Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you? Are the two connected?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us DREAMS.

Horses in Feldbrunnen

When I was 10? Like in the dark ages when I could hop, skip and jump without thinking that one day it might all slow down. I had my thoughts and my ideas, but they were all involved and influenced by the television. Not the large colourful monster of today with hundreds of various channels showing us the world of dreams, but a small object encased in wood and a screen just about as large as an oversized magnifying glass. We even believed that the television people were coloured black, white and 50 various shades of grey.

Broadcasting took place from 5 to 6 in the afternoon (children’s hour) and from around 8 in the evening for the news and adult programmes. Being 10 years old I would sit in front of the TV already at 4.45 in the afternoon, not wanting to miss anything and watched the pre-moving pictures. Music accompanied by little characters dancing around a large clock. Then the programme began and there I was glued to the screen watching characters like Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid.

They were all cowboys, so what chance did I have. I imagined myself as the heroine being whipped up by Cisco, rescuing me from the murderous hoards of “rustlers” as they were known as then. I think they were gangs of uncowboys that snatched cattle. Each cowboy had his faithful Sidekick although they were not as good looking as the star cowboy, and mostly a bit dumb to go with it. The Lone Ranger even had an Indian (who were usually the bad boys), but Tonto was OK. He never did anything stupid and just obeyed. The Cisco Kid had Pancho, a Mexican who looked at Cisco with stars in his eyes and seemed to grasp every word that Cisco uttered. Do you think…. No, that sort of thing did not exist then. Later Rin Tin Tin arrived an Alsation dog belonging to a skinny kid who had been brought up on a fort by loads of blue coated soldiers. Then I progressed, I wanted to grow up in a fort as well.

In the real world, my ideas and ambitions were not taken so seriously. Mum packed me off to school every morning after she returned from her job as an office cleaner in the City of London. She would leave around sixish in the morning and cleaned the office of some city gent so that he had a nice shiny desk top and empty litter basket when he arrived at work. In those days money was scarce and the wife worked to earn a little where she could. She had arrived home to get me out of bed, washed and ready for school. That was reality. I would walk to school wondering if when I turned the street corner Cisco or Hopalong would be there waiting for me. No chance, just my teacher and the classmates, their heads probably also filled with being dressed in cowboy clothes.

There was one guy, The Lone Ranger, who lived his life behind a mask. I do not know why, but sometimes I was the only cowgirl that knew why he had the mask and what he really looked like. Oh, the dreams of youth.

I never went in for being a singer or dancer, although Bill Haley had started to Rock Around the Clock and the only dancer I really knew was Fred Astaire. I think Elvis Presley had just left his Heartbreak Hotel and being All Shook Up at the time. That was imposing, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry having a rival.

By the time I was 11 daily television hours were longer and the first horror serial started on TV, Quartermass, so instead of riding the range I was peeping behind the sofa at space monsters. I was no longer faithful to Cisco and the others. I remember my mum telling me that all those cowboy actors were famous in her time. That was parental child psychology and destroyed all my hopes of becoming a cowboy bride as I realised that “in her time” was sometime during the war years when I was not born.

Now I read that a remake of The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp has been/is being made. No, I do not think I will bother. It will definitely destroy my childhood dreams and there is something else of importance. I know what Johnny Depp looks like behind the mask. What a spoiler that is.

What am I today? A retired export clerk, with two adult children and 2 adult step children. A cook, cleaner, laundry worker, gardener and speak 4 languages fluently (English, cockney, german, swiss german) and 2 languges almost fluently (French and Italian) with some Russian thrown in for good measure.  Basically a golden oldie, going towards the platinum stage.

Mr. Swiss is not a cowboy, but he helps to look after our three felines. Does that count?

Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

Daily Prompt: All Grown Up

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

sweet sixteen

Sorry for the bad quality of the photo, but in those days the digital camera was not yet invented. It was probably my mum’s Brownie box camera.

My first reaction to this prompt was “huh?“. Like growing up was something unnatural, so you have to feel grown up. The phrase “grown up” sounds so childish. On the other hand I had the opportunity to show my photo of me as an Amy Winehouse lookalike at the age of sixteen. Amy Winehouse was then definitely not born, so I was years ahead of her. You may ask how did I get the hair looking like that. No problem, it was long, very long, so I just bunched it altogether on top of my head with an elastic band, did a lot of backcombing all around, and formed it into a big round lump, pinning it down with hairpins. It might have been fifty years ago, but we were all young once.

Did you notice. I even have eye shadow. Probably some shade of blue, and of course the mascara and eye liner to go with it. Let’s be honest, it was the time when I definitely knew there were two sorts of people in the world, those with the deeper voices and the others like me. I really did not have time to feel grown up, I was too busy with other things.

I was also wearing very high heels, which actually put me at a disadvantage when hunting. I was one of those tall types, but wearing four inch stilettos or whatever made you even taller (in gunmetal or bronze leather), so that probably reduced my chances by fifty percent with those with the deeper voices, cutting the small models out.

I was quite good at dancing the twist at the time, and knew nearly all the songs by memory in the hit parade. I remember Neil Sedaka, Buddy Holly as well as Adam Faith. The Beatles were probaby just starting out in Liverpool playing at The Cavern.

So now I have wallowed enough in my early teenage years. My mum never really thought I was grown up. “Wrap yourself up warm” when I departed for an evening at the Mecca dancing. “Don’t speak to strange men” was a favourite one. Of course I spoke to strange men. If I go dancing I cannot sit like a wallflower all evening: believe me all those men were strangers that asked for a dance. It was also the time when I smoked my first cigarettes. Mum was not happy, although she smoked a packet a day, as well as dad. She just said if I want to smoke it was my business, but she would not offer me one of hers. After all at that time smoking was harmless, no danger, so I puffed away like the rest.

And now to play with my computer, my Kindle and my iPad, not forgetting my telephone toy called iPhone. You never really grow up, the toys just change.

Daily Prompt: All grown up