Luck, do not talk to me about luck. I was, without a shadow of a doubt, the unluckiest child ever. I was so unlucky that I think someone must have impaled a single magpie to my pram when I was tiny!
From the jam in the doughnut to the GDH fire, my childhood was laced with disappointment.
Ironically the only time I actually remember feeling disappointed was as a very small child. I was outside Robinsons with my Granny and my sister and my Granny had given my sister a bar of chocolate and told me I could not have one in case it made me sick. I have no knowledge that chocolate ever has or ever will make me sick. (We don’t talk about the gallstones exorcist incident because that is unique) I remember a distinct feeling of disappointment on this day.
My parents tell me that whenever they bought something identical for myself and my sister, I always got the faulty one. When we both had identical Barbie ballerinas mine was the one, on opening the box, that was broken. When we had bubbles from the newsagent, mine was half empty. When the whole family had doughnuts once, mine had no jam. I remember these three incidents but not any feelings other than, ah well. (I would have though “shit happens” but I don’t think the phrase was invented then) I think my parent felt a whole lot worse than me.
I know there were other times this happened but cannot remember details. My Mum has told me that she even went as far as allocating a toy to me and a toy to my sister and then swapping to see what happened. You guessed right...... mine was the faulty one!
The biggest piece of bad luck was the Britain’s farm incident. I wanted a Britain’s farm yard for my birthday and my animals needed an upgrade from a cardboard box farm. It was not the expensive toy of the year but it was what I wanted. GDH, the local toyshop didn’t have one but happily ordered one to arrive in time for my birthday. Sadly it did not arrive in time for my birthday at the end of November but did look hopeful for Christmas. My Dad tells me that he received a card to say the long awaited, highly desired Britain’s farm base had arrived. Fanfare please, I was actually going to get the farm for Christmas!
My Dad was going into town on the Saturday to collect my present from GDH, however, on the Friday night GDH caught fire and was gutted. My farm was probably a puddle of plastic on the floor, no longer the amazing toy I was anticipating.
I have no recollection of any feelings of disappointment and would have enjoyed what I got anyway. I was never a materialistic child and was always happy making a cardboard box farm base/ dolls house or whatever I wanted.( I once made a dolls house camper van by tying dolls house bunk beds to a small Fisher Price van. ) I obviously realised that having my head swayed by luxuries like the Britain’s farm was totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
On my 21st birthday one of my presents from my parents was the Britain’s farm base. My son (and later my daughter) played happily with it with the assistance of Mummy.
I would like to say that my luck has improved, and in some ways it has, but I know that the spectre of disappointment is always lurking nearby waiting to pounce.