Tuesday 29 August 2017

Weeklies, caramel buds and Saturday morning cartoons

My middle girl has been home unwell for what feels like a year. Yesterday she wanted to watch something and thought of having YouTube crap on in the background made my skin crawl, so I suggested that I pick something for her to watch. I have memories of watching old movies when I was unwell as a kid, "Gaslight", "Rebecca", "Pollyanna" and a host of other old movies that I fell in love with.

My girl is always keen to see something new, so she agreed, as long as she could could have the final say.

First choice, "Little Women", nup, sounds boring.
Second choice "Anne of Green Gables", oh I've heard of that, nup sounds boring.
Third, and final choice, "Playing Beattie Bow". Hmmmm OK, I'll try it.

Now, the fact that I can find all these movies at the press of a couple of buttons still amazes me. I sat with her for the first part of the movie to get her into it. A tale about a girl from modern Sydney who's transported back in time to 1873. As I watched, I realised that "modern" Sydney of the 1980s was almost as foreign to my girl as Sydney of 1873.

Listening to a cassette player after school ("What's that?"), eight year olds left to roam the streets of central Sydney, enormous boom boxes carried on people's shoulders, big bright Ken Down-esque jumpers. It's a strange place to a nine-year-old from 2017.

My other two have been equally fascinated by the world of "when you were a kid, mum". Darbs was asking the other day if I watched Pokemon as a kid. He was shocked to hear that I didn't, but was relieved to know that I at least had Batman.
"But cartoons were only really on a Saturday morning and sometimes after school," I told him.
"That's messed up, Mum!" he replied. "Couldn't just choose something to watch?"
"We didn't have Netflix then," I told him.
"What? Not even Stan?" was his reply.
"Nope, not even Stan. Just five channels and we had to watch whatever they decided to put on."
"Well, at least you had Batman. And at least you had telly, Grandma said she didn't have one. How's that!"

I then told him about videos and going to the shop to rent movies, having to rewind them to watch again.
"Did you have to borrow food from the shop too?" he asked.
"No, just videos. It's like the library, but we had to pay for them."
After a while, my antiquated world started to bore him.

Lil-lil was then interested to hear about lollies from the '80s. I told her tales of mixed bag of lollies that came in white paper bags and cost 20c for what seemed like a bounty.
"So you went to the local lolly shop and picked lollies?"
"Well, we didn't have a local lolly shop. You'd go to the milk bar and choose freckles and caramel buds for 1 or 2c each. Maybe a banana or a pineapple if you were feeling rich. When I went to the pool they had made up bags of mixed lollies and they were pretty good too. We had giant pythons too, but they really were giant," I told her.
"Wow, I wish we had a milk bar, that sounds awesome."
"They really were," I had to admit. Far better than a 7-11.

It's funny how things that are such a big part of your childhood really are just a snapshot in time.

Rewind before you return.

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