Sorry folks this one is waaaaaay overdue, like by weeeks
Barry over at An Explorer’s View of Life blogged on this subject today and got me thinking. My family are big on prams. When I was wee I did indeed have a pram, it looked a bit like this
Oh how I loved that pram, as did Tiny Tears. Ah poor Tiny, how she deserved a pram following her trauma, first I cut her hair, giving her a punk look which ten years later in 1978 would have been all the rage. Then there was the amputation, obviously an early nod to my career in nursing. But okay even I can admit that amputating her pinkie maybe was taking things a bit too far, but but, in my defence I did bandage it beautifully and run her up a wee red flanalette nightie to softend the blow. I should point out the loss of her eye was not me, no, on this occassion I believe Libby to be the culprit. Poor wee wan eyed, nine finger’d, spikey napper’d Tiny Tears, oh how I loved thee. Where is she you ask, well, the bastard ex saw fit to dump her and many other sentimental items when I buggard off an left him. Kinda sums the man up really.
Back to the pram, not only was Tiny tears a passanger, oh no. Another household member who enjoyed a wee run in it was Hammy. Aye, Hammy the hamster. Oh how he enjoyed scurryin aboot in the void created when you took the middle slat out of the base. In full size prams this void was often used for carrying a mammies messages, thus rendering the wean asleep thanks to the rumblin oh the tatties carrot and leek for the soup, which was okay as long as the lentil bag didnae burst. If this did happen Gaggie would be despatched with his trusty painbrush to sweep up the stragglers before settin them to soak in a deep bowl. Noice!!
So wee Hammie would skuttle aboot in the void, chewin on the newspaper faither put there to prevent accidents and chassin a jawrie for all he was worth. Half time in the hall ususally involved a wee slice oh apple and maybes the odd refresher fae the bottom of my school satchel. Mind you, for by the pram and the refresher Hammie got up to lots of other adventures. He was always escaping, oddly only when my mither wis oot, and then the entire household would be in ructions of searching for him. My brother, who’s hamster it really was, would be required to move the scelexrics or train set from the hall so that faither could move the hall stand as there was a piece of lino behind this which he seemed to be quite partial to nibbling. If he wasnt there then there was a strange blue and white plastic woven rug thingy in the kitchen which he also found quite tasty.(Irescently found from my brother that this rg, circa 1971 is in mithers hut if anyone is intrested) There were several times when faither had to take the bath panel off to have a look for him with the torch. And then there was the famous ocassion when we lost him for hours. Well long enough to watch a Shirley Temple film and for me to hide behind the couch while my brother watched Dr Who, so thats what, hmmm, must be at least three hours. Faither was in his chair, havin a wee doss in front of the fire with the Christmas tree on the coffee table behind his chair. I could hear my brother giggling from the couch and looked round to see what had caused this, to be honest unusual event. And there sat the bro, hand over mouth trying to supress a full on chorrtle while pointing at faither in the chair, sprawlled out wi the newspaper over him like a blanket. Then my eye moved to his tartan slippers and the cuff of his trousers. There in all his glory sat Hammy, in faithers trouser turnup washing his face and ears. At almost the same time faither grabbed the now falling copy of The Citizen and screwed his face up in that one eye opening, just awake, ‘ah wisnae really sleepin, just restin ma eyes’ look. This movement sent Hammie scurryin again, but this time he headed straight up faithers trooser leg.
‘Dont move daddy’ cried both me and my brother in unison.
‘Its Hammy daddy, he’s gone up yur trooser leg’ my brother explained.
Faither jumped up and then stood salk still.
‘That much I’d worked oot son’ faither replied, his shoulders shaking with mirth. And then he proceeded to shake his trooser leg until Hammy had descended to the mid way point just below his knee. The brother crawled over the carpet, ambush style, to offer assistance while faither rolled up his trooser leg revielin the long johns Hammy had used as a ladder and eventually the hamster was recaptured by the brother and returned to his secure unit on the table.
‘That bloody hamster has a death wish’ faither remarked. Followed by ‘dont tell your mother he escaped again or we’ll never hear the end of it’
Oh, on the subject of mother, you must be wondering where she was during all this. Infact come to think of it most of the times Hammy disapeared mother was in the same place she was that evening. I used to ask faither when he was left babysitting where she had gone, in reality this was usually after about quater of an hour of absense, okay okay I was a clingy kid.
‘She’s ran away to join the sodjers’ was faithers stock reply. Hmm, have to be honest that wasnt much of a comfort but as in most childhoods I grew to understand this just to be one of those wee sayings adults used. In reality mother was in the town (Glasgow) usually with auntie Mamie at Lewis’s having their lunch and then doing some shopping, which at this time of year was most probably for my birthday or the family Christmas gifts.
How did this blog turn intae the Hammy, daddy an tiny tears show, back to the prams.
Another intresting pram story revolves around my Gaggie, (maternal grandfather). I was the last of the grand children and when I was four the first great grandchild turned up, Susu. By this time gaggie had moved to live with his new wife in Isle of Man and was almost completly blind. A gathering was as usual planned at our house and the extended famliy arrived to see the visiting Gaggie and intorduce Susu. During this get together Gaggie got chatting to the eldest grandson, now almost 20, both in their own way a little exccentric. Somehow the subject got to prams, and Gaggie mentioned that of course if there was a need for a spare he knew where he could lay his hands on one. A bit confused the gs asked him to explain, Gaggie would do better than that, he’d show him. So off they toddled into the back green, round the side of the building and into the front garden.
‘Now where are we son’ Gaggie enquired of GS1.
‘In the front garden Gaggie’ replied GS1.
‘Aye aye, but where EXACTLY’ demanded the impatient Gaggie
‘In the top corner beside the roses’
‘Ahh, just under the big room windae?’
‘This son is the last restin place oh your pram’
The grandson a bit startled need an explainasion.
Seems just after the war, when gs1 had outgrown his pram, and Gaggie unable to find a buddy to hand this on to he decided it was too good for the midden, and instead he dug a four foot deep hole and buried it, just incase it was ever needed again. So if ever you wonder where my hording habit comes from, I think this genetic traite can be firmly directed in this direction. By the way, the pram still resides at my original childhood home, if you should have need of such an item then email me and I’ll send you a map. Mind you, I’d go under cover of darkness as the folks that live there might not apprciate you diggin up their front garden.
A wee ps
Hammie the hamster did eventually go to the big exercise wheel in the sky. I of course, had to over dramatise this, but for that you can blame my parents, who told me he had been murdered in the night my burglars while trying to save the goldfish during thier intrusion. I heard a very similar story on a tv programe this week….may have been QI, so it sees lots of kids were lied to in the late 60’s and early 0’s, ‘splains a lot really, dont ya think. No wonder this bloody country is in the state its in, pfft.