The garden is a great trigger for childhood memories. Working in the shed yesterday took me back to my Taid’s (Welsh for grandfather) shed. He also had two sheds, although his bottom shed was more of a workshop.
The smell of the Jeys Fluid took me to the house I was born in.
Today though, the memories were sparked by a ladybird.
I think you mark off the various stages of your life by the clothes you wear. Early years, handmade bonnets and cardigans. Maybe a pair of mittens now and again.
Then, for me at least, it was all about Ladybird clothes.
Downstairs the shop was an Aladdin’s Cave of hardware stuff, from steel wool to shoe polish. The shop had the smell of paraffin, which carried onto Mr MacFarlanes mobile shop.
Upstairs in the shop (not the van) they sold children’s clothes, namely Ladybird* stuff.
Stuff of legends
Mother used to dress me and my brother the same. There’s 18 months between us, but people used to think we were twins. I seem to think we were quite happy to play along for the extra ‘ahh’ factor.
We have an older brother, quite a bit older actually. I used to tell people he was my Dad. Girls on the beach used to think he was someone famous. I think it must have been the Ladybird bikini he wore.
So as a child, I’d always have at least one item of Ladybird clothing on and a pair of Clark’s shoes on my feet.
Once I moved from the Ladybird phase, I was a young man at C&A. I remember buying a pair of parallel trousers, a yellow shirt with a penny collar and some platform shoes from there for a Friday night school disco.
I so wanted to ask a girl for a dance, but didn’t have the courage. Finally it was the last dance and I can only presume that the cola had gone to my head and I asked her. She said that I should have asked earlier as she had to leave right away. “I’ll phone you”, she said.
I worried all night, and the next day, and the next in case she did actually ring and my mum or dad answered. I actually contemplated cutting the phone line.
She never did ring and we only ever exchanged polite hellos at school. I never went to another school disco.
So my clothing life continues. I’ve been through the River Island and Next stage and I’m now mostly wearing Marks and Spencer.
They say that eventually you revert to your childhood, so perhaps I should be checking out this Ladybird book.
Stay smart and stay safe.
*According to an uncredited entry on Wikipedia; “The name “Ladybird” was bought by Adolf Pasold & Son for just £5 from the Klinger Manufacturing Company because, according to legend, company founder Johannes Pasold had seen a ladybird in a dream when first starting the family firm in the 18th century.”