Since I turned 50, I’ve occasionally found my thoughts turning back towards my childhood and adolescence. I’ve no idea why – my parents are both dead, I’m estranged from my biological family and have no childhood friends around to make me think of those times. Maybe I’m being a good Jungian and ‘looking inward’, or maybe I’m just finding out what nostalgia is all about. Who knows.
One thing that has kept popping back in to my mind over the last few years – and I have no idea why – was 4-30pm, Sunday afternoons. After dinner (we ate at about 3pm on Sundays) my mum would be tidying around and my dad would go for a lie down. I would be playing / experimenting / reading in my hobby-room (I grabbed the small box room) and once my dad was ensconced in his bedroom he’d turn on his radio (the Ekco set I mentioned ages ago in this post) and out would come the sound of the opening music for the Radio 2 program ‘Sing Something Simple’. 30 minutes of vocal harmonies with piano and accordion accompaniment. Rather than try and explain it, I point you to this site where the show is described.
I didn’t like it much then – it was a staple of my childhood and teenage years, and for me the saving grace was that after it the chart show was broadcast – and I have seen the show described as ‘audio chloroform’. But, my father would hum along, and even now I can remember the songs and so it must have insinuated itself in to my head.
Sunday afternoon was an odd time for me – I guess an odd time for any schoolchild – it’s the last bit of freedom before you go back to school on Monday. ‘Sing Something Simple’ was sort of the start of Sunday evening – after that program would come the chart show, which I’d listen to whilst doing whatever tinkering I was doing, but I have to say that I don’t recollect the chart programmes as much as the Cliff Adams Singers these days!
Somewhere during the chart show would appear Sunday Tea – usually sandwiches, cake, etc. spread out on the living room table. You’d get what you wanted and sit in the living room eating up.
After the chart show – around 7pm – would be Sunday Evening Bath time. Again, odd memories. Sometime in my childhood / teens I started reading in the bath, but the main thing I remember from my baths as a child was the long handled scrubbing brush (backs for the use of) which was in the form of a pale green, plastic, long tailed fish. And there was a ‘thing’ that contained the soap, flannel, scrubbing brush, whatever that rested on the edges of the bath tub across the bath itself. I think it also ended up containing toy boats when I was REALLY small.
And after bath it was get dry in front of the fire….and funnily enough, I don’t remember much after that.