Jaqui's Daily Blog

Cabins, The Flowerpot Men and Sunday Evenings in 1967

In the normal way I dread the nights drawing in, the prospect of long, dark evenings. I don't want to draw my curtains at four thirty, shutting out the garden and the emerging moon. But I can't have it all ways because, yes, it's the Autumn / Winter season on TV which means Masterchef Australia, Strictly Come Dancing and, of course, Downton Abbey. Sue and Daisy and I were all agreed this afternoon that this was what made long, winter evenings bearable.


You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out what Sue and Daisy and I were up to this afternoon, tucked away in Sue's cabin in her back garden. Oh, I wish I had a cabin in my back garden where I could potter to my heart's content. I guess it's the equivalent of Men and Their Sheds. Another of my friends, Sallie, also has a cabin in her back garden, perched on the edge of a pond. You have to watch your step emerging from her cabin, no good getting over-excited (and, as regular readers well know, I am occasionally prone to over-excitement.) Anyway, suffice to say that Sue, Daisy and I had great fun over the course of an afternoon during which I got to drive a sewing machine and wear a bracelet pin cushion on my wrist. You will want to read tomorrow's blog, I kid you not.


Back on TV - well, not exactly "on" TV, as in taking a starring role or anything though I am always up for a challenge should anyone want to transfer my Life And Times onto the small screen - we didn't have a television at home until I was all of 10 years old. Before that time the only TV I ever saw was when we visited my Great Aunt Mill on the way back from the children's clinic where my mum took me every so often to be weighed and to take possession of tins of the Absolutely Divine Maltoline. If you have never tasted Maltoline, well, you have never lived. It is that good.


On the way back from the clinic we would call in to see Great Aunt Mill where I experienced for the first time the delights of Watch with Mother - Andy Pandy, the Woodentops and Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men. It was my introduction to the world of television. Today I read that the disruptive behaviour of some of today's three and four year olds is being blamed on the television programmes they have been watching. I am sure if they only stuck to Iggle Piggle they'd be just fine. I guess I can blame my early watching habits for at least some of my bad habits. Which ones, I hear you ask? I think I will leave that to your imagination. Just think Andy Pandy. And Little Weed. No! Not that kind of weed, for heavens sake, this is the Daily Blog, pure and wholesome fare, I would have you remember.

 

Our favourite programmes, back in 1957 when we first acquired our family TV, were Criss Criss Quiz and Take Your Pick. They were the equivalent of today's Pointless and Perfection. Nothing changes, not really, even after all these years. When my Foursome were young, their favourite programmes were It's A Knockout and the Little House on the Prairie. They loved the latter in particular because there were three daughters in the Prairie House - just like my Darling Daughters. So engrossed did they become in the fictional goings-on of the TV family that they often asked each other what they were planning to do to get themselves out of whatever fix they were in. I will post the article I wrote about this on The Way We Were for you, it may amuse you.


Now here we are in 2014, waiting for the second episode of Downton Abbey to start. Mr B is revelling in the post-Ryder Cup coverage. Europe won, in case you weren't aware, or weren't bothered. It was a classic case of excellent leadership and teamwork. According to Mr B, that is, and I know better than to argue with him over Sporting Matters.


Back in the winter of 1967, the Big Telly Classic was The Forsyte Saga. Church Evensong services were moved, I will have you know, because congregations were deserting in their droves in favour of an evening with Nyree Dawn Porter and Eric Porter. There was no recording of programmes in those days - if you missed it, you missed it. Mr B and I used to time bathing the babies (the Eldest and the Middle Darling Daughters) so that we could get them into their cots in time for us to sit down and luxuriate in the Forsyte Saga. Except, except....


Every Sunday the Putting to Bed Routine would go like clockwork. Both little lassies would be tucked up in their respective cots, all clean and sweet smelling of soap and baby talc. We would turn on the TV, the opening credits would roll - and from the bedroom the Middle of the Darling Daughters would wail a protest....


No such problems today. Mr B and I will watch Downton Abbey in companionable silence, without a single interruption. You may be presuming that I wouldn't want to return to 1967 and the interruptions to my evening viewing.

 

You would be wrong. It was (Sunday evenings possibly excluded) the Very Best of Times.

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Latest comments

03.07 | 22:43

Wouldn't have missed it for the world. xx

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12.06 | 02:31

I love that you talk to your plants ... I used to on my allotment ... seemed perfectly rational !

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05.06 | 22:01

Sounds like a perfect day Jacqui, happy birthday for tomorrow, love Val xx

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07.12 | 15:48

what details have you got on your mysterious Wilde?

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