Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I haven't added much to my blog in the last year but hope to write a lot more in 2014.
I've had lots of books to compile for various publishers over the last year so that's kept me very busy. Next year will see three books all about the First World War and one about the 1960s. I hope to write a lot more about Singapore sometime in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their support, it's been lovely to hear from you all. Best wishes for Christmas and for 2014!
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
- I was sorry to read about the death of Noel Harrison recently. For many, he will be remembered fondly for his record 'Windmills of the Mind' but for me, he is best remembered for his role as Mark Slate in The Girl From Uncle. When the programme was first shown, I was 5 years old and living in Jalan Wijaya, Johore Bahru, Malaya. We all loved The Man From Uncle which had started two years earlier and loved anything that was connected to the show, so when the spin-off series began, we all made sure we watched it. The show was broadcast for a year and also starred Stefanie Powers as April Dancer. Although the show is almost forgotten nowadays, hearing the theme or seeing clips from the programme instantly transports me back to my boyhood, staying in on a hot day, making sure I didn't miss it. Of course, we all really wanted to be Napoleon Solo or Ilya Kuryakin from The Man From Uncle and perhaps The Girl From Uncle wasn't quite as popular but it will always bring back happy memories for me.
Monday, 22 July 2013
I wonder how many toys people still have from their time in Singapore and Malaya in the 1960s? The only ones that I can think of are my Batmobile, Man From Uncle 'Thrushbuster' and Corgi James Bond DB5. I remember being taken to the Naval base cinema to see Goldfinger. I must have been about 4 years old back then. I never ever saw the end of a film because I always fell asleep! All kids had to have James Bond's car from the movie and I didn't know anyone who didn't have one. It was the same with the Batmobile. We all watched the show starring Adam West and Burt Ward and re-enacted the scenes in our garden. Anything featuring Batman was much sought after and everyone had to have a Batmobile. The spy show The Man From Uncle had the same following and everyone had to have their car, the 'Thrushbuster'. I remember being on holiday at Sandycroft in Penang and Alan and me hassled my parents for more pocket money so that we could buy the car from a small stall there. I've still got them all today although a bit knocked about and worse for wear. They were part of my childhood and a memory of our time in Singapore and Malaya and I would never get rid of them.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
It's hard to remember much about the day but I remember that we played pass the parcel and mum had bought many toys to wrap up so that everybody got something. I always liked the cheaper toys and I remember being pleased with a Bugs Bunny watch! We also played games like pass the parcel and pinning the tail on the donkey.
I've no doubt I had a great day but probably the thing that stayed in my memory the most was playing with that talking tin robot!
Saturday, 17 November 2012
This photo shows me in our back garden at 103 Jalan Wijaya in Johore in about 1967. I wouldn't be surprised if it's my birthday (I'd have been 6) and I'm sat with my favourite toy - a Cragstan talking tin robot! It said many phrases, my favourite being, 'I am bulletproof too! Ha, ha, ha!' If you search through my blog you can hear m copying him on the reel to reel tape that we sent home to my gran in Seaham Harbour. In the background is the tree I planted myself when I was about 4 years old. It was just an old branch I found by the side of the road and stuck in the ground in the back garden. It didn't take long for it to start growing and I was soon climbing it and trying, unsuccessfully, to build a tree house.
I've got socks and shoes on so something must have been going on. I look very tidy too so perhaps my birthday party was about to happen or was taking place indoors.
I loved that robot but unfortunately he ended up in the bin. I've got another one now though (ebay!).
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Recently, the first two series have been put on YouTube and here's the first episode.
'Episode One covers sites of original early 19th century imperial settlement.
These include Fort Canning, City hall, Supreme Court, Empress Place, Coleman Bridge, Old Parliament house, and St Andrews Cathedral. Julian delineates, describes and depicts the British center of power in this area for over 150 years.'
People outside Singapore haven't been able to view the shows before and I'm sure that many people in Britain will enjoy seeing them for the first time.
Further episodes can be found here
Saturday, 4 August 2012
I've told the story before about when we visited the Botanical Gardens and it was so hot that my dad left the windows down. When we came back to the car, it was full of monkeys! One looked like he was trying to drive. I remember my dad chased them off and I also remember that one pooped on his seat!
I also remember going into the city and kids would ask for money to look after your car. You had to give it to them else you might find bits missing to be sold as spare parts to other people with similar cars.
We went everywhere in that car but not one of us can remember what happened to it! I suppose it was probably sold to the next Naval family that moved in after we left. I doubt it's still going!