Monday, 18 June 2012

Rosebuds Needed

I'll leave this up as the lead post until Friday in the hope that it'll catch your eye and imagination.
I posted it a few days back and had enough response to sense that there's much mileage here; objects that inspire memories of childhood; revisited, revealed or re-invented. 
Come on folks, reveal your Rosebuds in the 'Comments' box below...

"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. Chewing Eucalyptus leaves, a toy plastic snail called Brian, Adventure on the Island - 10A, a young buck called Andy, an inch long silver sword from a christmas cracker and the slow inevitability of falling off your bike once it got stuck in the mud at the bottom of the pond.
    Rolf Harris singing about Two Little Boys and Johnny Cash warning Billy not to bring his guns to town. And of course our own chorus of raised voices chanting altered versions of Cliff Richard's Power to All Our Friends on the school bus.

  2. Excellent and slightly bewildering Seamus.
    Adventures on the Island?
    I too used to get a lump in my throat at Rolf's "and then came a voice he knew..."
    Remember well Cliff singing his 'Power' ballad on Eurovision. We'd seen him perform it already in the qualifiers; what we didn't know was that Cliff had choreographed a dance routine that went bonkers bandy legged when the chorus kicked. Even in my tender years I remember thinking 'what the f*ck are you doing Cliff? Stop that, stop it now!"
    He didn't listen; didn't win. He lost me then did Cliff until (of course) his rock years heralded by the magnificent 'Devil Woman'. Didn't he confuse that with an odd dance too?

    1. Trevor, Adventure on the Island (Ladybird No. 10A) was the most advanced of the 'Peter and Jane' readers we had and is the first book I really remember reading. It kickstarted a lifelong addiction!
      Andy was a young stag I fed from a bottle who even years later when I returned to my childhood home came to the fence of the deer enclosure.
      The Eucalyptus leaves, I believe, are what keeps Koala bears stoned all day. All I knew was that I liked chewing them.

    2. I wonder who your supplier was in those days (and parts)?
      Must try 'Adventures on the Island'. Might give some relief as I'm currently struggling through 'The Sea, The Sea'. I go from loving to loathing from chapter to chapter; it's having the same effect as 'The Magus'. Totally captivating but you have to commit; steals your holiday from you... I can't wait or it to end...

  3. Sorry, I seem to have entered the the wrong room by mistake. This appears to be the Sir Cliff fan club...

    1. You can do nothing but gaze in awe and wonder when you go to:
      Watch the legs from 1.21 in.
      "Power to the Bees' indeed...

    2. Ay caramba! The British Elvis? Couldn't dance to save his life, but the hair is bloody perfect!

      Welcome back! Lots of 'Rosebuds' from the gang triggering long lost memories and a bunch of UK cultural references that have me scratching my shiny Canuck noggin...

      Just back from a jaunt to New York City... "walking with the junkies and the millionaires." Beach Boys played Central Park. The band sounded fantastic, but the Beach Men... a very sad spectacle.
      Myrna's first time in the "Big Apple", and she loved it!

    3. Love that Big Apple. Di took me for my 40th. Went to Les Paul's Jazz Club to see Charlie Hayden; got a front row seat and Di fell asleep blowing saliva bubbles much to Charlie's amusement... Wrote 'Guggenheim' that weekend... All pre 911; wonder how much the vibe has changed...

    4. I think you'll find NY and the people vibrant and better than ever. Gregarious as Myrna is, we had chats with lots of folk... Wall street traders, cops, waiters, octogenarians in Central Park... all very kind and open about the scars on the skyline and hearts, but unbreakable in spirit. Even the drunk fellow on the 'E' train from Brookyn blustering about his giant black c**k was amiable.
      All the sights had my head swimming with "Songs from the Big Apple"... Brooklyn Roads (Neil Diamond), Grand Central Station (Mary Chapin), Wall Street Shuffle (10CC), Queensboro Bridge (David Mead), On Broadway (Drifters), I Guess The Lord Must Live In NYC (Nilsson), NY NY (Ryan Adams), All The Way To NYC and Farther To Go (Rosie Thomas), and of course a few by the the Boss, etc.
      But the ones that connected most were LC's NYC Sunshine and Guggenheim. Both caught the mood and landscape just perfectly. I can see how you'd be inspired. And now I get the puzzling "Yellow Cow" reference!

    5. So vibrant; NYC could make a songwriter out of Ringo...

  4. Hi Trev,
    Here goes for Nick's Rosebuds

    1. Anything by the Beach Boys. My brother, who is 12 years older than me, used to play the Beach boys & Beatles constantly. My earliest memory is sitting on the top of the stairs while he played these glorious sounds in his locked bedroom.

    2. Jaffa Cakes. My dad had a stroke when I was 8 and I remember vividly him coming home in a wheelchair unable to walk or speak. We never had jaffa Cakes, too expensive, and somebody had gven him some while he was in hospital.I remember him trying to hand them to me with tears running down his face. A sight I'll never forget as he was the strongest man I've ever known. I still can't eat a Jaffa Cake without thinking of him.

    3. Oil in puddles. A sight you rarely see now but I remember being very small and my father telling me that all the colours(the oil)in the water was where a rainbow had landed.If I see this I still think of rainbows.

    4. Plasterscene (or clay as I called it). Spent thousands of hours creating mini worlds and stories with it. bbut hated the coulours and made it all that browncolour by mixing it asap.I should have been Nick Park not Nick Baker!!

    5. Trees! We lived right next door to a huge woodland area and I spent most of my childhood in there. I could climb to the top of a 100ft pine with no worries at all.Today I hate heights. Funny that!

    Won't put any more. It hurts too much!


  5. Thanks Nick; interesting stuff; all quite moving really...
    My version of your Beach Boys was my sister Kerry playing T. Rex records. I was barred from her room but listened outside to the exotic tales of the elf man. We used to argue about who was the better guitarist; she rated Bolan whilst I plumped for... Alan Osmond. Time has proved me a twat!
    'Ride a White Swan' was played as Kerry's coffin departed behind the curtains; life's odd symmetries...
    Plasticine is a smell from my past too. Never tasted as good as it looked and it looked like shite.
    Health and Safety insists that kids don't cuddle old people or climb trees.
    Have a look at Michael Kiniron's lovely short 'Tree Climbers' here:
    I love your dad for finding rainbows in oil puddles.
    And Jaffa Cakes... must be the sweetest rosebud yet...

  6. thrupenny lucky bags
    my mums freshly baked scones
    Watching the fireworks at Whitby Regatta whist eating fish and chips in the family car
    playing 'kick the can' ( a fancy hide and seek!)
    My brothers old cartridge (remember them?) player and his collection of Elvis and Beach Boys albums that we played to death
    ....I could go on
    Tel Aviv

    1. I had all of those Thunderbirds; one and two my fav's; I remember 5 being a little indistinct; not surprised that it was sent up as a satellite only to appear in every 5th episode.
      Odd to report that I remember Cliff Richard (him again) featuring in one episode.
      Did anyone else have the hots for Aqua Marina?

    2. no,your not alone in having the hots for Aqua Marina!...and what fantastic music all those Gerry Anderson series had.

  7. These from John Bullard:

    Red campion (its a wild flower)
    Dog biscuits
    "All things bright and beautiful" - the hymn
    School dinners (loved them)
    "Journey into space" - the radio programme
    Walter Gabriel (Archers character)

    1. Am I the only one who knows how to spell 'Plasticine'?

    2. Plasticene sounds like very early plasticine from just after the Pleistocene era, perhaps?

    3. John can't spell for Tofu but makes very good pizzas...

    4. Much better than very good spelling and tofu pizzas!

  8. 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. Mr Blue Sky as good as The Beatles (which I suspect was the intention)
      I'm with you on Lemon Curd also; my sunday morning pleasure...
      I'm lost on Downtown Radio and the Curly Wurly Bridge though Phil...

  9. Hi Trev

    some more to add to the ones I did in the earlier post
    1 - sipping the flavouring you put in sodastream neat .. the buzziest high
    2 - national trust properites in the rain and me sulking because i wanted to play football
    3 - watching children of the stone on a friends tv and then running home shit scared in the dark
    4 - playing test match with batsmen who seemd to be playing with a back to front hoover
    5 - yorkshire pudding cooked in the meat fat (worse for you than eating pure lard)
    6 - lurpacking - drawing on each others school jackets with chalk (I've no idea why it was called that)
    7 - vinyl car seats sticking to bare legs
    8 - xmas day top of the pops (as essential in our house as the queens speech)
    9 - the football results on final acore and being allowed to check the pools coupon
    10 - the Bullet (a comic) secret agent pack which included a plasitc medallion that some readers wrote in to say had saved them from being hit bay a dart / being slost on a moor (the sun reflected off the gold paint and alerted the emergency services) - all of which i believed

  10. 3. So scared of the dark as a kid that there were evenings I was certain I'd never awake from...
    4. Did these batsmen suck?
    5. My Pater used to dive us dripping on bread. Same parents that rubbed olive oil on our sunburn...
    6. Need to source 'Lurpacking'...
    8. Slade; always Slade
    10. Loved those free comic gifts. I remember a fingerprint kit that was confiscated after every door knob in the house was smothered in the black oily sticky stuff...

  11. Every time I see this post I want to add more
    Bursting tar bubbles in the heat
    The desperate effort not to cry when getting strapped by a teacher
    How big everything was