Sep 27, 2009


Whilst away in the U.K. recently, helping empty and clean out the old family 'ghost' house, I came across this remarkable example of ancient toy technology - my old 24 inch, plaster walking doll! Very modern for her time; her legs jerking stiffly into place with just the faintest of clicks, as I moved her forwards. Left, right.. left, right... and away we would go. Jerky dolly and little 5 - 6 year old girl, her long plaits swinging...

I don't remember how many wigs she had - I practiced my hairdressing skills on her with fierce enthusiasm - or how many sets of open/close eyes and new pairs of pink, plastic strap over shoes; all bought from the 'Doll's Hospital' in town.... a grand title for a tiny, poky, rather scary (with hundreds of staring eyes and other dolly spare parts hanging on the walls!) little shop in a side street.

Sadly, although I don't really know why I say that - she was after all just a doll, she was in pieces when I found her. Wrapped in a plastic bag on top of a very dusty wardrobe, chipped nose and fingers, devoid of hair and sight, her legs and arms arranged loosely around her - the elastics inside having corroded long ago......

She was never my favourite doll - and to be truthful, I have even forgotten what I called her.

Nameless and broken. I threw her in the bin. She was just a doll..... a piece of childhood long gone and for many reasons, best forgotten...

Back to the present and onwards to the future and the living! Give love to the living.

A new era.

New inward peace.


Kate said...

Hi Geri,
Its never easy revisiting the past - particularly when house clearing is involved but at least you can ut some of it behind you now!

I had a doll like that when I was little - a 'walkie talkie doll' as they called her - she had several wigs too..

I'm just in the process of knitting a 1956 womans weekly pattern to re-dress my 6 inch Rosebud doll that somehow escaped breakage and is in my glass cabinet with my Mum's things - may have to blog about it one day. Having said that her elastic innards may break when I dress her!

You were (and still are, of course) a sweetie weren't you?

Hope you are okay

Geri Atric said...

Hi Kate,

Ah yes, the Rosebuds! I had a couple of those too, all dressed in pram sets knitted by mother...
I didn't like them much either! It was the writing on the back of their necks/heads, that put me off. Come to think of it, I wasn't much keen on any of my dollies except for one old baby rubber one - and that's what I called her too, 'rubber dolly'. (Fortunately I got more inventive with my children's names in later life!)

Don't know about being a sweetie... as I recall, I was considered much to outspoken (for the times) fiercely protective of my younger brothers and often reprimanded for scowling at people I didn't trust or like: i.e., all grown-ups! (In fact, the above photo is rare, because I am actually smiling in it - but then, I was at my Auntie's house and not at home..).
Things are more 'open' these days, with more opportunities for children to 'speak out'.. but still - there will always be adults that hurt vulnerable kids.
(I guess that's a different blog altogether!).

Sometimes one person's death (not my auntie's) can bring a lot of peace to the living.

I am really okay now, thanks Kate!

Kate said...

Things are more open now .... yes, but mostly because of fiercely protective people from our generation - children are encouraged to talk because their parents/ grandparents weren't allowed to.... i do hope all your ghosts have been laid my friend - survival counts for a lot!!!!
Peace, love and hugs to you!!!!

Geri Atric said...

Kate, all you say is very true!

Our generation have broken the taboo of silence - and it must never go back to what it was. Governments must continue to improve upon the vigilance and protection of our young ones: i.e., more social care funding; police funding and empowerment (for a.o. internet detection of paedophile rings)not to mention stricter (European) child protection laws and much harsher punishments and treatments for perpetrators.

I won't go on..(be here all night!).

Thanks for your mails and the hugs and have a good week!

Jay said...

Isn't it funny the different emotions our childhood toys can stir? I'm glad you were able to say 'just a doll' and toss her out. After all, she wasn't a favourite toy .. but I bet there was still a little pang of something like regret or nostalgia.

I'm not sure I'd have been able to do it. I must work harder of letting go of the past.

Geri Atric said...

Hi Jay ~ It just depends on the kind of memories your toys evoke, I guess. No nostalgia with this one..!

Grannymar said...

You remind me of the 'Dolls Hospital' in Dublin. I expected to be like a hospital with little beds etc., but was upset because the parts were as you say stored in boxes or on open trays and hanging on the walls.

I am with you, on moving on and caring for the living. We cannot undo the past, not even God can!

Take care.

Geri Atric said...

Hi Grannymar ~ Ha-ha! Yes, like you, I imagined rows of little beds with mending dollies and teddies... What a disappointment that was!

Sadly, a child's crushed spirit can be harder to mend than those little toys. But as I (and my siblings) have slowly discovered with the passing of years, the bonus of loving and caring for others brings much peace and healing to yourself.
Perhaps that is God's work after all GM?