Indelible Links – June 30th, 2010

Cookie Monster: The Morning After.

After the soccer controversy.

Not quite so ‘Iron’ Man.

New Harry Pots Trailaaaah.

Naughty child.

Buzz Lightyear and Woody re-imagined.

We’ve Gone Viral! (in Japan)

Many of you may have seen this video:

It’s super cute and has just become my most viewed video (by about a hundred thousand). So that’s really cool!

Did I mention that they are predominantly in Japan? Turns out it has been posted on at least three big Japanese blogs.

The thing is, can it be classed as viral? Well definitions vary but this one seems to disagree:

I think you have the wrong definition of viral. Just because a video has a lot of views doesn’t mean it’s viral. Viral means that the video is posted everywhere to advertise/talk about it, whether it encourages you to or not. Obviously more views comes from this, but it’s possible to just have a video in one location with a lot of views and have it not be considered viral.

Whatevah.

Anyway, it’s cool because now I can sing this with Tom Waits:

“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #7 – Grandma

It surprises me really, that after doing this blog for almost a year now; looking back I can find no reference to a lady who despite not being around since 1999, had a great effect on my life.

  • Mornings

I’d wander down the green carpeted stairs, running my fingers along the textured wallpaper. It was early, and I would assume I was the only one awake. I’d push open the living room door only to find Grandma, sat on the sofa in her bright pink dressing gown, up before everyone; reading her Bible.

I’d watch her put on her makeup, the best bit was when she’d draw her eyebrows on, Dad said they’d disappeared in an operation and never grown back.

She had curlers in her light brown hair, which was always immaculate, once the curlers were out; I loved placing my hand softly on her head and bouncing it up and down gently, as if I was touching a cloud.

Time for breakfast. The only time we ever had those mini Kelloggs variety packs was round at Grandma’s . The first few days Coco Pops, Frosties and Ricicles would be eaten, then we were left with the strange ones like Corn Pops and those Loopy Loop things.

Sometimes I’d have honey on toast, Grandma would say, “Don’t tell Granfer you’ve eaten his honey!”

“Who’s been eating my honey?” Granfer would shout from the kitchen, to which I would giggle and grin cheekily.

  • Food

Food was always great in Cwmbran, and the best of all the food was jelly.

It was kept in their special fridge, which wasn’t a normal fridge because it was camouflaged. The fridge was with covered with a wooden door to match the drawers and cupboards. I’d never seen a wooden fridge before then, and never have since.

The jelly was strawberry red and was set in small silver bowls. Often, if I found a moment when no one was around, I’d sneak into the kitchen and open the fridge to see if Grandma had made us jelly this time, I never once remember finding a fridge bereft of wibbly wobbly delight.

  • Outdoors

One sunny afternoon me and Grandma went round the garden collecting snails. Every one we found we placed on the huge rock which sat on the left side, next to Granfer’s shed. Then we raced them and watched them make silvery trails all over the place.

I also loved the garden because of all the amazing ornaments and models scattered throughout; fisherman gnomes, frogs, squirrels and rabbits.

  • Indoors

If it was rainy outside we got to watch a video, the video. A wonderful recorded selection of cartoons from a lost age. Betty Boop, Felix the Cat and Popeye the Sailor.

The house was full of novelty toys which held an endless fascination for my young mind. I loved playing with a clockwork globe which played music as it slowly rotated.

The ornaments weren’t only in the garden, there were also plenty inside. There was a glass cabinet of crystal animals, which I loved staring at, but wasn’t allowed to touch.

There was a china model of a lady in a yellow dress dancing the flamenco, and my personal favourite; a model of an old grumpy Grandad, ironing his trousers.

She was the only person I’d ever known to have a musical doorbell, which played an assortment of nursery rhyme melodies when pressed.

At Christmas time, the house was sprinkled with cards and tinsel, but no tree. “Our house is too little for a Christmas tree.” She explained.

So they had a model of Father Christmas whose head would move from side to side as his arms flowed to the tune of carols played softly, he held a candle in his right hand that lit up and lit down continually.

  • Presents

December was always my favourite time of year, as it also held my birthday.

She’d plonk the bulky Argos catalogue in my lap and tell me to choose whatever I wanted. Limitless opportunities for imagination sat in those hours, in which I’d wonder what it would be like to have all the things I saw.

One Christmas, all the grandchildren got remote control cars. I being the oldest boy got the biggest and the best one of the bunch. A monster truck with flames painted on its side. It drove faster than anything and knocked down everything that got in its way.

remote control car control

  • Time to go home

When it was time to go home I could never quite believe it, I always had to stop myself from crying at the disbelief that time had gone so fast.

Before we left, Grandma would reach into her magic pot and pull out a packet of refreshers for me and my brother. This gesture always made the journey a lot easier.

She would give my Mum some pocket money for us. 50 pence a week for every grandchild, which adds up after a while. I just hoped we had enough to buy some more jelly.

“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #5 – Ricicles

I must have been about 5 years old, it was the school holidays and Dad had got up with us to give my Mother a lie in. Time for breakfast, which was brilliant because at that time we had one of my favourites in; Ricicles!

What a brilliant cereal! All the Snap Crackle Pop joy of Rice Krispies, but with a much higher sugar content; awesome.

I love it towards the end when you drink up the milk and it’s super sweet, and it doesn’t really matter that by now it looks kind of yellow.

I remember for a limited time, small marshmallow pieces were added to the cereal; that was definitely the closest British cereals have ever got to perfection. Why don’t they do the whole little dry pieces of marshmallow thing in any cereals anymore? People love it! I’m bored of hearing people going on about why America’s great because they have Lucky Charms. Surely there is a market in this country for just one cereal to contain those little lumps of joy! IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK?

I completely fell for all their marketing techniques as well, I genuinely felt like I had some sort of affinity with Captain Rik, like he was actually a friend of mine. Even though he was probably a graphics student’s summer project.

So there I sat, at the table looking down at my freshly prepared bowl, when suddenly I felt really sick. The very though of eating any Ricicles made me feel even worse.

“Dad, I feel sick”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I feel really sick.”

“Well, try and eat some cereal and see how you feel.”

“No! Please, argh!”

“Stop making a fuss.”

[Starts eating cereal]

Two minutes later:

I’ve never looked at Captain Rik in the same way since.

“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #4 – Foil

(BTW I know I haven’t blogged for at least a week which is never a good thing. I have been keeping myself busy with an interview or two, an 80th birthday party, a concert and other things.)

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Today I’m going to write shortly about foil. Why? Because I can.

  • Often, but not always, school packed lunch sandwiches were wrapped in foil. I always had ham and ketchup in my sarnies, if you’re interested. I liked it when they were wrapped in that beautiful thin sheet of aluminium, because that meant after eating I could fashion a sword/dagger out of it. I would pretend I was Robin Hood or Peter Pan or just a cool guy with a shiny knife.

  • Foil is also good when you’re bored, especially if you’ve got a Kit Kat handy. Firstly take off the bright red paper cover, then you are left with a foil covered block of chocolate. I would press down the foil on the top so you can see the imprint of where it says “Have a break / Have a Kit Kat”. Sometimes I would press my fingernail into the middle groove and rip the foil down the middle and snap at this point, but that wasn’t really my scene. I usually tried not to rip the foil as I slowly undressed my chocolate, then laid the foil out flat. Now obviously the joy of a Kit Kat is in the eating:
  1. Snap it in half.
  2. Bite the chocolate off each end.
  3. Now the hard & messy bit. Nibble off the chocolate from the sides and the top, until you are left with two bits of wafer.
  4. Go round everyone in your class shouting “Look! Look what I done!”

  • Running your fingernail across the foil, until it becomes all flat and creaseless, is also very satisfying.
  • I remember the 1998 Blue Peter ‘New Future Appeal’ for Schools in Mozambique. One had to collect all sorts of aluminium, cans and foil and stuff; that was cool.

Talking of Blue Peter appeals, I remember back in 1996 when they did the ‘LEPRA Leprosy: Brazil & India Appeal’, I had a Bring & Buy Sale in my garden. I felt really important.

Check out that totaliser!

I really liked Stuart Miles, he was cool.

  • Has anyone had that thing when you put some foil in your mouth (for some stupid reason) and if you have fillings (for some stupid reason) you get the strangest tingling sensation in your jaw. Very strange.
  • Foil was introduced to Chocolate Advent Calenders about halfway through my childhood, it used to be a thing only the expensive ones had, like an extra gimmick which meant you had to pay an extra quid for it. They all have it now.

That’s about all I got. This is quite interesting:

Video: ‘No, Mr. President’ – a powerful answer to abortion.

I am fully aware that the readers of this blog are divided on this crucial issue. Everyone should watch this video to the end, post your views in the comments if you feel it necessary.