Friday, 30 October 2009
The next scene is us filming as we drive towards the customs point at the causeway. My mum is filming out of the window as my dad drives. Then there are shots of Johore together with all the old shops and cars.Next, there's film of us about to go into the Navy Base entrance.
The final scenes are taken at Jalan Wijaya. There's me at home and then getting an ice cream as a man wearing a turbin drives by on a scooter. The final scene shows me wearing a hat which I remember was left over at our house from a party my parents had with all their Naval friends the night before.
Seems such a long time ago now!
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
Here's a clip I've found of the original show. The haunting theme tune should bring back instant memories. It reminds me of being right back at Jalan Wijaya in the garden attacking my brother!
It's funny, there wasn't a kid in Australia, Japan or Singapore who hadn't seen Samurai. Yet, when we got back to England, nobody had heard of it. Samurai starred Koichi Ose, who was a top movie star in Japan at the time. He played the lead character, Shintaro in the programme. His arch enemies were the Koga Ninjas.
Samurai was a huge show and when Koichi Ose visited Australia in the 1960s, he got a bigger welcome than the Beatles. He was greeted by screaming fans in home made kimonos throwing Ninja stars made of cardboard. Apparently, he had no idea just how popular he was outside Japan.
The show ran throughout the 1960s having first been shown in Japan in 1962. It was dubbed into English which could be quite funny some times. For instance, Shintaro would be giving a long speech and his mouth would be moving quite a lot and the dubbed voice would just say something like, 'Yes, I know'.
Incidentally, Koichi Ose is still alive and living in Japan. He retired in 1969 and started up a property company and in 1980, he and his wife opened a chain of noodle restaurants. I hope he has as fond memories as I have of Samurai.
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Here's a photo of me and my brother at Sandycroft, Penang in about 1966. There was a lovely dog there that used to follow us everywhere and I think he must have belonged to someone who worked in the cafe. If my memory serves me right, his name was Pepper and I think he was a Labrador (or something similar!). Back at home in Jalan Wijaya, there were many wild dogs roaming around. I quite liked seeing them and sometimes we'd play with them, although we were told to keep away from them in case they had rabies. Many servicemen and their children had dogs but when they came to return home, the dog had to either be found a new home or, unfortunately, be put down. I remember a few people who had dogs near to our home and I think someone even had a couple of poodles, which weren't the sort of dog you would expect to find in the Far East. Most of the wild dogs on the estate were just a mixture of everything and most were quite friendly though they'd bark like most dogs! I remember one day when Alan came in and said that he had seen the police driving around and shooting stray dogs. It was very upsetting but they did this often though I never witnessed it. There's one time that I really remember coming into contact with a stray dog and this follows on from my last post. I think I was at Debbie Sharpe's birthday party near to our home. I was about 5 at the time. I was jumping around the garden, pretending to be a kangaroo, when I cracked my head on one of the steel windows that was open. Now, it's funny when you're in pain, you remember anything that happened to you at the time,even years later. I remember that Englebert Humperdinck's 'Please Release Me' was playing on the radio! Anyway, I decided to walk home with my hand on my head and blood pouring down my arm. As I made my way up the street, Bette, Debbie's mother, had seen what had happened and called me back. I was determined to get home and was probably tearful. As I came around the corner into Jalan Wijaya, a huge friendly, wild dog came up to me, wagging its tail, and stood on my shoulders and licked my face. After all the warnings about wild dogs, I think I then ran home as quick as I could. I had a sore head for a while but all was soon back to normal. As I said earlier, I've still got the scar and my hair never did grow there again! Whenever I hear 'Please Release Me', I'm taken back to that day in Johore Bahru, my sore head and that scary dog!
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Here's a photo of me in about 1966. I think it was taken on Jason's Bay in Malaya. In the background is a man on a bicycle hearding oxen. To this day, I remember the smell and it's a smell I've not come across since! My face, I think, gives it away! We used to visit Jason's Bay often. It was close to home for any of the service men who lived at Johore Bahru. There were regular banyans and barbeques and the kids would enjoy playing on a lilo (do they still have them?) or swimming in the sea. There must have been allsorts of dangerous creatures swimming around out there but I don't remember seeing any of them. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an occasional shark. There were certainly jellyfish though we all seemed to survive unscathed! This photo reminded me of all the smells that you used to get in Singapore and Malaya. I remember the smell when catching a bus. There would be live chickens running around, this is what they called 'fresh' in those days, and fish wrapped in newspaper on the floor. Singapore itself had a smell all of its own. I think that the canal running through the city had just about everything floating in it! Of course, the river was a much busier place then, full of people and sampans. The market stalls with their fruit, vegetables and meat all added to the smell and any rubbish just seemed to end up in the river. Of course, it's all very clean nowadays. When I went back in 1990, the streets were spotless. There were fines for eating on the MRT, dropping litter and even for not flushing the toilet! All very different from the Singapore of the 1960s. I still miss it though. I wonder what Jason's Bay is like today and if there are still Oxen taken across the beach?