Saturday, 9 August 2014

I get carried away...

I dream of him and me, and how it's gonna be.

You know the blogs are getting boring when I have to use song lyrics for titles because nothing noteworthy happens within the entry!

August 16th 2011

My hair was falling badly again.  Soon I would have none left.  I had to see my sister in a couple of days and was dreading it because I felt like I looked so much worse than the last time I had seen her.

My gums were also very sore between my top front teeth where the gap was closing.  Don't get me wrong, I would be pleased to be rid of that ugly gap at long last but the pain was dreadful!

We went to Osterley Tesco in the evening.  The big MLP display stand was gone and the ponies were now on the regular shelves at the end of the toy aisle.  I wonder what happened to the stand?  I'm glad I'd taken photographs of it anyway.

My allergies were still very bad from the little bit of tidying up we had done at Grottsville the previous day.  I was desperate to clear Woodberry, but I always felt so tired, ill and stressed and the dust just pushed me too far.

In other news, David managed to break a spoon whilst trying to get some ice cream for himself.  That man's talents know no limits when it comes to damaging things!  How does he do it?  I had tried some of his chocolate ice cream earlier but I hadn't come anywhere close to breaking my spoon!

August 17th 2011

I didn't leave the house.  I was in a dreadful state about my hair.  What little remained of it was full of flakes of dry skin, and still it kept falling.  Mum seemed to be in denial and didn't want me to even talk about options like getting it cut shorter or looking at wigs.

She had another bout of her terrible stomach pain and kept pacing around screaming, "I can't bear it!  I can't bear it!" as if she were in labour.  No wonder I was stressed!

I tried to sort out my bedroom cupboard and cleared the landing but there just wasn't enough space for everything.  I had to be ruthless.  I decarded my G3 Tiny Tins Ponies so that they would fit on my pony shelves (yeah, like that would make any difference to the mess!) and tried to fit even more into the cupboard!  Mum was moaning at me all the time for not cleaning the hobby room.  Well, I couldn't be everywhere at once, especially when my allergies were still so bad from Grottsville.

I had a lovely long Skype chat with the one who shall remain unnamed in the evening, and together we found some more ride photographs on Flickr.  Firstly, we found some pictures of old Edwin Hall rides at Bridlington in the 1960s...


(Photographs by Graham Smith Family Stuff and Ravensthorpe)

I was feeling pretty happy with these (we found some other Bridlington photos as well, these are just a selection of the best) when the unnamed one stumbled across something very sad.


This is Bendricks Arcade and Social Club in Barry, Wales.  Apparently it closed to the public during the 1990s at which point it seems to have been totally abandoned with all of the amusement machines still in place.  Unfortunately, it has since been victim to multiple arson attacks and general vandalism and not much has survived...just enough to give a tantalising glimpse of what a wonderful place this must have been for a vintage ride fanatic like myself.  The photographs above show a Joyride speedboat, as does the one below...


I'm not quite sure why the arcade would have had two identical rides, but these are clearly different examples of the same model, given the different coin slots.

The photographs just get sadder after that...


Oh, Pongo, whatever happened to your base?  It looks like you were attacked by giant rats!

But at least they didn't drag YOU away like poor Rudolph...


By far, the most heartbreaking picture to me however was this image of the very first wooden RG Mitchell ride, Rocky (or "The Pony Express")...


He appears to be more or less intact, complete with his original paintwork.  These rides must have been well looked after in their day.  Two years later, this photograph was taken...


I presume the "Jade" who so proudly signed its name on the wooden panel was the one who finished off this beautiful piece of amusement history.  What is wrong with people?  If they wanted to commit a crime, at least steal the horse, restore it and sell it rather than mindlessly destroying it for fun!

(These photographs are obviously NOT mine and come from various Flickr users including Ben Salter.  I can't find the other users now so maybe they have since removed their pictures.  If you are the owner of one of these photographs and either want it removed from my blog or a credit given, please contact me).

Following on from this sad discovery, Mr Unnamed had a look on Google and found Elephant House Auctions (no idea why I hadn't seen them before - they hold sales of amusement and fairground-related merchandise four times a year) who had sold this beauty for £60 a couple of months previously...


Unlike the Barry Rocky, this one's paintwork does not appear to be original, but somebody has made a good attempt at replicating it!  It's nice to know that one example had lived on anyway.

August 18th 2011

My hair was still disturbing me.  I couldn't bear how horribly "flat" it looked and felt on top now.

My teeth were still killing me too.  There was a notable difference in the gap between my front teeth but the 'pinching' feeling in my gums was unbearable!  I'd also managed to cut my lip on my braces again the previous night which didn't make things any better.

The rest of the day seems to have been idled away on Skype doing ride research again.  My "Pennies by the Sea" book had arrived (for those who don't know, this is a book about the history of amusement arcades in Bridlington) and "Mr Unnamed" wanted me to read it to him since the poor thing was so "bored" and unable to get around with his paralysed arm in a sling.  Another book had actually arrived with my book (the packets had got stuck together) but luckily we are honest people and popped it back in the post in the hopes it might make its way to its owner this time.  Maybe I should have kept it and read that one aloud on Skype too.  We were certainly getting through "Pennies by the Sea" at a rapid speed!

After I had read a couple of chapters, we began searching for more ride pictures.  As usual, I came up with nothing and mystery man came up trumps.  Well, he came up with another very sad photograph anyway.  This time it was a picture taken in Hornsea in 2007 entitled "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (If that was supposed to be a joke, I don't find it very funny...)


(Photograph by Flickr user Trawets1)

Oh dear.  Poor, poor Silver.  I remember riding this horse when I was a child.  In fact, here is the photographic proof, taken in 1999...


This was one of only four large 1960s Edwin Hall horses I ever saw, the others being in Bognor, Whitby and Dymchurch.  He was by far the most "original" with his leather harness and even original paintwork (however worn it may have been).  I'd never forgotten this horse and hoped I might see him again one day.  How sad that such a majestic beast should end up losing a leg after half a century of serving the children so well.

A nice lady in Hastings answered my query about the Walter Streets horses on Hastings Pier.  She also remembered a white horse.  However, she believed that it was the only horse there, indicating that maybe my black horse was the same one repainted.  Having said that, she also remembered having to put the coin in its neck to operate it, so perhaps it was a different horse entirely.

We went to Grottsville late that night to set the timer for Friendship is Magic.  Somewhat pointless.  I just had to rewind through the last three episodes again because they were still repeating the first half of the series.  AND David had managed to record over the Tesco advert that I had been so proud to catch in the short time that we were at Grottsville.

August 19th 2011

We took Allan to the RAF Museum in Hendon.  It was better than I had feared, but not a particularly pleasant day.  Allan ran and jumped everywhere, ran up and jumped on me from behind several times scaring me half to death and caused me to get into a bad mood about vegetarianism by keep telling me to try meat because I was missing out on tasty food!

David didn't seem to be very well either.  He almost fell asleep in the car and kept finding more exhibits to look at when Allan had already finished at the museum and was bored.  Still, Allan got to be a pilot which was more than the rest of us did!


Amazingly, far from wanting everything in the gift shop as we had feared, he couldn't find anything that he wanted at all.  He had learnt to read prices now and seemed to be put off by how expensive everything was, even though we told him that we were happy to buy him a souvenir of his day out with us!

We went to McDonalds on the way back to my sister's house.  Instead of having the usual fries, I tried a Flake McFlurry (Mum was too scared to have one in case she got an upset tummy)...then Allan wanted one of those as well on top of his Happy Meal!

There was a really creepy man standing outside McDonalds.  He watched a woman leave the restaurant and was straining his neck to even watch her getting into her car.  I was a bit worried that I was watching the early signs of a murder scene and that he was about to pursue her and hi-jack her car before driving her to a dark forest or something, but fortunately he just went back to eating his burger!

My hair was still falling badly and I was trying desperately to remain calm about it.  Ironically, it seemed better when we were out although it can't have made any physical difference!  It just shows that my own stress levels were making it worse in more ways than one.

When we got back to Emma's house, I found that Abigale had picked up one of the G4 leaflets at Tesco for me.  I was quite touched to know that she had thought about me.  She'd also drawn pictures for us all.  I still have that leaflet and picture.  I don't get to see enough of my nephews and nieces really.

August 20th 2011

Another wasted saturday.  I came downstairs, trying to stay in a positive frame of mind.  I attempted to make casual conversation with my mum and she cut me dead, only wanting to burble on and on about how wonderful my sister and her children were.  You've never seen such a performance of comparisons between me and my sister - Emma this and Emma that.  Well, perhaps Emma had more support from her family when she was younger and was able to become a healthy, happy adult.

When David came down, Mum started afresh.  She couldn't stop.  The children are so perfect and do this and that so much better than Desirée ever did at their ages etc.  In the end, I got so angry that I shouted at them.  I never went to school or socialised with other children, of course they're going to have better social skills and be able to do things that I was never taught to do.  David then turned on me and told me to "get off my a** and do something for myself", indicating at the computer as if I was lazy.  I was actually listing on eBay at the time which was about all I knew how to do for myself, trying to make a bit of pin money when I didn't have the knowledge/courage to face up to my parents and get an education or job.

I noticed my hair falling out again after that.  I don't believe that stress could have such an instant impact on it though so I think it must have been a psychological problem and it was really falling out all the time.

David spent hours in the bathroom that afternoon before coming down to tell us how he had been sick and describe the colour and texture of his vomit.  Nice.  He can't have felt that bad though because he then spent the entire evening "hoovering his stamp collection".  I kid you not.  Mr Unnamed didn't believe me when I told him that was the reason there was no privacy to talk to him on Skype that night.  Well, if you're still reading this, I finally bring you the evidence...


We went to Grottsville late that night and David told me again that I "should look through the hoover bag" for the tiny Teeny Weeny Families accessories that he had hoovered up.  For the last time, I'd never find such tiny pieces anyway and how on Earth would I be able to cope with all that dust if I couldn't even do general clearing out over there without having breathing problems for days afterwards.

He started another argument as we left the house, saying that my unhappiness was all down to me.  "It's all your own fault that you wouldn't go to school," he said.  I don't actually remember being offered the chance to go to school, but whatever.  Nasty man.


And so ends another exciting blog entry.  Tune in tomorrow for the daily b-ore-log!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

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