Nostalgic witterings

December 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

When I was growing up in the 1960’s one of my favourite children’s television programmes under the ‘Watch with Mother’ banner was The Woodentops, narrated by a velvet voiced man whom I mistakenly thought was Oliver Postage. I loved the familiarity and safety of the idyllic farm family setting with legendary spotty dog.
Each episode began with the introduction;

‘This is a story about the Woodentops.
There was Mummy Woodentop and the baby and
Daddy Woodentop.
And then there were Willie and Jenny, the twins.
And Mrs Scrubit who comes to help Mummy.
And Sam who helps Daddy Woodentop.
And last of all, the very biggest spotty dog you ever did
And they all live together in a little house in the country’

There was a delicious certainty that when the immortal words ‘and there we must leave them’ were spoken at the end of every episode, we knew that we would return the next day and everything would be just as we left it. Nothing bad ever happened to the Woodentops.


This is the essence of nostalgia – the whole ‘rose tinted glasses’ theory and exactly why listening to David Cassidy singing ‘How Can I be sure’ transports me right back to being on the verge of teenage-hood, dewy eyed and practising kissing the picture of my idol and his horse, blue tacked to my bedroom wall; a Jackie magazine centrefold circa 1973. I was secretly looking at the boys at school and none of them matched up to my ideal boyfriend – a David Cassidy lookalike, preferably with own horse (none of my peers had access to horses any more than I did). I was in love with the idea of being in love.

How can I be sure?

Jump ahead a few years and ‘Angie’ by the Rolling Stones and ‘Nights in White Satin’ by the Moody Blues will always transport me back to Whyteleafe Youth Club in St Luke’s Hall on a Friday night; we were about 14 or 15 and had friends’ dads take it in turns to pick us up, sweaty and emotionally exhausted after we had gyrated to the likes of Mud, Alvin Stardust and Status Quo with lots of glitter in our eyeshadow and platform shoes which we could barely stand up in, let alone dance and certainly not walk up the hill afterwards. I remember the lecture by deputy head Mrs Reay at de Stafford School – ‘wearing high shoes tilts your womb’ but I wasn’t thinking about motherhood or even avoiding it at this stage in my young life. I don’t recall any alcohol being involved but perhaps the occaisional puff of a Players No. 6 and a telltale over indulgence of Polo mints. The aforementioned ‘slowies’ were our favourite ‘ladies excuse me’ requests, when the interior flashing coloured traffic lights were dimmed and an opportunity was presented for the brave girls to pounce on the spotty youths in their drainpipe jeans as they hugged the walls of the small dingy hall. These dances signalled the end of the evening and we would emerge doe-like in the dazzling headlamps of the anxious dads waiting outside in their Allegros to whisk us home to safety where we in turn would dream of being whisked off our feet by Donny Osmond, a Bay City Roller or in my case the beautiful David Cassidy on horseback and gallop away from semi detached suburbia to some ranch somewhere.


I believe in Father Christmas

All time favourite Christmas record? Without a doubt Greg Lake’s ‘I believe in Father Christmas’ and no, I have no idea who I danced with. It amuses me that the old Christmas songs of the 70’s and 80s are still so popular with the youth of today. Is there a memorable Christmas song from the last 30 years or so? Nothing to compare to the likes of Slade, Wizard, Paul McCartney and Wings, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Jonah Lewie, Jethro Tull, John Lennon and so on – not in my humble rose tinted opinion anyway:D


Entry filed under: entertainment, music. Tags: , , , , , , .

Saturday October 14, 11:00am: The Secret Adventures of Rolo – book signing with Debi Evans (& Rolo the dog) Rolo the paparazzi pupsey

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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