Back in Time

I hate shopping. I am not a browser but more like a grab, buy and go sort of girl. However, after being ill for what seems like months, the recovery process has taken its toll on my hustle bustle switch and my legs are travelling at snail pace. This has taught me a valuable lesson: there are things worth noticing.

For the first time, I spotted an old English telephone box in the ‘Alter Markt’ of my local town. As my weary eyes peered closer, I saw the box housed books. The red relic has been put to perfect use and acts as a ‘bring and borrow’ library. Not only is it a great idea but the moment of realisation gave me a sense of nostalgia.

I remember fondly, as a child, the old, beat-up, mobile library bus that used to visit our school weekly. My sense of smell immediately recalled the smell of old paper, which had intrigued me in my younger years as I hunted for the next Ladybird book: shall I choose the Magic Porridge Pot or read The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff for the umpteenth time?

Whatever happened to those rusty, wheeled vehicles? It is such a shame children of today aren’t able to experience the excitement I felt when the back-firing monster approached the school. The visit was always followed by a small bottle of milk with a straw poked through the silver foiled cap.

Have you ever come across something unexpected that whirls you back in time?

Comments

  1. Oh, I remember those little bottles of milk! They were delivered in a metal crate and the milkman always seemed to leave them standing in the sun.

    Something that recently made an old memory re-surface for me was reading a blog by Cathy Murray in which she wrote about her first doll. It reminded me of a doll which I never loved as I should, because it had short hair. The girl next door but one had a long-haired doll and, oh, how envious I was! The funny thing is I can visualise Elizabeth, my friend's long-haired doll, but I couldn't tell you what my doll looked like, except that I know she had short hair. I can't even remember her name. Should I feel guilty?

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    1. I don't think we should feel guilty about our childhood misgivings, Susanna. It's all part of our learning experience. I remember feeling envious of the big girl in our street. She had the most glorious pram for her dolls and she used to push it up and down the street with her nose in the air, knowing she had the best darn pram in the universe :) I completely lost interest in dolls after that. But I had the best teddy bear collection :) I still much prefer cuddly toys to hard plastic dolls.
      Thank you so much for commenting, Susanna. Wishing you all the best!

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  2. I love the red phone box. And I have fond memories of the milk bottles too, although not in summer when the milk was warm.

    I had a doll who was badly behaved. I gave her to a jumble sale, telling her she was being sent to a children's home. As I walked away, I turned to look at her and felt dreadful. She suddenly looked so beautiful and I realised she had the prettiest dress of all my dolls. But I was far too shy to walk back and reclaim her. The memory has haunted me ever since. x

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    1. Don't feel too sad, Joanna, I am sure that your lovely doll is still being loved and cared for. I hope you are well. Thank you very much for commenting. It is always lovely to hear from you. Take care.

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  3. Oddly enough, I spotted a mobile library downtown a few months ago. It's a great idea.

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    1. That's made me smile, Milo. Thank goodness they still exist. Hope all is well and those books are selling like crazy!!

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  4. I love the idea of the red post box being put to good use, Nicola. I have fond memories of a mobile library visiting the rural village where I grew up and the time taken to browse before making our choices.

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    1. It is a great idea, Jan. And they are really well kept. The door is never locked and the community just respects its function. Not a shred of vandalism in sight. Thank you for commenting. All the best!

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  5. I don't know if they visit schools, but there are mobile libraries in my local area.

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    1. That is great news! You must get your books on their shelves, Patsy. All the best!

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  6. I love those little random libraries. I didn't have mobile libraries growing up, but I remember the guy riding around on his kart in the summers with ice cream. They don't do that where I live now and I miss it. Or the guy who sharpens knives ringing his bell as he walks the neighborhoods.

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    1. It is such a shame that these things are now missing in everyday life. They all added to the sense of community in a way. Thanks for popping over and sharing your comments, Christine. Great to hear from you. All the best.

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  7. I used the mobile library we had in deepest Wales. Shame most of the books were in Welsh and I couldn't read them. I've also seen a couple of those old red phone boxes turned into mini-libraries.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Lynne. It's great to know that other red phone boxes are being recycled and put to better use.

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  8. Sometimes we do notice more if we go at a slower pace.

    We had a library in our school, but I remember a couple summers spending time at the community center and reading books in their small library they opened up. I wish they were able to keep it open for the community, but sadly, the library there is no more.

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    1. That is sad, Cherie. Hope you are keeping well. Thank you for popping by to comment. All the best!

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  9. Lovely post, Nicola, and how lovely to find the red telephone box filled with books. I well remember those little milk bottles and the 'milk monitors' who made sure we drank them!

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I used to love being milk monitor because I could jab the hole in the foiled cap :) I hope Scotland has better weather than over here. Winter is determined to fight with Spring. All the best and thank you for commenting.

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  10. I remember the library bus visiting the school but have no memory of going up to it, which is strange. Maybe I didn't like reading when I was small.

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    1. Or maybe the librarian/driver was too scary and you've blotted it out of your mind :) Really happy to hear all your good news, Wendy. Thanks for popping by and commenting.

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  11. Our elementary school has started a once a month event on Friday evening where the kids bring in books for a book exchange. For every book you bring you can choose one to take home. This is a great way for the kids to be excited about reading as they all sit and discuss which books they liked and why you should read the book the left.

    I hope you are feeling better soon.

    I too am not a shopper. It is so nice to hear another woman say that. It almost seems like a defect for a woman to say she doesn't like shopping ☺

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    1. So glad I'm not the only woman who hates shopping. I was quite wary about putting it out there - you've put my mind at rest, thank you!!

      That's so heart-warming to hear how the kids are enthusiastic about reading. I was speaking to our school librarian last week and asked if I could donate some books (good condition) for our teenage pupils. She said, 'NO!'. Couldn't believe my ears. Apparently as soon as the kids hit their teens, they seem to stop reading real books. What a shame. I am only teaching there temporarily but I am now on a mission to improve this statistic.

      Thank you so much for popping over and commenting. Lovely to 'see' you!! All the best!

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  12. That is neat and a wonderful idea. Oh, I would love to step into that telephone box and look at the books there. :)

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Chrys. It's great to 'see' you and heartfelt thanks again for all the editing tips you shared!! You're a gem!

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  13. I always keep my 1959 Lone Ranger annual on the shelf above my computer to keep my 7-year old inner child alive.

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    1. That's great, Keith. Lovely to 'see' you. Hope all is well.

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  14. I love the clean fresh look of your blog. I also love how you write on here--I read a few other posts! Thanks for finding me all the way from Germany!! I will be back.

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    1. Thank you for popping over here, Terri. Sorry the weather is so rubbish. But in the Summer I'll fire up the BBQ :) Look forward to 'seeing' you again soon. All the best.

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  15. I do--quite often, actually. We have those borrow libraries around Nashville--they place them in neighborhoods, actually, which seems odd to me! I haven't found one yet. There's a map but I am a little confused when it comes to maps. I wish they'd put at least a few of them in shopping areas. I'm guessing if they did that, people might not follow the rules? You're supposed to leave a book for every book you take.

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    1. I am a fellow terrible map reader, Stephanie :) Thank you for popping over and commenting. Lovely to 'see' you here. Hope all is well and the writing is flowing :) All the best.

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