As a child growing up in Wales, Christmas was my favourite time of year. My brother Andrew is three years younger than me, so we had to share our ‘big’ presents (big meaning most expensive) with each other. I remember us having a tape recorder between us one year, and having our friends around to record on it. The machines in those days (the 1970’s) had a little microphone on a stand, and you had to press the two ‘record and play’ buttons together. We all had to be very quiet, as the player would record all the sounds in the room – I can still remember a bunch of normally rowdy kids hunched over this little machine in my tiny bedroom! And don’t forget the dog squashed into the middle of us…!
We were the first family in our street to have a colour TV. We felt like the ‘poshest’ of kids. The other kids in the street used to sit around our TV after school. In those days the telly had a knobs to control sound, brightness etc (the days of remote controls were well into the future). We used to watch the children’s programmes in colour, but then change it back to black and white, and then back to see the contrast, and to marvel at the technology of it all! One of our ‘big’ presents that year was a black and white portable TV that us siblings had to share – wow, the arguments over who was to have that present in their room at any one time! I still recall the tensions.
The best part of Christmas was having our own presents. I remember the joy of my first typewriter, and trying not to make any mistakes on it – otherwise, out came the tippex! When I think of those old means of communicating, I realise how much further we have travelled in communicating with each other – and how easier it is. I remember carefully threading the ribbon through the top of my typewriter, then typing across the page as neat as I could (without having any ink ‘shadows on the page), and pulling the handle to go omto the next page – those were the days. I went to a craft fair recently and one of the stalls has antique items, including typewriters, and old typing keys – I felt as old as the antiques they were selling!
As I got into my teens, my love for books grew stronger, and my greatest joy at Christmas was in having girly annuals such as Jackie, Girlfriend, and Blue Jeans. Just give me a bag of sweets and an annual and you wouldn’t hear a peep from me! I was also a big fan of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers series, so they would nicely lead well into the New Year. As I got older, I loved those CS Lewis books, and was heavily into music and loved the music books, such as Smash Hits – I has a huge pile of them in my wardrobe. My love of reading started in my younger days, and has taken me through teens, and adulthood.images