Saturday, 24 December 2016

Time Machine.


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I've been given the temporary use of a Time Machine, and I've set the dial to 8 am on the morning of December 25th 1952. I'm to be set down in Vicarage Rd, Lingfield, Surrey.

I am now 6 years old again, and it's Christmas morning.

My sister and I have been awake for ages, and can't wait to open our presents. We delve into our pillow cases hanging at the base of our beds. We pull out small presents; chocolates, licorice, pens, and a pair of gloves each.

Breakfast is consumed in haste, then we rush outside into the newly fallen snow to make snowmen.

At around 10.30 am we return to the house to open our 'pukka' presents that are under the big decorated tree in the Drawing Room. I recognise all the baubles from the previous year, and admire our ancient family Fairy. Small cake candles are lit on the tree, and we are in awe as we listen to the carol singing from the radio's BBC Home Service.

I unwrap Meccano, some more rails for my train, a metal trumpet, a scarf from an Aunt, a Rupert annual, plenty of sweets, and a set of pale blue Basildon Bond writing paper and envelopes.

There are bowls of Brazil Nuts, Almonds, and home-grown Hazel Nuts. A few left-over Black Sobranie cigarettes are witness to a recent cocktail party. There is a big sweet-filled Christmas cracker hanging from the ceiling. Everything, everywhere, has a festive look.

Lunch is at 1 pm precisely. The Turkey is huge, and the Plum Pudding is brought to the table with flames leaping to the ceiling. Later we eat pink and white Marshmallows, toasted in front of the Dining Room fire.

We move back to the Drawing Room to listen to The Queen on the radio, but I don't really pay much attention.

We eat Turkey sandwiches for supper; then, exhausted, to bed.

What a day it's been. All our wishes came true (plus some surprises), and another magical Christmas is over.

Mrs Belton will probably be there in the morning to help mother wash, polish, and put away all those special 'once-a-year' things; life is just about as good as it can be.

I really don't want to return to 2016.



57 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. And the Basildon Bond writing paper... lucky you.

    Alphie

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    Replies
    1. I always looked forward to the BB writing set.

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    2. Used on the 27th for writing thank you letters to the Aunts and Uncles for their presents!

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  2. Those were the days. Can't remember the last time I had turkey or even a roast chicken.

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    1. Why? Two of the cheapest, and most delicious, meals around!

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    2. Not really as I would only buy free range. A leg of lamb or, as we are having on Christmas Day tomorrow, a steak are our treat meats but generally it is mince or sausages.

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  3. What a lovely post! But please return, we selfishly want you here with us in 2016 also because Dear Cro, I want to wish you, Lady M, your lovely family and your grandchildren, a happy peaceful Christmas and thank you for sharing your home and snippets of your peaceful but very busy life, also for, and so generously, sharing many of your recipes here. Thank you Cro. A hug.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Thank you Maria. As long as I don't bore myself with my ramblings, I shall continue. Very best wishes, Cro x

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  4. I loved those Christmases. I like to think ours is not too removed from them today.

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention making endless Paper Chains at the kitchen table. I can still taste that awful glue!

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    2. That just answered a question.... Butterfly Brand paper chains from Woolworths.... I used some of their 'passepartout' tape the other week to repair an ancient picture frame.... so the taste of their glue is exceedingly fresh in my memory!
      Just one taste and I collected the wet sponge from the sink.... I seem to remember it involved boiled horses somewhere in the manufacturing!

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    3. Yes we made the paper chains too. I can see us sitting doing them now and the colours.

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  5. Rupert annuals and BB writing paper! Remember it like yesterday, happy days.

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    1. They were amongst the essentials, as well as plenty of licorice.

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  6. Gosh, brings back memories. I got most of those items as well, except the Meccano and the train rails ... which I'd have actually preferred rather than a new doll or some embroidered hankies! And we were't posh enough to have Mrs B come in and clear up after us the next day. But how lovely and simple xmas was in those days compared to the vast array of 'stuff' kids get nowadays. Have a lovely one Mr & Mrs Cro, we shall all look forward to hearing about it!

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    1. My dear mother was a rather obsessive present buyer; I think she started on Boxing Day. We probably received too much, but never complained.

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  7. Merry 'Olde' Christmas!
    Wot...no satsuma in your pillow?
    I would have been two and ten months... and remember nothing from then except kitchen sink baths....
    move forward in time to '56... and we were in a different house and memories are much more vivid.
    My Meccano set came, second hand, from an Uncle.. my O Gauge railway was his originally, too!
    So Meccano add-ons and extra rails and points were my presents also... but, 1956 was the year I was given a Box Brownie...and I haven't looked back since.... in fact I am saving hard for my next camera.... to arrive by my birthday next... some sixty-one years later!
    So wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas and my 2017 be a safe one for us all!

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    1. For 'my' in the last phrase, please read 'may'.... when will blodger add an edit button... that would be a very nice present for 2017!

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    2. My Meccano was ALWAYS second-hand. I think my mother would buy bits and pieces throughout the year (jumble sales etc), then hand them over for Christmas. The box contained all sorts; much more interesting than a new box with just a few bits in it.

      All the best to you too.... an interesting year to come!

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    3. My brothers' meccano was secondhand too and lots of it and was considered superior to the new stuff. We used to make superb things with it.

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    4. The new sets usually contained just a few bits for making a specific object, whereas a good selection of s/h stuff got your imagination going!

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  8. I would have been 7 that Christmas, living in Leicester. No idea what presents I had, but there would always have been a Rupert annual, and a sugar mouse. It might have been the year that I had my red bike.....it was second hand, and Dad had painted it red for me. I can see it now in the living room. Hope you and Mrs Cro have a lovely day tomorrow. X

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    1. We will, thank you. I remember my second-hand red bike, it had a removable cross bar, so could be either a boy's or girl's. I loved it, and the world became my oyster.

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  9. We had home made bi-colour crepe paper strips machined down the middle, fringed and twisted. They rolled up neatly for the following year(s). Our stockings always had a satsuma and I had sweet cigarettes and my older brother has sweet cigars. I remember chocolate 'money'- not with the Queen's head on that year though. By then I had started my lifelong obsession with Teddy Bears.

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    1. When did all that excitement go; at about 16 perhaps? Now all that excitement is on behalf of others who hopefully will have the same memories as us.

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  10. Could be a passage from a Dicken's novel Cro. How times have changed. I still remember some of the ornaments which came out on to the tree every year - very breakable ones which had to be wrapped carefully in tissue paper when put away. Happy Christmas.

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    1. That's right, we always found a few that hadn't survived a year up in the loft.

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  11. Well Cro, you have just described our childhood Christmases ... ours were exactly the same from the stuffed pillowcase to the Basildon Bond ... just change the Meccano for Jakko skates !!!!
    Wishing you and Lady M the happiest of Christmases and I don't have to tell you to eat, drink and merry 'cos I KNOW that you will !!!

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    1. Jacko roller skates - oh yes!

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    2. Thank Jacqueline. A quiet Christmas for us, but it'll certainly be merry!

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  12. Ah memories that is what Christmas was all about - oh the excitement. We played games in the evening and grandad played the piano and we sang carols - it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

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    1. I think we played games too, but I can't remember which ones. Probably Snakes and Ladders.

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  13. Have a very merry Christmas this year, hopefully with a little of the enjoyment of old

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    1. We shall do our best; all in in place.

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  14. What a wonderful heading, and a beautifully thought provoking post Cro.

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    1. It's what my mind goes back to every Christmas. Wonderful memories.

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  15. Lovely post. The first christmas I remember is back in the early sixties and I was almost three. I got a fantastic toy tin kitchen with a turkey in the oven and my dad and uncle locked my mother out in the snow and wouldn't let her back in. I cried.

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    1. What had she done; been a naughty girl?

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  16. You have some wonderful memories. I had to go look up the meaning of pukka, but now I understand. I have memories of being driven through the town at night so we could see all the pretty lights. It felt very magical. We would also get together with our grandmother and uncle, and sometimes more extended family.
    Have a very merry Christmas! -Jenn

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    1. When I was older we used to spend Christmas with uncles, aunts, and cousins up in Wales. Very different, but equally as good.

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  17. Our son is five. I hope his memories of Christmas will be as poignant as yours are.

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    1. I'm sure they will; a child's brain is like a computer. Easy to put stuff in, difficult to get them out again.

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  18. That sounds so wonderful, Cro. Like something from an entirely different world. Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories here! Reading them was a treat for me. :)

    Merry Christmas, my friend, to you, Lady Magnon, Bok, and the rest of your clan! xx

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. It's now just after 4 am, and it's Christmas Day. I expect we'll be on Skype for most of the day. Very best wishes, Cro xx

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  19. Oh Cro, such a lovely post. I was born in December 1956, so my Christmas childhood memories are similar to yours. Except for the cocktails, more like light and brown ale in my house.

    Jean

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    1. My people always had a big cocktail party before Christmas, with cheese and pineapple on sticks, etc. All very dated now, but lots of fun then. Happy Christmas Jean. Cro xx

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  20. Dear Cro, your time machine is a powerful one...it was able to transport the rest of us back to that Christmas Day along with you. Thank you!

    Since we are about the same age, although we grew up in different countries, I will report that much of what you recall matches my own best Christmas memories.

    Now, I find that I have somehow returned to the present day, and hope to carry with me lots of that special Christmas spirit, which encourages so many good thoughts and actions.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours. xo

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    1. With none of our grandchildren here with us, we are unable to pass on that very special feeling of Christmas, but I think their parents will do a good job. Happy NY Christmas Frances. Cro xx

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  21. Very similar memories here too, but not the Meccano. My best present, as a youngster of about seven, was the most beautiful dolls house, which my father had made for me. It had electric lights, windows that opened, curtains that could be drawn, and beautifully crafted furniture. When it was given to me, I was taken into a darkened room, lit just by the light streaming from the house windows. A magical moment I will always remember.
    Happy Christmas to you all, enjoy every minute.

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    1. That sounds wonderful. Do you still have it? Not quite the same, but I was given an air rifle when I was about 11; I still have it, and it's by my side at this very moment. Happy Christmas Coppa, Cro xx

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  22. Replies
    1. It's now arrived. Happy Christmas to you too, Cro xx

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  23. I am so impressed with your vivid memory! What a wonderful gift God has given you! My early memories are only from old photos.

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