Weekly Smile: Retro Mother’s Day Card

Retro Mother’s Day card

I learned to read in the late 1960s with the iconic Ladybird books, always set out in the same format of text (written in varying levels of difficulty depending on age and reading ability) on the left hand page and an artist’s illustration on the right. Some of our original reading books are still at my mum’s, so my kids also grew up clearly recognising Ladybird books.

I’ve recently acquired a few tongue-in-cheek adult versions too, probably created specifically for my age group – The Ladybird Book of the Shed, The Ladybird Book of Dating, The Ladybird Book of the Hangover, and How it Works: The Grandparent. The format is exactly the same, various original illustrations have been used, and the wording is in the same idiosyncratic 1960s tone but nevertheless discussing the new adult topic.

Anyway, when my 36-year old son Simon thoughtfully sent me this very retro-style personalised card for Mother’s Day last Sunday in the same style as the books, I simply couldn’t stop smiling… and I pointed out to him he was not only a special edition but my First Edition too! 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Retro

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Idiosyncrasy

Trent’s Weekly Smile


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

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Tin


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’


‘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