Postcards From Blogging Friends: Part Six

Cindy.

Cindy Bruchman is one of my dearest blogging friends. When I started this series about postcards, I teased her that she hadn’t sent me any, and sort-of ‘demanded’ she send me one showing a cactus. (She lives in Arizona)
Of course, I wasn’t serious, but she decided to deal with me by sending me no less than five postcards.
So here they are. (No cactus though!)

They were all posted in Cottonwood, Arizona, though three of them feature other parts of America, and the last two are views of Greek islands.

The Grand Canyon, during a lightning storm.

An historic building in Virginia, with a personal connection to Cindy.

The East Coast of America, North Carolina.

The Greek island of Mykonos, famous for its ancient windmills.

An old castle on the island of Patmos, in Greece.

My thanks to Cindy for taking so much trouble to send me a selection of cards. Also my continuing thanks to everyone who is still sending cards.
I got another one just now!

Seeing The Strings

Children’s television shows of my youth often used puppet characters to entertain us. Despite being able to see the strings, and knowing full well that they were puppets, the wonder of watching them was not diminished in the least. We were too young to notice the strings anyway.

I was lucky that my parents could afford a television when I was very young, and one of my earliest memories is of watching Muffin The Mule.
This footage is quite poor, but it was shown in 1955!

My next favourite was Andy Pandy, along with his toy box friends.
My Mum told me that when he waved goodbye, I used to cry inconsolably. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then came The Woodentops. Along with the family, we also had Spotty the dog.
This was state-of-the-art in the late 1950s.

The genre was revolutionised by Gerry and Syvia Anderson. They took puppet shows to a new level, replicating big screen entertainment. They used string puppets that also had electronic parts fitted, so that their mouths and other facial features could move in a realistic way. They even coined a term for this, ‘Supermarionation’.

They had started out following the trend of earlier programmes, and their first show, ‘Twizzle’ was very popular.

Their next offering was Torchy the battery boy.
This gave some hint to their futuristic ideas, with Torchy’s space rocket catching the mood of the time.

This was followed by their Wild West series, ‘Four Feather Falls’, a huge favourite at the time.
The theme song was even released as a record!
It never occurred to me to question the exaggerated size of the characters in relation to the buildings.

Long before they could be shown in colour, they embraced their vision of all-action shows for kids and the Andersons really took off, with their shows becoming household names, and shown at prime times too.
First came ‘Supercar!’

Then the amazing ‘Fireball XL-5’.

As colour TV sets started to become readily available, the next offering was the eye-popping ‘Stingray’. This was the first Supermarionation series to be filmed in colour.
It was set in a futuristic underwater city, ‘Marineville’, and ‘Stingray’ was a submarine.

In 1965, the pair embarked on their most ambitious project yet, ‘Thunderbirds’. I was 13 at the time, but still loved to watch it.
Telling the story of ‘International Rescue’, it introduced a family who used various ingenious methods to save lives and prevent disasters all around the world.
As they had done with ‘Stingray’, the Andersons caught on to the marketing possibilities. Toy figures and vehicles became the ‘must-haves’ for us kids in the 1960s.
By the time ‘Thunderbirds became internationally popular, that toy market was huge.

In 1967, they brought their final Supermarionation project to the TV screens, using advanced electronics to make the characters even more realistic.
Once again, demand for the toys associated with the series was out of control.
I was 15 by then, so not really watching stuff like this. But I saw it occasionally, if only to find it funny now that I was too old.

I had started to see the strings.

Age and emotions

I found this post from my early days of blogging, back in 2012. It has had very few views, and just one comment. It was interesting for me to read it again, and to reflect on how I felt at the time.
Seven years later, much of it is still relevant.
Some of it even more so.

beetleypete

What is it about age and emotion? It seems to be on a sliding scale; as you get older, you become emotionally labile. Some days, I feel consumed by nostalgia, reverie, and reflection. Old films make me feel blue, and I can experience waves of sadness washing over me, for no apparent reason. I constantly look back over my life, re-evaluating past deeds, and regretting not doing others.

This is all a very new thing. Ten years ago, I got through the day, had a bottle of wine, and considered myself lucky to still be here.ย  There was no time in my life for regrets, and self-criticism; I would have considered it a luxury that I could not afford to indulge in. Analysing things in the past can be very self-destructive, and is generally not to be recommended. Wallowing inย  nostalgia is usually unproductive, at the best of times.

Soโ€ฆ

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Astaire and Rogers

An old post from 2013, remembering my love of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire films. Most of you have never seen this one.

beetleypete

Even when I was still a small child, the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were already thirty years old. Their last film together, after ten years apart, was made some years before I was born, and their earliest collaboration was in 1935. Despite this, I always loved those films. The Art Deco sets, the snappy scripts, and of course, the wonderful music and dancing. Only ten films, nine in black and white, one in colour, yet they achieved an iconic status as an on-screen pairing, and nobody has ever matched their style since. Last week, I discovered that the BBC were showing two of their films, early on a Saturday, and I taped them. Although I have seen them all many times, and as recently as last year, the prospect of watching them always fills me with delight.

I agree that both Fred and Ginger were not theโ€ฆ

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Postcards From Blogging Friends: Part Four

This is the next batch of picture postcards I have received. At least the photos are much clearer this time.

If your card has not appeared yet, don’t worry. It will feature in part five.

Matt Sully sent me this one, from Canada.
He was on a trip to some caves with his family.

British blogger and writer Stevie Turner sent this from her cycling holiday.

My long-term blogging pal Fraggle was on holiday in Florence, Italy.
This has a British stamp, so I am guessing she posted it when she got home.

Julie went to the Norfolk seaside town of Sheringham on Tuesday.
When she told her friend Lynn about these blog posts, Lynn bought a card to send home for me.

Thanks as always to everyone who took the time and trouble to get these cards and send them to me.

And if you haven’t sent one yet, what are you waiting for? ๐Ÿ™‚

Postcards From Blogging Friends: Part Three

Cards are still arriving, so if you don’t see your one here, it will feature soon.

The lovely Suzi Tench, a British blogger, sent me this card.
It is illustrating some wood carving art by David Nash.

Nicolas Rossis sent this in an envelope, from Greece.
It is very artistic, and a nice mix of colours.

Scottish blogger Mary Smith sent me this from Dumfries.
She has written a great book about that town, and that is mentioned on the back.

(In case you don’t know, it is pronounced ‘Dum-Freece’)

American blogger Susanne sent this all the way from the Pacific North-West.
For some reason, the US Post Office decided to stick some ugly bar codes over the name of the city.
Luckily, you don’t have to guess, as the name of it is on the back.

Sorry that the photos turned out rather dark. No idea why!
They looked fine in the viewfinder. ๐Ÿ™‚

More postcard posts to come, so keep looking out, if you sent me one.
Thanks once again to you all. Pete.

Postcards from blogging friends: Part Two

I am still getting cards, so if your one isn’t shown here, it will be in the next part. Maybe even Part Four!

Many thanks to all of you who have sent me cards for this feature, and also to anyone still sending them, or considering doing so.

Pit is originally from Germany, and now lives in the USA.
He sent me this card from his holiday in Alaska.

Marina lives in Athens, and designed this classical Greek card herself.
I see it was posted from France, so I presume she was visiting that country.

Darlene is Canadian, but now resides in sunny Spain.
This card shows a very inviting location, and she stuck some metal maple leaf designs on it too!

My wife Julie couldn’t resist joining in.
During a short break at a holiday camp with her grandson, she found this ‘retro’ card.

Lots more to come! If you ever want to send me a postcard, it will feature on this blog. ๐Ÿ™‚
Thanks again, and best wishes to everyone.