Friday, 12 December 2014

Hair, Depression, Comics and Lancashire!

You know I'm desperate to catch up when I'm still writing at 4.15am!

September 11th 2011

David didn't get up until 11am, then wanted to start typing up family history with Mum.  Mum declined his offer, hoping that he would take her out somewhere.  Ha, that's a joke!  Instead, he went to Asda and Laura Ashley without so much as offering us the chance to accompany him, while I sat on the floor and did more of her boring photograph scanning for her.

I was working myself up into a frenzy about my thinning hair, certain that I was losing it all.  It had got so bad that I had started saving whatever I could in an old jewellery box so that I would have a colour match for when I had to buy a wig!  I could have really used an outing to take my mind off things.

But the furthest I got was a drive to Emma's house to drop off Kiera's birthday gifts.  And then, very late that night, a drive to Grottsville to collect one of David's shirts.  David didn't even want me to go there as he wanted to stay in Grottsville to sleep but Mum argued for me, thinking that I'd want to get out.  In fact, I was so depressed and self conscious about my hair that I didn't even like going out in the car any more, wondering what people thought when they saw me through the windows!

I was trying so hard to keep calm but it was impossible to do so when my parents kept arguing all the time.  Everything from the petty (David said that his "socks were being eaten by bugs because Mum refused to wash them on a hot enough temperature" - he had made a hole in one with his big toe) to the downright hurtful and insulting.  A few comments of the latter kind follow here.  I just love how they talk about me as an inconvenience and an object rather than a human being... 

"It's your fault that she got ill because you wouldn't hoover."
"No, it's your fault for buying so much stuff!"
"You wanted a kid, why should I be the one to live with it going bald?"
"Staying in Grottsville didn't KILL her..."

Well, it might not have killed me, but it certainly lowered my quality of life due to lack of education and the damage that the allergies did to my lungs etc.

September 12th 2011

I was awoken by the sound of banging on the door.  In my sleepy state, I thought it was Mum hammering on my bedroom door to wake me up, but it later transpired that it was the postman at the front door.  Of course, I missed the parcel which meant that David would have to collect it from the post office the following day.  He was NOT a happy bunny. 

Mum and I walked around Lammas Park.  Mum was raving about how much she was enjoying it at the time, then she spent the rest of the day yelling at me about how boring and tiring she found our "pointless f***ing walks".

I was still collecting hair in the jewellery box.  I was distressed to see how quickly the box was filling up.  Well, since the average person loses 50-100 hairs a day, I wonder how long it would take any of us to fill a small jewellery box if we chose to?!  Mum was no help, of course, yelling at me to "get used to it and give up on my stupid dreams of emigrating".  God only knows what hair loss has to do with emigrating.  Perhaps I am supposed to build a raft out of my tresses and sail across the Atlantic to Canada?!  She just went on shouting and hollering at me to "get a grip, forget the past, live in the present and think of my future".  What future?  It's a little hard to think when you're practically bursting my eardrums!  And you can't just tell a depressive to "get a grip".  Mental health doesn't work like that.  "Do you want to go on these trips with me or do you want to be a mannequin for photographs?"  Uh...well, actually, no, I don't want you paying to take me on holidays of your choice, then turning on me and saying that I'm not allowed to leave home because of all the money you've wasted on me.  I don't want to take money off of anyone, I just want my own education and job so that I can support myself and leave home!  That was not the right thing to say, of course.  "My mum said you'd lose all your hair but you chose not to curb it.  Nothing I can do about it."  Again, depression is not something you choose to suffer from.  And, after so many years locked up in Grottsville, it's unsurprising that I was taking a long time to recover.  She screamed at me so much that, in the end, I just had to get away from her and her temper. I ran upstairs to my bedroom and slammed the door...smashing my hand painted door hanger in the process.  *Sighs*  You can't keep anything nice in this house for more than five minutes!

September 13th 2011

Another "pointless f***ing walk"  with Mum around Lammas Park.  We had only got halfway around the park when she announced that she needed the bathroom and we had to RUN all the way home.  It was her own fault, as she'd refused to eat breakfast until right before we left the house and she knew she had a funny stomach.

David begrudgingly collected the parcel from the post office.  It was the lot of 1980s comics and MLP club stuff that I bought off of eBay.  It turned out to be a real bargain with so much more stuff included than had been listed in the auction.  Twice I thought I'd reached the bottom of the parcel and just kept digging more stuff out!

Random 1980s Comics


MLP Comics

Cute bag the former owner made to keep the magazines and club stuff inside...


Club Stuff!


I don't even remember what I paid for all of this, but I know it was a steal.  I certainly ended up making my money back on the comics that I sold alone, so anything that I kept for my own collection, I acquired completely free of charge!

The Scootaloo that I won on Swapitshop arrived, as well as a pretty heart-shaped USA flag pendant from the poor hospitalised one in California...who was obviously (unfortunately, seeing as things turned out?) no longer hospitalised.  It was beautiful at the time but, being made of cheap metal, has tarnished badly over time, but I still love it...pretty much like my relationship with its sender then.

I sold ten items on eBay (oh, wow, Desirée - TEN items?  Whatever rubbish was I listing back then?), plus an additional seven Pretty Pony Club Ponies which somebody asked to have added to her parcel.  Mum made just over a tenner on her first two eBay sales and seemed pretty pleased with herself.

That night we had to head back to Grottsville to pick up some of the things we'd sold.  David went to Tesco while we were there so I had a chance to photograph some more stuff to list as well.  I was determined to get the houses cleared out, by hook or by crook.  Hmm...yeah.  Good luck with that one, Desirée!

My hair was driving me mad.  I was convinced that it looked awful.  My neck felt cold and I kept shaking, although I think the latter was down to nerves.  I was struggling to cover my scalp on top because the hair was so thin, but the hair that was left looked and felt nicer for not having been sprayed with that awful dry hair shampoo for a few days.

September 14th 2011

Mum and I had yet another walk in Lammas Park.  No wonder she found it boring and repetitive!  Being self conscious about my hair on top of my usual hatred of cat calling commoners, I refused to walk back past some rude workmen who had shouted suggestive things at me on our way to the park.  So we had to take the long route back, much to Mum's dismay.

I scanned another half an album for her when we got back but didn't finish the ride photo collection as I'd hoped.  We were going away the next day and I'd really wanted all of the pictures backed up digitally.

The hair trauma continued, although I wasn't as bothered as I had been on previous days for some reason.  My scalp wasn't so sore and itchy without the dry hair shampoo but the hair itself looked horrid and still seemed to be falling out...mind you, I didn't know for sure because I "hadn't run my hands through it all day"!

I photographed some more eBay sales goods and packed my bag for the exciting two night trip to Morecambe.  It was only then that I discovered that my toilet bag had gone missing and I had no way to carry my toiletries.  Great.  Oh well, a freezer bag would have to suffice.

Apart from that, I only make one more observation in my blog notes.  "US Hershey bars are definitely more chocolatey than Asda ones".  Hmm...quite.

September 15th 2011

Despite getting up ridiculously early, we didn't set off for Lancashire until 9am...well, at least it wasn't the usual midday departure!  Then, when David was finally ready to leave, he made us rush to get everything in the car.  In my hurry, I managed to ladder my tights on my coat and had to dash back inside to change them.  I almost didn't get to go on the trip at all, as David not only locked me in the house but started the engine to leave without me.  Thankfully, Mum pointed out to him that I wasn't there before they set off!

We had three exciting stops at service stations along the motorway before finally reaching Lytham St Anne's at 2.30pm.


The exterior of the pier hadn't changed much at all from my last visit and seeing it took me right back to my days as a carefree 8-year-old.  St Anne's Pier was filled with old Whittaker Bros. rides when I was young and I had high hopes that some of the old machines would have survived to the present day.

There was a modern Santa Sleigh ride at the front of the pier when I was young but this had been replaced by an even more recent Crocodile Surf Hovercraft ride.


Then I saw that the sleigh WAS still there, it had just been repositioned near a window at the left side of the pier.


There was also a very pretty Vienna Cogan horse near to the sleigh.  I don't remember her being there when I was young but it's possible that she's just slipped my memory.  Maybe I didn't ride upon her because we'd already seen and photographed one in Clacton?


The real gems had always been at the back of the arcade though so I excitedly made my way further down the pier.  Surely the sleigh was a good sign that at least some of the rides would still be there.

Sadly not.

All but one of the old rides had been replaced, mainly with more recent Whittaker Bros. machines (well, at least they weren't the usual Spanish and Italian imports).  The one remaining ride was an exciting one though.  It was the only "Whittaker Bros. carousel" I ever saw.  Since then, I have found out that this was actually an original 1959 RG Mitchell two-seater carousel.  The original toys would have been a wooden elephant and zebra, but this one had obviously been restored at one point, parts of it being carpetted and the toys being replaced with a 1970s Whittaker Bros. train and motorbike.


However, if I had any plans of filming it, I was out of luck.


So very sad.  Even if it had been modernised practically beyond recognition, it would have been nice to have a video of it in action for the website.

We had a little wander along the promenade.  It was nice to see the sea (Lytham is still a very pretty place), and there was a really good musician performing some of my favourite old tunes.  I would have liked to buy a CD of his music to support him if nothing else, but my parents deemed it a waste of money, of course.  I don't remember his name now so I can't even promote him on this blog.


Next we travelled up the road to Blackpool.  We had no intention of walking the entire length of the Golden Mile A) Because my parents didn't feel up to it and B) Because Mum and I were returning for a day trip via coach the following month, so thought we'd have plenty of time to look around then.  But we still stopped a couple of times when I spotted rides of particular interest.

The nicest surprise was finding a 1960s Edwin Hall Squirrel at the arcade at the front of Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  I would never have expected one of those to turn up in such a modern enviroment!




Although I wasn't nearly so excited by this one, it was nice to see a Whittaker Bros. Mini Dragon again too.


I could have sworn that I made a film of this one and yet it doesn't appear to be on the flash drive now.  I hope I didn't delete it.  Maybe I'm mistaken and I didn't film it, after all.  Maybe I'm just losing my mind.  Who knows?

Then, just across the road, I spotted what, at first glance, appeared to be another Edwin Hall ride - Basil Brush.  Moving closer, however, I realised that it was a very clever copy.  The original Edwin Hall Basil had his tail raised, forming a backrest for his rider, whereas this one had his tail hanging downwards.



The base looks like a JM Kiddie Rides one.  Perhaps this was made by the mysterious Funtime Kiddie Rides company that I'd heard the Mirgaux family were running these days.

The arcade also had a duck ride on the same base.  While I didn't know this at the time, the duck mould itself was another 1960s design, originally a Whittaker Bros. ride named Donald.  This was quite clearly a modern copy like Basil though.



We drove the length of the Golden Mile all the way up to Harts Amusements in Bispham, where I knew another very special old kiddie ride was still located.

For those who are not already acquainted, please allow me to introduce Brownie...



My love affair with Brownie began when we spent a few nights in Blackpool when I was just 5 years old.  I begged for 20p to ride Brownie every night before we went back to the hotel.  I remember being thrilled that he was still there when we returned three years later and, again, riding him every night.  I was amazed that he was still there all these years later.

While I christened the horse "Brownie", his original name was Star-Dust and he was manufactured by Walter Streets & Co. of Eastbourne in the 1950s, one of the very first rides to be made in the UK.  As far as I'm aware, "Brownie" is the last of his kind to have survived in working order on his original base so he is a very special horse indeed.  (In kiddie ride terms at least!)

He was a bit temperamental and wouldn't work when I fed him my 50p coin (yes, the price had more than doubled in twelve years!) but eventually he did go galloping away.  This explains my surprised voice at the start of the video!

For any MLP collectors who may be reading this, I saw a couple of interesting bingo prizes...

I also noticed that, while the MLP illuminations themselves have long been auctioned off, a pony was still featured in the lights in the form of a picture of the MLP kiddie ride that stood outside Central Pier a few years back.  You can't escape them really, eh?

After that, we made our way to the hotel in Morecambe.  We didn't have the prettiest view from the window...


But hey, it was comfortable enough and suited our purposes anyway!

Tune in tomorrow for more memoirs of our trip to Lancashire.

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx

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