Friday, 17 April 2015

Fond memories of Jackie magazine

"I'm scared! Mind if I hold onto you?"

A suggestion from the Jackie Annual 1980 on small talk worth trying on a boy in the cinema. The article was titled 'Boy Calendar - where they'll be - what they'll be wearing - and how to catch them.' Apparently boys at that time could be found fishing, watching football and jogging with suitable openers being "Are those really maggots?" "Why is that one dressed in black?" and "You're not Brendan Foster's brother, are you?"

We may cringe at this now and despair of encouraging girls to attract boys by appearing needy or dim, but at the time the Jackie magazine was a trail-blazer for the young teenage girl market. I adored the magazine and nothing could prise it from my grasp when it dropped through the letter box every week as I hurriedly turned to the Cathy and Claire problem page.

The magazine, offering fashion tips, beauty secrets and comic-strip stories, was published between 1964 and 1993 but was probably in its heyday in the 70s. Looking back at my old 1980 annual I realise how tame and innocent it all was. It's full of silly quizzes and articles about boys. 'Catch him if you can', 'Could you light his fire?' and 'Are you a dating disaster?'

References to where you should go with your date for 'private moments' hinted that these activities should be chaste as they included going to the local library or taking a round trip on a country bus.

Jackie told me the way to a man's heart was through his stomach though I'd like to know how many young boys were treated to the enticing recipe of chicken with jacket potato and frozen peas - with grapefruit for starters and cheese and biscuits for dessert.

Celebrities were still fêted: no change there. The 'wanted men' in 1979/80 were Rod Stewart, Mark Hamill, Leif Garrett and Bob Geldof.

There's a wonderful article about gauging personality by looking at the shape of your thumb. Apparently my pointed thumb indicates that I don't like giving away much about myself but am a sympathetic listener.

I was always a sucker for horoscopes though I didn't heed their advice as I married the one star sign, Aries, I was warned to stay away from.

Teenage girls today must have a wealth of information at their disposal to help them through those difficult years but I don't suppose it's any easier. They might have the internet to scour for advice but the dating game will always be challenging, although at least now they can chat to boyfriends on a mobile phone rather than have to stand in the hall trying to whisper into the landline phone as members of the family wander past.

I'll leave you with this gem from Jackie 1980, so representative of the day. A light-hearted piece on 'You know it's time to leave the party when...' suggests 'your lurex boob tube is unravelling at the rate of 3 inches every ten minutes.'

This article originally appeared in the Lincolnshire Free Press in the Trish Takes Five column. Due to a glitch it didn't appear online so I thought I would share it here instead.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

CanvasPop turns my photo into a piece of art

I love taking photos, especially on holiday, but I've never thought they were good enough to enlarge and become a piece of art. Until now.

Remember our trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne last summer and my arty photo of the upturned herring boats? I was quite proud of that, despite it being taken with my trusty click and point compact, and happily posted it on my blog. I assumed it would remain there, languishing online, until I maybe got round to printing a small 6" x 4" photograph of it sometime in the future.

Then I received an offer from CanvasPop. Would I like to try out their canvas prints? They would be happy to supply a 16" x 20" canvas of my choice for me to review.

I knew instantly that my herring boats shot would be worth a try so emailed the file to CanvasPop. They made some helpful suggestions - a 16" x 24" would suit the image better and, as I dithered with the choice of wrap (the edge bit!) - black, white or photo - they came up with a great solution. So as not to lose some of the image, they would create a 'mirror' image on the side, without losing any of the front picture.

In less than two weeks, all the way from the United States, my canvas print has arrived and it has far exceeded my expectations. It looks like a very upmarket, stylish artwork.

16 x 24 inch canvas print from CanvasPop

Hanging on the wall in the living room - art by me!

The quality of the canvas is excellent because the company use the highest quality materials which are designed to last over 100 years without fading. To make life easier, they provide free digital proofs so you know what you're getting and, when it does arrive, it is ready to hang - they even provide a hook and nail.

CanvasPop are committed to excellent customer service so if you need help or inspiration, there is someone there to guide you through the myriad of choices so you can turn even Instagram shots into works of art.

My print would have cost £55 but if you would like to try CanvasPop for yourself, they are giving away a 35% discount off your order with the code MUMSGONETO35, valid for the next two months, ending early June 2015. The discount is available for all readers in the UK, US and Canada.

Hand-crafted and hand-stretched in the US, the canvas prints provided by CanvasPop come with a 100% 'Love it' guarantee for life.

I love it. 100%.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Step away from the computer!

I am sitting at the computer trying very hard to ensure my posture is correct. For the last few weeks I have been suffering from a trapped/pinched/displaced/blummin' painful nerve in my spine which has caused pain in my left shoulder and arm. For a while I just took painkillers and used a hot water bottle but it began to get worse. Sitting in a normal chair was the killer - shooting pains down my shoulder blade and arm. Sleeping wasn't fun either as I could only lie on my back.

Last week I visited Dougie's partner at the surgery for him to agree with Dougie's diagnosis and, although it was likely to get better with time and some anti-inflammatories, I booked myself some physiotherapy. Had a great session with a fabulous Irish girl, Sinéad, who agreed with everyone else and got to work on my neck and arm. Returning home with some exercises and tips on how to sit properly at my desk, I am gradually improving.

The computer is the main culprit, I think. I have a habit of slouching while I'm thinking of what to write. It doesn't help we have an extra keyboard placed in front of the laptop as I spilled orange juice all over the original one. I tend to push my neck forward to read the type as the screen is that bit further away. We keep promising ourselves a new laptop - this has forced us to get a move on and purchase one.

The iPad isn't much better as I hold it in my left hand when browsing on the sofa, with my head flopped forward. Dougie tells me I am on the iPad far too much anyway - grazing usually - so am now trying to ration both computer and tablet's tough.

This post is now going on too long as my arm is sore again (cue the violins) so I will finish here and just point you towards the last three columns I've written for the paper - and that was a struggle. I ended up dictating the last one to a very patient husband.

The ten tell-tale signs that you have an empty nest - six months in, how I'm coping with Rory being at university. Do you have any more to add?

A parent's view of World Book Day - like it or loathe it, World Book Day costumes can prove to be a headache. But isn't Rory sweet?

The name's Burgess...Trish Burgess - my take on the news that MI5 are recruiting spies via Mumsnet as middle-aged mothers apparently have the aptitude for the job (one of my favourite column pieces, if I do say so myself!)


Sunday, 15 March 2015

When Jimi Hendrix came to Spalding

On 29 May 1967 our little sleepy town of Spalding became host to one of the first ever rock festivals. Held in a tulip bulb auction shed, Barbecue '67, for an admission price of £1, provided 'non-stop dancing' from 4pm to midnight, hot dogs and a licensed bar.

When the promoter originally booked some of the acts they were still relatively unknown but within months they had hit the big time and, honouring the booking, turned up to play. On the bill were Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band, Zoot Money, Move, Cream, Pink Floyd and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The bulb shed held 4000 people but thousands more turned up on this hot, sticky Bank Holiday to see some of the biggest names in rock.

Over the last few years the Spalding & District Civic Society have been looking to highlight places in the town which have had interesting residents and guests. Many people suggested The Red Lion Hotel in the town should have a Blue Plaque to commemorate the gig and the fact that Jimi Hendrix stayed there overnight. The current owner of the hotel, proud of this former guest, has also stated that girls were flocking outside Jimi's window and he apparently knotted his bed sheets together so they could climb up. Whether any of them took him up on his offer is unknown!

Earlier this month, the plaque was unveiled by the original members of local group Sounds Force Five, who also played at Barbecue '67 and have the most amazing memories of a truly historic night.

You can imagine my surprise, having only just seen this shiny new plaque in our town square, to find another blue plaque to Jimi Hendrix this weekend. Not the official English Heritage one in Mayfair, London, showing where he lived from 1968-69, but a slightly less official one in the window of Marshall's Fish and Chip shop in Tynemouth, near Newcastle. It would seem that just a couple of months before staying overnight at the Red Lion in Spalding, Jimi Hendrix was having his dinner at the seaside...