When I was a child we had very little money. I mean nothing. It was the height of the Thatcher years with the miners out of work, rubbish in the streets and ‘brown-outs’. The power would dim and almost go out, it was as if someone was drip feeding the electricity. Basically it wasn’t the greatest of time to be growing up.
Or was it?
You see there was little or no television, so there were no adverts. My early childhood is one of simple toys and family. Did I have toy envy? Yes, of course but I was also content with what I had.
It wasn’t until later that I found out the cost.
Dad was out of work. He wasn’t a miner but a mechanic. What you have to realise is that all of the country was in a depression. There was no work. I was three and Santa was on his way. But we were barely getting enough for food, let alone presents. So my mum hunted around the house and came up with a pillowcase, an old housecoat, a pair of curtains and some brown wool. Most would have despaired… Not mum.
She got out scissors, needle and thread and over the next week she made a doll. It had two faces, on one side a princess and on the other a pauper. She was Cinderella. Mum worked until one in the morning of Christmas day in order to get that doll finished and since then she has gone everywhere with me.
In fact right at this moment she is sat upstairs on the bottom of my bed. She needs new hair (this will be her fifth replacement) but she is fine. She still has her princess gown of gold curtain fabric and her pauper gown from the house coat, and I still lover her as much as I always have.
Did I have toy envy then? I don’t remember. But now I love the doll and every memory her sagging stitches represent.
This is the result of the daily prompt – out of your reach.