Did I Really Want One of Those? 14. Trick Stick

Baton twirling antics aplenty

06 January 2014: The kids are back in school. My daughter’s got cheerleading practice: not the best of things to do in winter, but her school thinks otherwise. I was reminded of my sister’s efforts at baton twirling to the soundtrack of Liquid Gold’s Substitute. It didn’t really work out, so much so that an Interlink bus from Altrincham Interchange to the Ice Rink was more seductive. What a lazy arse I was in my teens; I would think nothing of walking to Devonshire Road these days. Thankfully the present rink is a train stop away.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 13. Frosty Mug

Does this object really cut the ice?

05 January 2014, 9.30pm: Day One in the Big Brother house. Nessa is wondering who switched off the fridge freezer and is peeved at the prospect of lukewarm lager. Elsewhere, Roger says ‘could you drink this instead?’ [pointing to a bottle of Stockport’s finest]. Nessa says it is too warm as she realises that something else was stored in the fridge freezer besides her lager. Within moments, fellow housemate Samantha is seen with a frozen beaker.

Nessa cried ‘how did you do that when the freezer’s off?’

Samantha replied ‘I left this in the garage. Pretty parky out here.’

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 12. Neck Glass

Jewellery for wine lovers or forgetful drinkers

05 January 2014, 3.30pm: After a hard session on the Slimming Wheel, my partner fancied a 2008 Chardonnay which I won at a raffle in South Milford. It came from a Women’s Institute Beetle Drive, raising much needed cash for MacMillan Nurses. Then I found we were short of glasses. I suggested using one of four from our K-Tel Bottle Cutter. Or a frosted one which Auntie Norah gave me (my uncle won it on a Tombola at a beer festival in New Mills; the second prize was two of them).

In a desperate attempt, I tried the shed. Then I found this curio, whose last airing was in front of Nice Time or Do Not Adjust Your Set. I couldn’t imagine Germaine Greer, Denise Coffey or David Jason being seen with one of them… even in 1969.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 11. The Slimming Wheel

Who needs a gym subscription?

04 January 2014: My partner came home from The Trafford Centre at about 9.30 pm, and met up with some friends at The Mardi Gras before seeing a film. They were discussing New Year’s Resolutions and as to why The Greyhound in Partington went the way of the dinosaurs. In the former subject, they were discussing diets and gym subscriptions.

I was reminded of my mother’s attempts to fulfil her resolutions.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 10. Wash Balls

For whiter whites the ecological way?

03 January 2014: Woken up by my partner at 3.45am who in a dream was seen at the Gudrun Laundrette in Fallowfield. I was woken up to the strains of ‘Margaret: get me some Persil!’ and a loud scream. Probably from the Hot Apple Pie purchased at the DriveThru McDonalds a few doors away.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 9. The Bonny Boy Drinks Dispenser

Taking the…

02 January 2014: Lucky Scots, they’ve got an extra day off for New Year! Me, back to the grindstone. A quiet day, but just as I was about to tidy my desk a support call came to me at 5.28pm. He was on for a good 32 minutes talking about his Windows 8.1 installation. Yours truly, somewhat mad, was caught up on Stockport Road with assorted shoppers. Could have done with a stiff one, but Marple Fish Bar sufficed instead. Fish, chips, peas and the hot curry: priceless. No cooking for my partner: ditto the above.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 8. Smoking Donkey Cigarette Dispenser

Ass-pirational kitsch for the thinking fellow’s smoker.

01 January 2014: New Year’s Day, often a time to make resolutions. I remember how my parents gave up smoking in 1986. They said it was down to money. Perhaps it may have been a certain present I gave them the previous year.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 7. The K-Tel Bottle Cutter

New glasses from old.

31st December 2013: New Year’s Eve! I was having a real laugh with my children when I spoke to them about 1970s Stockport. I told them how on one occasion we ran out of glasses and used jam jars.

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 6. Rap’tou

Shredded knuckles? Moi? Non.

30th December 2013: Realised tomorrow we’d be having visitors on New Year’s Eve. Heck, this means buffets, cheesy pineapple sticks, vol au vents. (Holy Cack, I’m going all Abigail’s Party here before you could say ‘Demis Roussos’).

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Did I Really Want One of Those? 5. Ronco’s Record Vacuum

It sucks. Literally.

29th December 2013: Spent the best part of last week tidying up the loft. Found a strange brown contraption next to a little used Scalextric set, a few paintings, and about forty-five editions of Go Go County next a City programme signed by Paul Power, Alex Williams and Tommy Caton.

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