Bets, and of course Fatty and Buster the dog as they ran rings around local policeman Mr Goon. The books captured the homely everyday English village life of the mid-1940s, where children were safe to explore and adults didn’t really interfere in their esapades too much.

And then I moved on to reading the adventures of the Famous Five – Julian, Dick, Anne and George and Timmy the dog. I was always intrigued by George – a short-haired girl named Georgina who always dressed like a boy – and the fact that they all went to different boarding schools so only met up together in the holidays at George’s house where they pretty much ran free around the countryside, solving mysteries here there and everywhere as they went. Again written in the 1940s, this series also left a long-lasting impression on me.

But when it came to mystery-solving the adventures of Jupiter Jones, leader of the Three Investigators took me across the cultural divide between Britain and America, to the alien world of boy’s fiction. Jupe Jones was an orphan who lived with his uncle and aunt who ran a junk yard in which the Three Investigators created their headquarters in an old hidden trailer accessed via constructed tunnels within various parts of the junk yard. Along with Pete Crenshaw and Bob Andrews, Jupiter Jones brought 1960s California to life for me, and I soooo… yearned for a proper bona-fide den hidden so well away from adults like these boys enjoyed so much. Freedom again…

But probably the series of books that took me furthest away from my everyday reality was The Chronicles of Narnia written in the 1950s –  truly a different world of English children’s post-war adventure stories, a world accessible variously at the back of a wardrobe, in a painting, on an underground platform, through a door, with magic rings, and finally, as a result of a train crash…

All of these beloved book series day after day took me and my voracious appetite and creative imagination many miles away from my quiet family and school life in the very rural Highlands of Scotland in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and even now my love of reading about myriad fabulous fictional characters, catapulting me into multiple alternative realities, has never really disappeared… ❤

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Adventure

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

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The humble tin plate has played such a big part in my life…

I was a Girl Guide for years, and absolutely loved camping across the Highlands of Scotland (where I grew up), sleeping in giggling groups in the old heavy green cotton canvas bell tents, cooking hearty meals on an open camp fire, eating on old-fashioned tin plates not unlike the one above (although my well-used original was much plainer – just white enamel with a dark blue rim) all sitting on the ground circled around the flickering embers.

This more modern version of my old tin plate gives a proud nod to those wonderful memories, with the cute overall pattern of black-face sheep a fun addition to my little blast-from-the-past treasured memory 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin

Girl Guide & Queen’s Guide

One upon a time a long, long time ago, I achieved my Queen’s Guide Award in Girl Guides.

As Guides we could complete voluntary merit badges covering all sorts of skills, both indoor and outdoor pursuits, and when you had achieved the requisite number of merit badges across several different categories, you achieved your Queen’s Guide Award.

There is a photograph somewhere that appeared in our local newspaper of me and two others receiving our awards from our District Commissioner, but for now its location eludes me.

I was part of the Girl Guide movement from the age of seven, when I first became a Brownie Guide, through Girl Guides to Ranger Guides, which I left when I was about sixteen, I think (once school exams properly kicked in and formal education took precedence) 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Guide

 

Tongue-Twisters from Childhood

‘Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran’

is one of the fun toungue twisters I remember from my childhood, along with

‘She sells sea shells on the sea shore’

and

‘If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?’

But still one of the hardest to get your tongue around was always

‘Red lolly, yellow lorry’

repeated ad nauseam, getting faster and faster until you collapsed in a fit of giggles… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Round

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Skedaddle

The first thing that came to mind was the animated cartoons of my childhood – in particular the Wacky Races, which I absolutely adored.

I remember the Anthill Mob in their number seven racing car the Bulletproof Bomb – little zoot-suited gangsters with their dark five o’clock shadows. Whenever they needed to skedaddle they would use ‘getaway power’, where their fast-pedalling feet would all appear in unison below the floor of the car to give them a boost.

The Anthill Mob also appeared again much later in the Perils of Penelope Pitstop, where their main aim was apparently to rescue damsel-in-distress Penelope Pitstop from the clutches of resident baddie The Hooded Claw as she yelled ‘hayelp, hayelp’ – and I seem to remember at that point the car was renamed Chuggaboom… 🙂

FOWC: Skedaddle

Arse Before Elbow

I was born a month premature, in early December 1963. My mum went into labour several weeks before I was due, suffering with the exeedingly dangerous extreme high blood pressure of pre-eclampsia.

To add insult to injury, I then presented as a transverse breech, literally trying to enter the world bottom first, and so in the end I was born unceremoniously by emergency Ceasarian Section in the middle of the night. I was immediately whisked off to whatever the 1960s version of the Special Care Baby Unit was called.

I remained in an incubator for however long it took to stabilise me, while mum remained dangerously ill in a different part of the hospital. Not the best bonding experience for either of us. Mum always said she didn’t feel like she’d had a baby – she felt more like she’d had her appendix out.

My dad always joked I tried to come into the world in too much of a hurry, arse before elbow, and have continued through life in the same vein. He’s probably quite right, even now I’m not one for biding my time and doing things in the ‘right’ order… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Premature