Thursday, 16 June 2011

Mini collection 23

When I was a child almost everything I had was small. The smaller the better, as far as I was concerned. If my toys were on a miniature scale, then I could pack a whole world onto the kitchen rug. Five of the above little dolls are from my childhood. The second from the left is Miss Julia Locket, bought quite recently from a car boot sale, still in her plastic bubble -- she is a doll I wished for as a child. She has a serene and knowing face, like a fortune-teller. To her right is another new doll, bought to mark the changing times.
     All the others are about forty years old. The one with pink hair was prized as the most minuscule of all -- she also lived in some sort of plastic pod, now lost. Lucy and Angela, the two without clothes in the middle, were central to my life for far too long. Lucy (and several unnamed, unloved identical sisters) had an ever expanding wardrobe of clothes made from tiny rectangles of cloth with a cross cut in the middle as a head-hole and a fraying scrap of the same fabric for a belt. These outfits were haute couture in my mind and I never seemed to tire of taking them on and off again.
     Angela once had a pink duffel coat attached to that hood. What happened to it? I know what happened to Angela -- she got locked in the loft at my old house for about twenty years. Deeply traumatised, she was only freed from her prison when I crept into the loft a few years ago looking for my old school exercise books. I also found evidence of another crime that day: Muggins, my ancient red plastic mug, had also been incarcerated there for even longer, abandoned after being cruelly used by my father to bail out a roof leak. Muggins was my equivalent of a dummy and I used to chew it (disgusting, I know). My father unfortunately did a degree in Education and Child Psychology when I was a toddler and used me to practise on. I had been encouraged to throw my actual dummy on the fire as an act of 'empowerment'. I will do a blogpost on the study he did of me -- it's funny.
     The kid in the pink knitted dress is an interloper, the pathetic replacement for lost Angela but clearly lacking her empathy and quiet charisma.
     The last doll is Belinda, one of several such dolls bought from the Cambridge Toy Shop during holidays in the Fens at my great-aunt Winnie's house. I played with these girls a lot because they had cost me nearly all my holiday money, but they were no match for Lucy and Angela.


Joanna said...

Love it love it love it! Great tales of your precious little friends with whom you have played such wonderful games.

I have my baby dolls (much bigger than these here, of course) in the loft (or those I didn't leave behind in a hurried move anyway, grrrrr). I can still smell them (they each had their own smell) without even going up there. Baby David was/is a particular favourite (wanted so badly because he had a willy), and I can distinctly recall his soft baby clothes.


Jane said...

I always loved small things best - though I had very few dolls. My father made me a dolls house which I loved but I don't think I had more than one doll to occupy it - I loved the furniture and making rugs and curtains and sheets and quilts. If I had space I'd love to have another one to furnish.