Did I Really Want One of Those? 24. Dancing Flowers

Acceptable in the 1990s – even Andi Peters had one in the Broom Cupboard

16 January 2014: “Woke one morning half asleep/With all my blankets in a heap...” – the opening lines of The Move’s song reminded me of something I remembered seeing in my office. They were truly overhyped to high heaven and seldom danced to anything other than Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers’ greatest hits.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 23. The Cascade Cassette 50 Compilation

50 games, and a calculator watch for £9.99?

15 January 2014: Continuing the subject of electronic atrocities, I was taken aback by my youngest child’s reaction when I brought my Commodore 64 downstairs from the attic. She asked:

‘Where’s the mouse?’
‘Try under the floorboards’ I flippantly said.
‘Strange USB port’ she replied ‘And what do you call this? How do you load a game?’

She was somewhat mystified by the vagaries of the C2N Datasette which I pointed to, and the selection of cassettes. She chose Turbo Outrun. Bad move I thought, especially that horrific multiload. Still better than Fido on Firebird’s Don’t Buy This compilation though.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 22. Big Mouth Billy Bass

‘In the morning, laughing happy fish heads…’

14 January 2014: Cooker went on the blink. Yours truly had to make a brief sortie to the Marple Fish Bar. Happy days; mine’s haddock, chips, peas and their hottest curry!

Then my youngest one asked a question: ‘why do you never see singing fish?’ She has yet to see Walt Disney’s version of The Little Mermaid. Nor some contraption I bought at The Gadget Shop.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 21. Mr Microphone

Wired for sound

13 January 2014: In the attic, I stumbled upon a Piccadilly Radio annual and on reading Tom Tyrrell’s writings, remembered one thing when I was years away from taking my ‘O’ Levels. As a Manchester United fan, I wanted to be the next Tom Tyrrell. Sometime between Play Guitar With Ulf Goran (us Granadaland residents had to wait another year for TISWAS, and my pen pal from Lichfield used to make me jealous about it till 1979), I saw an advertisement which meant one small step toward being paid to watch Manchester United. Or being thrown out of Stamford Bridge by Ken Bates and having to commentate on a mobile phone.

Needless to say, I mithered my parents for this. Instead they got me an Alba tape recorder with a proper microphone. Probably a much better move. Plus I never got my tapes back from Piccadilly Plaza, only a rejection letter and a The Bradshaws cassette.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 20. Ronco’s Space Invasion LP

A Spaceman Came Travelling…

12 January 2014: Stayed too long at The Armoury and made the mistake of taking part in karaoke. Thought it was a good idea to sing Ph.D’s 1982 classic I Won’t Let You Down. They didn’t have in their folder, so I settled for a Chris de Burgh song instead.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 19. I’m In The Mood T-Shirts

If an enlarged picture paints a thousand words

11 January 2014: At The Armoury this afternoon I was talking about fashion disasters with my younger brother. I mentioned the Ra-Ra skirt a one time girlfriend of mine wore. Then he mentioned the Skouser. I shot him down with another one. He thought I had partaken too many pints of Trooper till I showed him the picture on my smartphone.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 18. The E-Z Tracer

If an enlarged picture paints a thousand words

10 January 2014: Just realised how useless my drawing abilities were when my youngest child wanted me to draw an elephant.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 17. The Barcode Battler

Beanz Meanz Gamez

09 January 2014: I blame Lana Del Ray! Today’s earworm was Video Games. I was talking to my children about games like Pac Man, Space Invaders and Jet Set Willy. They didn’t believe how it took 14 minutes to load a simple platform game. Then I told them about this gaming system which didn’t use cartridges, cassettes or floppy discs. They were in stitches.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 16. The Smokeless Ashtray

A relic from 1981 BeC

08 January 2014: My sister has decided to give up smoking as her New Year’s Resolution. Not quite. She’s got one of them eCig thingies. The choice of e-liquids are enough to put a school dinner menu to shame. When my mother tried to give up smoking, she appreciated how clean the house was without the fug of Silk Cut or Superkings. Then she returned to the ciggies, so we had a compromise. A trip to Woolworths in Stretford Arndale solved that.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 15. Whistle Key Ring

Dude, Where’s My Car Keys?

07 January 2014: Had a right time and a fifth trying to find my car keys. When I passed my driving test, I could find the keys to my Ford Escort by whistling It’s A Sin or Lovely Day. Now I wonder what happened to the key ring I used to have? I think I threw it out because the tune was most irritating. Or they fell in a grid when I tried to swap it for a Mortgage Point (745 9494) key fob near Stretford Arndale.

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