So off on annual leave for three weeks and I am not planning to blog all that much over the holidays from today, that will keep a lot of people happy lol, so I thought I would revisit this post of some old memories from December 2018, and update. I was 50 then, 54 now, I genuinely never even thought I would make it this far, sadly a couple of my friends from the ’80s didn’t due to drugs and mental health issues. So anyway does any of this still hold sway or has my mind changed.
Dundee Football Club – My first two football heroes back in 1979 when I started to go to see the mighty Dees. Billy Pirie scored 91 goals in 112 games, the man is a legend and up there with Tommy Coyne for me. Jimmy Murphy, played on the wing, quick as, 99 games and 12 goals. Still a huge DFC fan but to be honest I am actually not a huge football fan, well obviously lol, the only reason I take an interest is the mighty Dees. My favorite Dundee player of all time remains Jim Duffy though, best central defender ever in my opinion.
Best Comic Ever – Roy of the Rovers remains my favorite comic and annual every year when I was growing up and I still have about 12 of the annuals in the house, about 200 of the comics, and I still read them lol. My favorite stories were Roy of the Rovers and Durrell’s Palace. I am actually reading the whole Durrell’s Palace story on Comic Net just now when I have a chance and I still love it. This was a time when comics were proper comics and not the computer crap you get now. Christmas morning though and getting the Roy of the Rovers Annual was a real highlight for me it really was. Also got Warlord and the Victor Annuals but only really read the sports stories and not really the war ones, Tough of the Track is a particular favorite.
Sweets and selection Boxes – Parma Violets, not everyone’s cup of sweets but I loved these as a kid and still buy a sneaky wee packet now and again. In fact, I bought a few yesterday and shared them with my oldest son (28) who also loves them lol. Other favorites included a mars bar (frozen), smarties, and my Mum used to make tablet (how we survived those days is beyond me lol) I still like tablet now and again, and an empire biscuit. We used to always get the selection box above or similar, I hated toffos with a vengeance and my brothers would never swap only agree to take mine off me lol.
When the hamper arrived – Christmas Hamper, you knew it was getting close when your Mum opened up the hamper. I always went for the pickles, I know weirdo child. I remember the excitement of the hamper, I think my Mum and Dad paid a little each week over the year as we didn’t really do debt, my Dad always said we were too poor to have debt, a lesson that has stayed with me my whole life so thanks Dad, you were a wise man indeed and taught us subtle lessons that we never forgot. I remember thinking much of it was exotic, but that was really because we couldn’t afford many of the things in it throughout the year.
My first real album – Was Queen’s greatest hits album, I got this from my older brother even though I was never a huge Queen fan but this was a brilliant album and I played it about 10 times the day I got it. Probably why my Mum can’t stand them now lol and she is in her 80s. It is still a good album but they were always a singles band for me, even to this day. Duran Duran and Blackmore’s Rainbow remain my favorite bands but to be fair I like a lot of different kinds of music from pop to punk, I was never precious about it, if I liked it I liked it, end of.
Circling the Guide – Fighting over the Radio Times, we all had different colored pens to circle what we wanted to watch never really sussing out we watched what my Dad wanted to watch either way lol. I liked Morecambe and Wise as I watched it with my Dad and never really got the jokes, the Generation Game with Larry Grayson, I loved this as a kid. I obviously never understood how close to the bone his jokes were but I would always watch this at Christmas, it was so funny. Dr. Who when it was on, the Darts if that was on, The Snowman, and Top of the Pops of course.
The Concrete Jungle – Whitfield, where I grew up. I left in 95 and while it doesn’t look anything like this now, most of the old skarne blocks are gone, overall I have many happy memories of being from Whitfield. It was a hard place, but mostly a good place with some decent people, some really nasty ones too lol. It was regarded as the worst housing scheme in the UK at one point and it possibly was but I never really thought about it in that way, it was where I was from, and even though I have not lived there for nearly 30 years it will always be where I’m from.
What was that about? For some strange reason that my Mum has never explained to me we used to always get an apple and an orange in a sock at Christmas, what kind of cruel present is that. I think my parents were taking the piss.
It’s all so tacky now – Dundee City Square in the early ’80s. The transformation of Dundee in recent years has been welcomed but I still prefer the tree in its old place in front of the Caird Hall. I don’t go into the City very often other than a walk to work, but I used to love the trip down from Whitfield to go and see the tree and do a little shopping if we had any money, it was Thatcher’s 80s, and we didn’t have much, no one did. Christmas in Dundee as far as what is on offer now hasn’t been good for many a year now, it is all so tacky and pretty rubbish, to be honest.
The Toys – When Toys were made to last. Here are a few of my favorites from the late 70s and early 80s. don’t have them now sadly but I did pick up an
original version of Yahzee a few months ago and when my daughter comes to stay overnight to make a meal and catch up we always have a game and we both really enjoy it, maybe it’s just spending time together. My brother used to always kick my arse at this game but when I think back he was cheating, I’m going to ask him on Christmas day lol.
Anyway just a few memories from my past and please have a good day if you can, remember the little things matter like your children, your siblings, your family, special friends (their dog), and being together if you can.
My folks did the apple and orange in a sock thing too. We usually got a coin of some denomination at the toe end and a chocolate bar of some sort too. We must have been posh! I think it was a nostalgia thing for them, what they’d have got themselves as weans. My Mum was from Dundee!
The Orange and Apple and coin in a sock was standard fare. We also got school stuff like crayons and erasers. Growing up after the deprivation of WW2 these were luxuries. I came to Oz in 1980 and one of the first things I did was to go to the fruit market and buy a ton of various fruits, then I went home and ate the lot. So sick.
Not a fruit fan, never have been to be honest. I must admit when I think back and the older I get I prefer the simplicity of the past I’m so many ways. I feel for young people today, they really get to be young people and with all the modern gadgets there is no longer the things like sitting in front of the tv on Christmas Day waiting for a programme to start.
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It must have been a tradition thing, killer for me was I never really liked fruit. I still don’t.
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