A One In Six Chance

iciclesMid-February!

On the other side of the window, icicles, and beyond them, the children’s playground, white and desolate.

Old George shivers. He longs for spring, for crab apple blossom and tulips.

IMG_3433He longs for summer, for hot blue skies, for dahlias and peonies, for dragonflies, and ice cream cones that you have to eat fast, before they melt, for the shrieks and laughter of the kids playing on the swings and slides and splashing in the wading pool.

The pool!

Instantly he thinks of typewriters and young women.

Specifically, of the young women in ‘the pool’ as they called it in those days. ‘Girls.’ That’s what they were then.

Long ago, yes, but he still remembers lifting the receiver of the black phone, waiting for the dial tone, listening for a moment to the muffled laughter and clacking typewriters at the other end, then saying those magic words Continue reading

Thanks For The Memories: Saying Goodbye To Our 1970s TV Set

IMG_8261It’s time to say goodbye to our 1970s television set!

The tv was a hand-me-down in the 1990s from friends who were leaving Canada to work overseas. “It’s on its last legs,” they warned us. “It’ll conk out any moment.”

But it still works in 2015! No zapper to turn it on or off though. Someone has to get up and pull the knob.

I’ll admit it’s difficult to watch a hockey game on it but it’s an old friend and I have a very soft spot for it.

Probably because it reminds me of my first experiences of television.

My family didn’t have a television but our next door neighbors in the small English village where we lived invited us over once a week to watch “Dixon of Dock Green,” a series about a kindly London copper.

We kids would sit on the floor, backs against the sofa or parents’ legs, trying to keep quiet so we’d be invited back the following week.

The curtains were drawn closed. The lights were turned off, the tv on. We wriggled into more comfortable positions. Then right there in our neighbours’ living room, in glorious techi-black-and-white, was Constable Dixon, hand raised to his “bobby’s” helmet, greeting us: “Evening all.” Even now I can reproduce the exact tone of “Evening all”.

An hour later we’d call out our goodbyes and thank yous, stepping into the dark. My mother’s geese would wake up and rush towards us as we ran the ten or twelve paces to our own door, stretching their necks across the path and hissing at us.

One hour a week of tv! What a treat it was! Oh, the deliciousness of living someone else’s story!