Lots of pages have popped up on Facebook recently with little nuggets of nostalgia from when I was a kid. I think it is always nice to look back at the past and remember those things which at the time either mortified you or made your heart swell to the size of a balloon. So I have put my thinking cap on, and I must admit it has gotten quite snug, and I have gathered some of the things that I remember from my childhood.
One of the strongest glues bonding Irish children of the 80s is the TV show Glenroe.
Every Sunday night without fail the strains of the end credits sent fear deep into our hearts. It meant two things.
2. School in the morning.
Every Sunday night my brother, sister and I would scramble to start making our school lunch as soon as we heard the music just so we could have a few more coveted minutes before the inevitable march up the stairs.
I loved Sunday night television. Before Glenroe there was another TV show that I adored. It was called Where in the World. I credit it with giving me my travel bug. Watching it now it is a bit twee but oh how I loved it as a child!
Other TV favourites included:
I remember my Da in particular loved Kevin, he was the kid who did the quizzes and pronounced 'five' as 'fyove'.
I loved Pajo. Especially when he lived on the boat and possibly had a green frog?
Which then became The Den
I loved watching Don Conroy draw. I was never able to do it as well as he did but I loved it!
and of course, if you are going to talk about kids TV you have to mention the main man himself. Bosco
For those of you who do not know Bosco, he is a national treasure. So much so that when he was kidnapped it became big news across the country as his kidnappers sent photos of him from landmarks around the world. (Please note that this was long before Amelie and the gnome).We went to see him live if we were luck enough and some of us (yes me!) love him so much that we have dressed up as him on occasion...
Christmas time is always a wonderful time but as a kid it has that little more umph to it. In Ireland there is a wonderful tradition in the end of November called the Late Late Toy Show. This show is one of the only three times that the kids of Ireland can stay up past bedtime. Words alone cannot describe the joy this show bring to children. The best I can come up with is, 'Imagine if Willy Wonka were to own a toy factory' and that is pretty much the Toy show. It also had the wonderful phrase "And there's one, for everyone in the audience".. it was stuff dreams were made of! Here, have a look...
Can you remember your Christmas gifts from your youth?
The one that stands out most to me was a magnetic doll house called Precious Places
I frickin loved it.
The other one I really remember is a book. It was a collection of all Laura Ingalls Wilder's novels about growing up at the end of the 19th Century.
I lost it but hopefully I will come across it again.
If you happen to see a copy please, let me know!
The two other books I adored growing up were
I still have Bread and Sugar and I do actually read it every now and then!
I also loved an annual I had, it was from a show on RTÉ called Fortycoats
He (Fortycoats) had two companions, Sofarsogood and Slightly Bonkers. I have searched high and low for this annual but it is lost with nostalgia I fear. I remember it being really witty.
Oh! I nearly forgot!
I mentioned earlier that the Late Late Toy show was one of three occasions where we were allowed to stay up past our bedtime. Let me share the others.
And this one is huge because it is a two day event.
It is the Rose of Tralee.
Now, there will be quite a few of you out there reading this who are wondering 'what the heck is the Rose of Tralee'. In a nut shell, it is a beauty pagent, Irish style. Oh yes. Such a thing does exist.
There are escorts for the Roses, naturally
The girls have an interview with the host (who if not a national hero in his own right is very much loved by all the grannies across the nation)
and then they have a talent segment.
Let me share some of those talents with you...
(watching is highly recommended)
and how about this one...
The show always finishes with the winner being serenaded the song 'Rose of Tralee'.
You've come this far, you may as well have a listen...
The other sleep depriving event is one shared with children across Europe. It is of course, the one and only Eurovision. The 90s was the decade where we ruled the Eurovision roost. It was not only an entertainment show, it was how we learnt to count to twelve in French. Irlande douze points! Alas, it has gone downhill from there, but who can forget this great Eurovision moments?
Naturally, childhood can't be all TV and books... there is that blasted interference called school.
Well, we had a great range of characters back in those days: Ann, Barry, Mammy, Daddy, Rírá, Lúlú, Bran, Pól Peist, Áine Asal... the list was long...
Remember these guys?
and finally, the thing that reminds me most of growing up in the 80/early 90s
I know there is loads missing. Perhaps I will do a part two at some stage.
What are your memories?