Thursday, 31 May 2012


"Rosebud is the emblem of the security, hope and innocence of childhood, which a man can spend his life seeking to regain. 
It is the green light at the end of Gatsby's pier; the leopard atop Kilimanjaro, seeking nobody knows what; the bone tossed into the air in 2001."  
Robert Ebert

Here's an interesting one.
I recently posted this in conversation with Toronto Tim regarding Paul Buchanan's 'Mid Air':

"For me, that's what's potent about Buchanan's writing TT; he details the concerns of man; seen and recognised by a worldly man; then a revelation will be qualified with a small 'child's eye' detail'; a red car in the fountain, christmas tree lights; starlight in a suitcase. Is he dreaming; pining for the safe harbour of childhood, or using signifiers that help him to decipher to confusions of the adult world? 
I suspect that Buchanan has a 'Rosebud' or two in his attic... don't we all?
Mine's a Blue Tractor. 
What's yours?"

Anyone who's seen the film 'Citizen Kane' will be familiar with idea of 'Rosebud'
In the film Kane's last word is "Rosebud"; one of the themes of the film is the search for the meaning of that word. This itself is a symbol of lost childhood; a cherished memory of an object that signifies or embodies lost youth.

So, I ventured a blue tractor (it's a long story).
Toronto Tim gave me an enigmatic list:

- Mickey Mouse "ears"
- Eskimo Pies
- Dad's tree hammock
- Mom singing "Amazing Grace" 
- Pop-Tarts!

I feel a 'list song' coming on.
Why not join in below; give me your 'Rosebuds'.
You don't need to qualify or explain them; although you can if you'd like...
Here's a chance for you to have a childhood memory captured forever in a chart topping pop song...


  1. Mum singing "You are my Sunshine"
    Orange spacehopper
    Red ballet shoes
    'Cheadle baths' with Dad every Sunday
    Blanket tents in the garden
    Chips 'n' Gravy

    1. Di, you need to explain this happy orangy fixation to Trevor. There's you with your orange spacehopper with an ecstatic face on it and me with my smiley-faced Hoveringham lorry. Apart from the massive difference in carbon footprint, there must be a common link :-)

  2. Bright orange Hoveringham lorries
    Crisps with blue salt packets
    Bubble Cars
    Indian Roller birds
    My mum collecting washed up paper nautilus
    1950 Sanderson curtains in Bahrain
    My dad's use of only fourth gear
    Canada Dry Vanilla Cream Soda
    Palm hearts

    That's a few of mine,

    1. Issy, I get the crisps, bubble car and 4th gear pater; the rest must feature in some parallel universe unbeknown to me.
      Indian Roller birds?
      Sanderson curtains?

    2. Okay; sit down, relax and I'll explain.....
      Bright orange Hoveringham lorries. When young, I was initially frightened of the massive juggernaughts that seemed to tower threateningly over me. That is until my mother told me to look at the fronts and imagine faces. Hoveringham Gravel Company were noted for their bright orange lorries, mainly Foden S21s, which I felt had wonderful smiley faced cabs. After that I found a great fondness for them, much to my girlfriend's amusement nowadays when a bout of teasing is on the books!

      Indian Roller Birds were a common sight in Sharjah where I spent many of my teenage poetry-penning years, and, as with many of life's great adapters, generally much maligned, I find them fascinating and worthy of respect.

      When we moved from Nigeria to Bahrain in my earlier years, we inherited a house that could well have been a Sanderson showroom for the acres of curtain fabric with which it was imbued. As the curtains were gradually replaced, so my mother's wardrobe of Sanderson dresses increased. Both my mother and that house were anchors to me, and the fact they shared this fabric in common helped create an air of wellbeing and safety in my young deluded mind.

      My mother (mmm! another common theme here!) was an avid collector of shells from the shoreline. When we first went to the Emirates well before the building boom, the beaches had some beautiful shells, the most prized for her being the paper nautilus. I remember vividly her joy each time she found one in good condition. This joy was so infectious that I would pray she would find one just to bask in that moment of undiluted happiness.

      Canada Dry Vanilla Cream Soda reminds me of pre-teens in Bahrain; simple joys amidst dark moments within my mind.

      Palm hearts - just love them. Salivate at the thought of them covered in squeezed lemon. I'm such a cheap date!

      That's it, if you haven't nodded off already. And, before you ask; no, I didn't collect numbers of lorries in a logbook, although sadly I can give you facial moods of anything from an AES Mammoth to a Guy Invincible!

    3. Excellent; love the image of your mum shrouded in the fabric of the house...
      I think that you might be a verse and a chorus Issy...
      ... although making faces from Foden S21s... now, what rhymes with 'anorak'?

    4. Trevor, I defy you not to look upon this photograph and not feel a lightness of heart:-

      Now, what rhymes with 'anorak'? I did work for Tarmac for a period and can I tell you a thing or two about the facial expressions of their lorries! Perhaps over a decent Malbec.....

  3. - finding broken tiles / pottery and being convinced it was buried treasure
    - the fuzzy head of action man
    - a mad game called ice fottball that we invented - 1 flat ball / 2 teams of 3 / 1 goal / 1 very icey road
    - holdiing the radio in the car and moving it about as reception drifted in and out
    - sitting in the dark with crips and sodastream watching homemade jerky super 8 cinefilms which always ended much to my family's annoyance of me runnin gright up to the camera

  4. If a man/boy can't star in his own home movie...

  5. Mr Blue Sky on a Sunday morning
    Holiday seashells in a Harrods bag
    Blow pipes and itchy peas
    Ambrosia rice and milk
    Downtown Radio
    Lemon curd sandwiches
    Dads vinyl
    The Curly Wurly bridge

    1. I'm with you on the lemon curd Phil, still betters any jam... and Mr Blue Sky as (nearly) good as any Beatles tune.
      Ardowen and Curly Wurly Bridge need explaining though...