Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dinnertime Symphony

Standard

Mummy, what’s this? Chicken

What’s this Mummy? Chicken

I don’t want chicken. But you love chicken

Mummy, what’s this?

I don’t want this.

What’s this?  Chicken

Water

Water what? Give me water

What’s the magic word? Water ?

No –  chicken?

No, I would like some water please.

Water please. Me too and me.

What do you say?  Please can I get down?

No, say thank you. Thank you. tancue. tancue

WHAT’S THIS? Chicken

Can I have some more?  What do you say? More chicken.

No, please can somone say PLEASE.

Water.  Uh oh. Wet wet take it off. Mummy take it off!!!

MUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT’S THIS?

Please can I get down. No you haven’t finished. Oof

MUMMY!!!!! Yes darling.  WHATS THIS??!!!!

That my darlings is Mummy’s glass, careful not to spill it

Advertisements

Sindy is every girl’s dream

Standard

Sindy has also got a big birthday coming up, next year she will be 50.  In her heyday Sindy was the best-selling girl’s toy in the UK outselling her American playboy girl rival Barbie.  Apparently the Brits liked Sindy’s more innocent and wholesome look.  Let’s face it Barbie with her ginormous bosom, miniature waist and incy wincy face was a bit ludicrous.  What I never got about Barbie was the way her arms poked out at right angles at the elbows.  What was that all about?  I digress.

Sindy was probably the first love of my life. Hours upon hours I could play with that doll, make her houses, send her on trips with Action Man in his helicopter, pierce her ears with pins from the sewing box and make her clothes tied with hair bobbles (that’s hair elastics with plastic beads on them to you uninitiated).  At the height of my love for Sindy I was the proud owner of 2 dolls; 1 blonde, 1 brunette, a 3 legged Sindy horse (he had a fall from the bedroom window) and a box full of clothes.  My younger sister had a larger collection of Sindy and Barbie dolls plus accessories (including a pony and trap), not because she played with them but because she was 5 years younger than me and therefore was told what she wanted for Christmas and birthday by yours truly.

Five must know facts when playing Sindies.

  1. Never refer to Sindy as a doll. Simply, Sindy or Sindies
  2. When playing with friends refer to as ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ eg. Mine is the bride, yours is the bridesmaid.
  3. Sit on Sindy’s nicest outfit so that your friend can’t find it
  4. Make friends with someone with a Sindy house/car/caravan – the bigger collection the more necessary to cultivate friendship
  5. NEVER cut Sindy’s hair – everyone does and no-one is happy with the result

Sadly Sindy is very much out of fashion these days and is now targeted at pre-school girls.  According to Parenting.com even Barbie doesn’t make it into this year’s top 10 most wanted Christmas toys – Coming in at 14 is the quite frankly ludicrous and yet somehow highly desirable Barbie Photo Fashion Doll.  This doll is actually a camera that takes pictures from Barbie’s viewpoint and then instantly shows the image on her t-shirt.  I know, crazy and yet ingenious. Of course there are a billion other things you can do by hard wiring her to your pc (the image of which is somehow quite disturbing), making this Barbie less of a doll and more of a gadget like most toys these days.  Damn, there I go again with my middle-aged comments.

Still, I would happily play with Sindy again, simply dressing her, plaiting her hair and making her walk by hopping her around on her tippy toes – a desire for the innocence of youth or just a weird fetish? Hmmm,  I wonder how soon I can introduce Sindy/Barbie to my little girl.

‘Tis the season

Standard

Christmas is coming, but here in the birth place of the guy we are celebrating the birth of, Christmas is just a regular day.  For my first few years here it was indisputably odd to me that Christmas does not exist (in my part of Israel at least).  Before the arrival of the childers I hopped on the plane and spent Christmas with my family as always.  These days we just can’t afford it.  I mean what are you supposed to do, take 1?  Have a lottery?  Take the eldest in the hopes the little ones won’t notice or separate the twins so they finally get some individual attention.  Hmmmm.  Nope, none of the above, for the 2nd year running and for only the 4th time in my life I will be having Christmas away from ‘home’.

There is a street in Tel Aviv which sells all types of Christmas paraphernalia; plastic trees, tinsel, singing Santas, everything you could wish for should you want to decorate your home a la Gavin & Stacey. One year when a friend came to celebrate with us we spent Christmas morning running around said street searching for crackers.  Apparently crackers are considered dangerous weapons and are banned.  So crackerless but stocked up with a small tree and some lights, a few baubles and some tinsel we are Christmas-ready.  Not to offend anyone I don’t put the tree up until after Hannukah, which is tricky in the year where they fall at the same time.

It never ceases to amaze me (because I am a die-hard Christmas loving consumer) the amount of joy that Hannukah brings to my kids, in fact I would go as far as to say that Christmas is the poor relation in comparison.  It’s taken me a while to get why lighting some candles, eating some doughnuts and twisting a spinning top could compare with pantomimes, too much chocolate, fairy lights and a magic man than leaves you presents when you are asleep, but in this house the joy of Hannukah far outweighs the joy of Christmas, unless of course Christmas is spent in the magical world of the Grandparent’s house in Britain.

I have sensibly accepted that growing up in Israel means that the Jewish celebrations will of course mean more to my kids than any Christian one.  Yes I get pangs of sadness but I also recognize the joy the celebrations and holidays that are unfamiliar to me, bring to them.  Our home already boasts a large collection of savivonim (spinning tops) and I would be a rich woman if I got a shekel for every time my son asked when the Hannukiah (the special candle holder) can come out.

As the run up to the big day approaches (Christmas, not my birthday), I am sure that there will be the inevitable pictures of friend’s kids wearing tea towels on their heads and angel wings on Facebook and I will get the familiar, I wish my kids could be in a nativity.  I have already had a yearning for a Christmas market and a glass of mulled wine and I may have to mop the tears if I hear Fairytale of New York (although not much chance of that).

One year we did a full on Christmas here, we went out on Christmas Eve to an Irish pub figuring there was bound to be some evidence of Christmas there, nope, my son had a stocking at the end of his cot and we had a Christmas dinner with our Israeli friends.  We had a great time (well I did), the tree was up as were the 8 cards I received, we pulled out the emergency chairs, decorated the table with sparkly confetti and candles and hubby cooked a splendid Christmas dinner.  One of our guests asked half way through, ‘what do we do now then?’ hmm that’s a tricky one, I mean what do you do on Christmas day?  If you are not religious and don’t go to church you basically eat, open presents, play a board game and watch the Queen’s speech.  So in essence at our gathering, eat.

This year the Christmas fairy aka my sister will be arriving on Christmas Eve, acting as the present mule and my excuse to ‘do’ Christmas – I am not sure without an overseas guest I would go to the trouble of the whole sh’bang bearing in mind it’s a regular work day and the kids are in nursery. I intend to Christmasify the house, provide pillow cases for the childers for Santa’s haul and play Jingle Bells at every opportunity.  I can kid myself I am doing it for the kids but let’s face it I am doing it for myself;  Christmas brings back so many very happy memories from my childhood. My children will hopefully will be blessed with memories of a double celebration, starting on the first night of Hannukah and ending when the Christmas tree is taken down.

Congratulations & Mazal Tov

Standard
Congratulations & Mazal Tov

I love a good wedding, actually I love any wedding, good bad or indifferent.  I love the dresses, the sense of occasion, the emotion.  Even bad weddings are good in my view.  Unfortunately at my age the majority of future weddings I will attend will not be those of my peers, but their children; where dancing like a clown, dressing inappropriately or having one too many Pimms is not as excusable.

Being an ex-pat I have missed a fair few weddings of friends and relatives that I would have attended had I lived at home.  In exchange for missing those in the UK I have attended a massive amount of weddings here in Israel.

Here’s my sweepingly generalized run down of the difference between wedding practices in Israel compared to those of the UK

Invitations 

Israel – to every Tom, Dick, Yossi and Shmuel that you, your parents, your grandparents have ever met.

UK – the favoured few you can afford to invite plus the aged relatives your folks insist on.

Venue

Israel – purpose built events venue, all enormous, most of them stunning.

UK – Country house,  hotel, working men’s club.  If you’re posh, a marquee in your parent’s garden.

Presents

Israel – cash expected.  Websites exist to advise you how much your attendance is worth in $ to the happy couple.   A safe with a letter box is located at the entrance to the venue and at the fancier weddings they have their own security.

UK – gift list at John Lewis

Guest’s dress code

Israel – anything goes; ball gown to shorts and sandals, you’d be hard pushed to find a tie.

UK – suits for boys, dresses or skirts for girls, hats and fascinators an optional extra.

Bride dress code

Israel – Don’t get me started.  Some, and I repeat some, of the wedding dresses should be x-rated with scaffolding to hold them up.  Bridal hair should be coaxed into plastic looking ringlets.  Makeup should be applied as heavily as possible, preferably disguising any resemblance to your usual self and shoes can range from white welly type platforms to what I refer to as pole dancer shoes.

(A disclaimer at this point; I have never attended a wedding with brides dressed as such but I have seen enough being photographed to know that this is indeed a fashion)

UKPreferably strapless, ivory, satin court shoes, bouquet

Photographs 

Israel – Official photographs taken before and throughout wedding.  Wedding shoot takes place on the afternoon of the wedding in sweltering heat in locations ranging from the beach or park to industrial car parks, scrap metal yards, rundown backstreets with plenty of graffiti thrown in for good measure.

UK – Think Royal, think posed ‘natural’ eg. Looking into middle distance from randomly situated ornamental bridge in the hotel garden.

Length of Wedding 

Israel – Starts 7 – 8pm (but you can sneak in at 9) can continue into the early hours.

UK – can start as early as 11am and end 12 hours later when the bar stops serving.

Duration of guest attendance

Israel – As long as you’re there for the chuppa and the start of the meal you can skip off whenever you choose, actually if you’re not close missing the chuppa would probably not be noticed.  Just turn up, say Mazal Tov and pop the check in.

UK – Highly frowned upon to be the last to arrive. To leave before the speeches at the end of the meal is downright offensive.

Speeches

Israel – Speeches?

UK – can be intolerably dull and slightly embarrasing

Etiquette

Israel – cell phones answered throughout, talking through vows expected.

UK –  Absolute silence throughout ceremony.  Cell phone ringing = lynch mob.

Food

Israel – VERY important. Pre chuppa food ‘stations’ dotted around the venue, usually a fancy buffet for wedding breakfast.

UK – After ceremony vol au vont, plated or silver service (broccoli in your wine sir?) roast dinner for wedding breakfast.

Drink

Israel – soft drinks on table finished replenished, finished replenished, wine often left untouched.  Tequila shots downed on dance floor.

UK – Wine finished replenished, finished replenished until the venue refuses to serve any more.  Soft drinks?  What soft drinks?

Dancing

Israel – men dance, women chat.

UK – women dance, men drink

I reckon that covers it.  Shame I like weddings so much, I possibly won’t be getting invited to anymore after this.

Nice People

Standard

Would it be weird if I said I had a crush on Barack Obama? I’m not American so it’s nothing to do with his politics (although if he were a Republican I probably wouldn’t like him so much), it’s mostly because he seems like such a nice person. If he’s really a nasty piece of work, unfriendly and mean then his PR team have done a sterling job because I’m sold.

Nice people are underrated, especially in business and politics and as we lose the ability to speak to each other in person, only in tweets and status updates, we could well find ourselves in 30 years not remembering what a genuinely nice person is. There’s a scary thought.

Nice people inspire me, they make me want to be nicer. I mean, have you ever thought, ‘I wish I was as a mean as them’? I do however meet people all the time who remind me of my shortcomings on the niceness front.  I’d like to think I am a nice person but possibly I would score ‘could do better’ if I was tested.   I have been known to be downright horrible.  Once I left a piece of paper with the word MURDERER written on a co-workers desk with my dead goldfish laying underneath.  I was his manager and he was in charge of Nemo’s well-being whilst I was out, was that workplace bullying? It wasn’t very nice.

In recent days I have been touched by the amount of nice people I know or have known.  I have been genuinely amazed by the amount of goodwill in phone calls and emails, my parents have been inundated with calls of support and concern, regardless of opinions and politics, people have been overwhelming lovely. I have also come across some not so nice stuff which has angered and upset me in equal measures. It’s my own silly fault for paying attention to it. I live in a country that just about everyone has an opinion on and after many years of being connected to Israel even before we moved here I should be used to it. I’m not.  I don’t personally represent Israel so please stop trying to goad me into arguing with you because I won’t.

I will however endeavor to be a nicer person and take heart in the nice people I meet, perhaps the leaders and politicians should take note and do the same, in the immortal words of the Beach Boys, ‘wouldn’t it be nice’.

Reasons to Celebrate #5: Love

Standard

It seems only fitting that while the world around me goes mad, I should remind myself of the reason I am here in the first place.  Love.  Yeah you can scoff, but as life ticks on its worth remembering, as da Vinci said, ‘Life without love is no life at all’.

Fifteen years ago in the Australian outback I met an Israeli boy.  He had long curly hair, a beard and a name we couldn’t pronounce.  I must admit when I first saw him I was not impressed.  I was waiting at the end of an airstrip in Borraloola in Northern Queensland and he was in the small 2-seater plane I was waiting for,  he was sitting in my seat. I sat in the rack with the vegetables for the hour flight back to the cattle station in the Northern Territory where I lived at the time.  I was not impressed.  He was very quiet on the flight back, in fact I am not sure he said a word, he just kept taking photos of the brown veined land below us. Turns out he has terrible motion sickness.

True to form the ageing pilot and owner of the cattle station had a sleep at the controls and I also dozed off.  After dodging the bush fire licking the end of the airstrip, we pulled the plane to its tin shack and got in the ute for the ride back to the homestead.  The next few days were tense as the fire threatened to encroach on the house and outbuildings and the Israeli boy spent much of his time outside bashing the sun burnt grass with the other farmhands.  He used to come into the big kitchen with the others, faces caked with soot, big white teeth smiling and twinkling blue eyes.  Danger averted we went back to our unusual form of normal and I discovered he had come to replace me as the cattle station cook.

I’d been at the station for a couple of months at this stage and wanted to continue my travels around Oz.  I was the station cook, which in itself is laughable because at this point I was just about capable of rustling up a spag bol.  Still, I was out for an adventure so had ended up in an area as big as Wales with nothing on it but a lot of dust, a cattle station, 40,000 head of cattle, an old fella and a few jackaroos (Ozzie cowboys).  Turned out this Israeli had thought the same, fancied an experience and with zero knowledge of how to cook – there are no pittas in the outback – had answered an ad in a backpackers to come out to nowheresville.

For a week we worked together, I showed him how to make Anzac biscuits and lemon meringue.  He showed me how to recognize the body parts in the briny bucket of offal we kept in the walk in fridge – brains anyone? He also peeled the tongue for me for which I will be eternally grateful.  He told me a bit about where he was from, his family and the army service he had just completed.  I was totally uneducated about Israel; I knew nothing.  A few days later and with a plan to meet at a later date and possibly travel together – he was planning to buy a car with a friend – I left.

It took me 4 days to get back to civilization as I had left via an upturned crate in the aisle of an OAP’s 4 wheel drive tour bus.  It was not a comfortable ride but to be honest I was just happy to be setting out on my next adventure.  At our first overnight stop he called the roadhouse to check I was OK.  Which was nice of him, if a little over friendly.

By the time I arrived in Cairns I was sporting a large lump on my arm.  The pensioners on the bus had all had a good prod at it and had come to the conclusion it was a spider bite and I should get it looked at.  Eventually, a week later in the rainforest, when my arm was swelling, I had a fever and red stripes on my arms did I go to a hospital.  I won’t go into gruesome details suffice to say they cut it out, stitched me up and I put my backpack back on and staggered to the nearest B & B to recover.  Before sleeping for 18 hours I called the cattle station to tell my new friend that I wouldn’t be in Cairns the following week as we’d tentatively agreed.

To be honest the whole arm thing was a bit troubling, I didn’t feel terribly well, I had my arm in a sling, I needed to get another job to get some more money together – the pittance I had earned at the cattle station had been all but spent by the unscheduled medical emergency. All plans to travel anywhere were on hold until I had recovered and earned some more money. One afternoon on returning from the job hunt to the backpacker’s hostel in Port Douglas, the guy on reception told me I had a visitor, and there he was; the wooly Israeli in his foreign looking sandals, eyes twinkling and white teeth smiling.

On hearing I was in the hospital he had left his job and persuaded a couple of pig hunters, who had stopped at the station to give him a ride as far as Normanton where they were headed.  At Normanton he got stuck for a day and a half as no-one would give him a ride apart from the local policeman; hitch hiking was not encouraged in those parts.  He eventually took a ride with a guy who took care of the remote railway lines.  The distances we are talking are quite unfathomable; it’s about 1200km from the cattle station to Port Douglas, where we met again.  Just to give you an idea that’s like driving from London to Barcelona, New York to Chicago but with more than half the way on dirt roads and it’s only in the last few hundred kilometres that you are back in civilization. He’d been hitch-hiking for 5 days. For me.

Fifteen years, three children and three countries later here we are; hearing the booms, watching the news, reassuring friends and family overseas, trying to act as if everything is normal.  It’s not normal, not in my understanding of the word, but much of our life together has not been normal either. I chose to come to Israel for love.  I’m not sure if at any point did I fully understand the implications of the decision, I still don’t.  I do however believe I am one of the lucky ones who has a life blessed with a really great, true love.

The Fear Factor

Standard

It’s not easy living here.  There are a million reasons why, if you’ve seen the news in the past few days you know one of them.  I am not political, I don’t think I am smart enough to understand the intricacies of the situation here.  What I do know is that I live here and sometimes I get scared.  Funny thing is, it’s actually not OK to be scared, if the rockets are not falling near you, if a member of your family or close friend isn’t in the thick of it, then you have to just get on.  Maybe its other’s bravado or maybe I am green and still don’t get that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the TV, either way I am sometimes a bit embarrassed of my fear.

In 2006 in the middle of the Lebanon war, my husband was a soldier and I was home alone.  It was a time before the childers, so it was just me and the dog at home.  In the middle of the night an alarm went off.  I was petrified, I couldn’t decide what to do first; get dressed, get under the bed, call someone, turn on the news, so I did 3 of the 4.  I called a friend who didn’t pick up, put some clothes on and turned the news on, all whilst sitting on the loo – now I understand the phrase sh*tting yourself.  I was frantically trying to remember where my husband had told me the safest place in the apartment was, I thought I had to get downstairs to the bomb shelter in the basement.

Just as an aside, as a middle England (some might say middle earth) girl, I am still surprised that I live in a place with its own bomb shelter and I have my own gas mask.

Anyway, the news was saying nothing, the siren was still blaring – how much of a warning do you get? –  I looked out onto the street, opened the apartment door; there was no-one in the stairwell, in fact there was just the siren and an eerie lack of movement.  Even in my panic I had remembered to put the dogs lead on (didn’t want him running into danger alone) and we sat, Jesse and I in the stairwell, cuddling, waiting to see what would happen.  I figured that geographically speaking, a bomb from Lebanon would come through the opposite wall and we were at least a little protected (because bombs can’t get through walls right?).

Then silence.  And more silence.  I went back into the apartment and checked the news.  Nothing.  As I came to my senses I realized that the siren didn’t sound like the practice siren I had heard, nor did it sound like the same siren that’s sounded out of respect on Remembrance Day or Holocaust Day.  In fact it sounded rather like a house alarm.  Oops.

That’s fear for you, it gets into your system and eats away at your subconscious so that rational thought (especially when half asleep) doesn’t have a chance to get in.  If it had really been a siren I did just about everything wrong anyway, apart from putting the dogs lead on of course.  I lived in Tel Aviv at that time which was by no means in real danger of being attacked – not so lucky those living further North.  18 months into living here and with a husband in real danger my brain just didn’t think straight.  I can laugh (a lot) about it now but at the time I didn’t tell anyone.  I was embarrassed by my unfounded fear and angry that I had been so ridiculous.

I can’t imagine how the people living with a real siren sounding many times a day, for weeks on end feel. Their fear is truly unimaginable. Let us all hope for a swift and peaceful solution as the situation once again heats up, that the normal people, like you and I, being targeted will soon see an end to their justified fear.

For myself and my family I hope that the next time I hear a siren it is as a mark of respect and not as a warning.

Last week a hoover saved my life

Standard

Age creeps up on you.  It manifests in the most unexpected ways.

My life has been changed by a hoover, well an electric Ewbank – remember them? No more down on the knees with a dustpan, the childers are now encouraged to make as much mess as they like, then they can whizz round Mummy’s new  toy and everything is spick and span.

The bigger problem now is how to stop the fight for whose go it is.  I always win.  My house has never been so crumb free.

Would I have cared so much even five years ago?  Is it the arrival of 3 kids in 2 short years that tipped me into old age or is it simply the fact that a household appliance has a greater worth when you reach 40?  Who knows.  Who cares.  This hoover is better than any fancy face cream, jewellery, fashion accessory or even new shoes (although only just). This hoover has truly changed my life.

And it would seem I am not alone http://housekeeping.about.com/od/productreviews/gr/SharkVX3.htm

Lady Shoes

Standard

What is it about women and shoes?  I’m seeing first hand how it begins, my 2-year-old daughter is already trying on every pair in the rack, actually my 2-year-old son wears flip-flops 2 sizes too big for him every day (and in bed)  and for his ‘at home’ look he wears a pair of silver wedges.  Damn, I’ve just ruined my own theory.  In general though (kids aside), a girl cannot get enough shoes.  I have had friends with trainer collections to rival P Diddy and have enough once worn heels in my cupboard to start an outlet, so I know I’m right.

There are a couple of reasons for the obsession.  Firstly, for women shoe sizes don’t change too much so if you are having a fat day your shoes will always fit and you don’t have to see yourself in the neon lit mirror in the changing rooms.  Secondly, shoes are one of the biggest statements you can make in an instant. I know, I read fashion magazines.  Nothing says I’m cool, successful, confident like the right pair of shoes. It works for men too; never trust a man in a pair of loafers, especially if he’s sockless.

I have a height problem.  I am too tall.   I know that loads of people think this is a good thing but when your husband is half an inch taller than you and all you friends, bar one is shorter, then flat shoes are the way forward, ho ho.  I do not like feeling like Herman Munster.  My gorgeous sister is at least 3 inches taller than me and has no problem sporting 3 inch heels but I jut can’t do it, much as I’d love to.  The giant feeling is not something I embrace so the many pairs of impulse buy heels I own come out of the cupboard before a night out, are tried on and then returned to the cupboard in favour of some flatties.

As a result of my tallness I have amassed quite a collection of flat shoes, mostly of the sportswear variety although as we know I don’t partake in sport.  A very good friend once gave me a piece of invaluable advice called the shoe trouser ratio; the bottom of your trouser must cover exactly the right amount of trainer for the look to work.  This principle also works for other shoes and boots and, I think, is something you should all be aware of.

So the question has to be at what point do we start wearing old lady shoes?  My fear being that one day I am 40 in a pair of high tops and the next I am sporting rubber soled foot gloves.   Maybe when you hit a certain age  you just don’t care anymore and just shop where all the other old ladies shop.  Hopefully it’s around age 85.  For now I am going to try to shake the heel phobia, start on a low half-inch and work up.  If time keeps passing so quickly I’ll be in the foot gloves phase and will have missed the opportunity to wear lady shoes.

New Shoes, Paulo Nutini http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmbUNF1Q4R8

Reasons to Celebrate #4: Musical Nostalgia

Standard

When the rain starts here every other song on the radio is about rain.  It’s a rare occurrence you see. It’s Raining Men, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head and Why Does it Always Rain On Me get a little repetitive so I was excited when I heard an old favourite  by a former heart-throb, Shakin’ Stevens.  Yes you heard right, there was a point when Shakin’ Stevens aka ‘Shaky’ was my schoolgirl crush (for those of you who are not familiar, think not terribly convincing 1980’s British  Elvis – OK that’s impossible; see picture attached.).

Between the ages of 9 and 11 I had a few crushes; Shaky, Limahl from Kajagoogoo, Adam Ant and all of Bucks Fizz. Oh come on, they were a good-looking foursome and Making Your Mind Up is a pop classic, isn’t it? Unluckily my taste in music hasn’t really ever progressed which is why I find myself humming along to One Direction and my favourite all time band is Take That, but that’s for another time.

Shakin’ Stevens singing It’s Raining is one of those songs that immediately whizzed me back on the nostalgia express to a time when I was 9 or 10 and thought I was oh so grown up listening to pop music.  To a time when the weekly church youth club, ‘Wednesday Welcome’, demanded at least two telephone conversations; Fame dress or ra-ra skirt, leg warmers or burgundy ribbed tights, or both…hmmm.  A time when knowing the names of the girls in Bananarama was must know information and little girls wanted to be Lady Diana (and look how that turned out).

When I was about 11 I went to a Bucks Fizz concert with my best friend.  I remember screeching with excitement when my Mum told me I was going. It was our first pop concert and my friend and I spent many hours discussing what outfit was suitable for such an auspicious occasion, I mean, what if they wanted us to go on stage with them?  The fact that we would be alone at the concert (none of the parents could hack listening to 2 hours of screeching 10 year olds and sugary pop music), was just the icing on the cake.  I settled on a maroon velvet pair of pedal pushers (remember them?), cream over the knee socks, a frilly blouse with puff sleeves (wanna be new romantic) and to top it all a fake fur jacket.  My mother had different ideas and sent me in a lemon t-shirt dress and white cardigan.  Thanks Mum, no I haven’t forgotten.  The highlight of the concert was when Bobby Gee sang Do You Think I’m Sexy and ripped his shirt off.  The crowd went wild, as did we, though I’m not sure if we knew why, children were more naive at 11 than they are now.

As I watched the wet motorway pass the other day and listened to It’s Raining I chuckled at my memories, then the needle scratched to an abrupt halt in my reminiscence; where is Shaky now?  Well Shaky is well on his way to being shaky now at 64.  He still performs apparently although I imagine he needs help up when he drops to his knees on stage.  I will stick to the memories rather than the reality and look for You Drive Me Crazy on You Tube.  Getting older does have its advantages; nostalgia is free and the nonsense of the 80’s provides plenty of guaranteed moments for cringing and chuckling in equal measure.

Shaky www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1DO1H09T4Y

Bucks Fizz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pACePi441ds