Monday, 9 May 2011

More Memories on a Monday

All this summery weather has got me reminiscing again.  When I was young sunny weekend always seemed to involve a picnic...

We'd all pile into the car - a pale green MG Magnette a bit like this one...

Photo courtesy of
We probably didn't appreciate this car nearly as much as we should have done, given all its beautiful features, like the walnut dashboard, leather upholstery and rather Art Deco styling...

And the indicator!  Don't forget the indicator!

Then off we'd go to find somewhere nice to picnic!

No Cath Kidston cool bag in those days, nor even a wicker hamper, just a couple of sturdy Sainsbury's paper carrier bags filled with goodies packed in Tupperware.

There was always seemed to be a cold roast chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and, if we were lucky, my favourite, 'choclo empanadas'.  These are an Argentine speciality (both my parents having been born and growing up there) - pasties made with a delicious filling of sweetcorn and a hint of tomato.  I am salivating as I write about them, and may be forced to make some as a result!

Apples or bananas would follow, and then either fairy cakes, bakestones (Welsh Cakes) or 'Crunchy Topped Squares' -  a sponge base with a coconut, oat and cherry topping - might have to find that recipe too!

When I was four we moved from Winchmore Hill in north London, to Oxfordshire.  We were close to the Thames at Sonning, Henley and Reading, so our picnics tended to be next to the river. This one was at Sonning I think.

My sister and I are wearing one of my all-time favourite dresses.  We called them our tennis dresses, though needless to say precious little tennis ever took place whilst wearing them. In fact, none.

My Mum had made them, probably from one of the magazines full of patterns (Burda style, with all the different lines to follow to find your pattern pieces) that either my Granny or my aunt sent over from Argentina.  As I seem to remember photos of my two cousins in Argentina wearing identical dresses I think I'm right in that supposition.  They were made of pink and white gingham, with a broad band of eyelet broderie anglaise at the neckline and for the shoulder straps. Bit of a fuzzy photo, but you can see the dress here!

Sometimes we would paddle or swim in the Thames, but more often we'd find a park to play in.  Those were the days of towering metal slides, witches' hats that you thought you'd lose your legs on (but still loved!) and those elongated rocking horses...And no spongy surface to fall on!  'Tis a miracle we survived!

This one was at Wallingford, where there was the most exciting of paddling pools with a concrete ship in the middle.  Pretty tame by today's standards, but to us it was a popular destination.  It's that swimming costume again!

Tiny Tears came too!

 Hoping for lots of picnic weather as Spring rolls on into Summer!


  1. Oh what adorable photos and such cute little dresses! Yes, isn't it amazing we all survived that wonderful old playground equipment without the soft fall surface ~ I think litigation was unheard of then, and the bumps and scrapes were all part of childhood! Lovely, reminiscent post! Love Brenda

  2. Yes happy days thats for sure and an OCD about Tupperware. I used to have a haircut like that too. Caroline x

  3. I too had the short haircut and swimming costume and rode on the long horse see saw thingy. I loved them especially when they went really high. They always had quite scary faces though with flaring nostrils.

  4. Loved your photos and I can see why you loved your dress so.
    Re craft room. I have been green with envy watching yours coming along. Can't wait to have more space.

  5. Lovely, nostalgic post! Yes, you're right about the old-fashioned playgrounds - so much health and safety now, but I never knew anyone that had a serious park ride accident. Enjoy your week! Abby x

  6. Oh the happy memories! My mother made our dresses & knitted our cardigans.....those were the days, my friend! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. Both my sons survived those same type of playgrounds...some of their fondest memories are of going to High Park here in Toronto that had a humungous was very tall....and a lovely wading pool. All that is gone now:(