Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012




This blog’s first appearance was on 3rd July 2008.
Since then it has had more than 5,800 hits with just over 7,700 pages looked at.



Forethought we may have, undoubtedly, but not foresight.
(Napoleon Bonaparte)


In my young day some fathers, clever with their hands, were able to make things like stilts for their children and “bogies” constructed out of a wooden box and four pram wheels.

I doubt if my father could have managed anything like that, although he once made a kite which succeeded in staying airborne for a couple of minutes.

A few boys in our street went to the local blacksmith who made a “girr” (hoop) and “cleek” (iron rod) for them. There was very little traffic where we lived and so the place was ideal for running with those toys.

Searching for good chestnuts was a popular pastimes in autumn, but I don’t think I ever played conkers and although I had a collection of marbles I can’t remember playing “bools” with them.

My Saturday penny often went to buy another toy soldier for my tin fort. Made of metal, about 4cm in height, they were brightly painted - black busbies, red jackets and dark blue trousers. Unusually the fort was also home to one or two cowboys and a red Indian.

Like most boys at that time, I had a number of Dinky Toys. Modelled on real cars, vans, lorries and buses, those were much more expensive than the soldiers, and so it was only occasionally that one was added to my collection.

When playing with toys, I had a vivid imagination. While my pals all knelt down and pushed their little cars along the pavement, I remained standing, holding my car at eye level, for I could clearly see the imaginary road along which my car was speeding.

Both my sister and I were pretty good at “make believe”. When very small, she would sit for ages on the floor playing with papers and telling stories aloud to herself. As for me, a couple of clothes pegs (not the kind with metal hinges) could become people, the little round bit being the head and the two prongs their legs. Also if one of the pegs was fitted in to the other at right angles, the result was an aeroplane.

When I was very young, I could content myself with an old biscuit tin full of discarded buttons, arranging them in different patterns on the carpet.

Who needs toys if you have a good imagination?



by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)



The Lamplighter
by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky,
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by,
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be,
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more,
And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!


The music video I’ve chosen today is really quite astonishing -
four very young children from Chongjin City in North Korea, playing guitars!!!
Uploaded by Chojiro22



He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age,
but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.


Next post on 80 plus Music Mix - Thursday 22nd March
Julian Lloyd Webber, Charlie Kunz, Vera Lynn
and the Johann Strauss Ensemble


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